The blogs I’ve written about writing are HERE.
WORKSHOPS & CONFERENCES:
Here are a few events that I support. It’d be great to see you there!
Surrey International Writers’ Conference Third weekend of October. Surrey, BC
Summer Institute in Education July-August UBC-Okanagan, Kelowna, BC
Word on the Lake Writers’ Festival Victoria Day weekend in May. Salmon Arm, BC
When Words Collide, Second weekend in August. Calgary, AB
NOTES for workshop participants:
LINKS TO HELPFUL WRITING SITES:
Grammar- University of Ottawa’s HyperGrammar (also useful for teachers!)
National Novel Writing Month offers some inspiration and structure if you’ve been procrastinating.
Writers’ Market.com’s query letter clinic is very useful and clear.
Joseph Konrath’s excellent A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing.
Jane Friedman’s very thorough Start Here: How to Get Your Book Published
Joanna Penn’s The Creative Penn blog is full of helpful stuff.
Editor’s Association of Canada offers all sorts of information about hiring an editor including the different tasks editors perform, an editor contract sample, and a fee schedule.
Writer Beware is a fantastic site managed by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. They monitor agencies and publishers, recording complaints and investigating issues. Check their site before you sign so you know whether the company you’re looking at is legit.
A great place to hang out with other writers and learn, learn, learn is the Compuserve Books_and_Writers_Community Diana Gabaldon got her start there.
Diana Gabaldon has a few articles on her website entitled “The Cannibal’s Art.” The first is here, but be sure to look on the right side panel for the other posts in the series.
Stephen King video: http://www.aerogrammestudio.com/2015/02/24/stephen-king-everything-you-need-to-know-about-writing-successfully/
Neil Gaiman is concerned about creative people who don’t make wills, read his post and download a sample to take to your lawyer.
BOOKS TO HELP YOU WRITE OR EDIT:
Donald Maass- The 21st Century Novel or
Donald Maass- Writing the Breakthrough Novel
Blake Snyder- Save the Cat
William Strunk- The Elements of Style
BOOKS THAT ARE INSPIRING FOR WRITERS:
Ray Bradbury- The Zen of Writing
Julia Cameron- The Artist’s Way
Anne Lamott- Bird by Bird
Stephen King- On Writing
INFO for WRITERS:
Pop over to read this interview with Sally Harding of the Cooke Agency about what she looks for and how her agency works.
Attending writing conferences is a great way to make contacts in the writing world and to stay current in the business of writing, as well as getting tips on how to write, and how to sell your writing. I am particularly fond of the Surrey International Writers’ Conference which is run by the Surrey School District on the weekend of the Provincial Specialist Professional Development Day (usually the 3rd Friday of October). The conference allows you to,
- Network around the meal tables with other writers, editors, publishers and agents.
- Attend workshops.
- Pitch your novel or article.
- Have a writer ‘blue pencil’ a sample of your work, giving you a professional critique of his/her first impressions.
And yes, it works. I’ve had very positive results from developing connections and contacts forged at conferences and workshops. For example, as a result of pitches on subsequent years at SIWC, I signed contracts with both a publisher and with an agent. I have also met enthusiastic members of the Western Canadian writing community, and been invited to present at other events as a result.
Here’s a video taken after the Surrey conference in 2012 with writers discussing what they got out of the conference. You’ll see me, rather giddy after an awesome weekend, after Sam Sykes. at 4:40. For the record, I was *not* the ‘old lady’ who groped him! lol
WRITERS TO SHARE:
In my literary journey, I have had the privilege to discover many fine writers who are worthy of sharing. Several of the following are not just talented authors, but they’re real people I have met, studied with, or corresponded with. Some of them are even my own talented former students. I am happy to recommend each of them to your attention.
Gail Anderson-Dargatz: literary fiction
Andrew Cooper: fantasy
Shvaugn Craig: poetry, short stories
Diana Gabaldon: epic historical romance and adventure
Nancy Hedberg: Christian fiction
Crawford Kilian: blogger, teacher, non-fiction
Kay McCracken: reflective
Carol Mason: women’s fiction
Stephenie Meyer: young adult, sci-fi
Ishbel Moore: young adult
J. K. Rowling: children & young adult fantasy
Andrea Spalding: children’s
Crystal Stranaghan: children’s
Sylvia Taylor: creative non-fiction
Ian Weir: literary fiction