Supanova 2013 was my first time at a convention as an exhibitor. I attended as part of my group, Gold Coast Speckies. It was a fair amount of work to get organised, but we shared that fairly. And when we were there we had a great time.
Our goals were to increase our web and Twitter followings, and to get the word out about us and Speculative Fiction, and sell some books. Our Twitter following didn’t increase much at all, which is a wake up call. It seems that while many writers love Twitter, much of the world (even the geek world) is not on it. Most people were more interested in buying an e-book instead of a physical copy.
We were delighted with our experience and the conversations we had, though.
The best parts, for me, were the happy faces and the great costumes, and talking to writers who were taking the first steps onto their creative path. I told them to join the Vision Writers and GC Speckies Yahoo groups.
It surprises me, actually, that this is my first piece of advice to new writers. Maybe I should say something like, “Write every day.”
But I feel like getting into the community is the best place to start, because it’s your line to advice, critique and markets. But even more importantly, writerly friendship and understanding. I feel like I wrote in a vacuum through my twenties and it didn’t help me with the quantity or quality of my writing.
On Wednesday I’m heading to Canberra for Conflux, for a long weekend packed with panels and meetings and afternoon teas and dinners. I can’t wait! Actually, I better go and pack.
My panels are: “Birth, Life and Death — Life Transitions in Speculative Fiction,” that’s on Thursday night at 9pm. Jodi Cleghorn can pinch me to keep me awake. My other panel is “Writing Communities” on Saturday morning at 10am. If I am hung over for this panel, my key point of advice will be, “Do not drink too much with one part of your writing community and embarrass yourself in front of another of your writing community the next day.”
Jokes aside — I promise not be (obviously) hung over or sleep deprived — I am very much looking forward to both of these panels. Speaking at Natcon is a little scary because there are so very many very knowledgeable writers about, but I think we all have unique insights and different views to share.
Goodnight and good writing and reading!