Swancon and the #c1blitz!

I’ve had a flat out week. It’s been a real doozy.

I went over to Swancon last week, and participated as a panellist and the paperback version of Frontier Resistance was officially released as well, and then this weekend has been the critique and winner reveals of Freshly Squeezed Reads #c1blitz.

Swancon was great. I participated in four panels – YA Dystopias from Christopher to Collins, Fan Fiction Tropes, Science in Speculative Fiction and Asimov to Zelazny – science fiction from the Golden age of Sci-fi.

It was Swancon’s fortieth birthday, and there were three special guests – John Scalzi, Kylie Chan, and Anthony Peacey, who had the very first Swancon in his living room forty years ago. It was lovely to see how much the fandom appreciated his part in initiating the Western Australian Sci-fi convention.

I attended multiple panels, met some fabulous people, and discovered that I can still find my way around Perth despite not living there for almost thirty years (that sounds dreadfully long!) The discussions were thought provoking, funny, entertaining, exciting and fascinating. There are so many eloquent and clever people in the Australian Speculative Fiction community, and it was lovely to see how nice, supportive and inclusive they are of each other. It was made even more evident when the furore over the Hugo nominations broke out all over the internet.

This might seem a little weird, but as an Australian looking in from the outside (and yes, I do know that if I purchase a supporting membership to Worldcon I can have my say) the whole thing seems almost impossible to imagine. I’m not going to weigh in on the argument (and no, I’m not swayed by who the con guests were), but being classed as a social justice warrior isn’t a bad thing here. Enough of that. It’s all over the internet, and you can read about it elsewhere.

On to the #c1blitz. If you’ve been reading my blog for a bit, you’ll know that I participated in Freshly Squeezed Reads first chapter competition as an industry pro. Freshly Squeezed Reads have now run two wonderful competitions for writers of YA literature.

This time around, each industry pro read and critiqued ten first chapters of manuscripts. Each entrant critiqued at least five. There were also teen critiques from a number of schools, who were fantastic. If you’re a writer of YA stuff, you really should pop on over, read some of the amazing writing, and most of all, check out the wonderful critiques. If you’re writing for teens, you should probably listen to what they have to say. There’s a link over there to two solid hours of teen comments which was a discussion aired during the Digital Writers Festival recently. Teens are forthright, and there’s no beating around the bush. I really enjoyed it.

That’s enough for now, though, so time to go and do some writing on my current works in progress. Happy reading (and writing) everyone.

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