Let’s Talk About Conventions:
Conventions and conferences serve a number of purposes in the literary world. They are a chance to bring readers and authors together to meet, socialize, and talk about books. They are a chance for old friends to come together and new friendships to be forged. They are a chance to put a face with a name on both sides of the page. They are also a chance to hone your craft, find out what it takes to write a book and get published, find out what others are doing in the genre and make contacts.
Conventions are fun, but can be exhausting. No matter how much of a wallflower or a partyboy/girl you are, you can usually find your niche at a convention. I am a shy quiet introvert, but when I go to a con, I put on my “con-face” and pretend I am not. That works until about dinner time and then I am ready to crash. I can’t tell you what goes on after about 8 because I am just done by that time. However, from the pictures and stories I have heard, there is much fun to be had after dark.
I recently attended my first ever convention, and I do mean EVER. That convention was RainbowCon in Tampa in April. You can read about my experiences here. Shortly after I attended the RT Booklovers convention in New Orleans (read about my adventures in NOLA here). Both had their good points and their bad points.
So how does one find out about conventions? Well, a lot of it is really word of mouth. You hear (or see in the world of social media) someone talking about a convention they are attending and then you look into more information about it. There are some publications where cons are advertised, but as with so many other things in the world of GLBT, you have to pick and choose to decide what has enough content that will interest you.
I am by no means an expert on conventions. I have been to two…. total… in my life, but there have been plenty I wanted to go to and was just too chicken. It wasn’t until I found this genre, and even a few years after that in all honesty, that I got up the courage to attend.
Conventions are not cheap. You have the entrance fee, hotel, travel, and meals. If you like to indulge in alcohol, you have to budget for that as well. Don’t ask me exactly what to budget because that pretty much will depend on a number of things. Including how far you are traveling, how much you want to spend on food and drink,
Some tips I have picked up along the way
- Room with someone. Most hotels allow up to 4 adults per room (with 2 double beds), while you may or may not want to share a bed remember that you will likely be too tired to care and the more in the room, the cheaper your part of the cost.
- Roommates all have quirks, you pretend not to notice or care 😉
- Take earplugs
- Reserve a room. You can always cancel once you find a roommate.
- Take the equivalent of an empty suitcase if you plan to buy book and pick up swag, also remember that most airlines have 50lbs/suitcase limits or they charge money. It is usually cheaper for an extra suitcase than to pay overage fees.
- Be yourself. You are around a bunch of people you don’t know. Don’t add stress by being anyone other than you.
- Take time for yourself. You may be tempted to spend every waking hour with people, but take time for yourself or you will not have the energy to make it to the end of the con.
- You don’t have to do everything. Same logic as above.
So… What cons are out there?
Well the answer there a a lot of them. You will have to check out their websites for more information on each of them to see if they are for you or not. Some are mostly het with some GLBTQ thrown in, some are GLBTQ exclusively. The following list is not exhaustive, but it is a pretty good start:
- Austin Author Affair – Austin, TX May 2015. Signing Event and Party
- Authors After Dark – Charlotte, NC August 2014,
- BEA (Book Expo America) – NYC, NY May 2015
- BentCon – Los Angeles, CA Nov 2014, LGBT Focused, not book focused.
- Gay Rom Lit – Location Unknown October 2015 (note: Chicago, IL October 2014 is currently sold out, but there is a wait list available). The Premier M/M Romance event.
- Gay Rom Northwest – Seattle, WA September 2014 – one day meet-up event for fans of Gay Romance.
- Novel Experience Event – Las Vegas, NV April 2015
- OutlantaCon – Atlanta, GA May 2015. Queer Geek Con.
- PRIDE – Local to your area, Various dates throughout the Year.
- Rainbow Con – Tampa Florida, July 2015
- RT Booklovers – Dallas, TX, May 2015
- RWA – NYC, NY July 2015 – This one is for authors, media, and industry types and specifically for authors who are members of RWA.
- UK Gay Romance Signing Event – London, UK, September 2014
- UKMeet – Location Unknown (UK), September 2015
Where will I be?
I will be in Chicago for GRL in October. I also want to go to PRIDE in Austin, TX in September if I can find a few people to join me 🙂
Right now, my plans for 2015 include Novel Experience, Austin Author Affair, Gay Rom Lit, RT, and PRIDE Houston. Hope to see you there!
What is a convention without swag? Enter to win your own swag pack! It will include a signed paperback copy of The Dark Collector from Vanessa North, a Prism Book Alliance Tote Bag, and random swag from some of your favorite authors.
Comment below with your convention plans. Have you been? Are you going? Which ones do you want to go to but haven’t been able to?
You have 7 days to comment on this post to win your very own swag pack!
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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