CNFC Annual Conference


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 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.

2014: Create, Discover, Connect, and Celebrate!

Our 10th Anniversary Conference will be held at Calgary’s Fairmont Palliser Hotel from May 2-4. We’ve made some changes this year. The first thing you need to know is that accommodation is separate from registration.

The next change is the Conference Fee, as approved at last year’s Annual General Meeting. We’ve kept it as low as possible: $80 for registration by April 2, $100 for registration between April 2 and 18.

And, separate from the Conference, we’ve added a special event: a Friday afternoon Master Class led by Lorri Neilsen Glenn – “Text, Time, Memory – The Art and Craft of Bricolage.” The cost is $25 for CNFC members and $40 for non-members.

The rest of the changes are in the Conference program itself! It’s terrific. You’ll recognize all the treasured CNFC features of the past, as well as some new ones. View the 2014 Program Outline. In addition to our fabulous keynote speaker, Ronald Wright, our lineup of presenters includes Denise Chong, Marjorie Doyle, Madeline Sonik, Lauren Fath, and Joanna Eleftheriou. And there will be more announcements coming soon. Don’t miss this event — the CNFC Conference has grown up!



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.


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.


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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