Arrival Date



St. Eugene Monthly Writer’s Conferences

St. Eugene Writer’s Conferences

 Celebrating the Craft

The St. Eugene Writers Conference gathers writers of all genres to work on their craft. From the person just putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to the authors of several books, the gathering celebrates our craft.

The central building at St. Eugene Resort was once the Ktunaxa residential school. Over the last seventeen years, the band developed a championship golf course, a casino, a 125-room hotel, an RV park and several restaurants on the property. What once stood abandoned and a darkness in their history is today a bright light providing income and skilled employment for their people. This transformation and the positive energy surrounding St. Eugene Resort create the perfect environment for improving and celebrating the craft of writing.

Due to popularity of the event, we have expanded to host writing/art events every month.


The writing workshop is the long established and proven method of dramatically developing writing skills. Most MFA writing programs center on the workshop. Many of us cannot take the time out of our lives to dedicate two years to a MFA or even a semester to take a conventionally offered workshop. By offering three and four day workshops, the St. Eugene Writing Conference provides a venue for writers to develop their craft without the substantial time and financial commitment of academically offered workshops.

Our faculty all have extensive workshop experience, both as participants and as leaders. The sessions are supportive and yet, at the same time, provide substantive feedback to the writer. While most writing is done “in a closet”, there comes a time when it should see the light of day. In a workshop, within a peer group of fellow writers, your writing is valued. The critique is positive and forward moving.

Writer’s Conference – Celebrating the Craft

CLICK HERE to see the May Schedule

Fiction / Non-Fiction – Timothy Taylor
May 11, 12, 13, 2018

Timothy Taylor crafts work with strong characters and driving narratives.
Bring a short piece to share in the workshop and between critiques work on developmental exercises.

Writing the Truth – Deryn Collier
May 11, 12, 13, 2018

All writing is subjective-written from the author’s viewpoint. This is the “truth.” In memoir, fiction or non-fiction set in the past, or plots that turn on technical details and procedure. This truth comes from meticulous research—diaries, journals, newspapers and personal interviews. How the story is framed, how the story arcs determines the connection with the reader. While only ten to twenty percent of the research actually makes it into the story, character, setting and historical or technical detail are woven in, providing depth and veracity to the work.

Finding Your Voice – Keith Liggett
May 11, 12, 13, 2018

  The blank page chases many an emerging writer away. Like a journey of many miles, you start with one step. In the case of writing, you start with one word. And another. And another until you have a string. And another string. Eventually, you have a story. Wow.

In Finding Your Voice, Keith takes materials from other writers to demonstrate the development of voice and character. Then he tosses it all off the cliff and says “Don’t follow them. Make your own way.”

The workshop allows the writer to experiment and delve into new material in a supportive and encouraging environment

Section 1: Manuscript Evaluation – Mark Kusnir (One position open)
May 10, 11, 12, 13, 2018

This workshop is by application only.

Only six participants will be accepted into the Manuscript Review Session. Applications will be accepted starting January 15, 2018. Applications will be accepted until the sessions are full and then a waiting list will be started.

St. Eugene Writers Conference
St. Eugene Resort | 7777 Mission Rd. | Cranbrook, BC

To apply to the Manuscript Review Session, send a cover letter and bio (two pages max) and 10 to 12 pages of the manuscript you wish to workshop with a brief synopsis (one page). The cover page should include the title, name and pertinent contact information—address, phone and email. Standard manuscript conditions—12-point serif type, double spaced, 1” margins, single-sided on white paper. Pages should be sequentially numbered. Your name should be in the header or footer of each page.

Once registration open, the application process will be rolling, accepting standout manuscripts as they arrive at the office. We will notify qualified participants by email or phone as we receive manuscripts. If the session fills, we will post the closure on the web site and start a waiting list.

Hard copies only will be considered. No email applications.

Please send an SASE if you wish to have your manuscript returned otherwise they will be recycled.

Youth Workshop – Danielle Gibson
May 12, 13, 2018

The world’s filled with incredible writers from different backgrounds and ages. We celebrate them in their endeavours to create beautiful word combinations in song, fiction, plays.

Ed Sheeran.
JK Rowling.
William Shakespeare.

The young adult writers’ session will focus on collaboration, editing skills, and critiquing. We’ll find our own writing spaces and learn from each other and our writing styles. There’ll be an emphasis on every participant finding his/her voice.

