This weekend I went to the New Orleans Genre Writers Conference. This was the first, inaugural one. Man, I’m tired. I don’t know why, but these sort of conferences really take it out of me.
One of my fellow attendees suggests its because you are concentrating so hard, listening to the speakers, taking notes. This makes sense to me. Your brain is only five percent of your body weight, but consumers twenty percent of your body’s resources. A very energy-intensive organ.
Well, as the first conference, it was a bit ragged. A lot of the programming went over time, and some of the presenters really rambled, saying little of value. But any conference is like that, I’ve found, whether a professional conclave or a science fiction convention – some panels are great, some are terrible, most are mediocre.
I also wish it was, as advertised, a little more genre-specific. Like, how to create voice in science fiction, instead of just voice in general. Or a panel on what, if anything, joining the genre professional associations like RWA or SFWA can do for you.
I also expected somewhat bigger names for the price, than just the local crowd. Its good to get to know your local writers, but I can meet them at more reasonable venues. Well, it is just the first year. I imagine a busy New York editor doesn’t want to commit to a newbie local con.
It would be good to have some programming about “independent publishing,” as they call it these days. Its a viable alternative for people now.
But since it was the first year of local people bootstrapping a conference from nothing, I think it was a good effort. The venue at the Courtyard Marriott in the Warehouse District was quite convenient for me. I hope to be back next year. Maybe I’ll even be on the other side of the table.