Writers Conference 2010
Take Your Writing To The Next Level at the 7th Annual Conference!
April 30, May 1, 2010
Yes, it truly was the most exciting, biggest writers conference ever in Powell River! We had more at the opening ceremonies, more registered for the weekend and more stayed for the sumptuous banquet Saturday night. The presenters outlined below sent us home inspired, motivated and brimming over with ideas. Those who attended the Master Classes with Sylvia and Tony came away with clear, concrete lessons applicable to turning their writing into a business.
From Brian Brett I was reminded again that we are surrounded by stories and narrative is crucial. Writing is the only art where the audience does the work. They imagine what you’ve written so even if you’re writing your view of a factual trip, they are imagining it their way. We can’t assume they see it the way we write it so don’t give them too much.
We are making a contract with the reader with our story and if we don’t live up to it they get annoyed even if it is fiction. I’ve read the first few pages of a book and shut it because of that principle. I just didn’t know what it was called…a contract.Give the reader credit for intelligence to figure it out. Write pure and clean. A story is malleable. We can right the wrongs in it by just telling the story not lecturing.
Heidi Greco sharpened our pens up with plenty of self-editing tips. Read it aloud, record it and listen for where it’s not smooth. Write it, leave it and come back later She used one of my favorite books on writing, “Bird by Bird.”
A few of the glaring mistakes we can make include: 1) Use of quite and very. 2) Repeated or overused words. 3) The word perfect stands alone; there is no ‘almost perfect.’ 4) Not use a $5 word when a simple one will do or it comes off phony and overinflated. 5) In dialogue, use ‘said’ instead of fancier terms. It’s more poweful. 6) Show don’t tell. Make it active not passive.
Heidi Greco: Whether working with the traditional ‘blue pencil’ or inserting comments electronically, Heidi’s been editing for over twenty years. She’s worked in just about every genre, and admits that she often has a hard time reading without wanting to tweak what’s on the page. Her most recent publication, A: The Amelia Poems, is a chapbook of poems about Amelia Earhart, the famous pilot who disappeared in 1937.Online examples of her own writing can be found at Prairie Fire’s Online Review of Books, at sub-Terrain magazine, or at the blog she’s kept since 2006.
Heidi’s workshop The Prickly Art of Self-Editing: Editing is a lot like pruning a blackberry hedge. It’s a messy job and one that is potentially dangerous – especially when you’re doing it on your own. Still, the steps aren’t really so different. In the space of an afternoon, we’ll tackle the deadwood and remove unnecessary branches as we seek out the heart of the work so it can flourish.
Brian Brett, poet, fiction writer, critic, journalist, is the author of eleven books of poetry and fiction including: The Colour of Bones In A Stream, Tanganyika, The Fungus Garden, Coyote, and Uproar’s Your Only Music. Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life won The Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize 2009, and has been nominated in three catagories for BC Book Prizes. Congratulations!!
As part of the Salt Spring Collective, he has also competed a CD of his “Talking Songs” called Night Directions for the Lost,produced and arranged by Ramesh Meyers at Allowed Sound Studios, and released by Tongue & Groove Records. Brian lives with his family on his farm on Salt Spring Island.
Brian’s workshop on creative non-fiction: Writing Your Life: The world around us is stories. Our companions are stories, like we are stories. Children, the aging, the dog in autumn, the fish leaping into the boat, the car that won’t start. We see all these things as story. We can only live the world if it is a story.
This workshop will show you new ways of seeing, of finding the adventure in the dahlia and the coffee mug, the reality that touched you, who made you, who you lost, stories that need to be told, histories that must be remembered, records and journals. They’re all around us and they can be told in untold ways. We only need the freedom to write the stories that enter our lives.
Special 7th Anniversary offer:
Two Master Classes consisting of two hour workshops April 30 will give writers the tools they need to be successful at the business of writing.Register using Master Class form not PRWC registration.
Sylvia Taylor:Executive Director of the Federation of BC Writers, Sylvia is an award-winning freelance writer, editor and instructor and communications consultant from Vancouver’s Lower Mainland.Whether supporting others in their self-expression, collaborating in commissioned work or creating insightful commentary and reportage, she draws from her education, administrative, healthcare and professional background.
Sylvia is an inspiring public speaker and adult educator, teaching creative and non-fiction writing at conferences and writing programs as well as judging numerous writing competitions. Her devotion to the arts and women’s wellness led to a 2002 nomination for the Women of Excellence Award. While presenting at our 2009 conference she said we had everything a bigger conference had except numbers so she and Anthony Dalton came on board as our patrons. Their goal is to help us build it up in scope and attendance.
Sylvia’s Master Class, “Building Your Professional Platform: A Blueprint for Success” will help writers take their writing to another level of professionalism;one that could lead to producing saleable articles and books.
Anthony Dalton: Canadian Authors Association National President, an adventurer and author who has led expeditions across the Sahara, through the deserts of the Middle East and into the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan to mention a few. An accomplished public speaker, Anthony has written six non-fiction books, the latest being Adventures With Camera and Pen. His illustrated articles have been published in magazines and newspapers in twenty countries and nine languages.
As one of the presenters to our 2009 conference he fell in love with the area and our conference and stepped forward with Sylvia Taylor as one of the PRWC patrons.
Anthony’s Master Class, “Don’t Give Away All of Your Rights: Understanding Publishing Contracts” April 30 will help writers with the legal aspect of being published. To register use the Master Class form.
Don’t change that dial …more exciting details to come. PRWC Registration form online with new improved package rates.