I’m finally getting around to writing about the Surrey International Writers Conference, which was held last weekend. It was my very first writers conference, and I wasn’t disappointed. I had, at the back of my mind, expected the seminars to be simplistic and filled with platitudes, like too many “educational” venues.
Not even close.
This is a conference for experienced writers, and it showed. From seminars that examined the psychology of your characters, to ‘SIWC Idol’, in which the first page of your novel got the Simon Cowell treatment, it was an eye-opener. For the record, they didn’t get around to my first page in the 75 minutes available, and I was relieved more than anything else. I think perhaps three first pages got through the entire reading without getting buzzed out. Scary.
I also got my first pages critiqued by Robert J. Sawyer, which was a thrill for me as he’s one of my favorite authors. I think I managed to keep a straight face. 🙂 And he liked my opening pages, which was a huge bonus.
There are too many seminars to keep up with, of course. In each time slot, I had to make a choice between several attractive possibilities. Hopefully at least some of them will have a summary on someone’s web page.
I got the three-day package, but not the full-meal-deal. Next year, I think I’ll not only get the full package, I’ll rent a room for the two nights. All in all, it was well worth it.