SIWC - Simply Inspiring Writers' Conference
We all know the feeling of finding our tribe. Whether we were kids discovering new friends on the playground, teens navigating a new school or club, or adults finding colleagues whose passion matches ours--it's one of the best feelings out there.
It's the feeling I get whenever I'm at the Surrey International Writers' Conference. Held every October in British Columbia (my backyard!) the conference has been running strong for over thirty years. Attendees pour in from around the world and authors, agents, and editors from across North America share their wisdom. Regular presenters include the likes of Diana Gabaldon of Outlander fame; sci-fi/fantasy author extraordinaire and lady-with-the-awesome-voice-on-the-Writing-Excuses-podcast, Mary Robinette Kowal; and superstar agent Donald Maass.
In addition to sessions on craft and the business side of publishing, the conference offers writers the chance to sit down one-on-one with an agent for a ten-minute verbal pitch/conversation--a feature I haven't seen very often at other conferences.
Good vibes only.
All that said, the best thing about a weekend at SIWC is the atmosphere, and nearly every other attendee I've encountered feels the same way. There is a genuine, inspiring vibe. It's not pretentious or standoffish. There's always an eclectic mix of attendees writing in different genres but united by the common pitfalls and triumphs of our vocation.
I can't wait for next week's conference--and many more in the years to come!