North Shore Writers Festival

Where readers and writers meet


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Secrets of Successful Bloggers – Panel Discussion

The audience for the Secrets of Successful Bloggers panel was filled with people who had blogs or wanted to start blogging. The panel, Sean Cranbury (Books on the Radio & Advent Book Blog), Rebecca Bollwitt (Miss 604), Kelsey Dundon (The Anthology), Jeannette Ordas (Everybody Likes Sandwiches), and moderator Jenn Farrell (Canada Fancy) did a great job of introducing the topic.

After a discussion of how the panelists’ impulse to start blogging the direction was turned over to the audience. Some of the questions people asked were: How do you promote your blogs? By engaging in the wider community discussion on topics you’re interested in and creating content that your audience wants to share with their friends. The question of how people make money off blogs led to an interesting talk about the ethics of ads and disclosure of complimentary things to blog about. They discussed easy technical solutions for newbies and why someone might need more control. They talked about the difference between momentum and inspiration, and how using a pseudonym can get in the way of that.

The takeaways from the session are “Engage with your audience” and “Blogging is iterative and the blog you have today will be a different beast next year.”

It was a great panel, thanks very much to everyone involved.

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Getting Started, Getting Published – Panel Discussion

The North Shore Writers Association has a mandate to help writers get started and get published, so to assemble a panel of writers to talk about the topic of beginning as a writer. The panel today had Fran Bourassa, Gerhard Winkler, Sylvia Taylor, Lynn Crymble and Bernice Lever talking about all sorts of things.

The panel talked about topics like how each of the writers began as writers, what kind of doubts about their writing they’ve had since then (and what they’ve done about them), the value of writing organizations and groups, and the trials of getting published.

We had a 12-year-old and a physician who’d worked with the Hudson’s Bay Company 50 years ago ask questions and get big-picture advice, and people trying to find out how to stop getting lost in the manuscript. Lynn answered questions about her time spent planning versus writing the novel. Sylvia talked about writing prompts and avoiding internal editors (with the idea of having a lovingly-titled “barf draft”). Gerhard told stories of getting good honest feedback (even when they told him to kill the story). Fran encouraged the audience to not get hung up on getting published and start small.

Thanks very much to the North Shore Writers Association for leading such an informative and entertaining talk!