I had a fabulous time at the Creative Ink Festival and am sending a big thank you to author Sandra Wickham for bringing this event into existence. It was my first time going and it was so energizing! I ventured out of my midnight writing cave and into the daylight hours to learn new ideas, check out fantastic books, and meet other writers and artists.
I recently had my story “Grounded” accepted into the science fiction anthology Tesseracts Twenty: Compostela. And who did I get to meet at Creative Ink…but Brian Hades, the head of EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing which puts out this Canadian anthology. Writing is a very solitary event for me where sending out stories via the Internet is the closest I come to connecting with others, so it is wonderful to meet the people who are making a “home sweet home” for my stories. “Grounded” will get to be mere pages away from work written by Robert J. Sawyer. In case you don’t know who he is, check out his biography below from EDGE’s website:
“Robert J. Sawyer is one of the most successful Science Fiction authors in Canada and the world. He has written numerous novels which have been translated into several languages, and has contributed to a number of anthologies and publications. He was part of the group that founded Vision TV, the world’s only multi-faith television service, and hosts the Vision series Supernatural Investigator. He has won the Hugo, Nebula, Aurora, Seiun, Galaxy, Audie, Skylark, Homer, Hal Clement, John W. Campbell Memorial, and Arthur Ellis Awards, as well as a number of other prestigious Science Fiction accolades.”
At the conference, I was not only able meet Robert J. Sawyer, I was able to get a blue pencil session (this is where a professional in the field will tell you the good, bad, and ugly truth about your writing) with him. He had a selection of pens neatly lined up like a brain surgeon ready to dissect my short story. I was so nervous to have such an established writer look at my work that I felt like my own personal rain storm. I had prepared myself for a horror flick amount of red slash marks to criss-cross my pages.
I was completely astonished when he had only positive things to say about my writing. He circled things he really liked in my story. He told me I should be writing books and I felt so overwhelmed. It’s like being a Muggle and being told by a Grand Wizard that I do have magic (Can you tell I’ve been reading Harry Potter with my kids?). It was so amazing to meet him, and I feel so inspired and excited to get back into writing more.
If anyone ever wonders if it is worth it to go to conferences, I would definitely say yes. I am already looking forward to the next Creative Ink Festival.