WritersButt Goes International


Earlier today on Twitter I tweeted a teaser that I’d have a fun announcement today on WritersButt Wednesday.  Well here I am and I’m so darn excited, I don’t know where to start.  So, I’ll start back at the beginning to give you the whole picture.

About 10 years ago, I attended my first big writers’ conference and it was AMAZING.  I went to the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, which is in Surrey, BC. You guys, it seriously overwhelmed me with awesomeness.  I was a fairly new writer at the time and I soaked it all in and just let the experience wrap around me.  I continued to attend for many years, skipped a year or two, and then went back again, I think 2008 or 2009 was the last time I went.  Each time was wonderful for a different reason. The workshops changed and as I grew and developed as a writer, I got different things out of the conference. Also, this was the annual meet-up for my fantastic, incomparable, critique group.  Some of the best moments of the conference actually happened in our hotel rooms on the floor eating take-out sushi (I know a great place if you’re going … ask me in comments!!) and drinking wine. We’d plot, brainstorm, and dissect workshop notes.  It was beyond wonderful.

Then my critique group decided to switch gears a bit and we got together for retreats amongst ourselves, or we did smaller events, and as we always did, we were (and still are) in constant contact online.

But that last year in Surrey, late one night in one of our hotel rooms, we said, we’ll get back to Surrey but when we do, we want to be on the other side of the room.  Meaning, we want to be a presenter.  It was a huge statement because throughout the years, Surrey has pulled in the cream of the crop in terms of presenters.  Some highlights for me have been Anne Perry, Donald Maass, Elizabeth George, Elizabeth Lyon, Diana Gabaldon, Jack Whyte … and many, many more!

So, what does all this have to do with WritersButt?  I’m getting there, unless you’re late for a workout, in which case, go and work your butt off and come right back.

Alright, so last fall I decide to start a blog.  This happens concurrently with the very smart decision to take Kristen Lamb’s two-month long blogging and branding class based off her book, We Are Not Alone.  Also at the same time, one of my critique partners was going through some health issues and started talking to me about fitness and nutrition. Then she had the fabulous idea about me helping other writers with fitness and health.  Long story short — WritersButt was born and I made it a regular feature on my blog every Wednesday.

How do the Surrey conference and my little blog and WritersButt have any connection.

Well ….

I’m thrilled, excited, and completely blown away to announce that I will be a presenter this year in Surrey, at my favorite conference and will be giving a WritersButt workshop, connecting the body and mind for writers in terms of more creativity and better health.

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!  — Y’all join me screaming, we’re family here! — Woooo-Hooo!!!!!!!

Oh, you want proof?  Fine, how’s this?

Ginger’s Presenter Page!

There it is. I went from newbie writer attending my very first conference in Surrey. To working my craft, taking Kristen Lamb’s class and becoming a WANA, starting my blog and coming full circle and heading back to Surrey.

Here’s another really cool fact.  That very first year, at the last lunch of the conference, I sat next to Jo Beverly.  We were all told to put our lanyards/nametags on the table so they could recycle them.  Jo’s had a presenter’s ribbon on hers and I jokingly said, “Some day I hope to have one of those.”  She took the ribbon off and handed it to me and said, “Keep it, focus on it, work at it, and some day, you will.”  I saved that ribbon and did all those things.

I think I will cry when I pick up my conference packet and see my own presenter’s ribbon this year. I’m crying already!  Maybe I should email Jo Beverly and let her know how that impromptu moment planted a seed that I sowed and made grow into my dream.  But not alone, no!  The past decade was with an incredible critique group, an amazing family, and now, my new, amazing WANAs, who are like a tidal wave of support and all things spectacular!

It would over-the-top, freak-out-amazing, if any of you attended the Surrey Conference this year and I got to meet you.  It’s a stellar conference.  Registration opens soon, on June 6th.  I’m going to be doing some morning power stretches before the workshops begin and I’ll work with and meet anyone in the gym if they want some extra guidance.  So, who’s coming?


About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on May 30, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 81 Comments.

