GenreCon 2012: How it Went!
Well, GenreCon was on the weekend and sadly, we are now in the work week. For those who aren’t in the know, GenreCon is an annual conference that celebrates genre fiction and explores genre writing craft . There were panels, workshops and even a chance sit down and chat with an agent or to pitch to a publisher.
Fantasy writer Joe Abercrombie, Ginger Clarke from Curtis Brown and Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, were guest speakers. They were very approachable and full of great advice. Sarah Wendell’s talk, Author Platform 101, was packed. It was very interesting to hear her talk about the uses of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest when promoting yourself as a writer. Joe Abercrombie was hilarious in the Practical Worldbuilding panel. Ginger Clarke’s talk, entitled The Future of Agenting, highlighted how much things had changed in the industry, compared to five years ago. She talked some grim facts about the reality of publishing and how she found her role expanding beyond its usual parameters as she supported her clients in the current publishing climate. (Oh, and she also talked about Neal Stephenson, Sister Charlotte adds).
The Saturday night three course banquet was awesome fun, and the theme of Pistols and Parasols saw some great costumes. There was even an interesting clash of cultures when costumed revellers tumbled into the bar which was full of rowdy Parramatta younglings, fresh from the races and probably feeling like they’d wandered into another dimension. Sister Charlotte was asked if she was a leprechaun. No, she wasn’t. But perhaps if you’re a slightly sozzled racegoer, a leprechaun looks like a character from the Firefly universe.
I had some interesting conversations with other writers about their work and how they were carving their own way to publication and beyond. There were quite a few published writers at the conference, all interested in learning more about promoting and growing their careers, and everyone was happy to share their knowledge and experience.
The last session of GenreCon was a rousing debate on Plotting vs Pantsers. Kim Wilkins delivered a magnificent opening speech for the Plotters. There was much shouting and cat-calling, and things didn’t look good for the Pantsers side when one Pantser debater threw her notes on the floor to make a point and promptly forgot what to say next. Point made for the affirmative! Author Narelle Harris delivered an almost knock-out blow with her evangelist sermon on her sinful, sinful Pantser past. There was also much talk of Romans, sex and three-legged dogs. Daniel O’Malley, representing the Pantser side, made an interesting point when he pounced on the moderator and planted an ‘unplanned’ kiss. However, there is some suspicion that kiss might have been planned, making it a moot point.
So, a great weekend was had by all and even better, the organisers announced GenreCon 2013 will be held in Brisbane with additional academic stream. All I can say to that is: woohoo!