The Best Conference Yet


I originally posted this on my blog on June 16 of this year, shortly after I returned from Write Canada. (You may also want to read the follow-up post, Strawberries and Sandcastles, if you missed it. I can honestly say the concepts were life-altering.)

By the way, I changed the pictures just for fun.

With the InScribe conference coming up in the fall, I am participating in a blog hop about writing conferences (as you can tell from the graphic above.) Although I won’t be able to make it to Edmonton, I’m sure I would experience the benefits I’ve listed below – and many others – if I could.

So, if you’re a writer – or you want to be – and have the opportunity to attend a writers’ conference (or even a one-day workshop), I encourage you to do so. And here are some of the reasons why . . .

So often words seem insufficient, but what else can I use to communicate? Well, words and pictures . . .

In my next post I will tell you what this . . .


. . . and this . . .


. . . have in common.

But, for now, let me tell you a little about the Write Canada conference I attended Thursday through Saturday.

The Word Guild Logo

Above is the new logo for The Word Guild, sponsor of Write Canada. Pretty spiffy, huh? It was officially revealed on Friday night. Excellent job, Ruth Thorogood – and those who worked on the project with you.

So, what made the conference – and the day before – so special this year?

I attended The Word Awards gala with my friends Rita, Lisa, and Lisa’s eldest daughter on Wednesday. Lisa won the first award of the evening. Kudos, my friend! (Lisa also drove, so it was great to relax and, literally, go along for the ride.)

My publisher was at the gala. He and his wife were in a serious car accident earlier this year, so it was especially wonderful to see him up and around.

Write Canada 2014 Conference Speakers

The keynote speakers, workshops, and continuing class speakers were great. I learned tons. Thanks to author and pastor Mark Buchanan; New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker; award winning author Sandra Orchard, author and editor Jesse Florea; executive editor Vicki Crumpton; and literary agent Steve Laube – and those whose sessions made me wish I could have cloned myself (sorta kinda).

From Fiction Basics to What Agents Can Do for Writers . . .

From Writing for Children to What’s New in Publishing . . .

And the debate . . .

“You’re not weird; you’re writers” (Mark Buchanan) vs. (in essence though not verbatim) “We’re all weird, yes?” (Ted Dekker). (Just another example of how two writers can say the same thing in opposite ways. :D)

Blue Pencil Reviews

Though my novel isn’t anywhere near ready for pitching, I thought I’d take the first six pages to show to an editor. However, when I learned that a children’s magazine editor was doing reviews, I decided to see what he thought of a couple of my picture book manuscripts.

And you know what . . .

He seemed quite excited about the first idea and requested I send it after only a little tweaking. He was also interested in a shortened version of the second piece.

Business Card #1 . . . For those of you who haven’t attended a writers’ conference, just know that it is a real privilege when an editor or agent hands you his or her card (though, of course, not a guarantee of publication or representation). Unlike the jujubes our conference registrar always brings, they don’t hand out their cards freely.

Other One-on-One Meetings

I sat down with both an agent and an editor to discuss my idea for a novel. As I mentioned, it isn’t ready for pitching, but I wanted to know if they thought it had potential.

Business Cards #2 and #3 . . . Can you see why I now call this “my surreal life.” (the original title of this post)

This means I really have to hunker down and get the first draft of my novel written. Glad I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo in July.


While one of my friends sets up much of her work for the coming year while at the conference, you can pretty much say with 100 percent certainty that my idea of networking is reconnecting with “old” friends and making new ones. And what an incredible group of people they are. I won’t even begin to name them, but they know who they are. (I hope they do, at least.)

I did iron out a few more details for an editing assignment while I was there. That counts as work, right? (And trust me, this is pretty much the only kind of ironing I do.)

(Please note that I deleted, from this version of the post, my goals for A Round of Words in 80 Days.)

I would encourage you (and myself) to do what it says at the top of the page each week in my day planner . . .

Pick Strawberries and Build Sandcastles

Credit Where Credit is Due

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17 ESV).

To read more conference-related posts, visit InScribe Writers Online.



4 thoughts on “The Best Conference Yet

  1. TWG definitely knows how to throw a good conference. I’ve been to their Vancouver conference twice and would love to make it to Ontario for the “big” conference sometimes. Thanks for sharing your notes! šŸ™‚

  2. I too appreciated Write Canada and the many beneficial opportunities it presented. It sounds like you’ve got your work cut out for you, which is great. It was good to meet you in person šŸ™‚

    I’m looking forward to our InScribe conference in September. Wish you could join us!

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