And then I said:
First off let me clear something up: my comments about the price weren’t specific to GenreCon, nor a dig at anyone – it’s more the fact that most of these writers’ festivals seem to be pricing out the traditionally poor, starving artist archetype. It’s not only the ticket cost (which I could probably scratch together) but also having to take time off work (three days would be roughly another $200.) This hidden cost is the main reason I’ve only ever attended one event (BookCamp, last September) which I loved. It was brilliant – meeting a large group of like minded people and chatting about writing and books, something that I hadn’t experienced before.
I am really keen to attend GenreCon – I’m a huge fan of Chuck’s, for a start. I’ve been participating in his Flash Fiction Challenges since I started writing online (a friend recommended Terrible Minds, and one of his 25 lists, which got me started.) Without Chuck’s blog I probably would have given up after a couple of stories (and I once won a copy of his 500 Ways to Tell a Better Story.)
As I mentioned, I loved BookCamp – I don’t know any writers in real life, so the chance to mingle in a (temporary) circle of writers really made me think a lot about my writing, and about the different stories I could tell. Even though I’ve started getting published (huzzah!) I never want to stop improving and learning my new craft. I would kill (probably not) to attend GenreCon – some of my Interfriends will probably be attending, like Jo Eberhardt, Oscar Jameison (maybe) and (again maybe) Love the Bad Guy (you’re from Brissy too, right?)
What do I think I could gain from GenreCon, and how would my writing improve? Imagine if we could create another Bloomsbury Group - I would love to have a group of people who I could see in meat-space to discuss writing (and maybe we could read each other’s work.) This
kind of interaction would, I think, only improve all of our writing. And as much as the Twitterati and my circle of fellow bloggers
(partially) fulfil this role – there’s something about meeting up in the flesh that makes the occasion feel more real. And we’re all looking to learn from each other and improve as writers, aren’t we?
In short, I would love to attend GenreCon, Tiny Owl Press, and I would love to meet up with all of you, grab a beer (or whatever your personal poison is) and shoot the shit about writing, science fiction, magic realism and our mutual love of words.
Cheers, and hopefully I’ll see you in October!
FULL DISCLOSURE: Tiny Owl Press is paying for my ticket to attend GenreCon, so if you guys could show them some love that’d be awesome. Also you should check out their Napkin Stories, what a clever idea. They’re available at the cafes listed HERE.