Monthly Archives: January 2014

A Family Writing Project Brings Joy to Chet Peterson at Christmas

A Biographical Sketch Allowed the Schonbergs to Complete Their Project
Lani Schonberg watched with deep pleasure as her father Chet Peterson leafed through his biography. She and her husband Paul had captured Chet’s stories in print—and they had got it right. At age 97, Chet had a seaman’s chest full of stories to share.

“As Dad read through the book,” says Lani, “we heard him say, ‘You got it.’ And, ‘You were listening!’ These were high words of praise in our ears.”

Lani started research on her father’s biography in 2009. She experimented with different styles and authorial perspectives, and as she worked Lani realized […]

Creative Nonfiction and Memoirs

Scribes in Conversation
Creative Nonfiction & Memoirs: Cross Pollination of Writing Genres – a Good Thing or…
Dear Jeanette;

I’ve been reading memoir and books on the writing of memoir to get a stronger handle on this maligned and sometimes slippery genre. I’m happy to report an increased respect for memoir. There are some real standout examples of literary craftsmanship, thematic depth, style, and voice. The range of subjects and their treatment have broadened my understanding of the tools and sensibilities employed in memoir.

These textual wanderings have also visited autobiography, family history, the literary essay, realms of creative nonfiction, and fiction; given […]

“Canada Reads” Offers a Writing Competition

Canada Reads Contest
Canadian Broadcasting Corp’s program North by Northwest has a writing contest on for very short fiction, as a joint collaboration with their nation-wide Canada Reads contest.

“All five novels in the running for this year’s [Canada Reads] contest have characters who are someplace they don’t want to be and they are all trying to escape in one way or another,” says the CBC media release. “So we’ve created the Canada Reads One Paragraph Contest. To enter all you have to do is write a fictional paragraph about a character (or characters) being someplace (literally or figuratively) they don’t […]

Step Into the Writers’ Study

Step Into the Writers’ Study
Welcome to a new blog from The Scribes, Comprehensive Writing Services!

Are You a Writer Looking for Ideas and Support?

We’re passionate about writing and storytelling. Our posts will spring from the writing courses we teach, our invigorating conversations over hot chocolate at Java Bay Café, the latest books we’re reading, and our own writing discoveries.

About Us

Jeanette, who has four books in print, writes nonfiction history about the British Columbia Coast. She regales passengers aboard the historic Columbia III with stories about the islands and inlets of Vancouver Island’s inner coast (check out Mothership Adventures website: and […]

Conduct a Successful Interview

Conduct a Successful Interview 
As with all things, there are tricks to a successful interview. Start by taking time to develop a relationship with your interviewee before you launch into your questions. And begin with the easy subjects, moving on to the harder issues later. Sometimes an interviewee will redirect the conversation to an unexpected topic, with passion. If it’s relevant let them run with it! For those who give no more than yes and no answers, perhaps your questions aren’t opened ended, the kind that call for a detailed response? Or maybe they’re nervous. Can you win them over and get them […]