Education Day - 3 free workshops

Hapa-palooza is excited to explore mixed heritage through a literary panel and fiction workshop programmed with WORD VANCOUVER. In addition, we are pleased to offer a writing and yoga workshop programmed at ArtStarts Downtown in the morning.

Sept. 25 @ VPL Central Branch from 12:15 to 1:15pm

The inspiration for author Simon Choa-Johnston’s latest novel House of Wives comes from his Jewish and
Chinese heritage. Join Choa-Johnston in a workshop on how to pursue family heritage as inspiration for fiction, and resources and exercises to get authors started on their personal journeys of discovery. 

Sept. 25 @ VPL Central Branch from 2:40 to 3:40pm

Join four authors as they discuss their experiences and choices when writing from life, and share key lessons they have learned on their professional journeys. With journalist and author Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, writer and teacher Betsy Warland, Nanaimo poet laureate Naomi Wakan, and mixed Vietnamese-American editor and writer Brandy Lien-Worrall. Moderated by Hapa-palooza festival founder and author Anna Ling Kaye.

Sept. 25 @ ArtStarts Downtown (808 Richards St) from 10:30-11:30am

This identity-focused all-women's workshop with Maria T. Allocco infuses beginner yoga poses with personal writing prompts to guide participants in accessing truth and creative content through the body.  Anyone who self-identifies as a woman and hapa/mixed-race is encouraged to participate. Those with little or no yoga or writing experience are welcome. Our focus will be on self-compassion, individual expression, and empowerment. 



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Born and raised in Hong Kong, Simon was educated in Canada at McMaster University ‘72. He did post graduate theatre studies in New York, worked as an artistic director, director and award winning playwright. He is Gateway Theatre’s Artistic Director Emeritus in Richmond B.C. and lives in South Surrey, B.C. Canada. The House of Wives is his latest novel.

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Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall

Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall's first book was an account of the year he spent living with the homeless in Toronto’s infamous Tent City. Down to This: Squalor and Splendour in a Big-City Shantytown was nominated for the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize, the Trillium Award, the City of Toronto Book Award and the 2005 Pearson Writers’ Trust of Canada Non-Fiction Prize. The following year, he was awarded the Knowlton Nash Journalism Fellowship at Massey College and also played the role of Jason – a bad-mannered, well-dressed journalist – on CBC-TV’s The Newsroom. His first novel, Ghosted, was nominated for the 2011 Amazon First Novel Award. He currently teaches at the University of Toronto, writes a regular column on fatherhood for SHARP Magazine and until recently was the proprietor of The Lowdown – a subterranean watering hole in Toronto’s Kensington Market – which is, among other things, the ideal place to finish research on his new book to be published by Harper Collins in 2017.

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Betsy Warland has published 12 books of poetry, creative nonfiction and lyric prose including her best-selling 2010 book of personal essays, Breathing the Page—Reading the Act of Writing. In April of 2016, Oscar of Between—A Memoir of Identity and Ideas was launched by Caitlin Press’ new imprint, Dagger Editions. Reviews have called it “an achievement,” “truly luminous,” and a “tour de force.” In 2013, Warland created a new publishing template called Oscar’s Salon. An interactive salon that features excerpts from her manuscript Oscar of Between, Guest Writers and Artist’s work, the salon also includes a Featured Reader each month as well as readers’ comments:

Warland co-founded Creative Writers Nonfiction Collective in 2004, and founded and mentors in the one-on-one six-month international Vancouver Manuscript Intensive program.

 Warland will be receiving the Mayor’s Arts Award for Literary Achievement in Vancouver on October 3rd. In 2017, she will be the Lyric Prose and Poetry Mentor for The Writer’s Studio at S.F.U. A professional manuscript consultant/editor for the past 25 years, Warland works with writers from across Canada and abroad.



Brandy Liên Worrall 

Brandy Liên Worrall is author of What Doesn’t Kill Us, a groundbreaking memoir about growing up in the din of her Vietnamese mother and American father’s trauma from the Vietnam War, and how it related to her breast cancer experience as a young adult. She is also the author of eight collections of poetry (the podBrandy series), as well as having served as editor of numerous magazines, journals, and anthologies. She is the owner and editor of Rabbit Fool Press, a small family-owned-and-operated publishing company based in Vancouver. Brandy received her MA in Asian American Studies from UCLA in 2002 and her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia in 2012. She is represented by the Anne McDermid & Associates Literary Agency.

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Naomi Beth Wakan

Naomi Wakan is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Nanaimo (2013-16), a member of Poetry Gabriola, Haiku Canada, the League of Canadian Poets, Tanka Canada and is a life-time honorary member of The Federation of BC Writers and their first Honorary Ambassador. She lives on Gabriola Island with her husband, the sculptor, Elias Wakan. She has written over fifty books of poetry and personal essay.

Maria T. AllocCo

Maria T. Allocco is a writer, artist, curator and teacher. She won Voices of Our Nationa and an Academy of American Poets Prize by age twenty. Her work has been featured on KPFA and Mutiny Radio, and has appeared in Fusion Magazine, Lantern Review, Monday Night, Sparkle and Blink, and in the revolutionary new book Pariahs: Writing From Outside the Margins. She's co-founder of the first mixed-race meditation group in the Bay Area, teaches yoga to at-risk youth, and lives by the edge of the sea, in San Francisco.