CNFC Annual Conference

Chief Bev Sellars at the CNFC's 10th Anniversary Conference, Calgary, Alberta

Chief Bev Sellars at the CNFC’s 10th Anniversary Conference, Calgary, Alberta


We are a group scattered across Canada. Every spring we hold our annual Conference, a weekend event filled with sessions and workshops geared to help our members develop and enrich their professional skills. This Conference brings us together for a lively, convivial weekend of readings, talks, workshops, discussions, and our Annual General Meeting.

A feature of each Conference is the Keynote Speaker. Previous Keynote Speakers have included such distinguished authors as Ronald Wright, Karen Connelly, John Vaillant, Sarah Leavitt, Andrew Nikiforuk, Heather Robertson, Charles Foran, and Erna Paris. Workshop and Plenary sessions have covered such topics as copyright, self-marketing, the memoir, hybrid forms of CNF, travel writing, the nonfiction novel, and creative nonfiction in international contexts. It’s a weekend not to be missed.

2015: Victoria, BC

This year, we head to beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. Our 11th Annual Conference is scheduled for April 24-26, 2015 at the gorgeous Inn at Laurel Point. To book accommodation at our special negotiated reduced rate, please click here.

Call for Workshop Proposals:

The Conference Committee is looking for workshop proposals for the 2015 Victoria Conference (April 24-26, 2015). We want great ideas that will interest our conference attendees.

How about a workshop about the “Personal Essay”?
Or, “Writing Great Beginnings”.
What about, “Building Dramatic Sentences”?
Or, “Shaping Your Voice?”
Or maybe something practical: “How To Get Your Publishers To Work For You”!
Surprise us!

We’re looking for workshops with 1-3 presenters, 75 minutes long. Honorarium – $250 pp.

Applications will be accepted from any current member who is planning to attend the Victoria conference, except Conference Committee members and Board Members.

To submit a proposal we require a few things:

Title of the Workshop
Description of Workshop – no longer than one page
AV needs – if required
100 word bio of each presenter

Please send your workshop proposals to the 2015 Conference Committee Chair – JoAnn Dionne,

NEW DEADLINE: December 31, 2014.

Successful presenters will be notified in February.



2014: 10th Anniversary Conference, Calgary, Alberta

Our 10th Anniversary Conference was held at Calgary’s Fairmont Palliser Hotel from May 2-4. We added a Friday afternoon Master Class for the first time. Our keynote speaker was Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress. Our expanded lineup of presenters included Denise Chong, Bev Sellars, Mark Abley, Peter Midgley, Sharon Butala, Marjorie Doyle, Madeline Sonik, Lauren Fath and Joanna Eleftheriou. For the first time, we had pre- and post-Conference readings at a local bookstore. To top it all off, we hosted our first ever Literary Walk.

2013: The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta

In 2013, the ninth annual CNFC Conference was held at the beautiful Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta from Friday to Sunday, April 26-28.

Events of the weekend included a Welcome Reception, the Friday Night Reading Cabaret, and the Readers’ Choice Awards on Saturday evening.

On Saturday afternoon, award-winning author Karen Connelly presented her Keynote Address, “New Instrument, Another Music: Moving from Fiction and Poetry to CNF” to an appreciative audience that filled the room.

Saturday workshops included “Ownership: Stories and Lies” presented by Tyler Trafford and Kate Braid, “Writing History into Your Work” presented by Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, “Stories from the Road: Travel Writing” presented by Glenn Dixon and Marcello Di Cintio, and “Perspiration Leads to Inspiration” presented by Lynne Bowen.

Our Plenary Session, “What the Heck is Going On?” was an informative panel discussion about the current status of digital publishing that featured industry experts Don Sedgwick, Stephen Ross Smith, and Allison McNeely.

The weekend finished off with our Annual General Meeting on Sunday morning followed by a farewell lunch.

2012: Vancouver, British Columbia

Our 2012 Conference took place at the Carey Centre on the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver, BC, from May 23-24, 2012. The first day featured a CNFC Business Meeting and an evening of Cabaret Readings and the Readers’ Choice Award. The second day was a full program. John Vaillant gave the Keynote Address, “Backseat Driving: Building Character and the Narrative Engine in Long-form Non-fiction.”

Workshops included “Dealing with Time in Creative Nonfiction” presented by Christin Geall and David Leach, “Writing from the Archives” presented by Julija Sukys, “Literary Cross-Dressing” presented by Alisa Gordaneer and Cathy Ostlere, and “Writing About Politically or Socially Charged Topics” presented by Deborah Campbell. The day finished off with a Plenary Session titled “The Latest on E-books” presented by Michelle Demers.

2011: The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta

Our 2011 Conference was held at the Banff Centre from April 29 – May 1.

Sarah Leavitt, author of Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Motheer and Me, delivered the Keynote Address, “The Graphic Memoir and Creative Nonfiction.” Workshops in 2011 included “The Trouble with ‘Momoirs’presented by Christin Geall, “Read the Fine Print: The Perils of Author Contracts” presented by Don Sedgwick, “Going Over the Edge: Sex and Creative Nonfiction” presented by Monica Meneghetti and Mette Bach, “Who Judges the Judges?: Behind the Screen of Canada’s CNF Contests” presented by Andreas Schroeder and David Leach, and “Tricks and Tweets: How to Build an Author Platform,” presented by Don Sedgwick.


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