Every year, a few fortunate artists and writers within the Kootenay Columbia region of BC receive a generous grant from the Columbia Basin Trust toward developing a new major work.

This year, I’ve been one of those lucky few. I’m using the grant to research and develop a new series of mystery novels. Set in Montreal in 1947, the books will feature my great-aunt June as an ad agency copywriter and amateur sleuth. You could say Peggy Olson meets Miss Marple, but both of those women would have stepped aside for Aunt June.

At the end of the grant period, recipients are asked to share their work with Basin residents. I will be making presentations in six communities throughout the East and West Kootenays over the coming weeks. This is not a literary reading, and there is no new book to share (yet). Rather, this is a multi-media storytelling presentation, sharing the behind of the scenes of my research and writing process. These presentations will be of interest to genealogists, researchers, writers, mystery lovers and anyone who loves a good story.

Dates, times and locations as follows:

Cranbrook Library:
Wednesday, October 3rd at 1:00 PM

Creston Library:
Saturday, November 3rd at 2:00 PM

Salmo Library:
Wednesday, November 7th at 7:00 PM

Castlegar Library:
Thursday, November 8th at 6:30 PM

Nakusp Library:
Sunday, November 18th at 1:00 PM

Nelson – Oxygen Art Centre:
Wednesday, November 21st at 7:00 PM.

I hope to see you there!




Write That Thing!

Evening writing classes with Deryn Collier

Tuesday evenings – September 18, 25 and October 2.
5:45-8:00 pm


You’ve put it off long enough.


It’s time to write that thing* that has been waiting for you.
* What is that thing? You know, the article, novel, short story, family history, memoir, poem, letter, blog… Maybe you don’t even know what it is yet. You just know there’s something you need to be writing, and you know it’s time to get started.


But how do you start? And how do you stick with it to the end?


In these three evening sessions you’ll learn how to make room for writing in your life, give yourself permission to write, find guidance and support to get started, and motivation to keep going.


When: Three Tuesday evenings, Sept. 18, Sept. 25 and Oct. 2
From: 5:45pm-8:00pm
Where: Deryn’s writing studio.
(Near Safeway in Nelson. Exact location will be shared upon registration. Note that the studio is up a steep set of stairs, and so, unfortunately, is not accessible to those with mobility challenges.)


– in a beautiful space,
– with a supportive small group,
– by adopting an attitude of enthusiastic curiosity.


In each session you’ll be guided through exercises, activities and discussions that will pave the way for you to write more consistently in your busy day to day. And, because writing can sometimes feel like a painful slog, we’ll focus on ways to lessen the doubts and make the process more fun.


Writers of all levels are welcome, from absolute beginners to seasoned pros. This is a hands-on, pen to paper class in a distraction-free zone. (No wifi. No laptops.) All materials provided. (Do feel free to bring a special pen and notebook if you like.) Decaf chai tea and a light snack will be also be provided.


Cost: 3 week session – $75.00.
Email Deryn with to register.
Maximum 5 participants.
Payment in full via e-transfer reserves your spot.