“Down the hall. It’s a 10 x10 room with an orc in it.”
“That second glass of toxic waste is what did me in last night.”
“She’s with either the klingon or a guy in an aviator’s outfit.”
YEP, you guessed it. ORYCON. Where else would you see a cardboard box with a periscope peeking out and riding an elevator? Or a captain of a spaceship walking in Earth heavy gravity?
Orycon is Portland’s annual science fiction/fantasy Con. And it can get pretty weird…and wonderful.
One of the most important things writers can do is to attend a workshop, a Con, or join an association or a writer’s group. Get out and about and meet your readers and fellow authors. Learn something new and make new acquaintances. I met my editor at a Con and the leader of my writers’ group.
Boy, am I glad I did.
Here in Oregon, Orycon is the big event where writers can learn how to hone their writing skills, navigate the treacherous waters of publishing, and network with fellow writers and well-known science fiction and fantasy authors through panels and chance encounters. There’s a whole gaming culture, art gallery and deep into the evening…there’s filking.
This year Author Guest of Honor was my friend Mike Shepherd who whispered that he just got offered a three book contract for a new series with a new protagonist in the universe of Kris Longknife. www.mikeshepherd.org. Artist Guest of Honor was Vance Kovacs. Check out his beautiful pictures on book covers, movie treatments, games and films at www.Vancekovacs.com. (see picture above) Editor Jess Hartley has her fingers in the pies of gaming, fiction and game design. Media Guest of Honor, Aaron Duran has a popular blog and podcast called www.geekinthecity.com.
Gaming entrepreneur Clayton Callahan brought gaming fun with his “Quick and Easy Games.” http://www.quickandeasygames.wordpress.com
I attended two writing workshops where in August I had turned in 7500 words each of two upcoming novels to be evaluated by professional authors. (Bill Nolan being one) If my ego can weather the corrections, my stories will be stronger for all the great comments offered me.
Special thanks again to Carole Cole who does a fantastic job at arranging everything for the writers’ workshops…down to the chocolate. Criticism goes so much better when there’s chocolate in your mouth.
Some suggested venues for this area are: the Willamette Writer’s Conference, The Clarion Workshop and other private workshops. These cost more money, but are not genre specific and do not require costuming skills. Local writing groups are sprinkled around the area. Check them out. Powell’s Bookstore in Cedar Crossing has a great science fiction book club if you are an avid reader and want to join up with folks with the same interests. Also associations such a the Northwest Independent Writers Association and the Portland Writers Group offers networking opportunities where writers share what they know and talk about their work.
And there’s no telling what you might overhear at any of them. Get out, get about and join the fun.