This year I had the opportunity to go to When Words Collide in Calgary, Alberta. For those that do not know, it is a yearly non-profit festival that is all about writing. This means writers, readers, agents, editors and publishers alike come together to share, learn and discover literary for a full weekend.
I had initially learned about the festival a year ago when I was having a book signing at the Sentry Box. They were kind enough to inform me about the festival and as soon as tickets went on sale, I got mine!
The reason for my rush is, to my knowledge, there are very few writing conventions here in Western Canada and I wanted to guarantee the chance to go. The only other convention I am aware of is Star Fest in St. Albert. Please correct me if I am wrong though, I would love to join more.
The Arrival at When Words Collide
While driving down from Edmonton, I kept thinking to myself: What can I expect?
I have gone to a number of comic conventions and could get a rough idea what I’d experience but didn’t fully grasp it fully until I arrived. Once I obtained my badge, program guide and schedule, I was in awe at the amount of options available throughout the day. There were a good 10-11 programs going on at any one time. Unfortunately there was only one of me and I had to pick and choose what to do.
The intention for the weekend was to meet fellow authors and learn new techniques on reaching readers. Writing is a very isolated craft and meting people in the industry has been a challenge for me. I also wanted to find ways to broaden my reader base in the online world, eBooks specifically.
These were the primary goals for the weekend and it was not a letdown. I connected with many authors through events like the “Writer’s Speed Mingle” and obtained pages worth of notes from great panels on all three days at the festival.
Adam Dreece on Indie Writing
The most valuable information happened to be the theories that I learned from the panels, workshops and in casual conversation from other writers. Every author has had a different experience with their writing, even though we often go through the same struggles and emotions. Hearing their feedback and how they tackle situations was well worth the travel on its own.
Another great aspect of When Words Collide was the opportunity I had to share my new novel Seed Me. On the Saturday I partook in a 10 minute live reading of the novel. It was a fantastic opportunity to be able to share the book with a fresh set of ears. The audience and other readers were all supportive of each other and it gave us all a chance to fine-tune our reading skills.
Wrapping Up and Heading Home
Throughout the weekend I was rejuvenated with the writing spirit. The three days flew by and it was over before I knew it. The ability to introduce myself to new authors, connect with previously established relationships, and plan for the future made it an amazing experience. What I enjoyed was the fact it provided an even playing field for all writers, indie or published, new or veteran. It didn’t matter, everyone was thrilled to be there for their passion of writing and talked to one another as peers.
I would recommend anyone who has an interest in writing to join in next year. As I mentioned previously, writing tends to be a very isolated experience and it is incredibly insightful to know there are others out there too. Building a network of like-minded people is highly important for any form of success.
Hanging out at the Sentry Box booth.