When you receive a rejection letter from an agent you’ve set your heart and hope on, it helps if you’ve been to the Surrey International Writers’ Conference. Not because they taught you all the ins and outs of getting published. Not because they’ve given you the tools to pitch again. Not because they showed you how to write a better book.
It’s because they understand what it is to be a writer and they have your back.
Yes, they have your back.
It was at a conference lunch three years ago when I bared my soul about a rejection I’d received that morning. The rallying embrace was enough to help me carry on. It made me carry on.
I still feel that embrace today.
I’ve met people at SiWC that have become my greatest friends.
During those days I’ve cried and laughed and been scared shitless.
I’ve also been inspired.
So now it’s time to give back.
Once you arrive at the conference you’re given a brochure. It’s a map to everything that will happen. A guide to help you through the overwhelming maze of overwhelming moments.
My first year I don’t think I put it down once. It was my safety net and helped me decide what I should do next. I love looking back at the notes in the margins and stars beside the must attend workshops!
This year I’ve been asked to assist in getting people to advertise in the 2016 brochure. OK, not the type of job I usually do, but when you think about it, I’m a person who knows how precious the pages are. And as I said, it’s a way for me to thank the SiWC Board for all the brochures that have shepherded me through the conference.
Let’s be honest… I love to talk about things I love.
You can ignore my musings on penguins and Dairy Queen Blizzards… but if you’re a writer or want to be around writers you shouldn’t ignore my chatter about the Surrey Writers’ conference.
In fact, I bet you’ll be like so many others and thank me.
Just imagine you’re sitting across the table from Diana Gabaldon or Anne Perry or Jack Whyte. They’re about to read something you’ve written….
If you’re not brave enough for that, they always have time for a quiet little chat.
Everyone at SiWC is there to help you be a better writer.
And you will be.
Now I just wish they’d given a course in how to sell advertising in conference brochures?