Writers' Union Workshop. February 2010

How to adapt to the changing literary landscape drew me to a workshop sponsored by the Writers' Union of Canada last Friday in Toronto. These workshops are being presented across the country. What a gift for writers who work in isolation and need to know what is going on. Betsy Warland talked about this landscape and how writers can function in changed circumstances. Ross Laird talked about the exciting possibilities the new landscape presents for writers. If we can embrace the technological world of social networking and websites and blogs, we have the opportunity to create a 'platform' where we can reach readers. And sell our books! Indeed, these days it is necessary to create such a platform. Deborah Windsor, Executive Director of the Union, presented a useful segment on contracts. I came away with new information, new strategies for publicizing my upcoming novel, Ile d'Or, which will be published by Innana in May, 2010 and new contacts in the writing community. I was also pleased to cross paths with writers I'd met elsewhere. Farzana Doctor and I had our first books published by Inanna in 2007. Carol Giangrande and I were at the Banff Centre at the same time in 1992. So it goes! A stimulating day. My friend, Barb Wehrspann, attended on the day before I did and I look forward to comparing notes with her.

I was also interested to discover that by the definition of the WU, I am an established writer now that I have two books published or about to be published. The three cateogories of writers listed on a form to be filled out in evaluation of the day were: Unpublished, Emerging and Established. As an emerging writer, one has articles and the like in periodicals. I was an emerging writer for a very long time!!!
Posted on February 14, 2010 .