I just got back from a fantastic weekend up in Brisbane for GenreCon 2015. Organised by the Queensland Writers Centre, hosted at the State Library of Queensland, and run by some excellent writerly ninjas (including Peter M Ball, who ran a tight ship all weekend with the help of super-friendly volunteers and staff of the QWC), GenreCon brings together professionals in the industry, writers at all levels of their careers, editors and publishers — essentially, everyone who puts their time, energy, and passion into genre fiction. Unlike many conventions, this one focuses on all genres: science fiction, fantasy, crime, mystery, and of course romance, and the result is a wonderful mix of stories and storytellers, all of whom love reading, writing, and talking about craft.
In other words, it’s a brilliant way to spend a weekend. There were many guests of honour (all women!! hooray!!) and I wasn’t able to make it to every keynote address. BUT, Kaaron Warren’s speech about Australian Prime Ministers and their connections to granny killers was fascinating, and Mary Robinette Kowal’s address at the banquet on Saturday night was something I’ll never, ever forget (not least because it included her singing ‘Rubber Ducky’ as if it was a torch-song; performing a puppet show; wearing a gorgeous Regency gown that she made herself; having a wonderful conversation with Tansy Rayner Roberts; and beginning the whole shebang by dropping the F-bomb as a way of competing with Chuck Wendig’s 2013 GoH speech…)
I was on a really fun panel about ‘Why Writers Should Read’ and even though we were up against a marvellous panel about banter (featuring Mary R K, who, I’m told, was able to demonstrate dialogue via a hand-puppet she spontaneously made out of a scarf…) we had a great group of writers in the audience, with lots of laughs and smiles to go around.
The banquet at The Rydges was fab; the theme was Grunge and Glamour and I was happy to see most people opted for the latter when it came to dressing up (of course! I love a good bit of glam!); the entertainment and company was a delight. That warm sense of happiness that comes with a nice glass of champagne lasted the whole weekend; it was a buzz from beginning to end.
Congratulations, QWC, Pete and Ninjas, on a rousing success of a convention. Looking forward to GenreCon 2017!
PS: I took heaps of photos over the weekend, and many other attendees did likewise, so I’ve included a collection of pics from many sources below. Most of them are mine, but the ones where I’m on panels I got from Twitter (if you’re keen to hear about what was discussed over the weekend, look up the #GCoz hashtag on Twitter — this convention was full of social media aficionados, so many gems of wisdom were recorded there!) Click on the thumbnails for enlarged views.