After publishing the annual Wordscapes: British Columbia Youth Writing Anthology for the past six years, Ripple Effect Arts and Literature Society (REAL) will be relaunching the publication as the new Wordscapes Youth Arts Journal in March 2008. In addition to publishing nearly 50 talented high school writers and visual artists each year, the journal will also have a Contemporary Writing section with writing samples by established authors from Canada’s literary community. REAL is excited to have lined up a number of excellent writers to appear in the first three issues in 2008, including: Douglas Coupland, Christian Bök, Wade Compton, Rachel Zolf, Janina Hornosty and Billeh Nickerson.

Wordscapes_Image1The journal will be published three times a school year, and each issue will focus on one writing genre – fiction, poetry, and personal essay. The always topical and engaging youth writing and cover art in the journal is by the winners of REAL’s annual BC Youth Writing and Design Contest, now in its seventh year. All students who enter the contest receive a one year subscription to Wordscapes and a chance to win $100-$500 and publication in the journal. (The next deadline for student and school entries is May 31, 2008. See in the new year for details.)

REAL believes the new Wordscapes Youth Arts Journal will give students a unique opportunity to read and be inspired by current writing practices as exemplified by their student peers and Canada’s diverse community of authors. For teachers, the journal will provide an enhanced classroom resource that sets a benchmark for provincial writing and motivates students with contemporary literature they are not normally exposed to through standard curriculum resources. Students whose teachers introduce them to Wordscapes in class generally demonstrate higher literacy and write more mature and accomplished pieces.

In order to give teachers an opportunity to see firsthand the quality and teaching potential of the new Wordscapes Youth Arts Journal, REAL is planning to donate 1000 copies of the first two issues to be published in February (Fiction) and March (Poetry) to BC school libraries and teachers. I’ve arranged it so that all BCTELA members who are interested in receiving a free copy just have to email REAL Society at and write “BCTELA Wordscapes copy” in the subject line, and your Name, School, Position, and Mailing Address in the email.

I highly recommend all members take a few seconds to take advantage of this offer and check out this high quality publication. It will be a good read for both students and teachers!

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