It’s Not Too Soon To Start

Seven months. Seven oh-so-long months to wait. My inbox brought the first tantalizing reminder that this year’s dates for the Surrey International Writers’ Conference are October 22-24. I save up my shekels to go every second year and this is my year to attend. Woohoo!


Conference staff already have plans underway and there is information starting to show up on their website and blog, on Facebook and on Twitter. Still seven months to go but the hype has started. It may seem like an eternity but we all know how quickly weeks and months slip away. There’s a writing contest, too, so if we’re thinking of vying for the $1000 prize money it’s not too soon to start working on a submission.


Hmmm… let’s see… a topic. I need a topic. It’s only seven not-so-far-away months.


What benefits do you think conferences and writing contests offer aspiring authors.


14 thoughts on “It’s Not Too Soon To Start

  1. Joanne says:

    There’s always a wealth of knowledge to be shared at conferences, from all the writers and publishing professionals in attendance. Then there’s the networking, and practicing pitching our own work. The benefits are so worthwhile. Have fun planning 🙂

  2. I think contests offer a lot of benefits. I don’t know if I would have had the courage to try and make it as professional writer if I hadn’t gotten second place in a contest in college.

    Conferences can be great fun, too. The book signings are my favorite part.

    • Contests can be a good barometer for our writing. My short story and a non-fiction submission both finalled in two previous SiWC contests I entered but then I submerged myself in my novel writing and haven’t entered anything since. I think this should be the year I try again. 🙂

  3. Kathy says:

    So glad to know you’ll be joining us again this year! I know just what you mean about the long wait. I feel just the same way.

    I won’t comment on your question because I’m perhaps ever-so-slightly biased, but just wanted to thank you for the conference mention.

    SiWC Conference Coordinator

    • Thanks for stopping by my blog, Kathy. I always love getting to the conference and now that another one is in sight this probably won’t be the last time I talk about it. Good luck with all the planning. It must be a mountainous job.

  4. Tricia says:

    I’m not an expert since I’ve only been to one, but it was a blast. I went alone since I was the only writer I knew.But it turned out okay and I was glad I went.

    • The first time I attended I went with a writing buddy. She said the only other time she had attended a conference she had gone alone and felt she missed a lot by not having someone to share the experience with. I’m lucky to also have a daughter who writes and we’ve gone together a couple times. But there are lots of networking opportunities there and with the common bond of writing it’s easy to make new friends.

  5. joylene says:

    I’d love to attend. Every year I plan, but it never happens. Too bad they couldn’t switch dates. September, the highways are easier to travel. October, the drive home could be treacherous. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It would be great to meet you in person.

  6. JaxPop says:

    I’ve never been to a conference & don’t figure I ever will. Checked out membership in the Florida Writers Association – couldn’t see the benefit.

    I entered 1 contest – placed 3rd on an 850 word story that I wrote in less than an hour. It wasn’t something for kids. I recall being in a very foul mood when I wrote it.

    • Conferences aren’t everyone’s thing, nor are writers’ groups, and I can understand if you haven’t attended one you might wonder what they have to offer that you can’t get from other sources. For me it’s the immersion in a conference weekend where everything and everyone is totally devoted to writing… authors, speakers, workshops, like-minded people. I always come home fired up about my writing, with renewed enthusiasm, determination, goals and new friends.

      As for writing groups, there are many different kinds and to be honest, unless you find one that has a program and goals to fit your needs, it can be a time-waster. Contests, too, vary in how valuable they are. Congratulations on placing in one. You sound as though you weren’t impressed with it, but if you placed third with something written in an hour then I suspect that “foul mood” put a passion in your writing that the judges liked.

      I’m going to have to follow up this post with another about benefits. You’ve started me thinking.

  7. christicorbett says:

    I attended my first conference May of last year, and found it amazing! I was surrounded by people just like me, who loved what I did!

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