amergina: (nuts&bolts)
I went to Context 23 in Columbus this past weekend and had a good time. It's a small convention, generally geared toward the literary, which means there are many panels on writing and a slew of workshops. Tobias Buckell was the GoH and his editor Paul Stevens from TOR was the editor GoH.

I helped out with Paul Stevens's presentation of upcoming TOR releases because the computer cart ended up next to where I was sitting (as in, it was set up after I sat down) so I pressed the forward button. :) I got first pick of the books he brought, and chose a hardback copy of The Last Page by Anthony Huso. Score. I've been eying that book since I saw it, as it has a stunning cover.

Now one of the nice things about small conventions is that you can talk to people... really talk to them. So after the presentation, I helped him carry some book catalogs and chatted. And, you know, having a real conversation is so much nicer than the 5-minute speed-dating version of talking to editors and agents.

I went to several panels that were focused on the business end of writing and, as always, the take-home message was this:

--Be professional.

I don't think that can be said enough, especially in the Internet Age.

The secondary take-home message, which I think is important, was this:

--It is not the job of an agent/editor to make your dreams come true.

That may seem a bit harsh, but it *is* true. They end up with so many people's expectations piled onto them, and it's not really fair. They are *not* in the business of gleefuly crushing dreams. They honestly want to see you succeed. They just can't accept everything.

The other panel I went to was on paranormal romance, which was just a stitch to be at. Very funny and nice folks.

I also took a workshop by Lucy Snyder on writing Urban Fantasy, which was good. She had a nice exercise that got me thinking about idea generation... and also how to pitch my UF once it's done.

One of the best parts of Context is catching up with all the fellow students, alumni, and mentors/instructors from Seton Hill. It makes the six months between residencies more bearable. :)

I'll be back next year.

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amergina

April 2012

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