From conference coordinator Kathy
We have lots of news to share on this rainy afternoon here in beautiful BC, where the world outside gets greener and more colourful by the day even when the skies are grey.
It's a busy time here at SIWC Central as we work towards registration opening on Wednesday, June 1 at noon Pacific. With reduced in-person numbers being part of our Covid safety plan for this year, we anticipate things will move very quickly on registration opening day, so if you're planning to attend in person, set a reminder so you don't miss out. Last time we were in person at full capacity, we sold out full conference packages in a couple of hours.
As a reminder, there are four registration options this year: full in-person conference, basic in-person conference, virtual conference, and young writers virtual conference. And of course we'll have master classes, both virtual and in person. Note that we will not be offering single-day registrations this year, but will be offering a sliding scale for the virtual conference to help make the event accessible to as many people as possible. Registration details are on our website here.
We are incredibly excited to share this year's presenter roster
, which is now up on our website
. With the hybrid model, we're able to include more presenters from further afield, and are delighted to have presenters teaching from New Zealand, Trinidad, Scotland, the Netherlands, and France and England as well as Canada and the US. We're looking forward to spending time with old friends and new ones, too. Just over half our roster this year is brand new to SiWC.
New this year on the presenter roster: you'll see that everyone's bio says whether they're coming in person or virtually. An important note, though: we will be recording some of the in-person content for inclusion in the virtual conference for virtual attendees (and for access by all attendees for 30 days after the conference), so "in person" does not necessarily mean virtual attendees won't see them. We'll have more details about which sessions will be recorded closer to the conference. What is already certain is that there will be a comparable amount of content available to virtual attendees as there was for SiWC at Home in 2020 and 2021. Some of it will be taught from home by our virtual presenters; some will be taught on site by our in-person ones and either livestreamed or recorded or both.
As ever, we're working toward having our master class information and workshop schedule up before registration opens so you'll know what you're signing up for. Watch for all that information to be posted around May 20.
group bookings are already open and a lot of people have already booked their rooms. (Thank you to the early birds for getting the ball rolling!) We have arranged to take over the entire hotel this year, so to get a room, you will need to use our online link
or contact the hotel directly. The Marriott central reservations system will show no availalble space in the hotel at all, but that's because we have it all saved for us. Go HERE
to book. If you are planning to attend and are able to stay in the hotel, please do so, as every booking helps SiWC cover the cost of buying out the whole hotel for our group.
If you attended SiWC from 2018-2021, you should have received an email a few weeks ago inviting you to our newly-created SiWC Alumni Discord server. If you didn't receive the email, or if you attended in an earlier year and would like to join the server, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name you used to register and the year(s) you attended, and I'll send you an invitation.
Our annual SiWC writing contest is open to entries. The Jack Whyte Storyteller's Award carries a $1000CAD first prize and publication, and the entrance fee - all of which goes to support the conference and the prize - remains unchanged again this year at just $15. Get those stories in! Guidelines and details on our contest page here
Scholarships! We offer four categories of scholarships to SiWC, and for each one, there's an in-person conference award and a virtual award to be won. And this year, thanks to a generous anonymous donation, we are able to offer an extra virtual scholarship in each category. If you are a young writer, an Indigenous writer, a Black writer, or a writer who identifies as being from any underrepresented group, please apply. Don't self-reject! Applications are open until September. Details at www.siwc.ca under the news and community menu. Please pass this information along to anyone who might qualify. We don't know you're out there and could benefit from a scholarship unless you apply.
That's it from me for today. More soon!
Kathy Chung, SiWC Conference Coordinator