I’ve just returned from the PWAC conference in Toronto, an opportunity for members of the Professional Writers Association of Canada to mix with other attendees and presenters at MagNet, the annual conference organized by Magazines Canada. To quote Bob, a fellow member of my Toastmasters club … “Wow!”
The conference was well-organized, diverse in topics covered, and the PWAC-only events went off without a glitch. Possibly the most efficient and well-run annual general meeting the association has had in its 36 years of existence.
To understand PWAC, you’ve got to know that we probably have the most diverse membership of any group of professional creators in Canada. We are primarily comprised of freelance writers who do just about every kind of writing including writing and editing for magazines and newspapers, authoring and editing books, writing for websites and business clients, scriptwriting, speechwriting, documentary films, photography, teaching, presenting workshops and more.
With that wide array of talent comes a diversity of interests. But every year, we gather for a lighthearted interpretation of a Shakespearean play or piece of work to get our hearts pumping or touch our funny bones. This year’s performance of The Tempest did both, with Conference Queen, Kathe Lieber playing the lead role of Miranda, and Bruce Wilson playing her father, Prospero.PWAC members Bruce Wilson and Kathe Lieber performing The Tempest
You can see by the photo above, that we don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we definitely take the business of freelance writing with the seriousness it deserves. PWAC members such as Sandra Phinney, Mariellen Ward, Nathalie Kleinschmit, Suzanne Boles, Gordon Graham and Stephen Kimber inspired us with their presentations.
Ross Mavis, retiring Atlantic Regional Director, inspired us with his insights, warmth and friendship and was rewarded with a lovely Hawaiian shirt to go with the 50 other flowered shirts he has in his closet. No one can call Ross a dull dresser. And no one can call PWAC a dull organization.Ross Mavis shows off the shirt he was awarded for service to the PWAC board
The conference had three distinct business-related highlights for me:
1) we passed a motion for criteria that will admit self and independently published authors to our membership.
2) we launched the newly-designed platform of writers.ca on which members will be able to attract new clients via their keyword search-friendly profiles, market existing work and forge new relationships in the publishing industry.
3) PWAC has purchased the URL: canadiancreators.ca that will eventually be the home of an even bigger project. Stay tuned!
There were many personal highlights as well, but I’ll save those for a more private forum.
Has PWAC touched your life? Has attending a writers’ conference changed your life? Are you looking to network with Canadian creators? Please join the conversation.
And then join us back here the week of June 25th, for a guest post from Yvonne Perry, the successful author who educated us with her post on self-publishing just over a year ago.