Literary Liaisons

A blog about writing and all things story…

Surrey Writer’s Conference

October 22-24th Another favorite local NW conference is a stunningly beautiful 1.5-ish hour drive north of me, here in Bothell, (maybe 2 hours from Seattle) across the border in Surrey BC. I have found this conference to be fun, friendly if not a little kinky as the late night hotel shenanigans ensue, and always, always inspirational. And by kinky, I don’t mean kinky I mean funny kinky.

The Surrey International Writers’ Conference (SiWA)is one of the most all-inclusive conferences in the NW. SiWC is great for beginners to sage experts who want to fine tune their craft or pitch a finished project to the international literary marketplace. Check them out at This conference is a bit spendier than the Edmonds Conference, starting at $269 for one day to $535 for all three, plus hotel, plus food I generally spend from $700-800 US. So be prepared.

Long-time SiWC regular presenters Donald Maass and his lovely wife Lisa Rector have withdrawn from participating in this year’s conference. Instead they’re hoping a plane to Ethiopia to adopt a little boy. I’ve taken courses, classes and instruction from both of them; these are two very talented and nice people. I wish them all the best. The SIWA conference won’t be the same without them. I took a week long novel writing class with Donald Maass in Vancouver a few years ago; he’s a fun, and there are few better teachers.

Robert J. Ray, our very own Seattle Bob of The Weekend Novelist Rewrites the Novel fame will be teaching Thurs-Fri-and Sat. He’s a busy guy who still makes time to write with our Louisa’s group twice a week. I’m working my way through his book now; it’s an eye opener and a game changer.

Another Seattle Bob, the handsome and talented Robert Dugoni will be a keynote speaker at SiWA this year. Seattle will be well represented by the two Bob’s. Robert is not just another pretty face, he’s smart, thoughtful and an excellent teacher and speaker.

To prepare for this conference, if you have a finished project to pitch, this is the place to go. Lots of agents, lots of master level classes and lots of fun. One night a few years ago we wore bathrobes, took hot cocoa (some people laced theirs with brandy or peppermint schnapps) and we went downstairs from our rooms to a late night chat about murder mysteries. The room was packed. It was a blast! This is a fun conference. Those Canadians do it right!

When I attend out of town conferences, I stay at the host hotel when possible. The Sheraton in Surrey will run about $145-ish a night and is a great central local with free parking.

If you want feedback on your first few pages, then check out their Blue Pencil Café, where you can make appointments with published authors, agents and editors who will read your material and give you feed back. These slots fill up fast so check it out.



This entry was posted on October 10, 2010 by in Uncategorized.
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