I went to FantasyCon 2015 this weekend and had a great time. It was my first time at the conference and I’ll definitely be going back.
Highlights were: meeting publishers, agents and writers. free books! finding out about London-based writing groups.
I went to ten workshops and panels covering topics such as managing your anxiety, fight scenes, the future of epic fantasy, marketing books, and religion in fantasy. Key learning points were: almost all of the successful published writers on the panels had day-jobs; and I still have some procrastination issues to work through. Plus lots of useful tips about writing and the business of writing. There were lots more, but you can never go to all the sessions at these events.
Emma Newman‘s workshop around how anxiety gets in the way of writing was a real eyeopener and well-timed at the start of the Con. I didn’t think I had more than average fear of writing – over the years I’ve worked on insecurity about my talent, my right to a voice, thinking that no one would want to read my writing, fear of exposure and being seen. All those things are still there, but they’re examined, labelled and stuck in a box to keep them from being too disruptive. I do procrastinate though, and anxiety can show up as withdrawal and indifference, so I thought maybe I could learn something. And I did. I hope Emma Newman will do a workshop next year on fear of networking. It was daunting to go to the social activities by myself on the Saturday night, but SFF fans are lovely, kind people and it only took a few minutes before someone drew me into a conversation.
I’m so pleased I went. I have lots of reading to do, I’m very excited about finding out about lots of authors I’ve never encountered before. Watch out for the reviews!