Today I am returning to real life after a weekend at Context 26. I’m reminded of how much I like this small convention. It’s a place where you can actually talk to writers whose work you admire, and discuss writing with published and aspiring authors.
I’ve been attending Context for years. It seems to me it’s a little different every time. Highlights from this weekend, apart from spending time with the wonderful people from my writers’ group in a non-critique environment, included of course seeing Sword of Jashan on the Loconeal table in the dealers’ room. They were also selling the LocoThology anthology in which I have a short story titled Retirees in Space.
I enjoyed participating in the signing session. Also got to say hello to Jack McDevitt, one of the Guests of Honor, and tell him I enjoyed his Alex Benedict mystery novels set in the distant future. And I got to say hi to a few people I usually only interact with on social media.
I was able to participate in two panels. The first was about Writers’ Groups — a great topic! It seems every Writer’s Group represented there functioned a little differently in important ways, yet every writer on the panel had benefited from them.
Sunday morning opened with a panel called “What do you Bring to your Word Processor?” with myself, Tim Waggoner, Ron Horsley and Gary Wedlund. That was a pretty fuzzy topic I thought, but it turned out very well.
It turns out — surprise! — that many things vary from writer to writer, everything from what physical writing location helps them be most productive, to how they handle writing opening chapters, to what they think about critique groups.
But for all the writers there, a few things are the same: 1) It is important to produce. Keep writing! 2) Feedback is valuable, but there are cautions about how much feedback you as a writer should seek, and how you should act upon the criticism you receive.
I am already looking forward to the next Context. Of course that hasn’t been planned yet, but I hope I’ll be able to be there.