So you’ve taken a year off from work to finally finish your novel. The tale of your great-great aunt’s love affair with an ex-Nazi who fled Hungary to ranch in Saskatchewan has finally been immortalized in print. The only question left is, who will be fortunate enough to publish it?
It’s a question many Albertan writers find themselves asking, and few are fortunate enough to find the perfect publishing house for their work. A group of Edmontonians involved in the literary community decided to arrange for more face time between publishers and writers of poetry and prose.
“We wanted everyone [in the literary community] to be able to connect the dots and see how they fit into the big picture of the word industry,” says Peter Roccia, co-founder of the Get Publishing Communications Society. Since 2002, the society has held a regular bi-annual conference that has helped Albertan authors make the jump from arm-chair scribes to full-fledged novelists. Some attendees have gone on to build professional relationships with publishers, such as Avenue Top 40 alumna Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, who found a publisher for her second novel through the conference’s Pitch Camp.
This year, the Get Publishing Communications Society is partnering with Writers’ Guild of Alberta and the Editors’ Association: Prairie Chapter to create the Words in 3-Dimensions conference, widening its scope to include editors and agents in the mix as well. “There were many conferences just on writing, or just on editing, or just on publishing,” says Roccia. “What we wanted to do was bring those three essential functions together under one roof.” Aside from panel discussions and professional mixers, keynotes – such as Shelagh Rogers, host of CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter, and esteemed Canadian author Alistair MacLeod – will speak on each sector of the industry.
This one-of-a-kind conference has grown a lot since its inception, says Roccia, and he hopes it will gain attention on a national scale.
The Words in 3D Conference will take place May 24 to 26.