Dive in. Take a chance. Join other likeminded people on the amazing journey of writing.


Plein Air Painting Workshop & Keith’s Writing Workshop

Postponed to May 11, 12, 13 

Writing Workshops

Finding Your Voice – Keith Liggett

March 2, 3, 4, 2018

 The blank page chases many an emerging writer away. Like a journey of many miles, you start with one step. In the case of writing, you start with one word. And another. And another until you have a string. And another string. Eventually, you have a story. Wow.

In Finding Your Voice, Keith takes materials from other writers to demonstrate the development of voice and character. Then he tosses it all off the cliff and says “Don’t follow them. Make your own way.”

The workshop allows the writer to experiment and delve into new material in a supportive and encouraging environment

Writer’s Gathering in Chief David Room
February 18, 2018
6:00pm – 9:00pm

Open to public & writer’s wishing to read a passage from their work. Cash Bar available.

Finding Your Voice – Keith Liggett
February 16, 17, 18, 2018

  The blank page chases many an emerging writer away. Like a journey of many miles, you start with one step. In the case of writing, you start with one word. And another. And another until you have a string. And another string. Eventually, you have a story. Wow.

In Finding Your Voice, Keith takes materials from other writers to demonstrate the development of voice and character. Then he tosses it all off the cliff and says “Don’t follow them. Make your own way.”

The workshop allows the writer to experiment and delve into new material in a supportive and encouraging environment


Keith Liggett
Finding Your Voice   

Keith Liggett is a ski bum and writer. His ski writing has appeared in major ski journals and in over 75 newspapers. In 2009, Whitecap Books published Island Lake Lodge: the cookbook, which won a Gourmand Award, and went into a second printing in May 2010. like socks in the dryer, his second collection of poetry was published in 2013. The Fernie Originals, a series of profiles of Fernie businesses and essays about Fernie appeared in 2015.

Keith has led writing workshops and organized writing conferences in the United States and Canada for close to thirty years.

Keith blogs at:

Deryn Collier
Writing the Truth   

Deryn Collier is a master at weaving history and action, with just the right level of veracity, into a riveting story. This workshop will allow participants to bring their ideas to the table and practice the tools of the trade with Deryn in a supportive and safe environment. Suitable for writers in any genre whose work in progress requires integrating research into narrative.


Alice Helwig
Plein Air Painting

S. Helwig was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. From an early age she drew and painted. In fact, she has painted in acrylics since she was 14 years old in the coulee hills close to her family home. Helwig took a two-year commercial art program at the Medicine Hat College and then a Bachelor of Education Degree (with Distinction) from the University of Lethbridge.   Looking for adventure Helwig moved to Fox Lake, a small remote Indian village in Northern Alberta.  There she taught English and art while maintaining a studio in her home.

Presently residing in Calgary, Helwig remains an art educator and studio artist. You might have even seen her teaching a painting show called “Canvas” that aired on  Calgary Shaw TV’s Channel ten.

Mountain Galleries in Banff and Jasper, Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond and Rouge in Saskatoon represent her work.  Helwig’s award winning paintings are also in many private and public art collections.

Timothy Taylor
Fiction / Non-Fiction

Timothy Taylor is a Canadian novelist, journalist and creative writing professor.

Unlike many such profs, Taylor didn’t start out in the creative writing field. Look for the blog post “NYC vs. MFA vs. MBA vs. RCN”. Yes, that’s right, he studied economics and business while serving as an officer in the Canadian Naval Reserves first with HMCS Nonsuch and later with HMCS Cataraqui. He has an MBA from the Queens University’s Smith School of Business and a BA Economics from the University of Alberta. He spent time with the Toronto Dominion bank and later as a management consultant before becoming a freelance journalist and novelist in the late 1990s. In 2013 Taylor took a position with the UBC Creative Writing Program where is now an Associate Professor with tenure.

Taylor’s first novel Stanley Park was published in 2001. It was an immediate bestseller and a critical success. He’s since published a prize-winning collection of short fiction, Silent Cruise, and two further bestselling and critically acclaimed novels, Story House and The Blue Light Project, which was award the CBC Bookie Award in the literary fiction category. He is also the winner of the Journey Prize, and has been finalist or runner-up for six other major national fiction prizes in Canada, including the prestigious Giller Prize. His work has also been chosen as the ‘One Book One City’ selection for Vancouver and named a finalist for Canada Reads.

