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International Writers’ Conference comes to Surrey

Next weekend, Surrey will hold its 21st annual International Writer’s Conference (SiWC).

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Image: Blake Handley/Flickr

By Ashley Mussbacher and Valerie Franklin (The Cascade/Contributor) – Email

Print Edition: October 23, 2013

Image: Blake Handley/Flickr

The Sheraton will be filled with aspiring and published writers in a week. Use your writerly imagination to picture the scene!

Next weekend, Surrey will hold its 21st annual International Writer’s Conference (SiWC).

Held over three days at the Sheraton Hotel in Guildford, the conference will offer aspiring authors a chance to pitch their writing to literary agents, receive guidance and encouragement from professionals, network with other local writers, and maybe even find the inspiration to finally write that novel.

Guest writers will include bestselling writers such as thriller novelist Michael Slade, Outlander author Diana Gabaldon, romance author Jane Porter, modern gothic novelist Susanna Kearsley, and suspense author Hallie Ephron, sister of the late Nora. The intimate nature of this conference allows attendees to mingle with published authors over meals, in hallways, and between workshops.

Attendees can look forward to workshops such as “Writing Heroines,” “Creating Plots for Page-Turners,” “Self-Publishing: Great Idea or Waste of Time?” and “Putting Life into Your History Writing.” And don’t miss the brutally educational “SiWC Idol,” a Saturday workshop where the audience’s anonymous writing samples are read aloud by the eminent Jack Whyte and vetted by a panel of literary agents, who will explain what mistakes they see in your writing – or, if they like your style, may offer you an opportunity for your first book deal.

Other events include the “Silly Writing Contest,” in which attendees are given a number of words to feature a random story of their own creation; Friday will be “Young Writers’ Day” where writers 18 years or under will be able to attend workshops at a low rate; and “Night Owl” nights on Friday and Saturday will keep attendees awake with movies, masques, and Michael Slade’s famous “Shock Theatre.” In total there will be over 70 workshops and panels.

Whether you have a polished manuscript or a rough outline, there will be many like-minded people from all around the lower mainland and Fraser Valley eager to talk about the process.

Tickets cost between $219 and $299 for a single day, or range from $429 to $589 for the full weekend. Writers under 18 may attend Friday’s workshops for only $55, including a bag-lunch. A variety of pre-conference master classes are also available on October 24 for a fee of $119 for conference-goers, or $139 for unregistered guests.

Every registration includes a blue-pencil appointment with a published author, and the opportunity to pitch your work to acquiring editors and agents.

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