Thursday, April 23, 2009

Conventions


Listening to others talk about going to the RT convention this week has made me really sad that, once again, I am not going. I really love cons! There used to be one held in Memphis every year called “Duel on the Delta” which was sponsored by the local RWA group. Unfortunately, they could not afford to continue having it, and it sort of fell by the wayside.

That leaves exactly one other one locally, and it is a Sci Fi/ Fantasy con. I could have gone, but of course, that weekend I was with my family and so once again, no.

Which brings me to the purpose of my post.

How does one plan for and achieve “convention-attendee” status? What does one have to do to be able to go? If I have the time, I do not have the money, and if I have the money, I cannot get the time. I think it is just poor planning on my part. I will be very excited to hear our readers’ entire take on this subject.

Have you attended a writer’s con? Where? How did you manage to go? How did you afford it? What is one thing you remember about it and would like to share with us?

Marta and I briefly talked about having a mini-con one year. Maybe we will call it the Murder by 4 Mystery Con. At any rate, I need to brush up on convention going as I really do want to attend soon.

Here is a list of cons I have heard about, and it is not complete by any means.

MALICE DOMESTIC XVIII
http://www.malicedomestic.org/

LEFT COAST CRIME
http://www.leftcoastcrime.org

THRILLERFEST
http://www.thrillerfest.com

BOUCHERCON WORLD MYSTERY CONVENTION
http://www.bouchercon.com/

MAGNA CUM MURDER XII
http://www.magnacummurder.com

Maybe I will see you at one!

7 comments:

Marta Stephens said...

I went to Magna Cum Murder in 2007and plan to attend Bouchercon this fall (since it's practically in my back yard this year! Yay.)

I'm often faced with the same choice between time and money. I try to decide a year in advance and choose one event to attend and plan for it. But so much depends on the time of year, if taking time off will conflict with projects at work,family, etc.

Here's another conference: http://www.jamesriverwriters.org

Anyone going to Bouchercon?

Jodi Lee said...

World Horror is being held only an hour away from me this year, and I am dying to go. Unfortunately, most of my companions have had to bow out, for various reasons (and the con was not well planned this year and even now, just over a week away there are details unmentioned).

I was hoping to be able to go in for at least one day and wander around, but the sliding discount isn't really enough to make that feasible (I'd still be paying $225 for us to see the art show and maybe get to the dealer's room) and the programming is really not very interesting when I can't share the experience with my kids.

It's in Brighton, England next year. o_O *sigh*

Kim Smith said...

I wish one was going to be close to me. I think Killer Nashville is still being held every year. I should check into it!

Kenna Coltman said...

I'm tentatively planning to attend the Mad Anthony con in Ohio next year (time and money available). Hopefully Lee Lofland will hold another Writer's Police Academy next year!

I've heard so many good things about writer's cons, but feel almost like an interloper, given my lack of writing experience. I still think it would be a great experience, and hope everything lines up for my attendence at Mad Anthony next year. I'm starting with this smaller, local con - maybe someday I'll work myself up to a behemouth like Bouchercon!

Deborah said...

This popped up on my blog feeder so I thought I'd pop in a link for Writercon (www.writercon.com). Its focus is fanfiction, however we do have workshops, panels and authors in attendance who will talk about the writing process regardless of genre. In the past, (and are currently hammering out the arrangement for this year) we've had editors in attendance to hear pitches and offer critiques of original writing as well.

It is a friendly, low cost con open to every level of experience, including people who've yet to put pen to paper!

s.w. vaughn said...

As Marta mentioned, I think the key is planning. The big point is deciding that you're going to go, and making plans in advance - which includes letting your family and friends know "hey, I'm going to this con on this date, so don't plan anything else!"

There's usually a measure of guilt involved - you feel like you shouldn't be doing anything so expensive just for yourself. But it's a good thing to do for yourself, so talk yourself out of the guilt! Say, "I'm furthering my writing career." It sounds important, and it's true!

Since most conferences are expensive, it's also important to save up - another good reason to plan ahead. In some cases, especially if it's in a big city, you can save money by staying at a different hotel than the one recommended by the conference (unless the con is at a hotel, in which case it doesn't make sense to stay elsewhere). Do some research into better hotel rates in the area.

Most importantly, plan to network like hell - and don't forget that it's just as important to network with other writers there as it is with any agents and editors and speakers that may be present. :-)

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Excellent topic, Kim! And great advice all 'round from everyone. I've always been in the "can't leave home right now," frame of mind, but realize that's crazy. I could probably sneak away for a few days if need be and must start thinking about this whole thing. Thanks for the motivation, Kim!