An honest and frank look at Conquest 47.
I’d heard stories. Been urged to attend. I was told this is a real, true writing convention. It was geared towards science-fiction and fantasy authors and artists, but there were plenty of opportunities to learn.
This past weekend I attended Conquest 47. A few fellow Wordwraiths sat on panels this year, sharing their dreams and experiences with the audience of willful writers, all hoping for their chance.
My takeaways are simple. You always hear the same old cliché, writing is a solitary practice. But the reality is, and my writing group can attest to this, sometimes a writer needs company. Whether that is throughout the writing process (beta readers, editors, collaborators) or during the publishing process (fans, marketers, colleagues, publishers, agents).
Conquest is a great place to find community as a writer. And I found it to be a healthy mix of those that have “made it” and those that are hopeful to do so soon. Sharing in the enthusiasm of authors as they discussed their craft was interesting and inspiring.
Topics for the writing panels ranged from Editing like the Pros all the way to Mental Health Issues and Creativity. The weekend went fast, but it was also for me, finally, a safe place for writers and I saw many instances of encouragement and support.
As a writer who doesn’t traditionally write science-fiction (but is also working on a sci-fi trilogy), it was nice to hear the tips and tricks of writing without aliens, writing for the future and other compelling topics geared towards the genre.
On that same note though I attended panels on characterization and plotting, which I found particularly helpful in a general writing sense.
In addition to hearing from some cool authors on panels such as Tex Thompson, Anna La Voie and Brooke Johnson, I also participated in a Story in a Bag contest (which Jeni ended up winning in the Sci-Fi category!) and browsed the wares of several artists who produced everything from swords to custom action figures.
And that isn’t all, there were many, many other things that folks could take advantage of like meet and greet parties, gaming contests, author readings and a cosplay contest. There is definitely plenty to quench the thirst of sci-fi fandom.
But more so, if you are a writer, of any genre, I highly encourage you to attend next year. You can see first hand the faces of folks who are publishing work from all over the country in a fun and engaging environment. I personally learned a lot and I’d be willing to bet that you would as well.
Ian and the Wordwraiths