I start hyperventilating on this day each year. At least I do on the years I’m able to attend the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, and this is one of those years. I’ve been attending since 2004 and always come home filled with renewed energy for my writing, reams of notes from the workshops, lots of new friends, and usually a few extra pounds from the great food. My suitcase weighs more on the homeward trip, too, since I can never resist the many booths of books and writing-related goodies. And then there’s that magnificent silent auction!
Both speakers and attendees will tell you it is one of the top conferences in North America. Each year I claim it’s the best year, but 2010 was particularly sweet. I attended with my daughter, Shari Green, and had the joy of seeing her presented with a cheque for winning First Place in the ‘Writing for Young People’ category of the annual writing contest.
When agent Don Maass was unable to attend that year due to a conflict of dates, my scheduled appointment with him was transferred to his replacement, author James Scott Bell, and I had The. Best. Ever. discussion with him! It actually changed my thinking about my choice of genre.
Every year I learn so much and come away inspired to write better, reach higher and try harder. My writerly soul is always nourished. Chicken soup can’t compete with the SiWC!
So, come twelve o’clock Pacific Time today when registration opens, I’ll be among the first in line. This is the conference’s twentieth anniversary year, and I know it’s going to be something really special. I wouldn’t miss it for anything!
In the meantime, does anyone have a paper bag handy? I have to get my breathing under control before noon.
Have you attended conferences in your profession? What would you say is the greatest benefit gained?
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