Fiction writers come together for Genrecon 2013
Ash Hauenschild | On 01, Oct 2013
This month the Australian Writer’s Marketplace hosts Genrecon 2013, a three-day festival for genre fiction writers at all stages of their careers.
It’s the event’s second year â€“ the first outside Sydney â€“ and will be held at the State Library of Queensland.
The days of ostracised horror or SF fans are well and truly over.
Fantasy, crime, and (the most popular genre of all) romance all produce a steady stream of blockbusters, pot-boilers and baffling crazes with huge market appeal.
Peter Ball of the Australian Writer’s Marketplace attributes much of this success to the passionate communities surrounding each genre â€“ such as the Australian National Science Fiction Convention or the Romance Writers of Australia, which nurture new writer and audiences.
But Genrecon takes this a step further, bringing together writers and publishers from a swathe of different communities.
It’s hoped that simply bridging the formidable gulf between (say) hardboiled crime and lacy romance writing will spark new ideas and conversations.
I got in contact with Peter Ball to learn more.
CD: What’s the connection between Genrecon and the Australian Writer’s Marketplace?
Peter: It’s a fairly natural progression, and a large portion of what we do can’t be done with just a list of contacts.
We bring writers together and say, go find ways that you can sell your work and have careers.
CD: Writers can pitch to publishers and agents at Genrecon. Is that relationship still a healthy kind of model?
Peter: It is still a healthy model, but there are a range of models out there. It’s about looking at what works best for an individual writer’s goals and ambitions.
For certain types of careers, publishers and agents are still an enormously important part of what happens.
Australia at the moment has a whole bunch of genre publishers that are looking at innovative things they can do with new technology.
CD: Where do you see the industry in 10 or 20 years?
Peter: That’s the conversation we have at the conference.
Nobody has the answers yet. Nobody knows precisely what a writer’s career is going to look like, but there are people making fairly educated guesses.
CD: What can an aspiring writer expect from Genrecon?
Peter:Â It’s an enormously generous event.
Writers really are enormously generous with aspiring and emerging writers within their field. They’re happy to to sit down and talk, taking the time to pass on their experiences within the industry so people can navigate what’s coming down the line.
What: Genrecon 2013
When: 11 – 13 October
Where: State Library of Queensland