2015 Ontario Writers’ Conference – A Feast for Writers Everywhere!

I have been remiss. I have yet to plug Ontario’s premier writerly event of the year! The 2015 Ontario Writers’ Conference is FAST approaching. If you are a writer, this is an event you cannot afford to miss.

At one time I was fully involved with the conference. I was on the board of directors on its inception and lived and breathed the conference for almost eight years. I was extremely sad to leave the amazing organization. I became too busy, my life became too complicated. It was a number of things that took me away from the conference. My love of the conference was NOT one of them. I’ll always be a friend to the OWC. That’s why I feel badly for not having blogged about them once this year.

Here’s everything you will need to know about the Ontario Writers’ Conference.

The Incomparable Wayson Choy!
The Incomparable Wayson Choy!

I’ll start with WAYSON CHOY. The conference’s Honorary Patron since its inception, Wayson is a friend to writers everywhere. He’s been at every conference to date. Mayhaps you will spy him at this year’s conference. If you do…don’t be afraid to approach him and engage him in conversation. He’s a lovely man and he loves to talk to other writers. You might even say he puts his pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us writers.

Now, for this year’s feast. Here’s what the conference is looking like, workshop and lecture series wise (Click on all the clickables below to discover more about each one)…

Friday April 24

Masterclasses –

1:00 – 4:00 pm (with 15 min. break)Master Classes
1. Rich Helms – Book Trailers 101
2. Molly Peacock – The Camera-Eye of the Sonnet
3. Richard Scarsbrook – Creative Writing Kick-Start for YA Authors

Festival of Authors – The Friday Evening Gala with Interviews and Readings!

7:00 – 10:00 pm – Readers, refreshments and revelry (open to the public!)

Discover the full Festival of Authors program here!

Saturday April 25 – The Conference proper! You get to pick one workshop/lecture in each of the three time-slots.

9:30 amConcurrent Workshops

1. Terry Fallis – Podcasting 101
2. Annette McLeod – Character is King
3. Allyson Latta – Punch It Up: Editing Tips for Tighter Prose
4. ADVANCED: Andrew Borkowski – Delicious Dialogue

The Lunch at the OWC has always been a wonderful event in and of itself. This year, I’m sure, will not be any different. The luncheon speaker? WOW! A Canadian icon!

11:30 am – Cornerstone Award, Lunch Speaker is the incomparable Linden MacIntyre

1:30 pmConcurrent Workshops

1. Craig Pyette – Breaking & Entering
2. Barbara Fradkin – Blood Money
3. Anne MacLachlan – Gather Your Tribe
4. ADVANCED: Gwynn Scheltema – Should Size Matter?

3:30 pmConcurrent Lecture Series

1. Karen Connelly – Writing as Witness
2. Charles Wilkins – The Storytelling Animal
3. Johanna Raisanen – Labour of Love
4. Ali McDonald – Six of One

4:45 pm  – Closing Speaker

So, there you have the rundown on the two-day event. I would hope that you are now about to RUN, not walk, to the OWC website to register. Don’t forget…this event is JUST OUTSIDE TORONTO. Torontonians would do well to remember that there is land east of Scarborough. The OWC takes place in Ajax, just east of Scarborough…and not far from the 401. There are directions to the venue on the OWC website. There is also hotel information, should you want to come from afar! And there have always been contingents from Ottawa, the U.S.A. and points onward. Like I said, it’s a MUST SEE event for writers. Do yourself–and your writing life–a favour. Register today!

Click on the image below to go directly to the ONTARIO WRITERS’ CONFERENCE website:

owcI may no longer be affiliated with this conference, but I will always support it and promote it as the best educational and networking event for writers in all of Ontario…probably in all of Canada.

See you there!

By Kevin Craig

Author, Poet, Playwright. Author of The Camino Club, Billions of Beautiful Hearts, and Book of Dreams, all from Duet Books, the LGBTQ Young Adult imprint of Chicago Review Press. Other books: Pride Must Be A Place, Half Dead & Fully Broken, Burn Baby Burn Baby, The Reasons, Sebastian's Poet, and Summer on Fire.

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