Conference Countdown!

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Surrey International Writers' Conference Newsletter

From conference coordinator Kathy:

Kathy Chung Hello!

It's a busy time here at SiWC Central. Have we ever got a lot to tell you! This is going to be a jam-packed newsletter.

There are just weeks to go until this year's SiWC, running October 24-26 with master classes on the 23rd. As usual, all conference events take place at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel in Surrey, BC.

We have two important dates for you to note:

  1. Our early bird rates run until Friday, September 5, so if you haven't yet registered, doing so before then will save you a little money.
  2. Friday, September 12 is the deadline for writing contest entries. With $1000 first prizes in each of four categories, it's well worth entering. Please pass along our contest information to any writers you know, even if they can't make it to the conference. You DO NOT have to attend SiWC to enter. Our writing contest is open to adults anywhere and, as far as we know, is the only place in the world having your short story short listed means having your work read by Diana Gabaldon AND Jack Whyte. Have a question? Email

We are incredibly excited about this year's keynote speakers, whom you may have read about on our blog last week. They are Peter Rubie, Sarah Wendell, Cory Doctorow, Chuck Wendig, Laura Bradbury, and Hallie Ephron. We feel incredibly lucky to have them and all our presenters coming to share their time and expertise with us.

We'll be announcing this year's theme soon. That means it's contest time! This is your chance to try to figure out our theme, with the possibility of a book prize if you happen to get it right. We've gone a little abstract this year, into things that are essential parts of the fiction writer's arsenal. And that's all I'm going to give you to go on for now. We'll announce the theme mid-September or so to give those of you who like wearing costumes the time to figure out what you're going to wear, so you have until then to figure it out and send me your best guess at And maybe I'll throw out an extra hint or two on Twitter between now and then.

There are still rooms available at the hotel, but I hear it's getting pretty booked up, so don't leave it too long. Our group rate gives you the best available rates and included in-room internet, and is available until Sept 22, so make sure you ask for it when you book your room. Or book online from our custom hotel page here:

If you're looking for a roommate to share costs, check out our annual room share blog here: A bit closer to the conference, we'll put up another for ride shares, too.

Around this time of year, we get a lot of people wishing they'd added a master class or registered for the full conference so they can come to all the meals and keynotes. We are happy to do registration upgrades at any time, as long as we still have space. Email to arrange upgrades. Currently, there is still space in all but one of our master classes. These pre-conference classes are three hours long, with time to dig deep into the topics covered. Check them out here:

Not sure if a writing conference is right for you? Attendees at SiWC range from brand new writers to multi-published bestsellers (with people at every level in between), all looking to improve their craft with a few days of excellent professional development, and to fill the well by interacting with a hotel full of like-minded people who understand the need to write. If you're a writer interested in being a better one and in being inspired to put words on paper, this is the place for you.

If you're a beginning writer feeling nervous about attending, please know you are more than welcome at SiWC, and we think you'll find our attendees and presenters friendly and easy to talk to. Once again this year, kc dyer is offering a pre-conference class exclusively for beginning writers and first-time conference-goers, held on our master class day, Thursday, October 23. In this session, she'll make sure you have all the basics of writing industry jargon and lots more so you'll feel even more at home during the regular conference workshops. She doesn't bite (at least not writers); we promise.

Want to sell your book or advertise your editing service or day-job business? We have ad opportunities in our conference brochure, starting at just $10, that will reach an audience of up to 1000 writers, readers, editors, agents, and more. Email our promotions coordinator kc dyer at for details.

Our conference is run on a not-for-profit, cost-recovery basis and we are ALWAYS looking for partners to help bring you the best and brightest. There are many perks to partnership including access to our year-round community via our website, and special advertising discounts. If you'd like to join our partnership team, please contact to discuss all the options.

Are you on Twitter? We're using #SiWC14 (note we've left off the “20” in the year to give you two extra characters to work with) for this year's conference-related tweets, and #thisdaywewrite is a great place to talk writing. Join in anytime!

As always, we're here to answer your questions. You can reach us through the contact form at or can reach me directly by email at

See you in a few weeks!

~ Kathy
Kathy Chung
SiWC Conference Coordinator

The Surrey International Writers' Conference, held every October in British Columbia, is the most comprehensive conference of its kind in Canada. SiWC offers writers in all genres -- from beginners to experts -- the opportunity both to hone their craft and to expose their work to the international literary marketplace. For more information please visit