In a parallel universe, a utopia relatively free of pandemics and government incompetence, I would be heavily involved in comic-writing workshops this year. I have been a frequent presenter at Burnaby’s yearly Creative Ink Festival for Writers & Readers, offering a workshop on writing for comics that generally brings in a wide audience, as well as participating in panels on speculative fiction, improv storytelling, and other topics that fascinate me through the writers process. I was all rip-roaring to go last May and provide another comic writing workshop, but then Creative Ink got cancelled thanks to COVID, and I had to shelve my workshop.

It is such a great shame. Creative Ink is a marvelous festival, dedicated to helping aspiring writers in numerous ways, including workshops focused on numerous writing topics, one-on-one sessions in which published authors give you feedback on your work, and even opportunities to pitch projects to agents and editors. There is something really powerful about aspiring writers coming together, eager to find new ways of approaching their work, eager to learn through both workshops and more personal feedback sessions. I am proud that I have been part of the Creative Ink process for multiple years, providing guidance to aspiring comic book writers. If there’s anything I’ve learned from my involvement with Cloudscape Comics, it’s that creative involvement is a two-way street. It’s not just about what you get from it but also what you put back into it. What can you do to help your creative community grow?

Fortunately, Creative Ink’s hiatus will likely be a temporary thing, and I have high hopes that then Creative Ink will be back. When it does, you can expect me to be a part of it.