Monday, November 5, 2012

Some Tips I learned from Genre Con 2012 #gcoz

Over the weekend I attended Genre Con, a three day convention for Australian fans and professionals working within the fields of romance, mystery, science fiction, crime, fantasy, horror, and more. I met so many aspiring authors, established authors, agents, editors and other industry professionals. I had a brilliant time. Below are some highlights:

Peter Ball stressed the importance of having defined goals for your writing career, preferably developing a five year plan.

Alex Adsett, consultant and literary agent, spoke about contracts in the digital age, including great information on copyright laws and royalties.

I attended a panel of editors and publishers including, Jodi Cleghorn, Sarah JH Fletcher, Bernadette Foley and Irina Dunn. They spoke about many things including how editing should be approached as a discussion between two people about a piece of work. Also of note, they discussed how sometimes aspiring writers ask for professional level feedback from friends and family. They gave suggestions on how best to get quality feedback.

International guest, Joe Abercrombie, author of many dark fantasy novels including the First Law trilogy and his latest standalone, Red Country, spoke about how it’s important to find something you’re passionate about. If you are bored, then how can you expect anyone else to get excited about your work?

Ginger Clark, New York agent with Curtis Brown LTD, had a fantastic talk about the future of agenting, the role of an agent, and how it’s changed so much in the last few years. Tip: publishers want books more polished because they no longer have as much time to develop them. So, authors, don’t get complacent and think, 'near enough is good enough'. Make sure your manuscript is the best it can be before you send it off.

There were other fantastic workshops and panels, for example, the three stages of a writers career, practical worldbuilding, how to develop your author platform, and much more. The weekend finished with a hilarious debate, Plotters vs Pantsers.

I came away inspired, excited, and exhausted all at once. Meeting so many people in the industry was such a buzz. This weekend reminded me how important it is to connect with other writers and industry professionals. If you haven’t gone to a convention before, then my advice is do it!

Have you ever been to a convention? If not, what’s holding you back? What’s the best thing about the conventions you’ve attended?

This post was written for the Insecure Writers’ Support Group. This group is the brain child of Alex J. Cavanaugh. We post every first Wednesday of the month (I love to be a rebel).

Note: I made the list Masters in English published recognising the Top 25 Reading and Writing Resources for English Buffs.


Thanks: A huge thanks to Alison Stuart. I won a generous prize pack from this lovely author.

Make Believe: A HUGE thank you to those who have already put their name down to help me celebrate the launch of the Make Believe anthology on December 3rd. You are AWESOME!!! I have placed the list on my Make Believe Tab found HERE. There's still time to add your name. There will be cake.

#gcoz
#iwsg
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44 comments:

  1. Wow. Sounds like a great convention. I love soaking up that kind of stuff and the kind of buzz one gets being around writers and professionals in the industry. Thanks for sharing all the highlights. I need to think about my 5 year plan.

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  2. GenreCon sounds awesome! I've yet to visit a convention; there's just not that many anywhere near me :(

    Jamie

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  3. No, I haven't been to a writer's convention before, mostly because there only seems to be one in the place I live each year and it seems like too much hard work to get along to it whenever it's here. I'd love to actually go elsewhere and attend a convention though. Like, say, the U.S. ;)

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  4. I've never been to a writer's convention. I know, need to do something about that.
    Editing is a discussion between two people. Like that description. One of my critique partners excels at that and helps me come up with some great ideas. And my publisher's editor is cool as well.
    Wednesday is the IWSG! Thanks for reminding everyone.

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    1. yes, but I don't post on a Wednesday and I have something else scheduled for Thursday... You'll forgive me, yes?

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  5. Excellent! I love going to conferences. I always come away revved up and ready to go. And I'm a BIG fan of Joe Abercrombie's writing. Hearing him talk would have been a highlight for me.

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    1. I even got to chat with him during one of the breaks. He is such an interesting person.

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  6. I've been on a few conventions of English language teachers and it was like taking a sedative... I had to flirt with some of the colleagues around me to keep myself from falling asleep :)))

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    1. I bet those colleagues had the best time of their lives ;)

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    2. well, I did wake up next morning next to one of them LOL

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  7. A five year plan. Whew. I know it's a good idea, I just feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants here. :)

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  8. Awesome! Glad you were able to go, and got such good support. Conferences are great for that! YES, definitely writers need to have polished works out there. That's why it's doubly important to have an agent who's editorial--or else have professional editing done. :)

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  9. Glad you got a chance to go to such a fantastic conference, L!

    'They gave suggestions on how best to get quality feedback.'

    And some of those were ... ?

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    1. I might write up a post on this subject in the nearish future... ;)

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  10. Sounds like such a fantastic convention! I've never been to one ... I don't know if there are any in South Africa.


    PS - Almost finished reading Make Believe!

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    1. I hope that you're able to attend a convention one day. They are soooo great.

      Oh, exciting about Make Believe. I hope you are enjoying it.

