And We’re Back In The Room…

I’m over the worst of the jet-lag now and am only falling asleep in the middle of poor submissions… no change there then!

Worldcon was eventful and certainly useful and occasionally a lot of fun too! It was great to meet all that Aussie talent (there’s a lot of it), spend some time with clients I rarely get to see, if ever! and also to get ‘face time’ with a number of  professional contacts too. I did some panels (some of which have been blogged about – see here and here (check out the photo here!) and managed to catch a cold. Why did nobody tell me it would be so cold and wet in Melbourne!

The next Zeno convention appearance will be at this year’s World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, Ohio.

For now… back to the grind.

JB’s Worldcon Schedule…

I’ll be doing six (six???, yes six!!!) panels at the Melbourne Worldcon. Do come along if you’re at the con, but please, only ask questions that I know the answers to!

Saturday, September 4th…

The Steampunk Playground – Saturday 1000 Room 213

If Tolkien defined epic fantasy, and Howard defined heroic fantasy, who defined steampunk? What are the seminal steampunk texts, if any, and how have they influenced the genre? How does a genre change without landmark texts to guide it?
Richard Harland, John Berlyne, Jay Lake

Pitching The Novel – Saturday 1200 Room 203
How does an aspiring writer go about pitching their first novel? Who do you approach, and how? Do you need an agent? How much should you submit? Do you need to write the whole book before approaching a publisher, or just the first few chapters – or nothing at all? A handy road-map to getting your novel in front of the right person, at the right time, and (most importantly)
the right way.
John Berlyne, Simon Spanton, Rowena Cory Daniells, Ginjer Buchanan

The Writer and the Audience: Online Interaction and Public Personae – Saturday 1500 Room 204
The Internet has brought with it a vast array of tools and opportunities for authors to promote their own work, and to interact directly with their readers. The question is: should they? Should ever author have a website, Twitter feed, Facebook account or Myspace? Should authors create and employ a brand? How should an author interact with his or her fans online? A look at the benefits, as well as where things can go horribly wrong.
Cory Doctorow, John Berlyne, Peter V. Brett, Mur Lafferty

Sunday, September 5th…

How to Review – Sunday 1300 Room 219
Reviewing a book seems easy enough from the outside – but what’s actually involved?  What responsibility does the reviewer have to his or her readers, the author of the book and its publisher? What should a reviewer aim to cover in a review, and how should one approach  a book if it’s particularly bad – or particularly good?
John Clute, John Berlyne, Crisetta MacLeod, Dirk Flinthart

The Secret Life of Literary Agents – Sunday 1500 Room 203
Every aspiring author is told he or she needs to find an agent – but how exactly do you do that? How do you approach an agent: what do you need to provide, should you telephone or e-mail? How do you know which agent is the right one for you? What is the benefit of having an agent? What should you expect from one? What will the agent expect from you in return? Is it possible to sustain a professional career without one? There are a lot of questions – we hope to provide some answers.
John Berlyne, Garth Nix, Ian Irvine

Taking it on the Chin: Authors and Reviews – Sunday 1700 Room 204
Sooner or later, every author is going to receive a bad review. Bad reviews hurt, and it’s often hard not to take them personally. How should authors react to negative reviews? How can  you tell the difference between a review that’s negative one that’s actually unfair – and what  can or should you do about it if it is?
John Berlyne, Jean Johnson, Karen Miller, John Scalzi

Submissions Open for Authors Attending This Year’s Worldcon…

Are you going to be at the Melbourne Worldcon in September? Are you an unagented author based in either Australia or New Zealand who will be attending? Are you an unagented author from somewhere else, but somehow independently wealthy enough to be going to the con? In either case, are you any good??

It’s looking increasingly likely that I’ll be attending Aussiecon 4 later in the year – volcanic ash permitting! My intention, having schlepped all that way, is to return with the pick of genre talent in my agently pocket, thus we’ve decided to open for submissions, but only for authors who will be attending the con. (Don’t try and hoodwink me – as I’ll be checking the membership roster to see if you’re on it! If you’re not going to be at Worldcon, your submission will not be considered in this window.)

What am I looking for? Well, all areas of genre fiction basically. That means SF, Fantasy and Horror and the various combinations/permutations thereof. As always, the salient factor is that of the excellence of the writing and the commercial hook, rather than how many rockets or wizards or ghosts appear in the story, so look to our Submission Guidelines and the About Zeno page to gauge our tastes.

Come on Australia and NZ – let’s see what you’ve got!