The first ever Sisters in Crime – Canada West retreat took place on August 18th. As things evolved, though, it ended up being two days of fun activities intended to allow the attendees to network and soak up information about all things writing.
We began with a social event on the Friday evening, August 17th. Well attended, the casual event brought together more than 40 sisters (and one brother!) in crime at one of Victoria, British
Columbia’s landmark social spots: Swan’s Pub on Pandora Street in the historic part of old Victoria. Guest of honor Laurie R. King happily schmoozed with BC and Pacific Northwestern siblings and other attendees in a casual and convivial environment.
The Retreat itself took place on Saturday. Tickets were sold out nearly two months in advance for a day of lectures by several of our esteemed membership. Chapter Vice-President Charlotte Morganti acted as emcee. The seminars opened with a very timely talk by Janice MacDonald called “Inclusion Rider: Populating the 21st Century Novel” that introduced the concepts of inclusion to her very interested audience. After a break, Kristina Stanley spoke on the always interesting topic of “Self-Editing for Writers” after which organizing committee member and past-president S.G. Wong spoke on the ever-popular topic of author marketing.
After lunch, Chapter president Linda L. Richards gave a talk on some of the open secrets of the publishing world. The day’s main event, of course, was international bestselling author Laurie R. King’s talk on sustaining a series. King spoke to a rapt audience, many of whom had shown up especially to see her. The Canada West Chapter was gratified that the Sisters in Crime Speakers Bureau made it possible to invite someone of King’s calibre to speak at our inaugural event. Superstar King was warm, approachable and very welcoming of all of the fans who turned up.
On Saturday evening, a multi-author panel spoke in front of a well attended community audience on the topic of “Author Alchemy: Spinning Facts into Fiction Gold.” Here again, anchoring star Laurie R. King showed her grace in giving warm and equal time to moderator and fellow panelists S.G. Wong, Janice MacDonald, Marcelle Dubé and Liz Freeland in an enthusiastic discussion right on topic.
The first ever mini-conference hosted by Sisters in Crime – Canada West was an unqualified success. Kudos go out to Retreat Committee Chair, S.G. Wong, and Committee members Charlotte Morganti, Marcelle Dubé, and Anne Hopkinson for all their hard work.