Good News Stories

We have heard SO MANY good news stories over the year from our attendees and presenters: agents finding new clients at the conference, attendees getting published, awards won, and so much more. We’d love to share your good news with the SiWC world. Please send your good news stories to conference coordinator Kathy at (Even if you’ve told us before and the news isn’t new, we’d love to fill this page with good news, so please get in touch!)

Attendee Holly Dobbie sent us her good news: “Thank you for your part in organizing such an important and life-changing event. I attended the SIWC for many years, and in 2016, during a pitch session, I met my agent, Kris Rothstein from the Carolyn Swayze Literary Agency. They found a publisher for my book, DCB in Toronto, and my book, Fifteen Point Nine was published in 2018.” Congrats, Holly!

Linda Duddridge sent us this bit of good news in October 2021: “I’m excited to announce that my edgy YA novel “Nobody’s Business” came out in July 2021. Dealing with tough social issues in writing is never easy, but attending SiWC for so many years gave me what I needed to release a book I can be proud of. I’m grateful to SiWC and all the presenters through the years who’ve helped me grow into the writer I am today. I wouldn’t have this book without them.” Congratulations, Linda!

Attendee Leslie Howard enjoyed publishing success at the height of the pandemic: “My debut novel The Brideship Wife was published by Simon and Schuster Canada and even though it came out in May 2020 in the middle of the pandemic, it still managed to make the Globe and Mail best sellers list for nine weeks. I have signed a new deal with the same publisher for my second novel The Celestial Wife which will likely be released in early 2023.” Well done, Leslie!

Publication news from attendee Charlene Kwiatkowski: “I attended SiWC in 2015 where I was thrilled to receive an honourable mention for the Storyteller’s Award. Since then, I have shifted more to poetry and have my debut poetry chapbook ‘Let Us Go Then’ coming out this December with the Alfred Gustav Press.” Congrats, Charlene!

Exciting news for writer and SiWC attendee Colleen van Niekerk, whose story is an excellent reminder that the wheels of publishing might not turn quickly, but can still go to thrilling places. “I am a past attendee at SiWC who has a good news story for you: I pitched a novel called “A Conspiracy of Mothers” (it didn’t have that title at the time) at SiWC in 2017 to Writer’s House (Genevieve Gagne-Hawes and Amy Berkower) who subsequently offered representation. The novel sold in 2019 to Little A and is being published this Friday, October 1st. So thankful to SiWC for creating opportunities for good things like this to happen, I can’t wait until we can huddle in person again.” Congrats, Leslie!

News from September 2021 from Georgia Hunter, who reports, “The box full of my newest book TABHI just arrived. TABHI has also been translated into Russian. The Russian version is soon to come!” Congratulations to Georgia. We can imagine how thrilling it was to open that box!

Huge congratulations to Linda Xia, a young writer whose first novel is being published in August 2021. Linda writes: “My name is Linda Xia. I’m 20 years old, based in Surrey, and about to publish my debut novel, Heir of Blood and Secrets, this August with New Degree Press. I was incredibly fortunate to attend SiWC several times as a teen – twice as a winner of the Surrey Libraries Young Adult Writing Contest and once as a recipient of the Tan Seagull scholarship. The conference was amazing and inspirational and very much marked the start of my writing journey…something which I can never thank you enough for.”

In 2019, writer Michelle Barker sent this update: “My novel, The House of One Thousand Eyes, came out in the fall with Annick Press and was named a Kirkus best book of 2018 (YA). I have recently signed with agent Hilary McMahon of Westwood Creative, and my newest novel will be out with Annick next spring. I’ve also joined The Darling Axe as senior editor.” We’re thrilled things are going so well for her.

In 2018, attendee Donna Conrad signed with agent Don Maass, a regular presenter at SiWC.