Quest Writer’s Conference launches June 21-28, 2015 in Squamish, British Columbia

SQUAMISH, BRITISH COLUMBIA, February 9, 2015 – Quest University in Squamish, British Columbia will play host to the first annual Quest Writer’s Conference June 21 through 28, 2015. The conference will bring emerging writers together with a respected faculty of notable writers for a week of intensive workshops, readings and lectures on literary writing and other facets of the craft.

Jessamyn Smyth, founding director of the Quest Writer’s Conference, a tutor at Quest University as well as a key figure in today’s literary world, sought to create a conference where emerging writers would have the opportunity to connect with faculty and fellows in a supportive intimate environment. Whether it’s a faculty workshop on editing and writing time or consults on manuscript, working with agents and other aspects of publishing, Smyth has designed an environment where participants will be energized and supported in their existing work, while also being challenged to grow and transform.

“The central gifts of the Quest Writer’s Conference will be an opportunity to work with faculty who are as gifted in teaching as they are in writing, and to do so in a supportive and generative environment,” says Smyth, founding director of the Quest Writer’s Conference. “The physical setting is as stunningly beautiful as any in the world—the place is as much a character in our story as the people of this conference.”

The 2015 Quest Writer’s Conference faculty will include:

Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo’s seven books of poetry include How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems and She Had Some Horses. Harjo’s memoir, Crazy Brave, has won several awards, including the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the American Book Award. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the United States Artist Fellowship. In addition to being a writer, Jarjo is a renowned musician, performing her saxophone nationally and internationally both solo and with her band, the Arrow Dynamics.

Oliver de la Paz

Oliver de la Paz is the author of four collections of poetry, Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, Requiem for the Orchard, and Post Subject: A Fable. A recipient of a NYFA Fellowship Award and a GAP Grant from Artist Trust, his work has appeared in journals like Virginia Quarterly Review, North American Review, Tin House, Chattahoochee Review, and in anthologies such as Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation. He is the music editor for At Length Magazine and he teaches in the MFA program at Western Washington University.

Alicia Ostriker

Alicia Ostriker has published fourteen volumes of poetry and was twice a National Book Award Finalist, for The Little Space and The Crack in Everything. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, Paris Review, Yale Review, The Nation, The New Republic, and many other journals and anthologies, and has been translated into numerous languages including Hebrew and Arabic. Ostriker’s critical work includes the now-classic Stealing the Language: the Emergence of Women’s Poetry in America, and other books on American poetry from Walt Whitman to the present.

Rebecca Brown

Rebecca Brown’s twelfth book, American Romances, is a collection of gonzo essays that put Brian Wilson (of the Beach Boys) and Hawthorne on the same page and reveals the secret sex life of H. G. Wells' The Invisible Man. Her previous books include The Last Time I Saw You and The End of Youth, The Gifts of the Body, The Terrible Girls and Annie Oakley's Girl. Her work has been awarded the Boston Book Review Award for fiction, The Lambda Literary Award, The Pacific Northwest Booksellers' Award, and a Washington State Governor's Award and a Stranger Genius Award. Her work is widely translated, and acclaimed in Japanese, Danish, Norwegian, German, Italian and Dutch.

Gregory Orr

Gregory Orr is the author of eleven collections of poetry. His most recent volumes include The River Inside the River, How Beautiful The Beloved, and Concerning the Book that is the Body of the Beloved. His memoir, The Blessing, was chosen by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the fifty best non-fiction books of 2002. Orr has received many awards and fellowships, including an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA Fellowships, and a Rockefeller Fellowship at the Institute for the Study of Culture and Violence.

Space for the 2015 program will be limited to approximately 100 participants. Those interested in asked to apply at Cost including tuition and room and board for the conference is priced at $1,750.00. For more information, visit

About Quest University Canada:

Quest University Canada, the country’s first independent, not-for-profit, secular university opened its doors in September 2007 in Squamish, British Columbia. Quest’s simple philosophy is that education, in its truest sense, comes not from providing the right answers, but from learning how to ask insightful questions. This philosophy has driven the development of a campus and a curriculum focused on producing broadly educated individuals with an informed perspective on the problems of the twenty-first century, and the integrative abilities to address them. To find out how they achieve this visit:

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Media contact:

Sonya Hwang, Quest University Canada

Phone: (604) 932-0308

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