I Went to Canada … AND SURVIVED! (#SiWC2013)

I’m back from the Surrey International Writers’ Conference in Canada, and I had a blast. I got in at midnight on Thursday, which was 3 a.m. my time, so I may have been a bit out of it that first morning.

It was my first time at this conference, but it came highly recommended by Mary Robinette Kowal. As usual, Mary was right. It was well-organized, with a lot of fun and friendly people from a variety of genres. I gave two workshops (one on diversity in your writing, and one on using social media), did a bunch of one-on-one Blue Pencil Sessions to talk about people’s works-in-progress, and then they let me give a keynote address on Saturday. This was my first time doing a keynote, and I was a bit nervous about it, but it went over very well. (More on that later.)

I also got to meet MT O’Shaughnessy and Silvia Moreno-Garcia, two Vancouver-area writers and generally wonderful people who stopped by to say hi. Silvia just sold her debut novel to Solaris, by the way. And she was kind enough to give me an anthology she edited and a collection of her own work. Which was perfect timing, since I finished the other book I was reading on the flight out.

More coherent thoughts later. I didn’t get back home until late, and was greeted by a car with a dead battery waiting for me in the airport parking lot. I blame Dementors. Fortunately, the nice security guard at the airport had a portable magic box that — eventually — made the car work again.

My thanks to Kathy Chung for inviting me, to all of the staff and volunteers who put the convention together, and to all of the authors, editors, agents, and everyone else who made it such a welcoming and positive experience.

Now to steal a page from Susanna Kearsley and start plotting how to get myself invited back next year! πŸ™‚