My third year at the Ontario Writers Conference was this past weekend. I’m still worn out. So much learning, new ideas and fun crammed into just two days.
I attended the Festival of Authors Friday night. (Daytime Master classes were also offered, but I didn’t sign up this year). Actress Anna MacKay-Smith did a great job interviewing each of the authors. Rob Winger, Plum Johnson and Catherine Gildiner were each given a series of questions to answer, followed by a reading of their works. I purchased Gildiner’s book the next day at conference, from Blue Herron Books, the book seller for OWC. (and WCDR I might add- support your small town book stores!)
Saturday was the big event. Conference ran from 9am-almost 6pm. A full day for sure, but very rewarding. I thourougly enjoyed the two classes and one lecture I selected, as well as the other speakers. I’d say i took the most away from Andrew Borkowski’s Delicious Dialogue I could take more classes from him for sure. He’s entertaining, as well as incredibly informative. The other highlight for me was Wayson Choy’s lunch talk. I could listen to Wayson talk for hours, as i’m sure the rest of those attending would agree. I even got the privilege of talking to him at the festival Friday night. He’s incredibly approachable and easy to talk to.
Lunch followed, and it was the best I’ve had at a conference yet. My second workshop was Breaking and Entering, with Senior Editor Craig Pyette, followed by a lecture by Olga Filina of The Rights Factory. I took a ton of notes at both, that I can’t wait to put into practice.
All the learning is wonderful, but the best part about conference for me is getting to spend time with other writer friends. Some I get to see in real life only at the annual conference. The encouragement, the laughter, the congratulations when we accomplish a writing goal. These friends have made this journey all that much better. The best friends push you when you need it, and back off when you need that too. They also know who they are, without any mention of their names here. One is pictured here, but everyone knows Kevin Craig and I are great friends.
A dozen of us also went out for dinner after conference ended. What a loud, fun night! Can’t wait to do it again.