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Writers: Dump your preconceptions (and your word processor)

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Just a quick note to say I’m back from The Writers’ Union of Canada Toronto symposium on the state of publishing. I’ll be going through my notes and giving out reviews and information a bit at a time in coming days as I unpack my notes and cogitate. The conference was packed with information to act upon. Sorry for the tease, but I’m busy setting up a new browser (Opera) and a new file management system (Dropbox) tonight. (Both are free and come highly recommended by a guy you should bookmark,  get to know, subscribe to and read assiduously: Ross Laird. More on that in a moment.)

I met  some nice potential clients and made a couple of new friends. Since last year’s experience  at two writers’ conferences I realize I’ve been impatient for people to catch up with my worldview. At one conference a publisher displayed a pathological resistance to e-book reality. At the next conference I met my first e-reader power user who pledged never to buy a p-book again. I’ve been harping on the change from vanity publishing to self-publishing and all that entails ever since. So it was that I became cynical about this weekend’s symposium. I was so used to the sound of my own voice saying “the future is now” — voice in the wilderness that I am — that I didn’t think anyone was catching up. In most ways, the Writers’ Union certainly has caught up and is forging ahead with the new publishing reality. (I’ll address how they haven’t changed in another post soon.)

The Nugget You Need Tonight

Tech guru Ross Laird opened his first lecture with this:

SELF-PUBLISHING IS MAINSTREAM.

Note that he didn’t say it will be some day.

His message was strong: stop looking backward because the future of reading is on devices. Choosing self-publishing is to embrace a startling degree of freedom, fun, adventure, work and independence. Scary cool, huh? It was relief to hear someone articulate what I’ve been saying (although he’s more tech-oriented, glib and has slides.)

There is much to chew over from the symposium, but for tonight I’ll start you off with this link:

Read Ross Laird’s article on why you shouldn’t write on a word processor.

 

Tomorrow morning’s post:

How I Edit

I promise you’ll find this useful.

I’m deep into a heavy edit for a client this week but I’ll throw out some more gems I picked up at the symposium in coming days.

There is a lot of stuff happening all at once for me, this blog, my writing and my editing. It will take some time to get to it all.

Happy days.

It’s all scary cool.

 

Filed under: blogs & blogging, Books, DIY, ebooks, Editing, getting it done, publishing, Rant, self-publishing, Useful writing links, , , , , , , , ,

Since You Asked: Writing Symposium Link

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The Writer’s Union of Canada e-mail follows. (They requested we spread the word. It just occurred to me I should do just that. You know…here…obviously. Silly of me not to do so earlier. Apologies.) 

 

SPREAD THE WORD!

The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is offering the Professional Development Symposium “Secure Footing in a Changing Literary Landscape” in Toronto, St. John’s, Montreal, Ottawa, Regina, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria, in February and March of 2011. The symposiums take place from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Even if you have attended a Writers’ Union of Canada workshop in the past, you won’t want to miss this exciting new day-long exploration of the changing literary landscape.

Authors Betsy Warland and Ross Laird will illuminate the new landscape of digital literature and publishing and discuss its impact on traditional modes of creation. Kelly Duffin, the Union’s executive director, will discuss authors’ contracts in the digital age.

This full-day event is designed to address the creative and financial questions that arise as writers navigate print-based and digital literary landscapes. The symposium also explores the importance of community and the need for writers to develop their own writing community.

 Most workshops of this calibre charge hundreds of dollars. The price of this symposium is $75.00 and covers costs, including lunch. For registration information on the city and date closest to you please go to www.writersunion.ca/registration.pdf.  Please circulate this information to writers you think might be interested in coming to this event. Space is limited so register today.

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Filed under: authors, publishing, self-publishing, Writers, Writing Conferences, , , , , , ,

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