At When Words Collide conference in Calgary

I’m really enjoying the 2015 When Words Collide conference in Calgary, here with friends/colleagues Sharon Plumb Hamilton, Judith  Silverthorne, Pat Miller-Schroeder, Marie Powell, Paula Jane Remlinger, Barbara Tomporowski, Edward Willett (& family) and many others.

There are 650 people at this year’s gala conference that honours and addresses many genres of writing – in my case, young adult, but also speculative fiction, mystery, romance, and others. It’s my second time (after coming first in 2012 to launch my 25th book Crossings) and, as before, I’m finding it an invigorating, inspiring time. Faith Hunter’s workshop on the importance of the first five pages of a novel started it off in a great flourish – honestly the best workshop I’ve attended in something like 40 years. She really delivers the material in a concrete, friendly, hands-on manner, and now I’m looking forward to reading some of her paranormal books.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to sit in on “An Hour with Diana Gabaldon” where she read from her current work-in-progress as well as describing her working methods, and her involvement with the TV series Outlander.

I enjoyed a panel on book promotion put on by three romance writers including C.J. Carmichael. All had very interesting and useful advice on websites, Facebook promotion, and author newsletters – all of which will easily transpose to our Children’s Writers’ Round Robin, and to SK-CANSCAIP.

It’s also wonderful to hear from (other) long-time career writers who feel some of the same confusions that result from being in this business over the long haul, with an ever-changing market that can sometimes feel daunting.

I enjoyed sitting on two YA panels yesterday: “How to Avoid Cliches in YA Writing” and “Keeping It Real in YA”. The latter panel particularly was invigorating.

Congratulations to friend Marie Powell who held her new book HAWK in hand for the first time yesterday, after many years of work. I really look forward to reading it!

Today will bring another inspiring palette of author presentations. I’ll try to post photos.


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