A year ago, a group of friends and I were all sat at Eastercon talking about our hopes and dreams as writers. We ended up all agreeing we’d take the novels we had and submit them to agents. And so I ended up coming home and compiling a list of three agents who were setting up, three agents who’d taken on writers who I felt matched my career trajectory, the three agents I considered the best in the UK, and – for no reason other than to stop myself being nagged – the three agents I considered the best in the world.
Things turned out pretty OK for me but it’s been a crazy 12 months. Events like Eastercon help bring into perspective just what that journey’s been.
On one hand, events are a great way to measure the progress of your career. In many other ways, they’re just a great excuse to catch up with friends and all what’s been going on in their career.
Of course, being at a con that moves location from year to year there are always going to be things that are better and things that are worse than the previous event. This year’s Eastercon was no exception.
On the good side, the location was excellent. It was close to the centre of Manchester with a wealth of restaurants to choose from. I ate some great meals with great company.
On the downside, the venue was a bit rubbish. I’m not normally a person for panels. I’ve seen a lot of those discussions time and time again and have attended enough that I have my own views that are unlikely to be swayed. But, I always like to try and attend a few, whether to support friends who are panellists or just to see some interesting panellists talk. Eastercon felt oversubscribed due to the size of some of the rooms. Some people were queuing an hour before and still didn’t get in. And it wasn’t the big headline panels either.
At some point we all got fed up trying to get into panels and did what we always did and sat in the bar. Not too much a problem for me, but if I’d paid with the intention of actually seeing some discussions then I’d be a bit pissed off.
I did get into my own panel though, and it seemed to go very well. We were talking about plotting and I talked about how I went from being a pantser into a uber-plotter. I think I made sense as I had a number of people livetweet what I was saying. It was a fun panel with all the participants totally different to each other. Those that made it in seemed to enjoy it.
I’m sure next year it’ll all be different again, with completely different subjects being the thing everyone moans about next year. Despite this, I will more than likely be back… if only to be able to take stock of how far things have (or haven’t) moved along in my own and friends’ careers since the last event.