I’ve just returned from BristolCon. This was my second con, after EdgeLit 2 back in the summer. I tend to shy away from things like this, but I took the advice of Rob Harkess and visited Edge Lit for the day. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, but didn’t realise that the real fun stuff happens in the bar once the panels and the workshops and the kaffeeklatsches have finished.
I had such a great time I immediately joined BristolCon, and booked a room in the hotel. In the end I went down on the Friday night, which was a good move as I met the interesting and entertaining Dev Agarwal in the bar.
The panels were an interesting mix, including subjects like Worldbuilding, intellectual property, self publishing and the small press and How To Poo in a Fantasy Universe. I also enjoyed Dr Bob’s excellent presentation on how weird humans are, ideas came thick and fast. Highlight for me was Snorri Kristjansson’s off the cuff remarks and hilarious reading from his book, Swords of Good Men, which I’ve just ordered. The Iain M Banks tribute panel provided a poignant close to the day.
Nick Walters was a highly inappropriate and distressingly amusing host for the evening quiz, which I entered with Rob and Debbie Harkess, Ian Whates and Andy Bigwood.
The thing that strikes me about cons is how friendly and welcoming everyone is. Whether you’re a fan or a writer (published or not) people welcome you to their table for a chat and a beer. In the bar after the quiz I met a whole raft of great people. And what’s better than a passionate drunken discussion about writing?
I find Twitter an invaluable tool for staying in touch with people I meet at cons, as well as keeping up with what’s happening in the writing world. Writing is a solitary business, and Twitter spurs me on.
So if you’re a writer I recommend picking a good con and going along. You’ll meet great people and learn some valuable stuff.
Above all though, you’ll have a great time.