What to Expect at the Windsor International Writers Conference

If you haven’t already registered for the Windsor International Writers Conference yet, there is still time to do so, but not much left! Click here for registration details to reserve your spot today!

If you’re still making up your mind, or even if you’ve already registered, I thought I’d take some time to tell you about what you can expect the weekend of the conference. We get things started bright and early Friday July 6th with registration at 7:45 am at the Holiday Inn on Huron Church Rd in Windsor.

Over a continental breakfast we’ll have a quick introduction, then our first panel with Sam Hiyate, the agent behind The Rights Factory. Then at 10:15am, we start our first roundtable intensive. Now, what this is if you’ve never participated in something like this before is we all separate into groups, each around a table. Each roundtable discussion is led by an agent, editor, or publisher. Each writer presents the first 500 words of their manuscript and receives critiques from their peers and from the agent/editor/or publisher present. This is your chance to present your writing and get some feedback from an industry professional and to ask any questions you might have about the writing, editing, or publishing process.

Lunch is then provided and during that time, our first Keynote speakers, The Book Doctors, will give some insight on how to get published. After lunch is another roundtable intensive, where you can change up which group you are in and get feedback and answers from another source.

Now if you’re not an early riser, you get a second chance at registration between 3pm and 6pm and then at 6 pm are our official opening ceremonies which includes the First Nations tradition of Welcoming the Drum.

Throughout dinner on the Friday, our keynote speaker will be Charlie Angus, the former NDP leader. Following that we have a scheduled debate on the sensitive and controversial topic of ‘Cultural Appropriation in Writing’.  Our moderator is the fabulous Kimberly Batchelor Davis. Some of our panelists will include authors Claudia Whitsitt, Rick Sykes and Heather Majaury.

After 8:30pm Friday night the floor will open up to everyone for a casual meet and greet where you can schmooze and mingle with fellow attendees, authors, agents, editors, and publishers. We’ll also have books for sale and authors on hand to sign them!

Saturday, July 7th, breakfast will be served at 8:45 am while Keynote speaker Deborah Dundas takes the stage. She is an editor at the Toronto Star and a review-writer. From 10:15 to noon, workshop leader, Brian Henry of The Quick Brown Fox, will take us through Point of View and Pacing. Over lunch, we’ll have another Keynote, Michele ‘Wojo’ Wojciechowski a humour-writer with an award winning column and book and a storied writing career. At 2 pm, Brian Henry is back to talk about the query letter and the synopsis. Then, at 3:30pm, a panel discussion on how a manuscript travels from Author to Editor to Agent to Publisher.

Dinner will be served at 6pm, with keynote speakers, authors Daniel Pyper and Nick Cutter/Craig Davidson. This will be followed by Comedy Night! Come give your support for our brave souls and their Stand Up Routines! Some of them are doing this for the first time! This merry band of fearless individuals will be led by the fabulous: Michele Wojciechowski!

Sunday, July8th, we’ll announce our contest and scholarship winners first thing at 8:30 am, then from 8:45 am to 9:45 am, we’ll have another panel discussion on the topic of which publishing path is right for you: self, indie, hybrid, or traditional? And from there, the rest of the day will focus on writing, self-publishing, and how to distribute and market your book. The conference officially ends at 1pm.