Last weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the 21st Annual Surrey International Writers' Conference. To once again soak up the wisdom and inspiration from a diverse group of presenters and keynote speakers.
This was my second year at Surrey, and it was no less fantastic this year, than it was a year ago! Highlights included the witty Eileen Cook, multi-published author, who talked about subtext and layers; Robert Dugoni, New York Times best-selling author of the David Sloane series (legal thrillers), who shared precious insights and strategies for 'Power Editing'.
'Managing Character Trajectories' was presented by best-selling mystery writer, Hallie Ephron; and in good company was the very funny Jane Porter (romance novelist) whose take on 'writing tight dialogue' was both invigorating and inspirational. In addition, best selling author, Susanna Kearsley shared her process and tips for writing and developing memorable heroines; Pam Binder, also a NYTs best-selling author, talked about those all important 'first three pages' in a novel; and the elegant Anne Perry, critically acclaimed historical mystery writer, addressed theme, character, and plot, with large doses of her passion and English charm.
I also dropped in on a couple of the panel presentations, the highlights of which were: 'All About Research' with Jack Whyte, Ann Perry, Anthony Dalton, Diana Gabaldon, and Susanna Kearsley; and 'Rock That Boat!' where Victoria Zackheim (novelist, editor, screenwriter and essayist) paired with Ann Perry, to explore the idea: writer's should write what is important to them personally, instead of writing what others think they should write. Listening to their funny anecdotes and bantering was a delightful way to wrap up the conference.
And these were just the classes and panels I was able to attend! There were so many others that I didn't get to see. But perhaps the next time around...
To say that SIWC: is to a writer, like being a kid in a candy store, may be a cliche', but nothing could be truer!
Then of course there is the meeting of like minds. Can you imagine seventy two hours of just talking about writing with a bunch of other writers. Yep, heaven on earth:)
Of course this conference wouldn't be complete without the fun and entertainment that goes along with 'the work'. And here are a few pictures~
My editor Nancy Bell, (a Senior Acquisition Editor for MuseItUp Publishing) with her jar of 'anguished writers' souls and their dying dreams:)
A little dress up fun, heroes and villains (I'm Blackbeard)
Michael Slade's infamous 'Shock Radio Theater'
MuseItUp Publishing's silent auction basket
Got to hang out with these lovely Ladies of Lallybroch!
Made some new friends...