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Going into the biggest, busiest week of my year -- and this year, that's saying something.

It's time for the Surrey International Writers' Conference. Nineteenth edition. I'm not _quite_ sure, but I think I've been attending for thirteen of those years. [I have trouble remembering if the first year I went was 1998 or 1999....]

Anyway, the conference is the absolute highlight of my year. I have met some of my best friends there. I have learned SO much. I even coordinated the thing for three years. These days I'm on the Board of Directors for the Society that puts the conference on. A harder-working group you will NEVER meet. They are awesome.

I'm also one of the presenters. This time round I will be doing my first Thursday Master class -- not for master writers, actually -- but for absolute beginners. We're calling it a 'Beginner Intensive' class, and my goal is that everyone who attends walks away with a serious case of writer's cramp. I'll be covering the A to Z of getting the most out of the conference, along with as much of what you need to know as a beginning writer with a goal to getting published that I can cram into 3 hours.

It's going to be fun.

[I have a vivid memory of the author Michael Slade running down the stairs on a break from his Master Class a few years ago -- bathed in sweat and waving his arms around, completely in love with what he was doing and how well it was going. We writers may be crazy, but we are an enthusiastic lot!]

SiWC is no festival. It is not for dilettantes. This is the largest professional development conference for writers in Canada. And it has, more often than can be by coincidence, been named the best in the world. This year there will be 50 writers, publishers, editors, agents, social media experts and film producers there to talk about the world of writing in all its forms -- craft, production, promotion, distribution -- all the gritty details that make up our world. There will be more than 70 workshops, panels, special events, banquets and surprises enough to inspire you right through the dark doldrums of winter.

And my job will be to introduce you to the party.

Hope you can make it!

More soon...*



*If things get too crazy to blog, you can follow me on twitter @kcdyer and this year's conference hashtag is #siwc2011

Reader Comments (3)

I have to chime in and agree that SIWC is the best. This year I followed my book to the London Book Fair and to the Book Expo in New York City. These conferences while slightly different are not even close to the Surrey Event. I have learned more in the years I've attended than any other program. It may not be as big and glitzy as London and BEA, and that is what makes it special. While it attracts the very cream of the author crop it has no dilettantes as KC mentions. Having Anne Perry start a conversation, as we rode up the elevator, asking about my writing was inspiring. We were both going to the same floor and while I recognized her I was prepared to be the quiet polite Canadian and pretend to look at my schedule. A blue pencil session with the master of gore Mr. Slade, my only question did I take this scene to far? His response was: "Don't change a thing!" While confidence is a must for a writer, having an acclaimed author say that...Priceless!!

This is the best event! The work these people do getting it off the floor is amazing. Get Here!!

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterScott D. Covey

Fantastic summary of a FANTASTIC conference--though, perhaps for the first time ever in my life I have to say I don't know if words can quite capture the experience. If your readers write and they haven't been to SiWC, they need to go, go, go! :)

See you in just two days!

October 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEv Bishop

W-O-W. i'm excited to read posts on the turnout of the conference, that's almost 2 decades of being united altogether and 70+ workshops to bring out the best of Canada's writers!

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