Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Guest Blog on Non-Fiction Conference in Banff ...

The Creative Non-Fiction Collective Annual Conference,
Banff, April 26 – 28, 2013

PWAC, Calgary Chapter

The CNFC Annual Conference was held at the Banff Centre this past weekend.  Approximately fifty delegates came together to participate in workshops, readings, a plenary session, to hear a guest speaker, do some networking, learning, experience camaraderie and enjoy good food!  Some people came all the way from Halifax and Nanaimo, plus many places in-between, including numerous writers from Alberta.

Six months ago, I was invited to join the CNFC by Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, an author based in Edmonton I have gotten to know over the last eighteen months because of our common interest in the history of aviation. 

Not knowing what to expect, but filled with anticipation, I signed up for the conference.  Two workshops were offered simultaneously in the morning:  “Ownership:  Stories and Lies” given by Tyler Trafford and Kate Braid, moderated by Myrna Kostash, and “Writing History into Your Work” by Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail. 

Attending Danielle’s session, I met other writers and people interested in pursuing writing and history.  We all shared what areas we were interested in and what tools we would need to accomplish our goals.  I came away with more ideas and was also able to contribute a few, too.  Before we knew it, our ninety minutes was over!  We were so engaged; we all agreed we could have stayed together until noon. 

The delegates had a break for refreshments then gathered for the plenary session featuring three people who discussed marketing, promotion and publicity of one’s work, the changes in the publishing ‘landscape’, technology, and readership trends.  A few new platforms were discovered, including Boulderpavement.ca.
Books written by members of the CNFC were on tables against the wall, available for purchase.

Then it was time for a delicious lunch, involving more discussion and networking, finding out about other writers and their projects.  It seemed time had flown by; we had to return to our afternoon workshops.  Two more choices were offered:  “Stories from the Road:  Travel Writing”, by Marcello Di Cintio and Glenn Dixon, moderated by Cathy Ostlere, and “Perspiration Leads to Inspiration” by Lynne Bowen.  I chose the second session.  Again, sharing of ideas and how to organize research occurred. 

Another refreshment break....yum!  Then to the Keynote Address by Karen Connelly, entitled:  “New Instrument, Another Music:  Moving from Fiction and Poetry to CNF.”  I had heard of Karen’s work, but have not read it, so to hear this famous Canadian writer speak, then read some of her poetry and prose was very enlightening.

The CNFC conference was excellent.  And a great deal.  For $73.50, I attended two sessions, the two general sessions, including all refreshments, a very extensive buffet lunch, and parking, too!  It was an easy drive up and back from Calgary!

The CNFC will be celebrating their tenth anniversary in 2014.  I highly recommend their next conference.  I look forward to joining them again.


  1. Great write-up, Anne. Any idea where the conference will be held in 2014?

  2. Nice to have met you, Anne. It certainly was a great conference with great food! Karen Connelly's keynote was fantastic, and so were all the others I attended. I have so much to process now that I'm back home!

    And I'll look forward to seeing you -- and everyone else -- next year in Calgary!

  3. I was sad to miss the conference, but very much appreciate this comprehensive round-up of events. It definitely sounds like a great time. Here’s to a future time and place…