Last week I attended the 2012 edition of the World Fantasy Convention in Toronto (well, actually Richmond Hill), Ontario. I have been to WFC in the past, most recently in San Diego last year.
The difference this time was, I was attending the convention as a professional writer with a book and several published short stories under my belt.
I must confess, I was a little put off by the $81 cab ride; the hotel was, as mentioned above, not actually in Toronto and there were no cheaper alternatives that didn’t involve excessive travel time (or at least, so I thought). However, once I was settled in the hotel, the excitement of being there started to grow.
I could continue to give you a blow-by-blow of what went on, but I suspect you have things to do. So, what did I get out of the convention? Lots of things.
- I renewed several of my friendships made at previous conventions. I also renewed several acquaintances and finally met some people I’ve known online for quite a while;
- I met a lot of new, interesting people and made several new friends;
- I participated in and moderated a panel on Humour in Fantasy that was very well received. That led to meeting more people;
- I got to hand out with my editor and friend Robert Runte;
- I got to meet my publisher (Robert and I drove out to meet Lorina and her husband). We spent a fantastic day together;
- I pitched some of my work and have interest in two more of my books;
- I made some excellent professional contacts; and
- I had many MANY fantastic conversations.
There will be some guests on Get Published because of my time at the convention too and I was interviewed by John Mierau for his Serving Worlds podcast.
All-in-all, a I had a fantastic time at the convention. I know that I will see a number of benefits from my attendance. Some I can’t even guess at yet.
I heartily recommend that you attend professional conventions like WFC when given the chance. The benefits make the time and cost commitments worth it.