From conference coordinator Kathy

September 28, 2022




We're into the last-minute rush here at SiWC Central, getting set for our first ever hybrid conference and our first time back at the hotel since 2019. It's such an exciting time for us! This time around, we have information from our board member JJ Lee about upcoming deadlines from our partners, including a non-fiction contest deadline coming up soon; a shoutout to our adult scholarship winners; a final call for volunteers at this year's conference; and a registration update.


Note that this is a general newsletter for everyone who's signed up for our mailing list; if you've already registered for SiWC 2022, you'll receive an attendee-specific one before Canadian Thanksgiving, so watch for that!




Our young writers scholarship recipients have not yet been announced, but we are thrilled to be able to congratulate the winners of our scholarships for Black writers, Indigenous writers, and writers from any underrepresented group. Our scholarship recipients this year who are happy to be named are Rex Emmanuel, Lareina Abbott, Léa Taranto, and Lenore Rattray. We look forward to welcoming all our scholarship recipients at the conference.


Huge congratulations to all the winners!




Registration for SiWC 2022 closes October 15 at noon Pacific. Don't miss out! You can register at


Volunteer Opportunities


We still have volunteer openings for this year's conference. Running a hybrid conference requires a lot of volunteers to help with the in-person, virtual, and hybrid parts of the conference. If you've ever thought about volunteering at SiWC, maybe this is your year! 


If you're interested in getting involved and have reasonable availability during the conference, please email Stephanie at If you can't be in town for the conference, volunteering for the virtual aspect of SiWC is definitely still possible. We couldn't run SiWC without our amazing team of volunteers.


A Message from JJ Lee


CRAFT DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITES ('cause that's what we do, isn't it?)


A tale of TWO deadlines


Our partner EVENT: Prose and Poetry runs one of Canada's most distinguished literary contests, EVENT's 2022 Non-Fiction Contest. It encourages writers to explore and push the form of creative nonfiction.


And here's an exciting detail, the contest's guest judge is the incredible Jenny Heijun Wills. She is the author of Older Sister. Her memoir Not Necessarily Related (McClelland & Stewart, Penguin Random House Canada) won the recipient of the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize in 2019.


Prizes total $3000 with $1500 for first place, $1000 for second, and $500 for third and publication in EVENT. Entry is $34.95 and includes a one-year subscription to EVENT. Deadline is Saturday, October 15 (yes, before the conference!). Enter here:



Okay, the other big deadline is Monday, October 31.


It's the application closing for Simon Fraser University's The Writer's Studio. TWS, that's what we call it, is where a good number of SiWC's regular presenters teach, including yours truly, or attended as students.


Here are some important features about TWS:


1. Accessible where YOU are. Usually offering an in-person, year-long program that starts in January, the 2023 year will be virtual

2. Just-right for you. It's not full-on like a full-time MFA but can give you more than one-off writing courses

3. Where you may find your writing friends. Like SiWC, there's a community commitment to craft, career-development, and long-lasting connection

4. One-on-one opportunities. You receive mentoring with experienced, published authors (again, ahem)

5. Intimate. Small workshops with an openess to all sorts of genres (besides memoirists, I've personally mentored horror and crime writers) and an understanding that writing is part of a student's life journey


If it is time for you to set aside a year to dedicate to your writing and jump-start your work-in-progress (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, experiemental), TWS may be just the program for you.


Find out more here:


More soon!


Kathy Chung, SiWC Conference Coordinator


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Surrey International Writers' Conference Society
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