After almost two years of planning, the inaugural Canadian Writers’ Summit finally had its debut at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, June 15 to 19. A collaboration between 14 national writing organizations, the super-conference represented many firsts: the pooling of resources to gain efficiencies and maximize ideas and the super-sized gathering of Canadian writers among them.
In total, around 800 writers and publishing and literary arts professionals attended the conference, which included keynote addresses by Lawrence Hill, Nalo Hopkinson and Heather O’Neill, panels about the business of writing, craft of writing, government funding models, equity and diversity in the literary industry, and the annual one-day Book Summit publishing conference.
I managed the communications on behalf of the conference, which included stops at The Candy Palmater Show and The National, and in the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail, as well as for the publishing trade press in Canada and the US.
CWS is set to take place every second year, with the next event scheduled for June 2018, also at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre.
In 2017, the organizing groups will host their own conferences and AGMs.