It's Coming...

Hello from London!

 I've been on a little research/relaxation trip to the UK* and am heading home tomorrow, but I wanted to put a post up to let you know that all systems are go for the conference this year -- and the website update is underway. You'll be seeing the changes any day, and that includes the announcement of our registration date. While I can't tell you the exact date as yet, I can tell you it will be soon -- this month for sure, and if we can get all our systems in place, VERY soon. 

 It's one year ago today that we started this blog, and I think these two big pieces of news are reason to celebrate... how about a contest?

We have an incredible line-up for you this year, which will soon be available for all to see here on the website. But for our contest, let's look back for a moment. Who was your favourite presenter at an SiWC event over the past 16 years...and why? Give us the presenter's name and your description of why they were your favourite in 50 words or less, and put it in the comment section. We'll put your name in a hat and make the draw on June 16th -- that's two weeks from today. And for a bonus, if you link back to this post in a blog post or tweet of your own -- we'll add your name to the hat a second time. 

Winner will get a collection of books provided by our conference attendees, AND a package of something sweet from Britain. 

 So tell us your favourites -- and spread the word. SiWC 2009 is coming sooner than you think!



also blogging as leftwriter

 *I've been blogging the whole trip to the UK, so if you'd like to see the gory details, check out the link to my blog above.



Best presenter? Don Maass, hands down. I've been to SIWC 3 times, and I've never been so inspired to race home and type my fingers off after attending a workshop or presentation. Every time I write, I use things I learned in his master classes on character.

And hey, he's a tremendous speaker, cheerful, personable, full of energy, and funny as hell.

Oh, this was a tough one. Donald Maass is consistently good every year as is Diana Gabaldon - both are motivating and funny. Kelly James-Enger gave great workshops for freelancers. Eric Walters won my heart. However, Robert J. Sawyer was simply amazing - brilliant, engaging, provocative and entertaining as all get out.

Don Maass!!! I'd read his book Writing the Breakout Novel and was blown away by his energetic presentation in Surrey. I worked to apply what I learned, and have since been lucky enough to sign with the awesome Jennifer Jackson at Don Maass's agency.
Also loved Michael Slade, Jack Whyte, Anne Perry, Elizabeth Lyon ... one of the best conferences I've attended.

Last year was my first conference and I was absolutely impressed with every presenter I encountered. The two that I enjoyed the most were Diana Gabaldon and Vicki Pettersson.

Vicki's workshop was a butt-kicker (much needed!), and still much-discussed within my writing group. Diana's workshops were fascinating and funny.

Wonderful conference - can't wait for this year!

Vicki Pettersson was incredible. She is approachable,funny,inspiring and no matter if you were published or not she never hesitated to take time to sit and talk about the craft and the hard work it takes to get "there".

Donald Maass was the best presenter, for sure. High energy, funny with lots of New York sass, he inspired me to keep at it. Bought his book Writing the Breakout Novel and I'm still at it.

Awesome choices, everyone! Your names have been entered -- keep 'em coming.

[And don't forget to tweet or blog about this contest for an extra chance to win!]

kc dyer
SiWC Conference Coordinator

I'm torn. Janet Reid is great as is Vicki Pettersson. Don Maass, however, had the greatest influence on my work. He's awesome.

When choosing workshops, I circle Elizabeth Lyon first. She provides practical, clear advice and is an excellent teacher. My first master class was with Elizabeth and I still refer to my notes from that day.

My second choice is Julie Ferguson. Again practical and informative.



The decision was TOUGH to pare down my list
But Diana Gabaldon’s it
For her words aren’t just spoken or printed in ink
But delivered with sparkling wit
As her hands dance and speak taking their cue
From her tongue and its enchanting lilt
(Jack Whyte was my next choice, what can I say
I adore a man in a kilt)

By the way, if the 50 word count is not merely a guideline but a written-in-stone-rule, take out the reference to Jack Whyte.

Also, I was getting an earful for not using my name, which is also now on here.  Happy?

Michael Sladist is Da’ Greatest

Slade writes as if his psyche’s cracked

‘bout heaps of people getting whacked.

Sladists feast on blood and gore,

suspense and mystery galore.

Slade—the author—is a pseudonym.

His books have victims dead or nude in ‘em.

Clarke—the lawyer—prefers criminal insanity

East Hastings hookers and police brutality.

These days he pens with Rebecca—his daughter.

If you haven’t read their books you otter.

Jay Clarke—as Slade—is a master of sadistic,

history, horror and Special X shtick.

He draws on fact to write each novel

—and though I will not stoop to grovel—

I would not mind one single bit

If Slade chose me to get one writ.

Jenny Fjellgaard

ps...Thanks for giving me a copy of "Hangman," and turning me into a Sladist.


Heck, it's a guideline -- keep Jack in! -- And thanks for coming out of anonymity!


kc dyer
SiWC Conference Coordinator

What happened with this contest? Couldn't find any further blogs/outcome of it. Am I just so totally cyber illiterate that I have been unable to locate it?

Posting contest results as a separate blog post today -- July 18th (a little late, but we still have a winner!)


kc dyer
SiWC Conference Coordinator

Hi=) I've been milling around this site lots of times, Just needed to stop lurking