I’ve already mentioned I’m not a very social person. I like my small gatherings and tight-knit groups. So when I went to my first writing convention last fall, I wasn’t entirely sure I’d enjoy myself.
Of course, due to the chaos of last year, the 2020 World Fantasy Convention was held virtually. I was okay with this; tickets were cheaper, and I wouldn’t have to pay for travel. The major downside was that I’d planned to meet my writing buddy at the convention, and now our in-person meeting would be delayed indefinitely.
The convention’s virtual format worked really well for me. WFC took pains to make it feel fun and social, with different chatrooms set up in the evenings after the day’s panels had concluded. I didn’t expect to spend a lot of time in these chatrooms, but I ended up in them every night until one or two in the morning. I really enjoyed being able to meet other writers who shared my passion and dedication, and having a built-in friend in the form of my writing buddy made it easier to socialize.
I promised myself I’d try to be outgoing and make connections over the long weekend, and thankfully I was helped in this. One night, in a chatroom with about eight people, I found three others based in Southern California. One of them emailed after the convention, and from there the four of us formed a group. We knew we had similar interests and goals, which brought us to the convention, and we all had massive works in progress. Six months later, we’re exchanging chapters and critiques very consistently.
I got to meet them all in person for the first time last weekend. We met up at a coffee shop, and we proceeded to talk…for six hours. And honestly, it was great. I’ve found friends who share my passion and drive, and who are quite talented in their own rights.
I went to the World Fantasy Convention not really knowing what to expect. I sat in on a lot of panels, took copious amounts of notes, jotted down so many reading recommendations, and met some cool people. But hands down, the biggest benefit has been finding a local writing group and fostering that connection with others like me.
What I wrote this week: Finley outlining; Kita bonus content.
What I read this week: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno Garcia; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender.