Aussie Con 4: five days of discussions about speculative fiction. The panels, the lunches, the dinners, the bumping into people between panels, it is amazing! There is not only a lot to be learned at the sessions, but the chats you have with publishers, editors, writers and others between sessions can be invaluable.
The wonderful thing I have found with all the writers’ festivals/conventions that I have attended is how approachable writers and others in the business are. They can be very generous with their time and their advice; after all they were once unknowns and still remember what it was like. Something you also learn very quickly is that publishers WANT you to succeed, they are not the enemy. In fact they are actually really nice people.
And the beauty of a con for those who are not normally social bunnies or networking gurus is it is very easy to meet industry insiders. You can go to one session and watch someone give a great insight into writing and then find yourself sitting next to them at the next session. If so, strike up a conversation with them, they won’t bite!
In fact, even if the person next to you is simply another want-to-be author, talk to them. Finding like-minded writers can be hard in day to day life, and the more of them you can collect the better! No one understands the joy and pain of being a writer better than other writers, so you need to have a network.
So don’t be a shrinking violet at a convention. You are surrounded by friends and this is a great opportunity to plug into the writing community. So what are you waiting for? Aussie Con goes until Monday, so get on down to the Melbourne convention centre because you don’t want to miss this chance.
See you at the con!