As a new leadership team moves into place, Jayne E. Self takes on a bigger challenge
JB: How many years have you been involved with Write! Canada,
Jayne: I came to my first conference back in 2000, but it was several years before I had the courage to step forward and volunteer. I have never looked back!
JB: Tell us about some of your volunteer work with Write! Canada.
Jayne: I was Manuscript and Appointment Coordinator for several years. That position allowed me to work closely with both faculty and conference attendees. The biggest plus of this job was the opportunity to help and encourage others. I got to know faculty, and be known by faculty, to know other writers, and learn as I previewed their work. Once we began pre-booking faculty appointments the work load increased exponentially.
This year, I am assuming a new role in Write! Canada, and we have someone else taking over my appointment responsibilities.
JB: What is involved in your new role as Assistant Director of Write! Canada?
Jayne: Write! Canada is growing. No longer can the few do the work required to administer a conference of this size. In order to continue as a national conference, the tasks once carried out by individuals are being distributed among teams. I am one of three coming alongside W!C Director N. J. Lindquist. We are busy learning what she has done in past years and assuming many of her responsibilities. I will be the faculty liaison member of our team. I think it’s very telling that it will take at least three of us to partially fill her shoes!
JB: What interested you in taking on this position?
I’m a little surprised to find myself here as I see myself as a care giver, rather than a leader. Since my first conference, I have progressed slowly from attendee, to volunteer to staff. I’ve seen God open doors and bless each step. This new position builds on what’s gone before, enabling me to care for more folks. I feel very honoured to be here.
Jayne: The skills needed to succeed as a writer today are as much about computers, Internet, and networking, as crafting a sentence. Write! Canada has given me the chance to learn these skills in a low pressure, supportive environment from unimaginably patient teachers.
I’m not the same, shy, uncertain person I was when I arrived at my first conference. God is using Write! Canada to transform me into the person He wants me to be. I find that immensely exciting and faith affirming.
If you were talking to someone considering attending Write! Canada for the first time, what would you tell them about the conference?
I would tell them that Write! Canada changed my life. God has used my involvement with W!C to grow me as a writer, and as a Christian. I have learned, made professional contacts and developed life long friendships. I would not be a published writer if not for W!C. That’s no exaggeration.
Jenny Burr of the Write! Canada PR Team interviewed Jayne. You can visit Jenny's blog here.