It has been a decade since I first attended the Write Canada conference. WWC (Women Writing for Christ) was a brand new writers’ group then. (Wow! Our group has been meeting for over 10 years. Hard to believe.)
Over the past ten years I have attended four conferences. This year will be my fifth. There was a seven year gap between the 2004 conference and when I next attended. Still, it felt like I was coming home.
From what I understand, I am among the minority in the writing world. I am an extrovert – as anyone who knows me for five minutes can figure out. Therefore, I love connecting and reconnecting with people, especially those who share my enthusiasm for the written word.
Just what do I love besides the friendships I form at the conference?
I first met Larry Willard of Castle Quay Books in 2004. I am now thrilled to say he is “my publisher.” This will be the first year I’ve attended as a published author. It’s still all very surreal. (Larry and his wife, Marina, were in a serious car accident earlier this year. I pray they will be well enough to come to the conference, if even for a day.)
Of course, I have also met a number of fellow authors. In fact, a couple of years back, I was asked if I would be willing to read an advance copy of one of these author’s latest novels. To use contemporary punctuation – I. was. thrilled. (Not to mention the fact that she used my review in its entirety as the foreword. How cool is that?)
I spoke with an acquisitions editor who was enthusiastic about my idea for a series of middle grade novels. When a pro is excited about your work, it sure fuels your own fire. (This occurred at a one-on-one session attendees can sign up for. It’s great to speak to professional authors, publishers, editors, and agents – a little nerve-wracking perhaps but great nonetheless.)
And if that wasn’t enough . . . one of my good friends lines up the majority of her freelance work at Write Canada each year.
Whether a wannabe, a newbie, or a pro, there is always something new to learn. There are workshops and continuing classes that cover a wide range of topics and skill levels. (A special thanks in advance to each faculty member.)
There are Early Bird and Night Owl sessions in which writers can share portions of their work and get feedback from one another.
New this year are the free Blue Pencil Reviews. Various faculty members have made themselves available to look at writers’ first five pages and offer feedback. It takes courage to put our work into the hands of another, but every writer has to do so at some point – unless they are writing exclusively for themselves that is.
Opportunities to Volunteer
This conference comes together because of the hard work of dozens of people. While I didn’t volunteer that first year, I have every year since. What a great opportunity to get to know the attendees, the staff, and the faculty better!
Not everyone can afford to attend a writers’ conference, but The Word Guild doesn’t feel that should be a barrier. Each year many deserving attendees are subsidized so they don’t have to miss out on Write Canada.
Books, Books, Books, and Chickens
The wide variety of available books is wonderful and terrible and wonderful and terrible. “Oh, where did my money go? Oh, where did my money go? Oh, where . . . oh, where . . . oh, where . . . oh, where . . . oh, where . . . did my money go?” (If you’ve watched Veggie Tales, you likely just sang that. :D)
It’s also difficult for me because the more authors I know personally, the harder it is to walk past their books. Sigh!
“And the chickens?” you ask. You’ll have to come to the conference to find out more. (Or I might tell you after the conference . . . if I remember.)
It’s not too late. Sign up for the Write Canada conference and make sure to connect with me and say hi.