- by Elaine Isaak
The World Fantasy Convention (WFC) is the annual gathering for professionals in the field of writing and publishing fantasy fiction. It has the highest percentage of editors, authors and other pro’s of any con I know (although Readercon, in Burlington, MA, comes close). This con doesn’t have pointy ears (either elf or Spock), although it does have its share of eccentrics–you would recognize most of them from their book jacket photos. It’s a hot ticket in the genre world: memberships sold out last month!
This year, we’ll be celebrating the Edgar Allan Poe 200th Birthday! In honor of the occasion, I’m moderating a panel about the role of the raven in fantasy. We’ll look at mythology and symbolism as well as the real (and fascinating) birdsI’m especially excited about this year because I won a matching grant from my local state arts council to attend (which means I should now, according to the grant guidelines, tell you that my participation has been brought to you by a grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts–maybe I should have a t-shirt made up? except World Fantasy isn’t exactly a t-shirt event: even David Hartwell wears respectable ties. Except on Halloween, of course, but I’ve been digressing for too long.)
Other events include a mass autographing session (because almost everyone there is professionally published in one way or another) on Friday night, a reception at the amazing art show (think: covers from your favorite fantasy novels), and the World Fantasy Awards on Sunday. I’ll be meeting with two different on-line writers’ groups, discovering what my writing buddies really look like, and joining in a group signing at the fabulous Borderlands Bookstore in San Francisco Monday evening.
What does all of this have to do with you? Well, if you are writing fantasy novels, WFC is the place to be. You can rub elbows with the editors at the art show, and with the agents at the bar. The place will be packed with authors, probably further along the career path than you, and you have the chance to hear how they got there. It’s too late for this year, but next year’s con is centrally located in Columbus, Ohio. If you get there, look me up! I wouldn’t miss it for the world.