My Experience at Canada Write 2014

Last weekend was an experience I won’t forget. I was privileged to be in the presence of interesting creative bunch of writers. As an attendee of Canada’s largest writers conference I felt I had come home. Most attendees were writers who write from a Christian perspective, and include beginners and unpublished authors to the most famous published ones in addition to editors, agents, and publishers. Regardless of my own writing background or the lack of it, I feel I belong if only for the love of learning and getting some creative juices flowing.

Keynote speakers

Bloggers talk about the keynote speakers in their blogs so here is my perspective.

Ted Dekker, a writer with 49 books to his credit with a new one coming out in the fall spoke right from the heart. Since I’m not a fan of his novels I’m sorry to say I’ve never read any of them. But the man’s most interesting character and background intrigued me right from the start. His vulnerability and authenticity were totally evident in all his sharing. A son of missionary parents, his life sure has had many twists and turns. His search for identity and faith kept him writing darker novels for a while until he found a closer relationship with the Father. He talked openly about his personal struggles with success. What is the main thing? Not worldly success but finding the heart of the Father.

Credit to criminalatt via
Credit to criminalatt via

Ted told a story about a woman being chased by a tiger. When she came upon a cliff, she didn’t know what to do? She noticed a vine hanging down so she grabbed it and hung on tight. She looked up and saw a hungry tiger up above her, and then she looked down.

Credit tungphoto via
Credit tungphoto via

Another tiger ready to pounce. Caught between two tigers the woman closed her eyes and hung on to the vine. She focused on the situation, but realized she had nowhere to go. To make matters worse there were two mice – one black and one white –  which began to chew on the vine. When she finally opened her eyes she looked around. She situation had not changed. Looking for a way out, she noticed three strawberries. Bright red and delicious. She plucked them and ate. Joy filled her senses as she enjoyed the moment.

The moral of the story: find joy in the little pleasures in the midst of bad circumstances. Don’t miss the opportunities.

Credit Tina Phillips via
Credit Tina Phillips via

The enemy of your soul may accuse you day and night, but focusing on the Father will bring us through. Life may crush you into a corner, but there is hope.

Mark Buchanan, Associate Professor at Ambrose Seminary and former pastor, spoke on writing under the influence of the Holy Spirit. As writers we need to be better listeners when God speaks or when others speak. We need be like Samuel, “Hear I am, You called me”.


The abundance of workshops was amazing. I wanted to attend all of them. I took a few notes and purchased a few CDs to remind myself later. It’s just too much to take in such a short time. I can take what I need and leave the rest. There were teachings on non-fiction and fiction writing.

Inspiration is needed but writing is hard work, and there is so much to learn especially if you want to do it right. So it’s better to be slow than rush it without a specific road map and end nowhere.

Practical tips on so many areas of the writing process is so valuable. As I follow the leading of the Holy Spirit I can be assured He will guide me and help me to use the tools I now have.

My thoughts

We can get carried away with so much information that we forget to focus on the journey. My take on this is to take it one step at a time, one idea at a time, one project at a time.

Let go of fears and build the sandcastle. If the waves crash into it, then rebuild it. Never give up. That’s the essence of writing fiction, you create it in your mind. Let your imagination sour, and play in the sand.

Credit Andy Rytkonen
Credit Andy Rytkonen

If you have any inkling to write anything attend a writers conference. You’ll be glad you did. BTW….the food, fun and networking is so worth it.

Last weekend’s writers conference was another experience in my own writing journey. Included in the group of interesting creative bunch of writers is an honour that I don’t take lightly.

Check out my friend’s blog to read more. 

Stephanie Nickel: Strawberries and Sandcastles

The new webpage of  The Word Guild

What are your thoughts? About anything? I offer you my listening ear by reading your words and replying.

Pirkko Rytkonen

Wife, mother, and grandmother. Christ follower and seeker of truth. Blogging to inspire and encourage others.

2 thoughts on “My Experience at Canada Write 2014

    1. Yes, it was inspiring. Since I went last year for the first time, I knew what to expect so it was easier that way to select what I need at the moment. I know it costs money, but I take it as an investment in myself and a holiday! Hope you can get away to one in the near future!

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