IWSG Day and Celebrating the Surrey International Writers' Conference


I've just attend the Surrey International Writers' Conference for the first time, finally!

All thanks to Kathy Chung and the other members of the SIWC Board, who organized a fantastic online version of the conference. There were so many amazing workshops, and the videos are available to all participants for the next month -- highly necessary, because there are so many brilliant talks to catch up on.

I love the feeling of inspiration and excitement that comes from talking of storywriting with a group of other writers. And of course it was wonderful to see "in person" so many friends from thelitforum.com!

Congratulations to Robin Malcolm for winning the storyteller's award!

One thing Laura Bradbury said has rally stuck with me: She noted (I'm paraphrasing) that we WANT to do this, we WANT to keep learning, so why do we give an ear to the voice that says "I suck"?

Self-doubt is always there, but it should never override the fact that writing this story is something we choose to do.

It seems so obvious when phrased that way! I want to write these stories and share them with others. Why would I ever listen to a voice that keeps me from making the story the best that it can be?

Today is Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

The question for this month is:
"Albert Camus once said, "The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."
Flannery O’Conner said, "I write to discover what I know."
Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write.
Why do you write what you write?"
A great question to follow-up on Surrey! I'm remembering the workshop led by Susanna Kearsley, in which she talked about recurring themes in her stories.

I write romance because I love the intensity of emotion that comes with falling in love. I still remember, reading a scene in the Miracle Girls series by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt, how impressed I was by how they wrote a scene of two characters holding hands for the first time, and how strong the emotions were.

Somehow, my romances always have an adventure component, too, always related to travel. That comes from the fact that I always tend to explore themes of travelling, seeking family, seeking a homeland.

And the setting is always places I've loved (Wales) or places I've lived in (Turkey) or places I hope to visit someday (Spain)...

Here are a few photos of a trip closer to home, from over a year ago, to Les Rousses, France, where Pasteur lived!

Have you travelled anywhere close by recently?


Glad you got a lot out of the conference.
Evoking strong emotions is not easy on the page, but it is possible.
Jemi Fraser said…
Love the pics!
My romances always involve adventure or suspense too :)
The conference sounds great - and I do really like that piece of advice from Laura!
Hi Deniz - that story about holding hands for the first time ... obviously seriously impacted and influenced you. Also glad you were able to attend the Surrey conference from a-far ...

Love the photos and for taking us out of our environment ... nope been nowhere ... seems more sensible to me. Went to a few films - but I'll write those up soonish! Take care ... Hilary
I like the pictures, especially the one of the food. It made me think of how much I miss eating inside restaurants. I didn't know they were doing conferences online. One thing that's prevented me from going to a conference was that I didn't have the money to travel to one in person, but it would be much easier to attend one online.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks, all!
I'm really starting to enjoy these online events, it's so exciting having something happening in the background over a long weekend. The next one is the Tolkien seminar in February!