My First Writing Conference is Days Away

Do I have big plans or what?

On the 20th someone you know and love will drive away from lovely Grand Forks and head to Surrey, BC for the SiWC16. I’m torn between a little scared and extremely happy to be hitting my first conference.


I’ll be attending one Masterclass—Seven Techniques of Fiction Mastery—with Donald Maass and am hoping this class will bump up my writing. Since I didn’t win the SiWC16 Writing Contest, my confidence is on the low side.

Pitch Session

I’ve reserved a pitching appointment with Laura Bradford and don’t have a pitch ready. At first I thought I’d better cancel then I did some digging around on the net. Apparently it is okay to go empty-handed. I’m a huge fan of Laura and it will be a great pleasure to meet her. Without knowing it, she has taught me what the typical day of an agent is all about. Now I understand why it takes time to respond to a submission.

Blue Pencil Session

I’ve also have a Blue Pencil Session with Bob Mayer. When I started learning about the craft, I found his name all over the net. I have feeling the session will be hard on the ego, but I plan to listen hard and hopefully ask a few intelligent questions. I just hope I don’t embarrass myself.

Meeting My First Internet Acquaintance

And the best part of the conference is meeting someone face-to-face. Holli Moncrieff is a fellow Canadian, blogger buddy and horror writer. We met through the IWSG Meme and constantly visit each others blog. I have no idea if we are checking out the same workshops but knowing a familiar face at the conference has soothed my nerves immensely.

So what do you think? Am I going to have fun or what? 🙂


60 responses to “My First Writing Conference is Days Away

  1. Just go with an open mind and a great attitude and you’ll both have fun and learn a lot.

  2. Have a blast! It sounds like you are in for a great, yet intense, time :). Laura Bradford is a local agent down here–she is/was a member of our local RWA chapter and a really lovely person. Most of all-have FUN! Yes, writing is our business, but it’s also our passion, and you get to be surrounded by folks who all of the same passion :).

  3. You are going to have a blast!! And something really great will result from it. I just know it.

    Wishing the best of times and great happenings.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

  4. Have a great time. I attended this conference once, years ago, and it was huge. Lots of people and events for writers of any genre. I wish I knew you would be coming. I might’ve come too for one day. Meeting your internet friend should be the best part of it.

  5. I know you will have a great time and get a lot out of the experience. I met up with Laura Zera twice now at the PNWA conference in Seattle. It’s great to meet internet acquaintances in person 🙂

  6. Donald Maas and Laura Bradford, PLUS Holli Moncrieff? How can you not have fun! Take pictures!

  7. Love Donald Maass. I hope you tell us lots about that event.

  8. I’m sure you’ll have a blast. My first writers conference gave me blog fodder for ages and I also learned a lot. Pitching agents was scary, but also a good experience. Just talk to them about your novel like you’d tell a writer friend about it and hit the main points. You’ll do great. And so cool to meet a bloggy friend in person. I’m excited for you. I’m so close to Surrey, but have to work 😦

  9. You are going to have so much fun! Good luck and I really hope it goes well.

  10. Good luck! You’re going to slay it out there.

  11. Best wishes for your first writing conference. How exciting! And it looks like you’re booked in for lots. You’ll be so inspired!

  12. You’re meeting Holli? I think I’d have a fan girl moment if I met her. Haha. I’d love to meet both of you. 🙂

    Sounds like an awesome conference with much to learn from. Enjoy!

  13. Aw, you guys are way too nice! Just saw this now, and it made my night…I leave at ungodly o’clock tomorrow morning because some genius has decided we now have to be at the airport TWO HOURS ahead for domestic flights. Sigh.

    I’m very excited to meet you too, Anna! It’s about time. 🙂 This conference is insanely friendly, don’t worry. I was really nervous the first time, and then when I returned after a hiatus, but it is so easy to strike up a conversation with anyone near you.

    The Donald is one of the best presenters. Good choice! I’m hoping to pitch to Laura as well. See you soon!

  14. Once you get over the initial nerves, it’ll be fab!! I’m sure of it. Just enjoy the experience. Do let us know how it goes 🙂

  15. Oh, how fun!! Have a wonderful time! It’s always fun to meet a blogger buddy in “real life.” I hope you and Holly have a blast.

  16. It does sound fun, Anna. I hope you come away from the conference armed and ready!

  17. How fun you get to meet Holli! 🙂

    A few years ago, I attended a Breakout Novel workshop with Donald Maass. It was one of the best things I ever did for my writing. And the critique session I had with him was so informative.

    Have a great time! 🙂

  18. Have fun, learns lots and then share with us 🙂

  19. YES! You are going to have a fabulous time. 🙂
    sherry @ fundinmental

  20. You’ll have an amazing time, Anna! I bet cold hard cash you’ll come away with at least one epiphany. I love, love, love writers’ conferences. In fact I’ll be heading to the Writer Unboxed Conference in early November. Writers’ conferences are a great way to learn, recharge your batteries, and connect with other writers. My agent always says don’t go to writers’ conferences, go to fan conferences so you can sell books, but I’ve never come away from a fan conference inspired. Writers’ conferences rock. Have fun!

  21. That sounds EPIC and a half. I wish I could go too! But then, who would take care of these crazy kids? I hope you’ll report back on all the awesomeness.

  22. I am so excited for you. That class is going to rock! I’ve got all of Mr. Maass’s books. I’ve never attended the Surrey conference, wanted to, but just wasn’t able. Someday, I hope. Have a great time, Tara. If you see Carol Garvin from Careann’s Musings, please give her my best.

  23. Angela Wooldridge

    Oh fantastic! Have a great time. Prepare as much as you can and just plan to get as much as you can from it.
    Try not to get too downhearted about the rejection – everybody gets them, it’s part of the gig and if we got everything right first time, we’d never learn anything.
    (I was a bit confused by your message you left on my blog as I’m on a different continent 😉 not sure if you meant it for someone else? Much as I’d love to come along too!)

  24. Sounds like you’re going to have a blast. Remember to take pictures.

  25. Have a great time, Anna!

  26. Oh, that’s cool news, Anna. I would definitely rate the writing conferences I’ve attended as being some of the best experiences of my life. Because you’re immersed in the culture of everything about what you love. You have the most fascinating conversations and effortlessly gravitate towards certain people who then become friends, and you network, and you learn so much! Have a blast 🙂

  27. Sometimes you’ve got to shelve the ego, as I’m sure you know. 😉 Good for you on trying new things and expanding your writerly horizons! Hope you have the time of your life.

  28. That sounds like tons of fun! Can’t wait to hear about it. 🙂

  29. I’m sure this is going to one wonderful experience, and I hope you’ll share it with us.

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