  1. Coleen Patrick

    Congrats Ginger! Spectactular news 🙂 So, so cool–can’t wait to hear all about it!!

  2. This is amazing, Ginger! You deserve it all!
    And I was planning to go to this conference too–as a mortal, not as a presenter 🙂

  3. Awesome news, Ginger! I’m so excited for you!! I wish I could go to the conference to meet you, that would be such a blast, but it’s not in the cards for this year. Make sure you get lots of pics and I look forward to reading about it. Congrats again, my friend!

  4. Karen McFarland

    Yay, Ginger! I am standing up and applauding you girl! You’ve worked very hard for this! Congratulations! This is so cool! 🙂

  5. Congrats, Ginger! I love hearing how pals’ idea and passion seeds grow into awesome plants and forests. 🙂 Please let us know how it goes and how we can support ya.

  6. Sooooooooo fabulous, Ginger!!! Your presentation will be awesome!!!

  7. Julie O'Connell


  8. Aaaaah! I love this! I remember when Jo Beverly gave you that tag. And you’ve worked so hard for this…see how far you’ve come! You’re a marvel. Congratulations, my dear!!!

  9. Trish Haller


  10. That’s fabulous, Ginger. Congratulations!

  11. Woohoo! Ginger, that’s spectacular!

  12. WOW! If that don’t beat all! Woo Hoo! Way to go! I’m so excited for you!

  13. Ginger, that is simply amazing! How wonderful for you! You must be beside-yourself crazy excited. Congratulations!

  14. Congratulations! The Surrey conference has been on the back burner for me for awhile. One day I’ll make it there.

    • Thank you, Sally and Debra! Obviously I’m super excited. 😉

      Julie–yes, do try to make it some day. It’s a very special conference. A lot of fun, packed with knowledge … just class A!

  15. marcykennedy

    This is awesome news! You’re going to love being faculty at a writer’s conference. it’s an amazing and humbling experience. I’m so proud of you! We already knew Writer’s Butt was great and now you’re even bringing it to my country 🙂

    • I’m so excited, and as you say, totally humbled, to be able to experience this from a ‘faculty’ perspective. Still unreal! By the way, I have loved Canada every time I’ve been there. It’s always been for this conference so my experience is limited, but I’m quite certain it’s all lovely and fun, right? Everyone is so nice and helpful. This conference is right before Halloween and the kids make me bring back chocolate because you know how the candy is better over the border. 😉

  16. Wow, Ginger, this is awesome news. Congratulations! I wish I could be there to see you and I know you’ll do a great job. 🙂

  17. Way to go Ginger Nija Chick on a roll!! Plus now you can blog about how to take care of your body while traveling and at conferences — win win all around!! Cheers!!!

    • I totally *HEART* you, Mary! And as usual, you have the best ideas! Going to blog about traveling and surviving a conference without sabotaging your nutrition, etc. What a fab idea!!

  18. So excited for your Ginger! Know it will be an awesome conference. Not sure about meeting in a gymn for exercise though. Conferences are about bars and lounges aren’t they???

  19. WOOT!!!! I screeched that so loud the reverberations are drowning out anything else I have to say. Will continue to woot in the medium of dance: doin the happy dance for you!!!

  20. Nancy J Nicholson

    What a wonderful milestone and a great testament to the power of goals. Congratulations and well, done!

    • Exactly, Nancy. I firmly believe in visualization and keeping your mind and your heart focused on your goals. It’s so gratifying when those dreams come to fruition.

  21. Woot woot – fantastic news!! Congrats Ginger….you are gonna knock it OUT of the park!

  22. Congratulations! That is so exciting! I would love to go and hear you speak, but it depends on when Surrey is, and where it is. It might be on the wrong side of Canada for me. I can’t wait to hear all about how the experience was for you after you present!

    • Emma, I hope we get to meet in person one day. So, the conference is in Oct (19-21) and it’s in Surrey, BC, which is right by Vancouver. So, you’re close NOW but by Oct, you should be enjoying the breeze through the Miami palm trees! 🙂

  23. A dream come true! I’m so happy for you and I know you words and encouraging spirit are going to inspire so many more writers to get healthy! Squee!!!!