Taylor’s most recent nonfiction title is Foodville, a tongue-in-cheek account of his life as a food writer and self-identified non-foodie who is nevertheless a passionate eater. And his newest book, with Doubleday Canada, is the novel The Rule of Stephens.

Hiro Kanagawa
Play Writing


Although perhaps best known as an actor, Hiro is an award-winning playwright and sought-after story consultant.  He was story editor on several critically-acclaimed Canadian television series: Da Vinci’s Inquest, Da Vinci’s City Hall, Intelligence, and Blackstone. His plays Tiger of Malaya and The Patron Saint of Stanley Park have been performed across Canada. His most recent play, Indian Arm received the 2015 Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Script and the 2017 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Drama.

Anna Sewell
Poetry/Spoken Word

Anna Marie Sewell is a multidisciplinary artist, specialising in poetry; within poetry, she specialises in performance, informed by her background in theatre, love of song, and flare for improvisation. Being of Mi’gmaq/Anishinabe/Polish descent, she is fascinated by cross-cultural exchange: at present, she serves as Story Support consultant for Ancestors&Elders, a dance theatre work exploring Ukrainian/Indigenous connections on the prairies, in production by Shumka Dance for an April, 2018 debut; as a mentor for the Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s Borderlines program; and as a freelance collaborator with various groups and individuals.

Anna Marie has been an Instructor for YouthWrite for over 20 years. She spent 6 years facilitating an Adult Literacy writers’ circle. She’s taught ESL in Japan, Mexico and Canada, and currently serves on the editorial board of The Writers’ Union of Canada. Her own work can be found on and in her poetry collections, Fifth World Drum (Frontenac Press, 2009) and the forthcoming  For the Changing Moon (Thistledown Press, 2018).

Mark Kusnir
Manuscript Evaluation – Section 1 

For twenty-five years, Mark Kusnir has been developing writers at every level and of every description. After earning his MFA at New York University, he continued with graduate study in writing and literature at UBC.

Since starting teaching at the university level, Mark led classes in the novel, the short story, drama, poetry, screenwriting, fiction and creative non-fiction in both traditional and on-line settings. He was principle curriculum writer and lead instructor for the Research Foundation, City University of New York, MS Writing Program.

In addition to teaching, Mark has worked as a copywriter, a copy editor, a narrative editor. He ghostwrote two books, We Are No Fun Anymore (Routledge, 2011) and The Fresh Start Promise (Llewellyn, 2008).

Mark’s broad background and depth of experience make him the perfect fit for the St. Eugene Manuscript Evaluation Workshop.

Sioux Browning
Manuscript Evaluation – Section 2

Sioux Browning’s produced work has aired on CTV, The Comedy Network, Space, The New VI and the former Life Network (now Slice). She works as a story editor, script consultant and writer-for-hire for private clients, Canadian production companies and funding agencies. She also consults with novelists looking for help with structure/plotting.

Sioux teaches screenwriting and television writing for UBC’s MFA program. She lives in the Kootenays with her family.

Danielle Gibson
Youth Session

Danielle Gibson lives in Fernie, BC with her two kids and husband. She’s a high school language arts teacher, with experience teaching both in English and French language arts at all school levels. She has a master’s degree and has been part of writing groups for the better part of a decade. As an avid skier and hiker, her love of the outdoors helps her in the writing of her young adult fiction series.

Danielle has an agent in New York working to sell her series of three young adult novels to publishers this spring.


Workshop Rates

Early Bird Rates:
per class / All Workshops  
$719 per class / Manuscript Evaluation Workshop

After May 1st:
$ 495
per class / All Workshops
$ 769 per class / Manuscript Evaluation

Tuition includes the workshop, afternoon panel discussions, breakfast Saturday & Sunday, and the Conference Dinner on Saturday night. 

Room Rates

Hotel rooms are starting from only $90 per night, please specify you are staying for the Writer’s Conference.
Upgrade fees apply for Premier Garden & Deluxe rooms. Applicable taxes apply.

Call our awesome Reservations Team to book your hotel stay.
 Free: 1.866.292.2020 Email: [email protected]



St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino is a 125-room property with an 18-hole championship golf course, the Casino of the Rockies, three dining outlets, the Ktunaxa Nation Interpretive Centre, a health club with outdoor heated pools and a spa.

