If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I write about a lot of different things. Lately I’ve been writing about my Living Primal Challenge, which I’ll get back to, before moving on to other topics. I sometimes write about my professional life as a freelance writer and writing instructor. This is one of those times.
While I’m busy with a few projects I’m also spending time reflecting on a conference I’ve just attended with PWAC—the Professional Writers Association of Canada. This conference was part of MagNet, the national conference for Magazines Canada. So we called our conference PWAC@MagNet. Some feared that we’d lose our PWAC “heart and soul” by being part of the larger conference. Fear not. There are plenty of ways we’ll protect our “PWAC culture.” We’ll maintain it through the writing workshops we plan and the informal gatherings such as our Literary Night where we “perform” Shakespeare (and it is quite a performance!) In past years there have been special readings of Chaucer and other poets. This year we had some PWACers reading from their work, which may become another tradition. We also have our sing-along sessions where we interpret songs by the likes of Stan Rogers, Leonard Cohen, and the Rolling Stones. Yes, we’re a diverse bunch. A special added touch is the new regional flavour that we’ll give our events starting with featured food, music, and displays from Atlantic Canada; next year it will be British Columbia.
I’m not the only one who enjoyed this conference so much. I invite you to visit Doreen Pendgrac’s site to see why PWAC inspires her, see some wonderful photos, and read other reflections from the 2012 PWAC conference. There were so many highlights: hearing success stories from other writers, awarding writers and editors for their work—paid and volunteer, and learning new ways of working smarter. Going to this conference is just one benefit of PWAC membership.
Another of the many benefits is the networking, and there were opportunities for that everywhere. Online networking will be even easier with our new writers.ca site. Members can better connect with each other and will be able to use this as a Marketplace to find, and showcase, work once the site is fully operational, which will be later this year. We already have discussion forums, which members are using to ask business questions, share articles, and many of us posted more thoughts and Top Moments from the conference.
Attending professional conferences is an important way to meet face-to-face when connections often are only online because of time and geography. It is always worthwhile, both in time and money spent. I hope to see you at PWAC@MagNet 2013.