GenreCon 2015 Wrap-Up

Last weekend I had the honour of attending and being one of the speaking authors at GenreCon 2015, which was seriously so cool. For anyone who might not know, GenreCon is a conference for writers. It’s where authors speak on panels and present workshops to an audience of other authors—aspiring, emerging and established. It’s a fabulous event to get to know others in the writing world and form friendships and do all that networking fun stuff, and I for one had a brilliant couple of days seeing old friends and meeting new ones!

It all started on Friday afternoon when I arrived in the city and jumped straight into it all by attending Alan Baxter’s ‘Write The Fight Right’ workshop. (For anyone who has been following this blog for a while, you might remember that I first met Alan a few months ago during my Supanova tours in Melbourne and on the Gold Coast earlier this year.) Can I just say here that his workshop was amazing. So good in fact that I’ll probably write an entire blog post about what I learned in it hopefully not too far in the future. It was just that awesome! But I have so much to talk about with the rest of the conference that I won’t be able give it the attention it deserves in this post, so that can be something to look forward to soon!

After Alan’s workshop there was this cocktail party meet and greet thing on that night where conference attendees began the insta-friends and networking process. It was loads of fun! And even more fun was after it, when a group of us trundled our way over the river to the CBD and ended up karaoke-ing the rest of the night away. Whoever said authors are shy humans sooooo got it wrong. I can’t tell you how hilarious the night was—nor can I stress how strained my vocal chords were afterwards (I blame Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On A Prayer‘).

Thanks to belting out the tunes like the (try-hard) rockstar that I am, when I woke up the next morning, I can honestly say I sounded like a man. That was definitely not ideal, especially considering I had to speak on a panel later that day. I figured I’d be okay since I wasn’t speaking until after lunch, but nope, I still sounded like I had a messed up head cold when the time came to hit the mic. But hey, that’s the price you pay for singing up a storm with a bunch of crazy authors. And I have absolutely no regrets, since, well… what can I say? Disney’s ‘Under the Sea‘ was one of the songs. That’s really all the excuse I need to give here!

Before resigning myself to my man-flu-sounding panel on the Saturday, I hit up a few other panels as a spectator and it was really cool to sit in on them. They were on the topics of ‘Mining Myth and History’ (with Kate Forsyth, Sulari Gentill and Christine Wells) and ‘Five Ways to Avoid Screwing up your Novel’ (with Justin Woolley, Kim Wilkins—both also Supanova buddies from earlier this year—and Charlotte Nash). Then there was lunch (yum!) followed by my panel, ‘Why Do Writers Need To Read?’ (with Lisa L. Hannett, Diane Demetre and Alex Adsett—Alex being a literary agent who I also first met at Supanova).

I had a lot of fun on our panel, mostly because I’m obviously passionate about reading, and reading a lot, so it was definitely the easiest panel I’ve ever spoken on. Plus, the other women were fabulous and also extremely passionate about reading, so it was like we were just having a really cool conversation about books. Which was, naturally, awesome.

That night was the special ‘Glamour and Grunge’ banquet where we frocked up (or frocked down, depending) for a night of fun, food and laughter. I also got to have a good catch up with C.S. Pacat (also from Supanova, and who I’ll be seeing again in a fortnight for the Adelaide/Brisbane upcoming conferences as well—yay!).

Here’s some pics of the night, none of which were take by me, all of which were posted on various people’s social media so I can’t actually recall who took which photos… but hey, that’s the internet for you:

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Above: Alex Adsett (left), Peter Ball (middle)—who is the manager of the Australian Writer’s Marketplace and the go-to guy for GenreCon—and me (right) at the banquet.

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Above: Brooke (left), who I met in the foyer that night, me (centre), and Liss (right), who I met at the meet and greet the previous night. Just FYI, the banquet was at the Rydges Hotel on the top floor so that view you have a slight glimpse of out the window was absolutely spectacular in real life.

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Above: Justin Woolley (left), me (centre), and C.S. Pacat (right) for a partial Supanova reunion photo! Just missing Kim, Alan, Marianne and Alex, who were off wandering elsewhere when this was taken—or in Alan’s case, he had to fly out that arvo.

The next morning, Sunday, dawned bright and clear and I went off to sit in on a few more panels, which were also awesome. ‘The Importance of Empathy’ with fellow Pantera Press author, Graham Potts, along with Kylie Scott and Amanda Bridgeman; followed by ‘The Five Book Theory’ with Kim Wilkins, Angela Slatter and Keri Arthur. That panel was probably by favourite of the whole conference (The Five Book Theory one), but that said, there were some incredible panels, so it’s a hard call.

Here’s a mishmash of some panel pics, including the one with yours truly:

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And here’s a group selfie of the wonderful women in my panel after we’d finished speaking:

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After lunch I was scheduled to present the final workshop of the weekend—a two-hour session on ‘World Building and Character Development’. The workshop was booked out and had a waiting list, so that was somewhat daunting, but on the whole I think it went well, so yay for that! That said, it was a nerve-wracking experience to give a workshop to other legit authors. In fact, one of the first things I said to them as an opening was, “So, what qualifies me to be up here teaching you about world building and character development? Quite frankly, absolutely nothing. Have you seen the calibre of authors who are here? I might as well pack up and go home right now!” They had a laugh, but I really was being kind of serious, lol. But thankfully no one boo’d me out of the conference and they stuck with me for the two hours, so again, yay for that!

Here’s a pic of me during the workshop… I couldn’t stop talking with my hands, even though it became so ridiculous! I was like, “Hands: control yourselves!” and yet I kept using them for emphasis. It was so odd! At one stage I was like, “Sorry, guys. I don’t know what’s going on with my overzealous hand gestures here. I’m not even Italian.”

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So, yes! That was GenreCon in a nutshell! Heaps more happened, and I really do want to blog about Alan’s awesome fighting workshop soon… but I’m thinking my next post will be all about how after the weekend I have confirmation of some ridiculously awesome news—that being that…

I’ve officially signed on with a literary agent from New York!!!

Annnnnnd on that cliffhanger that promises a super exciting post coming up, I’ll leave you there! As always, thanks for reading. And get ready for an over-the-moon debrief on my fabulous new agent later this week!

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