I just returned from the Surrey International Writer’s Conference held every October and had a great time. It’s an amazing opportunity to attend excellent workshops, meet famous and, about to be famous, authors and hang out for the weekend with people who love words.
I attended Howard White’s workshop on “Writing Family History and Memoir”. Howard, owner of Harbour Publishing and the Canadian publishing house Douglas & McIntyre, is highly respected for his emphasis on capturing and valuing past stories about the lives of ‘ordinary’ workers in British Columbia.
Howard movingly recounted how he’d slowly coaxed his father, Frank, to share his life story over many decades. Frank passed away the week before Howard’s workshop and the two volume memoir Howard held up to show us is a wonderful tribute to the persistance of father and son.
I bought, and got signed, a book called BODILY HARM, by Robert Dugoni. It’s a gripping story in which attorney David Sloane investigates a toy that kills and then chooses to lose a court case because it is the loving thing to do. I have read a few of Dugoni’s books about this attorney and found myself actually caring about the success of his relationships.
Chip MacGregor and Holly Lorincz, both literary agents, wrote ‘ HOW CAN I FIND A LITERARY AGENT?’ as well as ‘STEP BY STEP: PITCHES AND PROPOSALS; A WORKBOOK FOR WRITERS.’ The two slender volumes came out in 2015, are easy to read, and are full of practical information for those hoping to find a wider audience for their work.
At dinner I had fun sitting beside Gail Sattler, a published author of more than 30 books. You never know who you might meet at this Conference and learn about new genres!
If you are looking to perfect your craft, find an agent, meet an author or just need encouragement to write again and pursue your dreams, consider investing in yourself and coming to the next Conference!