Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Saturday, WisCon 33

Saturday May 23rd, 2009

Sat in for a few minutes on the "So You Want to be Published" panel. Always good to keep abreast of trends. Wait. Didn't I blog this already? I'm sure I did. Ah, yes, I did! I am *not* losing it! I blogged it on LiveJournal before I made the decision to blog everything on Blogspot and point there. Oh, well. I'll copy it in here so that I have everything in one place.

"So You Want to be Published"
Liz L. Gorinsky (m), Lori Devoti, Ann Leckie, Jack McDevitt, Jordan Castillo Price

Attended two panels in the morning, one on getting published, the other on Book View Cafe. Yes, just about every con I attend has a panel on being published, but it's interesting to hear different viewpoints and to keep an eye on industry changes. Besides, occasionally you hear something phrased just a little differently that makes a point so much more poignant. For example, we all know that a cover letter for a submission should be professional, interesting, and without grammatical error because it represents you and your writing ability. One panelist, though, phrased it in a way that really drives home how important it is. She said, "It sets up an expectation in the editor's mind." In other words, if your cover letter is only mediocre, but the editor decides to read a page of your submission anyway, the editor starts reading with the bias that the writing is probably going to be mediocre, too.

"Book View Cafe: A New Venture in Online Publishing"
Nancy Jane Moore (m), Sylvia Kelso, Madeleine Robins, Jennifer K. Stevenson

Very interesting project by some very talented women. I'll let the site speak for itself: I registered while attending the panel. (Don't you just love free WiFi?)

Speaking of talented women, I met Catherine Lundoff, who I had interviewed for Vampires, Witches, and Geeks. She and her partner are absolutely wonderful (darn, I forgot to congratulate them in person on their upcoming nuptuals) , of course (I expected no less). One of their friends, S. N. Arly, is going to be on the panel I'm moderating on Monday morning and it was nice to meet her ahead of time.

Took a turn at the Broad Universe table, where I met author Larrissa Niec, who was also volunteering at the table. We had a lot of people stopping by between panels. WisCon has this wonderful schedule where there's usually a 15-minute break between panels. It gives you time to go to the toilet or make a quick stop at a vendor or information table.

"Treatment of Aging in Science Fiction"
Eleanor A. Arnason (m), Gerri Balter, Richard J. Chwedyk, Magenta Griffith, Diana Sherman

This was an thought-provoking one. Many of the characters in SF are young, robust. What roles do older people play in SF and Fantasy? Author Eleanor Arnason suggested we should start writing older characters and show them with the signs of aging (like arthritis).

"Witches and Wizards: Gender and Power in Portrayals of Magic"
Sarah G. Micklem (m), Gerri Balter, Melodie Bolt, Beverly Friend, Victoria Janssen

Interesting examination of how the two are portrayed differently in fiction. Beverly Friend had a great handout which reminded me of the old feminist flyers of the 70s that compared how women are perceived differently from men when doing the same action. (Example: A woman instructs an employee to do something. She's bossy. A man does the same thing. He's a leader. Or something like that.)

Here's an example from Friend's handout: Witch: usually old and ugly (wart on nose, stooped). Wizard: Usually old and imposing (tall, erect, bearded). Witch: Robe often shabby or torn. Wizard: Robe often regal and embroidered.

After that panel ended, I visited the party floor and flitted from room to room, sometimes seeing people I knew and other times striking up conversations with panelists who had impressed me or absolute strangers. I felt more at ease than I did last year, my first year at the convention. WisCon has a panel for first-time attendees, but I missed it both years. Maybe next year I can make it ;-)

Edited on 6/4/09 to add panelist names.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought the witch/wizard handout was really cool too. I'm probably going to make use of it in some story in the near future.