GenreCon 2013 – The Wendigo is Attending! (an explanation of an angry tweet)


And then I said:



First off let me clear something up: my comments about the price weren’t specific to GenreCon, nor a dig at anyone – it’s more the fact that most of these writers’ festivals seem to be pricing out the traditionally poor, starving artist archetype. It’s not only the ticket cost (which I could probably scratch together) but also having to take time off work (three days would be roughly another $200.) This hidden cost is the main reason I’ve only ever attended one event (BookCamp, last September) which I loved. It was brilliant – meeting a large group of like minded people and chatting about writing and books, something that I hadn’t experienced before.
I am really keen to attend GenreCon – I’m a huge fan of Chuck’s, for a start. I’ve been participating in his Flash Fiction Challenges since I started writing online (a friend recommended Terrible Minds, and one of his 25 lists, which got me started.) Without Chuck’s blog I probably would have given up after a couple of stories (and I once won a copy of his 500 Ways to Tell a Better Story.)
As I mentioned, I loved BookCamp – I don’t know any writers in real life, so the chance to mingle in a (temporary) circle of writers really made me think a lot about my writing, and about the different stories I could tell. Even though I’ve started getting published (huzzah!) I never want to stop improving and learning my new craft. I would kill (probably not) to attend GenreCon – some of my Interfriends will probably be attending, like Jo Eberhardt, Oscar Jameison (maybe) and (again maybe) Love the Bad Guy (you’re from Brissy too, right?)
What do I think I could gain from GenreCon, and how would my writing improve?  Imagine if we could create another Bloomsbury Group – I would love to have a group of people who I could see in meat-space to discuss writing (and maybe we could read each other’s work.) This

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kind of interaction would, I think, only improve all of our writing. And as much as the Twitterati and my circle of fellow bloggers
(partially) fulfil this role – there’s something about meeting up in the flesh that makes the occasion feel more real. And we’re all looking to learn from each other and improve as writers, aren’t we?
In short, I would love to attend GenreCon, Tiny Owl Press, and I would love to meet up with all of you, grab a beer (or whatever your  personal poison is) and shoot the shit about writing, science fiction, magic realism and our mutual love of words.
Cheers, and hopefully I’ll see you in October!
FULL DISCLOSURE: Tiny Owl Press is paying for my ticket to attend GenreCon, so if you guys could show them some love that’d be awesome. Also you should check out their Napkin Stories, what a clever idea. They’re available at the cafes listed HERE.
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7 thoughts on “GenreCon 2013 – The Wendigo is Attending! (an explanation of an angry tweet)

  1. oscarjamieson says:

    It seems they’re selling out to people more concerned with throwing money into writing rather than practice. I did have a look but I don’t feel it’s my kind of shindig.

    Heh, you could try get a rag-tag group of writers together in Brisbane. Hang out in dark coffee shops and only speak in free-form poetry.

    • I’m going to go, because somebody is buying my ticket (not sure if I can say whom just yet.) Basically what you’re suggesting is that we can do what we do at work (speak only in free form poetry.) And I’m pretty excited to hear what Chuck has to say…

  2. Awww man, it sounds really awesome, but alas, I am not from Brisbane, and I think the registration fee, coupled with flights and accomodation, would send me to the poor house. :-/

  3. Peter Ball says:

    I totally get the price-point thing and the hidden costs – there’s no-one involved in putting GenreCon together who hasn’t been a starving writer at some point (actually, we’re *still* starving writers for the most part), so we’re *really* aware of how big a chunk going to something like this takes out of a budget. I like to think it makes us *utterly determined* to run a conference that delivers real value for money, but I’ve got an obvious bias on that front 🙂

    The flip side of the price is that things like GenreCon really do run on the smell of an oily rag and the goodwill of a lot of professional writers and editors who volunteer their time. I know it’ll sound slightly bizarre from the outside, but we really are keeping prices as cheap as we can.

    • I do understand the pricing thing – I know that you’ve got to pay for the facilities, for the guest speakers (and their flights) as well as staff and all the little extras (they all add up!) It’s like a music festival, I guess, although their prices are obviously inflated – when however many tens of thousands attend Big Day Out I can’t understand how $150 tickets only just cover their costs.

      It just gets a bit frustrating when you’re super-excited to attend and then to see it’s way out of your league in terms of what you can afford.

      That said, (FULL DISCLOSURE) Tiny Owl Press is buying my ticket, so I will be there, and I can’t thank them enough for that.

      I’m not suggesting that GenreCon is trying to rip us off or anything like that, it’s just hard to find that sort of cash (even six months out!)

      Thanks for coming over and replying, I do understand your side of it too, after all things cost money, that’s just the way it is. And it’s not your fault I work a dead-end job!

      • Wow, that’s incredibly generous of Tiny Owl Press! 😀 I’m so jealous…

        I’m still stubbornly looking into accomodation and flights (or train tickets, maybe?), trying to work out if I could afford it at all. But sadly, I am unemployed (it’s tough finding a job in a small town!), so even with the six-month-warning, I think it would be impossible.

        But who knows? I could find a job in the next few months, and then maybe I’ll see you there!

      • Well, I hope you do come up – you could stay with us if you needed to…if you can stand three kids and a grumpy writer…

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