Five Rivers at When Words Collide Festival

From the Desk of Robert Runte:

Five Rivers will have seven authors and two staff attending the When Words Collide Festival in Calgary, August 14-16, 2015. It’s my favorite writers convention because of the high proportion of writers, the cross-genre orientation/cross-pollination, and the high quality of the programming.

I missed that Susan MacGregor (pictured below) was going to WWC this year until after I’d already done the poster, but she’ll be there too, and doing a reading from book 3 of the Tattooed Witch series, a historical fantasy set in a world reminiscent of 16th century Spain and the New World. Her other books include The ABC’s of How Not to Write Speculative Fiction is based on her 20+ years’ experience as a fiction editor with On Spec Magazine. She has edited two anthologies, Tesseracts Fifteen: A Case of Quite Curious Tales (Edge Books) and Divine Realms (Ravenstone Books). (I liked Tesseracts 15 better because it included on of my stories!) Her blog, Suzenyms, talks about writing and editing.

And I get a lot of business done there. Of the seven 5R authors who have so far confirmed they are going this year, I signed five of them to book deals with Five Rivers after meeting/hearing them read/talking to them at WWC. (The two exceptions are Nowick, who submitted through the publisher; and Susan MacGregor who I had first heard read at another convention, and I merely badgered her for her series at WWC. Still….WWC represents a great networking opportunity for writers, editors, publishers, and fans.)

For Five Rivers annual book session at WWC, this year we are doing a DOUBLE book launch on Saturday at 1PM (in Fireside Room): Marie Powell’s Hawk and Nowick Gray’s Hunter’s Daughter. Hawk is a young adult fantasy set in 1282 Wales, with a brother-sister team trying to save their family and the royal baby from the English invaders; Hunter’s Daughter is a murder mystery, and definitely not young adult. Nowick’s book has been available for a couple of months, but have to admit it’s touch and go whether Hawk will arrive in time from the printer’s–I caught a glitch with the chapter headings just as it was about to go to print, which put us a week or so behind schedule. Still, reasonably confident there will be copies to show and sell at the launch.

Five Rivers will also be doing a pitch session (come and try to sell your novel to Five Rivers and join the likes of the above, Dave Duncan, Ann Marston, Matt Hughes, and a host of others…; a blue pencil café where editors critique something you’ve written (for free!); and a number of panels.

I also recommend the pre-conference workshops, for which I understand there are still some openings, which I have found in the past to have been outstanding. Well worth the very low–deliberately accessible rates–charge. Last year I think I paid $40 each to listen to Adrianne Kerr–Penguin Canada’s editor for commercial fiction–and Mark Leslie Lefebvre, head of Kobo’s Writing Life arm, either of whom could easily command 10 times that for a workshop. (I can’t be there myself again this year, because I’ll be in New York until just the day before WWC Festival, otherwise would love to attend this year’s workshops.)

Try to catch our Five River author’s readings and panel appearances, and talk to our authors and staff at the various parties over the weekend. WWC doesn’t end when the programming is over–various publishers and organizations host open parties to which everyone is invited; and there is also the convention ‘consuite’, a low keyed, continuous party hosted by the con. Lots of opportunities for networking.

If you are going to WWC this year, I’d love it if you could get some pics of 5R people for me to post on the blog, Facebook, Pinterest and so on. Hey, maybe I should organize a scavenger hunt, with the first person/group to get pictures of all 9 5R authors/staff at WWC this year to get a free book? Well, we’ll see.