This was my second year attending and paneling at the Creative Ink Festival (#CIFest18). This year my time was a limited and I only talked one panel, but I also did a bit of volunteering. Both are a really great way to get your face in front of people and meet fellow authors. I love how low key and friendly everyone is at this event, and if you live within driving range of Vancouver, I recommend checking it out in 2019.
And you, yes you, writers with even just one short story sale, or self-publisher of books, can get on a panel. You want to propose a panel topic? They’re all for it. You want to try moderating? You’ll probably get your chance. You want to try pitching your novel, or having some writing critiqued? There are opportunities for you. It’s a festival where we’re all peers, so it’s a lot more comfortable than some of the other writing conventions that I’ve been too.
The honest truth? Speaking in front of a crowd terrifies me every time, and that’s why I keep doing it. Maybe one day I’ll actually feel as relaxed as I pretend to be.