GenreCon 2012: A whirlwind weekend of fun, great information and shaking hands with my favourite authors!

Over the weekend, I attended the first ever GenreCon which was held at Parramatta Rydges. I was really nervous about going along, knowing there would be so many talented writers and authors I admire. I completely wasn’t expecting the convention to be so focussed on professional development for writers and upon arriving I felt completely out of my league. However, everyone was so friendly and encouraging and I learnt SO much from the fantastic panels and workshops conducted throughout the weekend.

GenreCon set out to unite writers and readers of genre fiction; romance, mystery, scifi, crime, fantasy, horror and thrillers and I think it succeeded. It was wonderful to see an abundance of Romance Writers of Australia members and I also discovered a bunch of other reader/ writer organisations such as Sisters in Crime and the Australian Horror Writer’s Association.

The first workshop, Writing Popular Fiction facilitated by Helene Young started off with a bang- plenty of thought-provoking writing exercises and techniques to fuel the mind. I was ecstatic to meet Helene in person. She is one of my favourite authors and has been a very supportive mentor throughout the ‘Year of the Novel’ course of which I have participated in this year.

I was also thrilled to sit in on a panel with Bronwyn Parry for ‘Nailing the Big Scene’ and I also enjoyed the ‘Villains, Monsters and Cads’ panel discussion with Tansy Rayner Roberts, Kim Wilkins (avid Viking fan) and Christina Brooke.

I left a little early on Saturday so I could get home and achieve my daily word count for NanoWriMo and prepare for my publishing pitches. I impulsively signed up to pitch my romantic suspense manuscript, Critical Response to two publishers on Sunday. I turned up with a churning stomach and racing heart having never done anything like this before. It paid off though as one of the publishers have requested to view my full manuscript- YAY!!

‘Writing Historical Fiction’ with Anna Campbell was just delightful and provided a deep insight into the world of research. I was lucky enough to get a free copy of Tempt the Devil by Anna and I really can’t wait to read it!

‘Capturing the Mood’ with Jason Nahrung, L.A Larkin and Bronwyn Parry was also very informative, as was ‘How Much is Too Much’ with Cat Sparks, Kathryn Fox (so want to read her books now!) and Elisabeth Storrs. It was lovely to finally meet Elisabeth after so much email correspondence and the recent launch of the Historical Novel Society in Sydney.

GenreCon actually made me really appreciate how lucky I am to have made contacts and been exposed to so many books and genres through book blogging. I browsed the book stall in the convention and was pleased to see I’d read most of them and many of the authors on the panels I recognised from their writing.

The highlight of the weekend was the great debate: Plotters vs. Pantsers. I laughed so hard and fell in love with the authors all over again. For those of you interested, the plotters were Kim Wilkins, L.A. Larkin and Narelle Harris and the pantsers were Anna Campbell, Lisa Heidke and Daniel O’Malley. I was leaning towards the pantsers… as that’s how I tend to write and plus they really cracked me up. OMG Daniel O’Malley is so sweet and witty. I also got his book for free in my showbag, The Rook and it sounds amazing!

Anyway, that’s enough of a wrap up I think! It turned out to be a great weekend with plenty of valuable information, admirable authors, friendly writers and I made a contact with a publisher! Definitely going to attend GenreCon 2013 in Brisbane!

The freebies i got at GenreCon:

Tempt the DevilThe Rook

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