It’s hard to believe that it’s essentially a week since the World Fantasy Convention in San Diego – I’m still recovering from all the people, panels and parties! I had the most amazing time.
This convention was all about socializing and informal networking. Yes, I attended quite a few panels (mainly those featuring the various Guests of Honour), but the best moments took place in the bar, or at one of the abundant parties, or sitting in the sun with a makeshift latte.
I don’t think I have ever before made so many new friends, or spoken to so many interesting and like-minded people. Not only did I make several new friends from Australia, it was great to meet and hang out with so many of the writers from the Manhattan-based Altered Fluid writing group, which sounds a great deal like my writing group, SuperNOVA.
The community vibe at this convention (my first World Fantasy) was completely different from the SF cons I’ve attended in Australia. For one thing, the membership is largely professional (as opposed to fan), comprising mainly writers, editors, agents, publishers, illustrators etc. And they all know each other, and look forward to hanging out together and talking shop – but only in the most informal and totally cool way.
And there was catering! For three nights in a row, we had our choice of parties (conveniently adjacent), complete with drinks and nibbles and awesome company. Even better, we were able to spill outside into the mild San Diego evening when the ground-floor entertainment suites got too squeezy. The convention organisers put on buffet meals too, if you turned up in the right place at the right time…
I think it was great timing for me to participate in this convention, which was easily the best I have ever attended. It has fuelled my determination to keep going, to keep taking writing seriously. And it has made me want to attend every year! Next year World Fantasy will be held in Toronto, Canada, and after that Brighton, UK. Ve-ry tempting… Well, OK, I might have already bought my membership for Brighton.
Since this has been rather a broad overview of my thoughts on the convention, I’ll probably follow up over the next week or so with subsequent posts on specifics – including a summary of the panels I attended, mainly to share some GOH wisdom (since I attended most of these sessions and took a few notes).
Finally, one important and awesome thing to note: Australian Alisa Krasnostein was awarded a World Fantasy Special Award for Twelfth Planet Press. You could probably hear the two tables of Australians cheering from home!