Immediately after the awards ceremony, we writers and illustrators made our way back into the hotel lobby. Before the ceremony, this had been the venue for our swanky dinner, now we found that we were at the site of our first book signing. The organisers of this event are nothing if not awesome, and it makes my head spin to think how quickly they effected this change!
The lobby of the Roosevelt, shortly after its transformation from a dining hall into a book launch/signing. Big stacks of the anthology can be seen in the middle of the room, and along the outside of the room the illustrators wait next to their framed illustrations. Most of the writers can be seen in the middle of the pic, madly signing away.
A final wrap-up blog post will be coming soon, wherein I finish the retelling of my great USA adventure.
In the mean-while, one of the photographers who recorded the event (the lovely Huguette) has emailed me a giant swag of professional photos taken during the week. I’ve uploaded them all into a Flickr account for your enjoyment, and it can all be found here:
So after returning to the Author Services building turning in our 24-hour stories, John Goodwin (President of Galaxy Press) dropped by to give our class a bit of a talk about media, self-promotion, and interviewing skills. This was really invaluable stuff – I’ve done other writing courses/camps/retreats before, and not once has anyone ever told me about how to conduct myself in an interview situation. Here’s a great example: If someone says to you “so, what’s your story about?” can you neatly summarise your tale in thirty seconds or so? Pretty much every time I’ve been asked this question, I come out with “there’s this guy, you see, and he lives in this land where so-and-so happens, and he has the ability to so-and-so, and then…” by which time the other person has a glazed look in their eyes and you’ve officially lost their interest.
Now change this into an interview setting with the media. You’ve got thirty seconds to sell yourself and your new product, to an interviewer who is probably not interested in the genre and who will unconsciously attempt to derail the conversation to more familiar territory. We were taught how to be concise, how to present ourselves, how to stick to the topic and answer the question we really want to answer (much as politicians do in interviews).
We were put into practice with our “twins” (person you’re sat next to for the workshop), and did dry-runs of our interviewing skills until we were blue in the face. This was invaluable, as later on we first prize winners did film and radio interviews, and all the contestants did film and taped interviews with the folks from Author Services after the awards ceremony. At some stage a filmed interview with us will appear at neverendingpanel.com, and we each did a spot for XM Radio. I’m sure glad we had a bit of practice first!
All books published by WOTF winners are kept in a very cool library, and I too have a book here! It’s the skinny one next to The Jane Austen Book Club.
I have mentioned this a few times now, but the time is finally here! Issue #6 of Midnight Echo (magazine of the Australian Horror Writer’s Association) is now open for submissions. This is the SF/Horror issue, co-edited by myself, David Conyers and David Kernot. Submission details as below:
This market is open to all, not just members of AHWA. So have a read of the guidelines, and send your creepy alien tales (of 5000 words or less) to firstname.lastname@example.org - it’s as easy as that.
If you have any queries, comment on this post or email me direct at email@example.com and I’ll do my best to answer them. Good luck and good writing!
Many congrats to this year’s winners of the Ditmar and Hugo Awards! A great year for SF and Australian SF in particular, and it was great to see many folks I admire walking away with well-deserved trophies. Congrats to everyone of course, but special kudos go out to Peter M Ball, Cat Sparks, Robert Hood and Paul Haines, you bunch of magnificent bastards.
A real shame I missed the party in Melbourne, looks like the Worldcon was great fun sigh. Apparently a bunch of mags and anthos got launched on the weekend, and I’m watching my mail-box with bated breath, especially for the Fisch-based zombie kangaroo that graces the cover of ASIM #46.
So here I am, unpacked and somewhat caught up on sleep. I have returned from my epic adventure to the USA and honestly? My head is still spinning from the awesomeness of the week just gone. I figure it’s best to just get everything down as I think of it; I know I’ve always enjoyed reading the accounts of previous WOTF winners, and found it inspiring. I’d read these posts and put my head down, determined, sending these guys one solid story every quarter. Perhaps someone will find this account helpful, somewhat amusing, or a cautionary tale. I’ve littered this account with what photos I had the presence of mind to take.
(I know it’s traditional for many folks to recount their WOTF experience day-by-day, but that’s not how I roll. It’s all melded together at this stage anyways)
Caught between a rock and a Hard Rock place…given the opportunity of a lifetime I still managed to squeeze in the odd tourist moment.
Once more I stand on antipodean shores, and the Writers of the Future week is officially over. And what a week it was! I had the time of my life. Still feeling a bit jetlagged, and there are many things I shall retrospectively blog about, but I need to rest, collect my thoughts, and get some photos off my camera. In the meantime, the awards ceremony itself can now be viewed online – for your convenience, here tis!
Not sure where my speech is exactly in this clip, but it’s towards the end of things. What an incredible night! More soon.