Well, Conflux 9, which was also this year’s Australian speculative fiction writing convention (NATCON), has been and gone! Held last week from Thursday 25 April through to Sunday 28 April, the Con was a fabulous event that drew around 250 writers, publishers, editors and fans from around Australia and around the world.
As one of the organising committee, I was a busy little bee, running around and trying to take some of the load off the shoulders of the wunderkind co-chairs, Donna Hanson and Nicole Murphy, and to do the SLJs (shitty little jobs) the registration team would have otherwise been lumped with. Having run several large international conferences, I had a good idea of what I was getting into and, not having written any stories lately, was happy to be of use. I even managed to get into a few panels for a little bit of inspiration – storing up all that information for the second half of this year when I’ll finally be able to get to the list of stories I compiled at the beginning of this year. I am on a story ban until I finish my Master of Philosophy thesis, which is due in late July. I have written 20,000 of the required 40,000 words, so I’m making good progress (given I only had about 5000 words at the beginning of the year!).
Highlights of the Con for me were the social events, the Steampunk High Tea (where I dressed up as ‘steampunk girl’), the Regency Banquet, and the Masquerade Junkyard Disco, where we all danced up a storm to the memories of our younger days (and I have the blisters to prove it). The reason these were highlights was because that’s where you get to chat with and get to know the best people in the entire universe. I don’t think it’s a stretch to claim that the Conflux membership comprises some of the most supportive, friendly and generous writers found anywhere on the planet. This Con drew several guests of honour, publishers and agents I’d not met before and they were all so encouraging! Not to mention fabulous human beings (Alex Adsett, I’m particularly looking at you and your crazy lobster dancing!).
I also got to hang with my Brisbane writing buddy, Jodi Cleghorn, even though I did turn into a pumpkin at midnight each night and abandoned her to room parties. I just can’t do late nights anymore!!
I am also inspired to head up to Genrecon in Brisbane in October. Who else is going?