Countdown to SiWC

Surrey, here we come!It’s less than a month until the Surrey International Writers’ Conference (SiWC). Here’s what I’m doing to prepare:

Logistics: This is all the stuff that makes it all feel real—booking a hotel room, buying plane tickets, figuring out how the heck to get from YVR to Surrey without breaking the bank or getting lost in the public transit puzzle.

Reading: I love it that my favourite pastime can also be considered pre-conference research. I’m booked into a Blue Pen Café session with Canadian author Tim Wynne-Jones, so I am reading his latest, “The Uninvited,” and two of his Rex Zero books. Ian from A Different Drummer Books will be ordering me a few other Wynne-Jones titles, just in case.

Writing: For my session with Wynne-Jones, I have to decide which piece I’d like critique on. Should I pick one of the short stories I currently have under way? A chapter from my novel-in-progress? Or do I write something brand-new to put under the microscope? Decisions, decisions…

Learning: And more decisions! Which workshops do I want to sign up for? Are there specific authors I want to hear from (Graphic Novels with Diana Gabaldon)? Or is there a particular topic that is relevant to something I’m working on right now (Creating Characters that Jump off the Page with James Scott Bell)? Or something else that piques my interest (like Steampunk Spotlight with Arthur Slade)?

Connecting: Most of all, I’m gearing up to meet other writers, especially those who I’ve met virtually via Twitter and the Restless Writers’ blog.

Are any of our blog visitors heading out to SiWC? Are any of you SiWC veterans with tips for us newbies?



Filed under Author events, Motivation

12 responses to “Countdown to SiWC

  1. I’m going. It’s my second year at SiWC. I am going with 3 other members of my Calgary writing group, all of whom have attended at least 2 years. Are you attending any Master Classes? We all are. I’d love to connect with you…perhaps over a glass of vino or a latte. Makes me excited to start thinking about the conference, one of the best weekends of my year!

  2. Hi Maria,

    Great post on getting ready for SiWC. The countdown is on!

    A quick note on transit: if you don’t mind a bit of a long ride, transit is simpler now that we have the Canada Line skytrain from the airport. If you ride it all the way to the end of the line in downtown Vancouver (less than half an hour), you can switch to the Expo line out to Surrey, to either Gateway Station or Surrey Central Station, and it’s just a quick bus ride from there to the hotel. It’ll take about an hour and a half altogether, and I think the whole thing, including the leaving-the-airport transit fee of $5, will cost you $10. You can plan a trip and see all the details at Use YVR and “Guildford Station” as your departure and arrival locations.

    Alternatively, we have a ride share post on our blog; you could post there in case someone wants to share a cab.

    Hope that helps with the logistics.
    See you in a few weeks!

    SiWC Conference Coordinator

    • Maria McDonald

      That’s great advice, Kathy. Thanks for letting us know. The skytrain sounds like a cheaper option than the taxi we have been considering.

      See you in Surrey!


  3. OMG this is approaching FAST! Need to get my butt in gear and do some prep work. Will be pitching for first time in person. How fun! So nice to be able to connect with other writing groups and of course, our lovely tweet-buds!
    P.S. very helpful info re: transit, thanks Kathy!

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  6. SharonWill

    I vote for Diana Gabaldon – addicted to her books. Enjoy! Sounds like great fun.

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