Notice of Meeting

Date:  Thursday, February 15th, 2018
Time:  7:30 pm
Place:  Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC Campus, 515 West Hastings Street (between Seymour and Richards Streets) in the Diamond Lounge
Speaker:  Richard Mackie
Topic:  Writing non-fiction for the public

Brief Biography:

Richard Somerset Mackie has been editor of the on-line journal The Ormsby Review since September 2016. Before that he taught history and historical geography at UBC, Vancouver Island University, and the University of Victoria. He has a PhD in history and geography from UBC (1993) and has written six books, two of which won the Lieutenant-Governor’s Prize.


In this talk I will discuss my transition from academic history to popular history and biography. I turned my PhD thesis into a book (Trading Beyond the Mountains) published by UBC Press in 1997, but then I went on to write two popular histories of logging on Vancouver Island (Island Timber and Mountain Timber, published by Sono Nis Press in 2000 and 2009). I learned to live without footnotes, to write without peer review, and to dispense with what is pompously called a “theoretical framework” – while also writing accessibly and with authority and confidence. I will share some of my tricks of my successful transition from the ivory tower to the bookstore shelves of BC.

Because Richard is the editor of the Ormsby Review, and because the Canadian Academy of Independent Scholars is negotiating with the Ormsby Review to electronically publish material by its members, if there is time Richard may also touch on aspects of editing for an electronic publisher.

Last Meeting:

Gary gave a remarkable presentation of his digital bibliographic project titled “BC ARTISTS”. He explained how his random acquisition of a lovely piece of art by a local BC artist impelled, compelled and propelled him into doing his research. He gave the story about that artist and the story about what he discovered about the artist and her family and her home and how that all tied in were the basis of the work that he presented to us. The project, has over 2,600 web pages and 500 images. As it turns out, the National Gallery which is the repository for the material and primary research that he compiled is putting on an exhibition based on this next month. Gary has been very busy. His presentation evoked many important questions and the audience was well pleased – all of which lead into a convivial annual xmas get together.

As for our upcoming meetings, the dates are as follows:
March 15th, 2018 – Pnina Granirer
April 19th, 2018 – To Be Determined
May 17th, 2018 – To Be Determined

Any questions, please contact me: Mark Dwor

Categories: Lecture