With sweeping views of both the Purcell and Rocky Mountains, the 300-acre Resort in the heart of the East Kootenays provides an inspiring, one-of-a-kind environment for meetings of all sizes.

st eugene, st eugene hotel, rocky mountain hotel, st eugene golf course, st eugene resort, british columbia golf course, cranbrook golf course, golf british columbia, rocky mountains


Conveniently located in the heart of the East Kootenays in British Columbia, the Resort is just five minutes from the Canadian Rockies International Airport and only a 50-minute direct flight from Calgary or a 1.5 hour direct flight from Vancouver.

The St. Eugene Smokehouse
is our signature dining experience, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and featuring an exquisitely crafted, Western barbecue-themed menu of appetizers, mains and desserts.

Fred’s Saloon
serves the Casino of the Rockies with a traditional assortment of classic lounge fare and weekly buffets.


With 125 guestrooms and suites, St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino can easily accommodate conferences, retreats and events of any size. All rooms underwent a full renovation in 2013 with upgrades including new carpets, bedding, TVs, coffeemakers and new furniture.

The Resort features several room and suite styles, with 100 of those rooms in the newer Lodge building and 25 deluxe rooms in the heritage Mission building.

Standard Lodge Rooms boast new upgrades and comfort at the best possible value, with a variety of bed choices available including one king, two queens or two doubles and with some rooms featuring balconies.

Premier Garden Lodge Rooms provide guests with wonderful south-facing views of the front courtyard and gardens, all with newly upgraded amenities and with some featuring balconies. Our mid-value rooms, bed choices include one king, two queens or two doubles.

Deluxe Mission Rooms are all beautifully appointed and uniquely designed within the heritage Mission building, featuring exposed brick walls, vaulted ceilings, replaces and rounded windows. West-facing rooms enjoy expansive views of our golf course while east-facing rooms face the courtyard and gardens in front of a magni cent backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.



Conveniently located in the heart of the East Kootenays in British Columbia, the Resort is just five minutes from the Canadian Rockies International Airport and only a 1.5 hour direct flight from Vancouver or 4 hour drive from Calgary.

The Resort has partnered with Pacific Coastal Airlines to offer a discount of 20% off regularly schedule flights from Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria airports.

Call 250.807.4930 and quote promo code WRITERS to receive a discount on your flight!


Teck is a diversified resource company, focused on providing products that are essential to building a better quality of life for people around the globe.


A community committed to providing support and assistance to our members, and writers across the province.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be a published writer to attend?
No. Writers with books and emerging writers all benefit from the workshop setting. We will work to place you in a workshop that allows you to progress and develop at a comfortable pace.

Why are Fiction and Non-fiction a single workshop?
Fiction and Non-fiction are prose genres and share many characteristics. They must have a strong narrative arc. They must have tension to lead the reader into the story. The fact that one might be ‘true” and the other “made up” has little to do with the craft of the story. In both, to engage the reader, you must tell a great story. That’s what the workshop teaches.

Do I need a body of work or a collection of poetry to workshop?
No. If you have not written much or are wondering which workshop to take, sign up for Keith’s Finding Your Voice workshop. The session will include guided exercises in fiction, non-fiction and poetry. At the end, you will be singing in your new voice (on the page).

How do I know which instructor to sign up for?
If you have questions, Keith Liggett, the Conference Director will chat with you and help you determine the correct session. He’s led workshops for almost 30 years and has a great feel for how people fit into sessions together. Please contact Keith directly at [email protected]

What are the afternoon panel discussions?
In the afternoons, before dinner, we will have discussions on literary publishing, writing a great query letter, how to find an agent an so on. The panels will be set shortly before the Conference begins. You can attend or not, but they are an interesting way to meet and discuss issues with the other participants and instructors.

One afternoon session will be on our hosts at St. Eugene Resort, the Ktunaxa. The Ktunaxa are an interesting band culturally. The oldest habituated land in Canada is in traditional Ktunaxa territory. Their language is an isolate, no known root in another language. Their traditions are a mix of woodland and prairie cultures.

There is also a wonderful Ktunaxa Interpretive Center at the Resort.

Can I bring a guest?
Sure. They can stay in your room for no extra charge and there are special meal and Conference Dinner tickets for purchase for guests.

Can I share a room?
Yes, but the Conference will not set up roommates. If you have a friend who wants to attend, one person would pay the tuition and lodging rate, the other only the straight tuition. This would be quite a saving over coming as a single conference attendee.

