Typewriter in a photo posted to facebook.com/SurreyIWC.

Typewriter in a photo posted to facebook.com/SurreyIWC.

Virtual event again for Surrey International Writers’ Conference this fall

‘We simply could not see a path to non-essential travel and gathering by the hundreds’ in hotel

Surrey International Writers’ Conference is still eight months away but event organizers are already planning a virtual gathering, for a second straight year.

The 2021 dates for the annual conference, known as SiWC, are from Oct. 22 to 24.

“SiWC will be virtual again this year,” conference co-ordinator Kathy Chung told subscribers in an email Tuesday (Feb. 23).

“Like SiWC 2020, we’ll have virtual social spaces, night owl events, and more in addition to master classes, workshops, panels, and keynotes, all online.

“We did not make this decision lightly,” Chung added. “We simply could not see a path to non-essential travel and gathering by the hundreds in hotel banquet rooms being safe by October. Part of our rationale was the proposed vaccination schedule for BC, which, if all goes as planned, has our younger adults not being vaccinated until September/October.”

COVID-19 willing, the event will be back at the Sheraton hotel in Guildford in 2022, Chung noted.

“I hope you’ll join us for this year’s SiWC at Home. We were all thrilled with how well SiWC at Home 2020 went, and are working to make 2021 memorable, too.

“In the coming weeks we’ll post this year’s registration rates, and our presenters and program will be on our website (siwc.ca) closer to registration opening. Registration will open, as usual, the first Wednesday in June at noon Pacific.”

• RELATED STORY, from 2020: Bigger for 2020, online Surrey conference clicks with writers from around the world.

Last October, the online-only SiWC powered up with more people signed up than in previous years.

The 28th annual event, re-imagined as “SiWC at Home,” was announced in April 2020, a few weeks after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic.

Annually, the conference fills the Sheraton hotel with close to 700 delegates – but not last year, when the online edition united writers from 17 countries.

“With attendees, volunteers, staff, and presenters, we’re close to 750 (registrants),” Chung said at the time. “It’s bigger than the regular conference, which is no doubt in part due to the fact that we consistently sell out the available space in the hotel very quickly. We had a bit more flexibility with virtual space and so were able to accommodate more people.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The emergency department at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock, B.C., in July 2020. (Black Press Media)
Peace Arch Hospital Foundation reaches $12 million goal

New operating suites to open this fall

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Surrey RCMP asking for dash-cam video of ‘suspicious incident’

Incident involves a newer model Toyota Rav 4 SUV

Surrey RCMP are investigating a “serious” collision near Cloverdale Saturday evening. (Curtis Kreklau photo)
Surrey RCMP investigating ‘serious’ collision in Cloverdale

Witness says vehicle collided with utility pole at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

The Kimber family of Boston Bar lost their home in a fire. Blaine Kimber’s daughter created a fundraiser to help rebuild the home with the goal of $100,000. (Screenshot/GoFundMe)
Fundraiser created for Boston Bar family that lost everything in weekend fire

Witnesses say the Kimber family escaped the fire without injury, but their home is a total loss

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

The family of injured Willoughby resident Ronald Gerald Jesso is hoping someone saw something that will help solve the mystery of how he came to be so badly hurt on the morning of Feb. 22. Jesso is still in hospital. (Jesso family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
An appeal to help solve the mystery of an injured Langley man

Family of Ronald Gerald Jesso asks witnesses to come forward

Most Read