Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Industry Review: It's A Small World

Group of clay figures hugging

Writing can be a very solitary activity.  Typing away on our keyboards as we stare endlessly at our computer screens.  From time to time we stand up and stretch, go for a walk or grab a coffee break, but interaction with others (especially during the work day) can be few and far between. 

Which is why I feel so blessed to have such a great writing community that I can turn to whenever I need a little nudge or a big guiding light. This past weekend I attended the Niagara Writers Retreat and Conference for YA and Children's Writers.  Organized by conference organizer extraordinaire Jackie Pynaert, I had the chance to spend three days with an intimate group of top notch writers, brainstorm with an incredible critique group (lead by indie editor Lorin Oberweger), have one-on-one time with Susan Rich (Editor-at-Large, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) and be inspired by the likes of Ellen Hopkins, Sara Zarr and Kimberley Griffiths Little.  

It was a great event and I learned a lot, but more importantly, I came away with new friends who are all welcome additions to my writing family.  Through emails and Facebook, we keep in touch, spread important industry news and cheer each other on when we've finished writing a chapter or signed with a new agent. 

There are many ways to build your own network of cool industry peeps, from message boards to meet and greets at the local library. Below, I've listed a few of my support groups who all help to give me that extra kick in the writer pants (and a hug) when I need it.

1) Thinking to Inking

We started off as four strangers - most at our first writers conference (the Big Sur Writing Workshop) and came away bosom blogging buddies. 

2)  Torkidlit 

Where Toronto YA and Middle grade writers catch up online and off. 

3) The Conference Crew

Workshops aren't just weekend events, they set the stage to build long lasting friendships.  My "Your Best Book" class of 2012 is still going strong and keeping everyone informed and motivated through our Facebook group page.

Where do you go for your writer support and inspiration?  Feel free to post your replies here and spread the word on community


  1. I'm old school and still depend on my friend - although I do like reading through blogs like this one!

  2. Thanks for reading our blog! I agree - friends are great - old and new :)