CONduit 2013

I just got back from attending a sf/f convention called CONduit in Salt Lake City this weekend. I’ve never been to a straight-up sci-fi convention before. While it was less writer-based than LTUE, it was a lot of fun. (I particularly enjoyed getting away from the parents and staying in the Radisson Hotel where the convention was held. I had a giant room all to myself. It was super nice.)

Because there weren’t as many writer-focused panels and presentations at CONduit compared to LTUE, I sat in on what looked interesting, took a few notes. I also tried to hone my networking skills by chatting with as many authors at the convention as I could before my chronic sense of self-awkwardness kicked in. I gleaned some great tips and swapped some of those business cards I got a couple months ago, which makes me feel kind of writer-legit now. I made new contacts and reconnected with some old ones. BYU has a print-on-demand book-making machine in their bookstore, and I brought a couple of last-minute print copies of my novella Maladaptive Bind “just in case.” This cool author named Dave Butler bought one from me, read it, and gave a plug for Slithers on Facebook (thanks Dave)!

In the evenings there were a lot of fun activities. I went to a general ice cream social, a “vampire tea party” hosted by Heather Joseph-Witham and Tom Carr (they had free cake [and tea, but I don’t drink tea…]). I went to Paul Genesse’s launch party for a story compilation called A Walk in the Abyss. I had to get a copy of this compilation because, one, the cover is awesome, and two, Paul claims his story “No-Tusks” could possibly be the most important orckish love story ever written. I happen to be working on an orc love story of my own and had to see this for myself. Those attending the launch party were split up into “tribes”–orcs, giants, and greyshalks. We ate pizza and played games (i.e., growling contest, “skunk throwing” contest, howling contest, and sour gummy worm eating contest) for prizes. I won’t elaborate, but the activities were a blast.

For one final plug, here are just a few of the cool authors I met with links to their websites. You should check out their work:

Dave Butler
Adrienne Monson 
Paul Genesse
Larry Correia
Nathan Shumate
Aneeka Richins
Carter Reid (He does art too, if anyone is looking for a quality book cover).
V. J. O. Gardner
Stephen Miller

And, of course, there were many cool people there besides writers.

Here are the panels/presentations I attended:
Dark Gods, Deep Ones, and Dagon, oh my! The obligatory H.P. Lovecraft Panel (Nathan Shumante, Tom Carr, Steve Diamond, Dave Butler).
GoH Address: Larry Correia
Writing the Romance: “Conduit After Dark” (Ann Chamberlin, Ann Sharp, Adrienne Monson).
Sex and Violence in Fairy Tales (Heather Joseph-Witham).
Spiritualism and the First Ghost Hunters (Tom Carr, Heather Joseph-Witham) *(that was a weird panel).
Write About What You Know (Larry Correia, Paul Genesse, Jaleta Clegg, Eric Swedin, Anna Del C. Dye).
Using the Monster (about techniques for creating effective monsters in stories) (Larry Correia, Carter Reid, Adrienne Monson, Steve Diamond).
GoH Address: Paul Genesse
The Best Advice I Was Ever Given (Larry Correia, Paul Genesse, Eric James Stone, Dan Willis, Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury). *(the best panel I attended).

It was a great weekend, interesting event. I even got a little writing done. :-)

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Sarah E. Seeley is a fantasy and horror author, and an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association. She has a bachelor’s degree in geology and loves exploring the science of human origins.

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