If I have special food requirements, can they be accommodated?
For special food needs, please write to the Conference info email with the details and we will consult with our Executive Chef on our ability to meet those requirements. In most cases, it will not be a problem.

How do I register?
Call the St. Eugene Resort at  1.866.292.2020. Ask for reservations and tell the receptionist you are registering for the St. Eugene Writers Conference, the session you are registering for and they will register you for the Conference. In most cases, we will follow up with a phone call to ensure you are in the right workshop and will be fully prepared.


The St. Eugene Writers Conference offers several general scholarships granted on both need and craft. All applications are evaluated as a group, but awarded first according to the parameters of the scholarship. The scholarships are for the three-day sessions—May 11-13, 2018

The St. Eugene Scholarship (tuition only)

The Jeanne and Don Liggett Memorial Scholarship (tuition only)

Applications for scholarships will be accepted from March 1, 2018

To apply for a scholarship, send the following in hard copy to:

St. Eugene Writers Conference
St. Eugene Resort
Attention: Jessica Britton
7777 Mission Rd.
Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 7E5

  1. A cover page with the applicant’s name, address, phone number and email.
  2. A brief one page cover letter stating your need, your writing background and a description of your project.
  3. For fiction/non-fiction send 10 pages of writing. This need not be a single piece, but may be several short pieces. For poetry send three to five poems of one page or less. For playwriting send a one page treatment of your project. For Finding Your Voice your cover letter will suffice as a writing sample.
  4. The submission should be in standard form—single-sided white paper, serif 12 pt. type, 1” margins all around. Pages should be numbered sequentially with the applicant’s name in the header or footer. Prose should be double spaced. Poetry single spaced with double spaces between stanzas.

Only hard copies will be accepted.

All materials must be received at St. Eugene Resort by 5PM, April 23, 2018. Late materials will not be considered. If you wish to have your materials returned, please enclose an SASE.

The scholarship awards will be made by April 27, 2018, 2018 and applicants will be notified by email and/or by phone, as they prefer.

Indigenous Scholarships
Celebrating the Craft
May 11-13, 2018

She nodded. “It’s all we are in the end. Our stories.”
Richard Wagamese, Medicine Walk

 In an effort to encourage the writing craft within the aboriginal community,  the St. Eugene Resort and Teck Coal are offering a special group of Indigenous scholarships to the St. Eugene Writers Conference, May 11-13, 2018. The scholarships are for tuition to one of the four literary workshops held May 11-13. The individual workshops center on play writing, poetry, fiction/non-fiction and Finding Your Voice for emerging writers.

The scholarships also include breakfast each morning and the Conference Dinner Saturday night.

The application process and adjudication are the same as the other scholarships except there is not deadline. Scholarships are filled as they are applied and received.

. Please read the instructions above and submit your application to the Resort.

Indigenous Scholarships: Two At-Large literary scholarships

The St. Eugene Resort is sponsoring two scholarships for at-large Indigenous writers. Any Indigenous writer may apply.

Ktunaxa Scholarships: Four literary scholarships sponsored by Teck Coal

Teck Coal is sponsoring four scholarships for Ktunaxa Nation members to the conference. Any Ktunaxa Nation member may apply.

 Ktunaxa Emerging Voices Travel Scholarship

One scholarship to cover travel expenses for a Ktunaxa aspiring writer to attend the St. Eugene conference.  The fund is available to anyone of Ktunaxa ancestry who has not yet published a book. The travel scholarship can be accepted in conjunction with one of the Ktunaxa Tuition Scholarships.  Donated by Angie Abdou, author of In Case I Go.

The St. Eugene Writers Conference is a workshop conference. Writers bring their work and present it to a small group of their peers. The group discusses the work, what is effective, where there might be improvements and how it holds together as a whole. Then move on to the next writer. This is the standard academic manner of teaching creative writing in both undergraduate schools and graduate MFA programs. The St. Eugene Writers Conference is the only venue where this technique is used for multiple days outside of an academic institution. This format at St. Eugene allows writers to participate in a proven program without the expense and time commitment of going back to school

For more information on the scholarships or the St. Eugene Writers Conference contact:

Jessica Britton, Marketing Manager, St. Eugene

[email protected]


Keith Liggett, Conference Organizer

[email protected]

TO REGISTER, CALL 1.866.292.2020 OR EMAIL [email protected]