Held every October in Surrey, BC, the three-day Surrey International Writers' Conference is a terrific opportunity for all types of writers - poets, novelists, travel writers, screen writers, childrens' writers, editors, etc. to improve their craft and meet other writers. On Thursday, master classes are offered to those who apply. This year, there were 70 workshops, panels, and discussions and 1,500 blue pencil/agent/edit interviews, and a few of those resulted in contracts for lucky (and probably well prepared) attendees. Also, as I mentioned in an earlier blog, there was also a writing contest, and another one will be offered next year.
Aside from the fact that SIWC is close to home for me, the other great thing about this conference is that I'm always learning something. This was my fifth visit in the past decade, and although my main goal was to obtain an interview with an agent, which I did, I learned a great deal about plotting a mystery from presenter, Anne Perry. Hallie Ephron offered a fantastic workshop on POV, complete with worksheets, exercises and examples. I thought I knew this stuff, but she made me rethink things. Other presenters included Donald Maass, Diana Gabaldon, Jack Whyte and a long list of well known writers. The food was good, the conference well organized, and the opportunities to learn, network, and meet an agent/editor one-on-one, immense. If you need to jumpstart your writing, or just need a change of scene, give it a try.
Next year's conference will be from Oct. 24 - 26th. For more info. visit www.siwc.ca.