Windsor International Writers Conference

Lauren O'Brien
By Lauren O'Brien March 23, 2018 14:15

Windsor International Writers Conference

St. Clair student edits her writing in preparation for the Windsor International Writing Conference.

St. Clair student edits her writing in preparation for the Windsor International Writing Conference.

By: Lauren O’Brien

For one weekend every summer, novelists flock to Windsor for the International Writers Conference.  

It spans from July 6-8 and is held at the Holiday Inn Express.

Founder Pamela Goldstein started the conference hoping to bring together and celebrate the local writing community.

Windsor is home to over a thousand published authors and eight publishing houses including Biblioasis and Black Moss Press.

The first conference was held in Nov. 2014. After the idea first struck, Goldstein and her devoted committee worked 60 to 70 hours a week to put it in action and within ten months, their determination paid off and the first conference was a success.

Since then, WIWC has continued to offer countless opportunities for writers. During the rest of the year they organize workshops with local authors. Writer’s Digest magazine claimed them to be one of the most unique Boutique Writers Conferences in North America.

Keynote speakers this year include: Charlie Angus, a Canadian MP who is an author, and Michelle Johnson, an international agent. Nick Cutter and Andrew Piper, sci-fi and paranormal authors, will be returning as well after they did a workshop teaching participants how to sequence stories last year.

“Second Story Publishing from Toronto is coming as well as Friesenpress which is huge,” Pamela Goldstein said with a big smile on her face.

Justine Dowsett is a member of the steering committee. She was one of the agents who met with participants in 2016. She then founded Mirror World Publishing, a small independent publishing house in Windsor that publishes escapism fiction for all ages.

“Writing is something I think you can figure out on your own or you can learn through various courses,” said Dowsett. “But the networking and learning how to get published, there are so many options now it needs to be taught.”

According to Dowsett, aside from writing skills, the conference has a lot to offer participants. She said it is a good confidence builder and helps participants build as entrepreneurs. It is also a strong networking opportunity and teaches the insides of the industry and what it takes to be published.

Michael Krym has attended two conferences since 2015. He published his first novel when he was 21, before he had attended a conference. He said they have helped strengthen his work.

“The things that stand out to me the most are the individual conversations with the writers. You get one on one interaction with people who are high up in the game,” Krym said.

He said he considers them welcoming and inclusive. Everyone from agents, beginners and self published authors were handing out business cards at the end of every conversation.

“The people that Pam bring in every single year are really different. You get a different experience every year,” said Krym.

Tickets for the conference include everything but lodging. The price for students is $125 until May 31 when the price raises to $300. An adult ticket before May 31 is $395 then raising to $425. As the event creeps closer, the price jumps again to $600 after July 1. Lodging is not included and the hotel has offered special discount rates available to WIWC attendees.

Lauren O'Brien
By Lauren O'Brien March 23, 2018 14:15

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