Over the last 17 years, the Surrey International Writers’ Conference has grown from filling a school classroom, to packing the largest conference centre in Surrey, at the Guildford Sheraton Vancouver Hotel. Over 500 writers, agents, editors and students from around the world filled the hotel again this year for an immersive celebration of writing.
This conference is more of a craft conference, than say the Vancouver International Readers’ and Writers’ Conference. At SIWC, there’s more one-on-one interaction between new or established authors, and their potential editors and agents. Workshops make up the core of the event, with dinnertime keynote speakers adding inspiration and stories.
This year’s workshops ranged from writing historical fiction, to using social media, and everything in between. There really is something for everyone, and there is little chance to get bored.
For more experienced writers, Master Classes lead off in the days before. At the conference itself, daily opening sessions, workshops and lunch speakers fill up the day, and evenings are punctuated with Night Owl events, like this year’s Shock Theatre.
Everyone shares, everyone learns, everyone has fun. You hear that again and again through the weekend, as you wander the halls during breaks.
Other than a one year break, I’ve been attending SIWC since about 2002. For various reasons, this year I only managed a basic pass, with no meals. While the workshops were worth it, I missed much of the camaraderie you get with the full meal deal. Sad, but it’s a lesson learned. Next year it will be the full pass, with all workshops and meals included. I missed that immersive experience I’ve learned to associate with SIWC.
So, kudos to Coordinator kc dyer, the Surrey School District’s Tara Holt, and all the other staff and volunteers for putting on another great show. Hope you were following all the tweets posted via #siwc2009. The tweeters were sure enthusiastic, and I think you’ve expanded the audience for next year.