Success Through Self-Publishing

Author Patricia Sandberg
Sun Dogs and Yellow Cake by Patricia Sandberg

2017 WIBA Finalist Patricia Sandberg shares her story

I always thought it cool to say I grew up at a uranium mine. In July 2014, I decided to preserve family memories of the town that came to life during the Cold War to supply uranium for the American arms race. I began by mining my mother’s memory bank then, urged on by a former Gunnar resident, decided to write a book. I eventually found and interviewed over one hundred former residents who reached back into their lives to share their personal triumphs and tragedies.

Deciding to self-publish was easy. I felt tremendous urgency to gather surviving residents’ memories and publish the book in time for them to read it. Traditional publishing was therefore not an option, and I self-published in September 2016.

Sun Dogs and Yellowcake won two U.S. awards. It was a finalist for the Whistler Independent Writers Award for Non-fiction and the Canadian Authors – Fred Kerner Award. Sun Dogs and Yellowcake: Gunnar Mines – A Canadian Story is available through Amazon and

Writing is  a lonely world, so two organizations proved exceptionally valuable to me. I  joined the Canadian Authors Association (CAA), now in its ninety-eighth year of helping Canadian writers, to network and learn with other writers in my community.

I also belong to The Writers Union of Canada (TWUC) because it fights to protect copyright and is helping modernize Canada’s copyright legislation. Among other benefits, TWUC is committed to diversity and offers programs and resources to help writers in all aspects of their careers. As a self-published author, I appreciate the backing of an organization that protects my rights and treats me as a professional. I am grateful to both TWUC and CAA for championing self-published authors.

The Whistler Independent Book Awards (WIBAs) are sponsored by The Writers’ Union of Canada.

Canadian Authors Associationis proud to partner with Vivalogue to produce the WIBAs. It is also hosting CanWrite 2019  in Vancouver, May 16-19.

Success Through Self-Publishing2019-04-15T16:53:17+00:00

Writers’ Union of Canada Sponsor the Whistler Independent Book Awards

The Writers' Union of CanadaWhistler Independent Book Awards

The Whistler Independent Book Awards (WIBAs), now in their fourth year, are being sponsored by The Writers’ Union of Canada, confirming the status of this prestigious national competition for Canadian self-published authors.

John Degen, executive director of The Writers’ Union of Canada, is pleased to support the contest. “The Writers’ Union recognizes that the WIBAs serve our self-published members in a unique and valuable way by encouraging professionalism and increasing sales opportunities. Several of our members have been past winners who have benefited from their participation.”

The Canadian Authors Association (CAA) has also substantially increased its commitment to the awards this year. CAA members will provide a detailed book review for each title submitted while the national organization will also offer complimentary membership and significant promotional opportunities to both winners. “We are excited about this opportunity to continue the tradition of ‘writers helping writers’ that has characterized CAA for almost 100 years,” said executive director Anita Purcell.

Jointly produced by Canadian Authors, the Whistler Writing Society and Vivalogue Publishing, the Whistler Independent Book Awards are the only juried Canadian awards for self-published authors. This year, the fiction category will be judged by Evelyn Lauand Darcie Friesen Hossack, with JJ Lee and Susan Oakey-Baker selecting the winner in the non-fiction category.

The awards are open to Canadian authors or permanent residents who have self-published a book or books in the last six years.Eligible authors can submit their entries via April 30, 2019. Shortlisted titles will be announced on May 31; finalists will be named on July 19. Finalists and winners will receive a significant prize package and will be invited to participate in several events during the Whistler Writers Festival, October 17-20.

For more information:contact Lynn Duncan, Vivalogue Publishing, 604-512-9997 or

About The Writers Union of Canada:Founded in 1973, The Writers’ Union of Canada advocates for improvements on behalf of professionally-published book authors.

About Canadian Authors:Founded in 1921, the Canadian Authors Association is dedicated to promoting a flourishing community of writers and to encouraging works of literary and artistic merit.

Writers’ Union of Canada Sponsor the Whistler Independent Book Awards2019-03-03T08:20:49+00:00