FAQ

Registration

When will registration open?

Early-bird begins Saturday, December 12th, 2015 for easy holiday giving. Regular registration opens Friday, December 25th, 2015. You can sign up for our newsletter or watch our website for that.

Am I ready for an intermediate or advanced-level workshop?

You’re considering coming to the Ontario Writers Conference, so you must be ready to improve upon your already-developing craft.  If this is your first conference, or you haven’t received feedback on your writing from anyone other than one or two close people, you may want to start with the first category of workshops. If you’ve been writing for a long time, polishing your work, participating in writers’ feedback groups, you’re most likely ready for the intermediate-level and advanced-level workshops. Advanced-level workshops are for those who may have submitted pieces for consideration by agents, editors, contests, magazines, and so have received professional-level feedback on your work. You may want to push yourself to unearth some of the hidden gems of your talent, or you just want to make sure you keep yourself challenged and thus produce a higher calibre of work.

Something’s come up and I need to cancel – what do I do?

Please contact Cynthia Englert at registration@thewritersconference.com  or call 905-985-4409. Remember, cancellations after January 31st, 2016 pay a $75 cancellation fee and fees are non-refundable after March 15th, 2016.

Do I register for the conference and a hotel stay separately?

The short answer is yes. You can find information about hotels here.

How will I know I’ve been registered?

After you’ve registered, we’ll send you a prompt confirmation via email of your registration and follow-up information about any add-ons (i.e. – blue pencil session, etc.).

For any other questions about registration, either before, during, or after you’ve registered, please contact Cynthia Englert at registration@thewritersconference.com  and she’ll be pleased to get back to you. .

Conference

Where is the conference held?

Our eighth Ontario Writers’ Conference will be held from Saturday, April 30th, 2016 to Sunday, May 1st, 2016 at Deer Creek Golf Club, 2700 Audley Rd. N. Ajax, Ontario L1Z 1T7.

Is the conference inclusive and accessible?

Most definitely. All conference spaces are wheelchair accessible. Accessibility is an important priority, so please email Cynthia at registration@thewritersconference.com if there’s anything we can do to facilitate inclusion.

How do I address special dietary needs?

Please let us know when you register in the “Additional Information” section of the form.

Is there an age limit?

Yes, the attendees must be at least 16 years of age.

How do I volunteer?

Your contact person is Sandra Clarke and you can send her a message at info@thewritersconference.com. Volunteers must also be at least 16 years of age.

Do we get to mingle with authors and speakers?

You will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with many of the speakers, workshop facilitators, mentors and readers during the long day of activity – in the elevator, in the hallways, over drinks. Grab your opportunities. Make your own connections.

What’s a blue pencil session?

A blue pencil session is the opportunity to sit down with a writing mentor over three pages of double-spaced, 12-pt. writing of your own. The 15-minute time slot with a mentor that you select from our list will allow you to receive feedback (not editing) to the submission that you send us in advance. You can chat about your writing life, your process and any problems/issues you’re having in the writing itself. You can flag an area of concern in your written material for your mentor to address. Bring a second copy of your selection in order to follow along with your selected mentor. Your mentor will provide you with their opinion on your strengths in the selection and what could be improved upon. It is then up to you to utilize their critique while maintaining your own voice and sensibilities when you take your piece to its next stage. This option is an add-on to your conference registration. Fees for Blue Pencil Sessions can be found here.

What’s a practice pitch?

A practice pitch session is the chance to present your “elevator pitch” (a quick synopsis with hook for interest) to an agent of your choosing after they have read the first page of your previously submitted manuscript (double-spaced, 12-pt., serif format) and a query letter of said manuscript.  You will have the chance to practice “selling” your story. During the 15-minute session, the agent will give you feedback on both your written synopsis and first page and your spoken “elevator pitch” to give you an idea of what an agent looks for when searching for new manuscripts. The practice pitch session does not guarantee placement with an agent; the session is designed to help you improve your skills and confidence when you are ready to start looking to sell your book. This option is an add-on to your conference registration. Fees for Practice Pitch Sessions can be found here.

What should I wear?

Don’t let the word “Conference” fool you – we’re not all business-suits and dress shoes. Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and unique. Be prepared for air conditioning, however.

What if I don’t like…

Is there something in particular that’s bugging you? Some things we can deal with right away. Search for one of the OWC staff or volunteers on site during the conference, and we will be happy to help you with your concerns.  Since this is a writing conference, we also provide feedback sheets for you to complete after each session and at the end of the conference, if you best express your concerns in writing. We do want to make your OWC experience the best that it can be.

You can also send us an email at any time at info@thewritersconference.com and we will respond to any other matters you wish to bring to our attention.

Who do I contact to suggest presenters?

Please send along their names and contact information to info@thewritersconference.com and we’d be happy to get in touch with them. We are a “working” conference, so we need to verify and confirm whoever we work with. Please note that speakers and presenters will be confirmed by the time of registration, but we always welcome suggestions for future conferences. We appreciate your input!

Have a great time. Pace yourself. Remember to stay hydrated – water is allowed in all conference room, and coffee and tea service is available during all breaks. Network and mingle. Find your favourite author and chat!

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