Juliet McKenna talks about what makes SF Conventions unique and special, and how you can get involved. This year Juliet is chairing EasterCon in Bradford, and she’s been involved in conventions for years, and was a former GOH at Bristolcon ( http://www.bristolcon.org ) If you’re never been to an SF Convention and you’re at all interested in the genre – writing or reading – I strongly urge you to get a membership to your nearest Con and come and see what it’s all about!

EightSquared Blog

The Distinctive Breadth and Depth of SF Convention Programming.

As well as regularly attending conventions, I’ve long been involved with non-genre literary festivals thanks to working with The Write Fantastic and also as a committee member for my old Oxford college’s Media Alumnae Network. Consequently I have observed how very different the approaches to programming will be.

I’ve often noted the astonishment among fans and writers used to non-genre events, when they first come to a speculative fiction convention. They’re used to top-down programming structured around publishers’ schedules and offering one or two writers per slot the opportunity to publicise their current book. That’s not a criticism. Such programming is assuredly valuable for readers and writers alike and I always enjoy hearing a talented author share their enthusiasm for their work, fiction or non-fiction, as I sit in a quietly attentive audience.

But it’s rare to see a handful of…

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