Monday, October 22, 2012

Surrey International Writers' Conference

While the good ole' Portland gray drizzle soaks the autumn leaves outside on my deck, I find my head is still swimming from the incredible weekend I've left behind me in Surrey, BC. This is the first time I've attended a 'live' writer's conference, and many would argue it is one of the best, if not the best, conference for writers of any caliber (beginning to advanced).

The master workshops are a writer's dream. To just sit there and soak in the information, advice, and teachings of seasoned bestselling authors and agents, was akin to writer's heaven. Or at least it was for me. 

But the master classes were merely the beginning. The next day when the conference really rocks into full swing, the energy, the camaraderie, the genuine friendliness of everyone, from the hotel staff, volunteers, coordinators, presenters and attendees lends to the main theme: you are here to learn, but you better have fun while doing it!

Now of course, I also had the pleasure of meeting up with Nancy Bell, my editor from Muse It Up publishing, and we were able to engage in interesting conversations ranging from the publishing world today, to complicated research that goes into novels and stories. 

Oh, and did I mention the total 'fan girl' moment when Nancy Marie Bell was called to stand each morning in the ballroom, to be introduced as a senior editor from Muse It Up Publishing, in the very same company as: Laura Bradford, Agent; April Eberhardt, Literary Agent; Claire Eddy, senior editor at Tor/Forge books; Donald Maass, Literary Agent; Nephele Tempest, agent; and the list goes on and on... 

To be the only small publishing editor at such an event is momentous to say the least. (Musers be very proud). Nancy represented Muse well with her quiet grace and charm, and I understand she was inundated with pitches to boot:) 

Yes there were many highlights, such as Shock Radio Theater wherein Michael Slade lends a rousing narration of a horror/thriller story, with the acting help of authors: Jack Whyte, Anne Perry, Diana Gabaldon, KC Dryer, and Sam Sykes.

Other highlights included talking with Mary Balogh, who has written well over a hundred novels, Sheila Roberts, bestselling author of witty woman's/romance novels, and...sitting next to Anne Perry at lunch and talking to her about the six children's books she wrote for dyslexic children, and what inspired a few of her novels. 

I also had the pleasure of meeting for the first time, two other authors from Muse It Up: Lynne Murray (V. L. Murray) author of A Hallowe'en Tale, and Suzanne de Montigny, author of The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy.

Did I say my head is still swimming? Well I could go on, but I think that you will just have to sign up, and go to next year's conference to experience this amazing weekend for yourself! 

A few pictures...


Nancy M Bell said...

Hi Sara It was a wonderful weekend and I had a blast. It was even more special because I got to spend time with other Musers and I can't thank you enough for your your company and support over the weekend.

Can't wait til next year, let's hope more Musers can come and mingle with the wonderful people at SIWC2013. High light for me (as always) is when Jack Whyte closes the conference by singing "Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud!" Sara and I had a great time being flappers on Friday night. The Muse gift basket in the silent auction was well recieved. Next year maybe we can have more and some door prizes too from other musers.

Nancy (must go sleep)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I can only imagine how much fun you had. I was going to go this year, but then we put our house on the market so I just assumed I wouldn't be here. Ha!

Thanks for stopping in to say hi today, Sara.

S. Durham Author said...

Hi Joylene,

Maybe next year! It would be fun to connect with more of our Muse authors. And thank you for stopping by as well:) I enjoy your blog, and wish I could visit more of the Muser's blogs on a regular basis.

Shari Green said...

I'm glad you had such an awesome time! It is a bit overwhelming, isn't much awesomeness to take in in one weekend! :)

S. Durham Author said...

Hi Shari,

Thanks for stopping by! Yes it really was a highlight of this year. I do hope to attend again next year.