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  11. wow! Sounds like you got some great feedback, Lynda! Thanks for sharing... I really do need to get that 5-year plan on paper... :p <3

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  12. Great notes from your conference! And there's that 5 year plan again. I so not good at those. Maybe I can hire a 5 year planner person.

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  13. Glad you had a great weekend! Thanks for sharing with us. I've been to a good handful of conferences and always come away with great info and inspiration. :)

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  14. Thanks for sharing these fab nuggets! I really relate to writing about something I'm passionate and excited about - I've tried diversifying and only to realise just how contrived the end result was - not good at all!!

    Take care
    x

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    1. It's good to occasionally experiment, because you won't know for certain until you try. An yep, I hear you regarding the contrivances (my failed experiments are hidden in a drawer). Yep, yep, yep... ;)

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  15. Hey Lynda. I'm so glad you enjoyed Genre.com. Some of us discussed coming down but decided against it as the Gold Coast Festival was on too. It sounds like it was worth attending and that you got so much out of it.
    Congrats on the English buff gong. You are well deserving.

    Thank you for sharing so much. I've signed up (but my name doesn't show on the list) for your launch. Maybe you're policing it. Anyway, I'd be delighted to help you launch the anthology. I've read your extract earlier and it is awesome.

    I've been considering hitting Publish on my IWSG post too. Not posting much during NaNo. I just check in to see what's happening once a day. Just as well I did today or I would have missed your post. I'll post my IWSG post in the morning.

    Denise

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    1. aw, would've been awesome to see you. But next year's Genre Con will be held in Brisbane so maybe I'll see you then!

      Your name is on my list. May have taken a moment to refresh, or something. Thank you SO MUCH for celebrating with me. It's really appreciated.

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  16. I like these breakdowns. Thanks for sharing your time with us. I enjoy going to conferences and coming away with plenty of information that has my mind thinking about writing and the industry.

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  17. Sounds so awesome!! :) I would love to attend a conference one day. I haven't mostly due to cost. Traveling from Northern Ontario means expensive travel. Timing is also tough - I can't attend during the school year as I can't take off days for travel. *sigh* One of these days!!!

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  18. A five year plan is important, even if a writer has a full time career. My goal is to be able to live full time off writing as part of my five year plan.

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  19. That sounds amazing! Glad you had such a good time. I love conventions, though I don't get to attend them as often as I'd like. I always learn a ton and come away so inspired, plus it's so fun to meet other writers in person.

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  20. Wow, that sounds like an all-purpose conference for writers. It must've been amazing. My five-year plan involves a continued enjoyment of my life-long addiction to breathing in and breathing out. Given that, just about anything else is possible.

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  21. Lynda,
    Sounds like they covered some interesting subjects and that you learned a whole lot at the conference.

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  22. GenreCon sounds fantastic. I don't think we have one in the U.S. I love going to conferences, so I know you had fun. And are now pumped to write, write, write!

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  23. Hi Lynda,

    I followed the GenreCon on twitter and it was awesome! I just wish I could've attended!

    Sounds like such a fantastic convention. I'll try next year.

    Nas

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  24. GenreCon sounds awesome. There were so many different and interesting writerly aspects that you mentioned...
    I'm not sure if there are any conventions this side of the world.

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  25. Sounds like a wonderful convention!

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  26. The convention sounds fantastic! Going to writer's conferences are so much fun!

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  27. I have never been to a convention. Its sounds like a good learning experience.

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  28. I live on a beautiful lake in central BC, Canada. The cons are I'm so far away from any conventions I pretty well have to sell my first grandchild to afford the airfare. It's not fair. But that's life. I did attend a retreat in the north one winter. That was a fabulous 4-day event.

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  29. I've never been to a con, but they sound like a lot of fun! I'm glad you were able to attend this one. :)

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  30. Never been to a convention, but it sounds really fun! Sorry I haven't stopped by in a while.

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  31. Thanks for sharing all the little tidbits. I love conferences.

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  32. It sounds like it was a great convention!

    I've never been to a con myself. Mostly because of where I live; I keep my eyes open, but there doesn't seem to be much emphasis on fiction/writing in the community.

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  33. That's awesome you got to attend. Thanks for sharing.

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  34. Hi Lynda,

    I agree, it was a fantastic con. I met so many people that I can't remember half their names! My highlights were the pitching session with Ginger Clark (I thought I was going to blow it when I couldn't remember a thing - but fortunately I had everything written down), meeting Joe Abercrombie, and putting some faces to twitter handles along with picking up a bunch of new ones.

    Hopefully we'll catch up again at Conflux 9, or maybe the next GenreCon.

    Cheers
    Chris

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    1. Chris! I'm so glad you left a comment. I suspect Ginger Clark was used to nervous writers attempting to pitch their work ;)
      I'm not sure I'll be able to attend both Conflux 9 and GenreCon next year so I'll have to make a choice. Oh noes!

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