Genrecon 2013

A cover

Oooh, my Con Report is way overdue! What a slack-ass. No, no, that’s not quite true. I’ve been working on stories and blogs, and editing the Gold Coast Anthology.

So, I drove up to Brisbane on Friday 11th uncertain of what to expect. Speculative fiction conventions have been my thing since 2010 but I knew Genrecon would be a little different. But my aims were the same… hang out with friends, have some laughs and get a sense of what genre fiction might be planning.

We love books!

In case you are saying, “What is Genrecon?”

It is a conference for writers of genre fiction. It was held at the State Library in Brisbane and run by Queensland Writers Centre. It was a wonderful weekend of workshops and talks by industry professionals, and conversations between friends. Both QWC and the venue shone, providing a wonderful event in beautiful spaces. The food was great, too.

The best part of the convention was talking to people who are passionate about reading and writing, and hanging out with online friends for reals.

I love to hear about writers’ different journeys. I love the way we share our experiences to encourage each other. I love to be a part of our community. The next one will be in 2015 and I highly recommend going.

Here is my pictorial record of the weekend. For much better photos, check out Cat Sparks’s Flickr.

The Opening Reception.

This photo doesn’t do the Terrace justice.

 It’s a lovely space, with an open wall out to a veranda.

Opening Reception


Lovely to meet Cameron Trost, Rob Hood and Greg Chapman.

Opening 3

Stacey Larner, Jodi Cleghorn and me. We maintained this red theme.


The crowd adjourned to Rydges.

Then off to…


karaoke 3

We took Fat Louies by storm.

karaoke 4

About twenty of us sang beautifully in a big private room.


Summer Nights, The Locomotion, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

A great night out!


I felt unfairly seedy on Saturday morning.

I stopped for a coffee and bumped into Sue Wright of Tiny Owl Workshop and we had a lovely chat about the generous spirit of the conference. Soon we were joined by Tom Dullemond and Chris McMahon. This is one of his new books. Never mind my face. It was malfunctioning.

Congratulations to Chris for having his trilogy out!

Chris McMahon

Lunch was the setting for…

Clan Destine Press’s triple book launch.


Cheryse speaks.

Three books were launched.

Book launch

“The Blood She Betrayed,” by Cheryse Durant.

“Unnaturals,” by Dean J Andersan.

“Flush,” by Jane Clifton.

Booklaunch 2

Dean, Cheryse and Jane.

Next was…

The Digital Firsts panel

with Amanda BridgemanAmy Andrews and Rebekah Turner.

Digital first panel

The advantages of publishing digitally include faster timeframes

and super convenient availability.

Saturday afternoon, members of the…

Australian Horror Writers Association

got together in West End.

Cat Sparks, Jodi Cleghorn, Stacey Larner and I were all wearing red.

Horror writers 2

Below are Greg Chapman, Cameron Trost, and Tom Dullemond (slurping beer in profile).

Horror Writers 3

Horror writers 4

Clwedd and Gary Kemble share a beer.

Horror writers 6

Horror writers 7

Dave Versace and Jodi Cleghorn.

Horror writers 8

Jodi, Rob Cook, Clwedd and Stacey Larner.

Then I had to dart home and dress up for…

The Cutlasses and Kimonos Banquet.

My cutlass saw plenty of action.


Sorry Chris.

Here are Jodi Cleghorn, Peter Ball and Kevin Powe talking nicely.

Cutlases and Kimonos

My table buddies were Amanda Bridgeman and Allanah.

Kimono Amanda

Kimonos&cutlases 2

The banquetters.


Kimonos Paul Landymore

Pirate Paul Landymore and I looking particularly scary.

Jodi and Ben

Ben Payne, me and Jodi Cleghorn.

I had a great night’s sleep and rebounded to arrive on time on…


First up was…

The Future of Genre Fiction.

Futures Meg Van

QWC CEO, Megg Vann, is so energetic and positive.

Future Alex Adsett

Alex Adsett was wonderful and informative.

I believe she said publishers were buying more books!

Anita Heiss 2

Anita Heiss talked about finding our niche as writers.

She was inspired to write stories of Indigenous women, to create social change.

Futures Peter Armstrong

Peter Armstrong, of Leanpub, was very entertaining, talking about early serials, and the power of serials now.


Genrecon Ninja, Aimee, keeping the show running!

Chris Andrews

Bright and bushy tailed audience, staring, Chris Andrews!

Lois Spangler

Clwedd and the lovely Lois Spangler who was so friendly, and gave me coffee.

The blurriness is the warm fuzzy energy.

Next was…

Beyond Rippling Muscles and Uzi 9mm

in which Rebekah Turner and Charlotte Nash illustrated story arc.

Story Arc 5

They used some of our favourite movies to demonstrate transitions.

Story arc 4

Here they are starting a clip.

Story Arc 3

The final panel I attended was…

Working Without Covers.

Working without covers

Narelle Harris, Sue Wright, Kevin Powe and Jodi Cleghorn of eMergent Publishing discussed their creative story delivery methods, including Kitty and Cadaver, and napkin and cushion stories — a fantastic new way to reach a new audience.


It’s hard to really explain how great writers’ conferences are. I hope this provides a taste. A wonderful spirit permeates an event like this; so much love for writing and stories.

Thanks to everyone who was there and all the people who worked so hard to make it such a great weekend. The event left me feeling very happy to be a writer.

Helen Stubbs


PS. If I’ve effed something up, up there — like misnamed you, or you don’t like a photo

— just let me know and I’ll fix it.

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