Saturday, November 24, 2012

Playing catch up - with GenreCon 2012 and Faber Academy

The end of the year is hurtling towards me and I’m not sure whether to duck, dodge, or weave. It feels like the last few weeks have been a full on mix of completing a structural edit of Book 2, teaching, talking and researching and preparing for the aforementioned teaching and talking.
A few weekends ago I was very lucky and very happy to be a special guest at the inaugural Genre Con

It was very exciting to feel part of an event, which is, I’m certain, going to be a permanent fixture on the Australian writing calendar - an event that is only going to get bigger.
Congratulations to Australian Writers’ Marketplace and Queensland Writers’ Centre for having the insight and initiative to recognise that genre writers and readers are a tribe, a tribe who needed an event to meet, share experiences, talk about the craft and learn about each other’s story telling.
It was a stroke of genius to run the workshops and talks in mixed genres rather than as streams. So I shared panels with Anna Campbell, a romance writer, Joe Abercrombie, a fantasy writer, Simon Higgins, a crime, sci-fi and children’s writer and Charlotte Nash Stewart, a romantic suspense writer. And it meant our audiences were drawn from across the genre divides as well.
If you weren’t there then check out the AWM’s blog and the links to a whole range of wrap ups.
I also had the pleasure a few weeks back, of teaching a day course for the Faber Academy in Sydney – Troubleshooting Crime

It was a small class and gave us the absolute luxury of spending the day intensively working on the students’ projects. 
Some classes consist of picking apart the pieces of writing crime – the genre conventions and how to break the rules, the significance of writing place, what makes a plot work, how to create a character that steps from the page and into your life. 
And then occasionally you have the opportunity to teach a class that allows you to roll your sleeves up and work on the particular rather than the abstract; to talk plot in respect of the students’ own plots, character as it applies to the cast they have assembled, to wrestle with issues of structure and tone – it’s a rare treat.

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