  24. Elena Aitken

    YAY!!! You know how happy I am for you!! Seriously…this may sway my decision…..
    Enjoy every second of it, you deserve it!! And it’s just the start…

  25. This is seriously, wickedly FABULOUS! Congrats, sweet friend!

  26. This is amazing news!! Congratulations Ginger! I cant wait to hear all about it.

  27. Congratulations! So happy for you that your dream has come true. 🙂 I’ll be at Surrey (LOVE that conference!), so maybe I’ll see you there!

  28. OK, I totally squealed in my kitchen over your story! That’s fantastic, and just further confirms my impression that both you and Jo Beverly ROCK. 🙂

    • Aw, thanks, Jenny! Love that you you squealed for me … even though that sounds all sorts of ‘wrong’. 😉 I’m going to see if I can email Jo Beverly and let her know. She was so nice!!

  29. This is exciting news, Ginger! You’ve done so much good with your fitness/good health/empowerment project, and now a new audience will hear your message–and the word will spread. Writers need you.

  30. Awesome. I love the way you paste the picture of your presenter page – like we wouldn’t believe you!


  31. Way to go, Ginger!!!! I would love to attend the conference but am afraid it’s a bit out of my budget to travel this year. You will be insanely awesome as a presenter!

    • Thank you, Lynette. Truth is, it was out of my budget too because I did an intensive plotting weekend recently where I used my ‘conference’ money. But, since I’m presenting, I guess I better make it happen. 🙂 I appreciate the support. Through my workshop, I’m going to be feeling all the Wana-Love and amazing support of all my friends. Everyone will be there with me, that’s for sure.

  32. That is so awesome!! Congrats!! Way to focus and make those dreams come true, so proud of you:)

  33. I teared up a bit myself, Ginger! I remember my first time presenting at a conference in my field. It was one of the finest moments of my life (and it was a tiny, little local conference — not SURREY! And it took me way more than a year to get there.) I’ve presented at about a half dozen more after that and it never got old. It is such a sweet, legitimately-narcissistic moment when a bunch of people are hanging on your words because you have something to offer them that could change their life. Enjoy! I know you will be great!

    • Thanks so much, Kass. Your description so closely matches my feelings about it that I got all goosebumpy again. I’m reminding you about those ‘tips’ for when we get closer! 🙂

  34. Sorry I am late, Ginger. Please excuse the delay. WOW!! This is fantastic news. Congratulations, Ginger!. We both send our best to you. Plenty of hugs to go with it. :))

  35. that is so freakin’ awesome. The entire story. You’re so lucky to have a critique group like that. And all your hard work and wonderful spirit has paid off and now you’re a PRESENTER! Wow! I’m so thrilled for you.

    • Your excitement is so fun, Ellie. Thank you! You are 100% correct. I really am SO lucky to have my critique partners. We’ve been through thick and thin and everything in between for over a decade. They are my family.

  36. Fantastic, Ginger! My agent signed me at SiWC, so I can attest to how awesome it is. I will be there again. And I will bring Elena. She’s in my writing group. There is not way she’s not going…

  37. Can’t believe I didn’t see this until just now. I love this post, Ginger. LOVE! You know why. : )

  38. Looking forward to attending your workshop and getting great tips for my “writers’ butt”!!
    SiWC Conference Chair

    • Hi Camille. I look forward to meeting you. Yay, at least 1 person coming outside of my critique partners. That makes at least 4-5 of us. *giggle* I have all sorts of tips and will try very hard to make it fun. 🙂

  39. I think my butt is beyond help, but I hope to meet you at the conference. My idea of coming back to it “on the other side” is to attend some day as a contracted author… to be able to absorb all the inspiration without any of the pressure to pitch or impress, and to be able to give encouragement to others. In the meantime, I know I’ll love being there as much as I always have. Great presenters, great workshops, great people, great books, even great food. What’s not to love? 🙂

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