Ever consider going to a writer’s conference? Mike Hartner tells us all about his favorite!
Why I love the Surrey International Writer’s Conference
I have to confess, I’m not an expert. I regularly attend the Surrey International Writer’s Conference (SiWC), and I love every minute of it.
In Surrey, the hotel is populated by a large number of very well known experts in their community. Donald Maass, one of the writing world’s most prolific agents, speaks about composition and character, as well as pitch. Sean Cranbury, a social media guru, speaks about integrating social media into the author’s life, and leads by example with his sites. Robert Dugoni gives inspirational talks including, “This Day we write.” Chuck Wendig, Sarah Wendell, and others talk about their experiences in the literary world. Mary Robinnette Kowalt leads conversations on diversity in writing. And they all do it at the same time that Jack Whyte is using his very rich Scottish brogue to read entries in the SiWC Idol contest.
And ANYTHING Jack reads sounds fantastic.
SiWC is a Thursday to Sunday conference, with Master classes on Thursday, and then three time slots on Friday and Saturday, and two more on Sunday. Each of those slots have eight classes that involve the audience.
There are always numerous great topics at the same time, and by the end of the day, every participant is swimming with too much information.
Friday night is a ‘Halloween’ type evening with live theatre, including Michael Slade’s shock theatre. And Saturday evening is book signings, and parties.
In the middle of all this are plenty of agents, editors, and authors willing to help you strengthen your pitch, or your opening scene.
None of this is talking down to the participant. Whether starting writers or established authors, editors or agents, everyone is at the conference because they ENJOY the industry. Sarah Wendell says it well when she points out that “we interact with our entertainment.” Everyone is approachable, and willing to converse. It’s fantastic.
And the people who manage the conference and the volunteers who work there are FANTASTIC. There is a whole community of individuals with positive feedback.
And that is why I go to SiWC.
Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.
Mike won first place blue ribbon for the 2013 Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction and first place blue ribbon for the 2013 Dante Rosetti Award in the YA category for I, Walter.
His latest book is the historical fiction/romance, I, James.
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- More books by Mike Hartner.
- Contact Mike.
About the Book:
James Crofter was ripped from his family at age 11.
Within a year the prince was a pauper in a foreign land.
Is nature stronger than nurture? And even if it is, can James find the happiness he so richly desires?
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