WRITE: I recently attended the Surrey International Writers' Conference for the first time and immediately felt among "my people". There EVERYONE talked about imaginary characters as if they were old family friends - the real kind you might have over for a backyard BBQ. No judgements, just a whole hell of a lot of writers of all formats - from picture books to erotica, as well as screenwriters, agents, editors, and publishers.
Each day of the conference unfolded with gem upon gem of brilliant sessions on writing craft, promotion, industry trends, and / or fangirl / boy moments. Highlights:
- winning the Writing for Young People award for my short story ANNe - a dark retelling of Anne of Green Gables. This was an instant conversation starter and everyone made me feel very welcome by their interest in my story.
- Jane Porter's session on Writing Hot - great insights into steaming up fiction
- Diana Gabaldon's session on How to Make Them Turn the Page - yeah, one major fangirl session for me.
- Michael Slade's session Danse Macabre: Writing Horror - loved his "rules" and have added many to my tricks of the trade
- hanging with a great group of authors during the Saturday Book Fair
- meeting so MANY wonderfully talented, witty, and wise writers
I highly recommend this conference to fiction and screenwriters, especially if you're in Canada. You can't beat the workshops or the networking.
PLAY: This month saw the production and launch of my first play, co-written with Teresa Pettit and Julie Waage, two members of Grande Parlour Productions right here in my home town of Cold Lake. To say this was a monumental undertaking is an understatement. The entire project went from idea (in May) to completed script (in August), and full show (in October).
What a ton of fun...and work, but so worth it. Our play, INHABITED, was a Halloween themed show featuring a graveyard, a haunted house, and three acts taking place in three different eras - bringing three of the house's ghost stories to life. Thankfully my town is bursting with local talent and supporters of the arts. INHABITED was a great success. Here's the full cast on set:
REPEAT: I hope to make it back to Surrey - perhaps every second year. I'd also take on another play in a heart beat. But for now - I better get back to writing my NANO project...