Meet an Attendee

Ever wonder about the fellow attendees you might meet at SiWC? One of them, Shari Green, was kind enough to do this lovely guest post for us today to share a bit of her experience as a writer and SiWC attendee. Check it out!

As I write this, rain is thrumming on my roof and lashing the autumn-bright leaves of the maple in the back yard. It’s the first real rain of the season. (I mean “real rain” in the coastal sense…we’ve had mist and drizzle, but this is the first day of no-end-in-sight downpour since late June.) It’s lovely: fresh, cleansing, life-giving. As much as I adore summer sunshine, there’s nothing like serious coastal rain to sweep the dust-bunnies from my soul.

Looking at the forecast, it will likely still be raining when I leave for the Surrey International Writer’s Conference on Thursday morning. It may well pour for the entire conference weekend, too, but that’s okay. Maybe it’s even fitting, because there’s nothing like the SiWC to sweep the dust-bunnies from my writer’s soul.

I first “came out” as a writer at the 2006 SiWC. Before that, I’d kept my writing to myself, afraid of what others might think of my goals and dreams, and afraid, maybe, that it was foolish of me to pursue them. I certainly never identified myself as a writer. But then I went to the conference and was surrounded by like-minded people – hundreds of them! – who didn’t think my dreams were stupid. They encouraged me and honestly wanted me to succeed. (A huge bonus of that conference was meeting my first critique partner. We still beta-read for each other and have become close friends.)

I’ve returned to the Surrey conference as often as possible since 2006. Each time, I’ve come away thoroughly inspired by amazing keynote speakers and equipped with more knowledge of craft and publishing thanks to fantastic workshop leaders. I’ve also been uplifted and completely renewed by time spent with awesome writer-friends (old and new).

Imagine spending a weekend with people who really get it: people who understand the roller coaster highs and lows of the writing life, who don’t think you’re crazy for wanting to spend hours playing with words and sentences, who are as completely enamoured with Story and books as you are. Fresh, cleansing, life-giving….

You should totally go.

Shari Green writes Young Adult fiction. When she’s not glued to her laptop, she can often be found wandering in a blissful daze on the beach near her home on Vancouver Island, BC. Visit her online at

Thanks for sharing this post, Shari!

Remember, pre-conference online registration closes on Monday.



Shari, you described the Surrey conference perfectly. It's always been so special to me. I've been to other conferences but not one holds a candle to this one. I'm so excited to be returning after numerous years aways. It's going to be fabulous and I can't wait to meet you.

I'm coming from Texas and near 90 degrees. Will pack scarves and gloves for my thin blood! ;)


You've conjured up all the images I love about the Surrey Conference. Like you,I've been before and I'm looking forward to going again. It's so true, to be with others who share your passion for the written word is so satisfying. And you're right about the weather. Even if it's still raining outside, there'll be plenty of sunshine indoors radiating from the participants. Are you sure we're not going to a love fest?

Nothing does this writer's spirit more good than being immersed in the conference's fabulous writing community for a long weekend. It's totally rejuvenating! I'm counting down... just five sleeps to go! :)


How eloquently you explain my favourite thing about SiWC: That we all, attendees, presenter and volunteers, come together as peers who understand and encourage each other to learn more and write better.

I look forward to seeing you on Thursday!

Diana, it's going to be great! (And yeah, it does sound a bit like a love fest, LOL.)

Carol/Mom -- five sleeps!! Wheee!!

Shilo -- thanks! Looking forward to seeing you, too. :)

My first year here, and I am running the gamut between completely excited and nauseous (nervous flyer, and those wind gusts here in Alberta are freaking me out a bit...).

Looking forward to meeting all y'all. Ginger, where in Texas? Austin native here. Now living amongst the Canucks. :D


Thanks, Deb. It's an awesome conference, isn't it? :)

Laini, ack! I hope the wind settles down! Not fun. (But the conference will be SO worth any and all nausea, LOL.) I hope I get to meet you this weekend!