Journal

And That’s a Wrap

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending VCON39! I’m still exhausted, and writing this in a half-bleary state, but overall I can say I had a good time at my first SFF Con. I can totally see why some people go every year!

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[photo: The ‘Best Writing Advice Panel’]
For a small con, there were plenty of writing panels scheduled the entire weekend, and I spent most of my time flitting from one to the other, and saying hi to people who I recognized from Twitter. I completely forgot to bring my camera, but a friend forwarded me this slightly blurry phone photo. That was my first panel ever. HISTORY, folks.

I’m sure I shoved a foot in my mouth more than once, and rambled a little, but I did learn a few things. I actually enjoyed the public speaking.

Tips for nervous panellists:

  1. It may help to view a panel as just a conversation about writing among friends.
  2. Bring notes with a few related things to talk about in case you blank out. (I had to refer to my cheat sheet a couple of times).
  3. Write down the names of your co-panellists, so you can refer to them by name instead of pointing (I’m terrible with names, so this helped).

Actually, if you can swing it, even if you have just one short story published, do volunteer to speak on a panel the next time you’re at a con, or propose one. It’s a great way to meet other writers, or introduce yourself to them without being super awkward.

I had a good laugh with several new acquaintances, and even a shy gal like me ended up in the bar (drinking soda), because we got a little too loud in the hallway. Writer’s… they can talk about writing all day.

Hopefully that was the first good experience of many!

14 Comments

    1. That’s also a good tip 🙂 I tried to find out as much as I could, but some people don’t have websites which makes it a little harder to figure out just what they write.

      P.S. I LOOOVE that photo of the bathroom!

  1. Congratulations on your first time being part of a panel! It sounds like such an interesting and exciting experience. The whole weekend does, actually. I’m glad you had a great time! 🙂

  2. Glad you had a great experience! Sounds exciting. It looks like you’re having a great time!

    On Paneling: good tips. Maybe someday I’ll get to use them. Heh. (I’m going to focus as much as I can on writing, first, of course.)

  3. I’m a total shut-in, but your right. I should volunteer–especially being in the Orlando area where so many conventions decide to meet. Amazing advice about the cheat sheet. I would totally be the one who forgot everyone’s names. =)

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