Secure Footing in a Changing Literary Landscape

Professional Development Symposium for writers in all phases of their careers

Sponsored by the Writers’ Union of Canada and Canadian Heritage

This full-day event is designed to address the creative and financial questions that arise as writers navigate print-based and digital literary landscapes. Writers – unpublished, emerging, or established – will gain an insight into their role in the digitalization of the literary industry.

The symposium also explores the importance of community and the need for writers to develop their own writing community.

Authors Betsy Warland and Ross Laird will illuminate the new landscape of digital literature and publishing and will discuss its impact on traditional modes of creation and publishing. A particular emphasis will be placed on emerging modes of creativity, innovation, economics, and community. Kelly Duffin, the Union’s executive director, will discuss authors’ contracts in the digital age.

Betsy, Ross, and Kelly will assist participants to define and develop their personal and professional strategies to encounter (and enjoy!) the dynamic environments of contemporary writing.

Registraion Forms Are Available Here

Events will be held across the country

  • Toronto (February 4, 2011) Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Avenue
  • Toronto (February 5, 2011) Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Avenue
  • St. John’s (February 7, 2011) Memorial University of Newfoundland,
    Junior Common Room, Main Dining Hall, Irwin Road
  • Montreal (February 9. 2011) Concordia University,
    1455 de Maisonneuve West, Room H763
  • Ottawa (February 10, 2011) Carleton University, Leeds House, Room 124,
    1125 Colonel By Drive
  • Regina (March 7, 2011) University of Regina, Education Building, Room 114, 3737 Wascana Parkway
  • Calgary (March 9, 2011) University of Calgary, Olympic Volunteer Center,
    1833 Crowchild Trail NW
  • Vancouver (March 10, 2011) Simon Fraser University,
    Earl & Jennie Lohn Policy Room, Rm 7000, 515 West Hastings Street
  • Victoria (March 11, 2011) Ambrosia Conference & Event Centre, Powell Room, 638 Fisgard Street

Ross Laird, Ph. D. teaches creativity, psychology, creative writing,
counseling, and leadership at various educational institutions across
North America. He is an award-winning poet and scholar, a clinical
supervisor to social service agencies in the field of addiction, a
corporate consultant in the psychology of leadership, and best-selling
author of Grain of Truth: The Ancient Lessons of Craft. A new book on
addictions will be released in 2011. Please visit for
more information.

Betsy Warland is the author of eleven books of creative nonfiction and poetry. Her thirteen-year project, Breathing the Page – Reading the Act of Writing, is a collection of twenty-four essays about writing that was published by Cormorant Books in 2010. A creative writing teacher and manuscript consultant for authors and emerging writers, she is the Director of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University and of Vancouver Manuscript Intensive. Please visit

Kelly Duffin is the Executive Director of The Writers’ Union of Canada. As the association represents 2,000 Canadian book authors she is deeply involved in issues affecting the creators of Canadian content and actively engaged on evolutions in policy and publishing. Earlier in her career she worked at a literary agency, a reading series, a literary prize, a bookseller, and publishing companies. More recently she has been the CEO of national non-profit organizations.

At the Writers’ Union of Canada, we support the country’s authors by advocating for their rights, freedoms, and economic well-being.

We act collectively to address government and industry about public lending rights, tax reform, copyright legislation, freedom of expression and other industry issues.

We provide publications, professional development programs, contract advice, grievance assistance, group health benefits, funding for public and school readings, and numerous opportunities for communication and networking within the industry.

The Writers’ Union of Canada helps professional authors to stand together while they work alone.

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