Author Topic: World Fantasy Convention  (Read 1141 times)

fireflyz

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World Fantasy Convention
« on: October 09, 2010, 02:50:06 AM »
I'm an unpublished author who has written several books of varying lengths (130-150k) and sundry novellas and short stories.  I just finished the revisions on my latest novel and feel confident that it's my best yet.  How good?  Who knows for sure.  Only recently I've been considering going to some sf&f conventions to network with agents and editors.  I live in PA.  I'd love to go to the Con in NYC this weekend, but that's not possible with work. 

The next availiable con is World Fantasy.  For a variety of reasons I'd only be able to drive out Friday night, attend for most of the day Saturday, and then drive home for that night.  I haven't been able to find any feedback from new authors concerning this convention.  Having never been to a convention, I'm not sure what to expect.  For one thing, they don't allow day passes, so it's 165 dollars for 6-8 hours on Saturday.  That's not counting the hotel room and gas/food/time. 

For all of that, I don't have a problem heading out to Columbus Ohio if there are going to be a lot of reputable fantasy agents looking for new talent.  So, if anyone has gone, is going, or knows what it's all about, could you please clue me in?  The last thing I want is to do all of this to find only one or two agents there for other reasons, not looking for prospective clients.  Thanks in advance!
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: World Fantasy Convention
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2010, 08:03:00 AM »
World Fantasy is THE convention with the highest ratio of pro to fan. There are tons of editors there. Agents are there too but you really have to know who to look for (agents usually keep a pretty low profile anywhere).

The important thing is NOT to try to give anyone your manuscript or query letter at the convention. They hate that. But do talk to as many editors/agents as you can. Ask them about what they're currently working on that they're excited about. Then 20 minutes to an hour later casually mention that you've recently finished revising a novel. Have your elevator pitch ready if they ask what it's about. Don't say more unless they ask for more details. At the end of the conversation ask if you can send them something. Then later when you get home, send it immediately with a cover letter that says "I talked to you at World Fantasy. You were excited about your new book by ______. You said I could send you my book. Here it is."

Brandon and Dan both met their editor at World Fantasy in Montreal in 2001. He didn't buy a book from either one of them for more than 18 months later, but that's what did it. But also, this took place at a room party on Sunday night. The room parties in the evenings are where a lot of talking gets done, if you can hear over the noise. Also, the hotel bars are good places to meet people. It really helps if you know what people look like though.

6 to 8 hours on Saturday, leaving in the evening before the parties start, is a tough sell, especially if you're going alone. And there are no guarantees in a situation like this. We went to three different World Fantasies and only one of them was hugely successful. (The others were good too but no one got useful comments from an editor on their manuscript after them.)

Dress business casual and ask experienced editors who the junior/associate/new editors are at their companies. Those are the people who will be looking for new talent. (Talk to the experienced editors too but they're more likely to have full plates.) Um...sign up for a reading, if you possibly can. (They have limited reading spots though.) Poppy Z. Brite was discovered through a reading at either World Fantasy or Worldcon.
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fireflyz

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Re: World Fantasy Convention
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2010, 01:52:18 PM »
Thanks for the quick reply!  That's a lot of good information.  I really appreciate it.  Alot to consider then...
Follow my journey from aspiring author to published phenom.  Along the way we'll discover the dos and don'ts of successful writing!

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fireflyz

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Re: World Fantasy Convention
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2010, 06:26:19 PM »
Hey Peter, I don't know if you're monitoring this or not.  I just wanted to say thanks for all the great advice.  I ended up going Friday through Sunday and met several agents which developed into several requests.  If not for your advice (and the writing excuses podcast) I don't think I would have been nearly as successful.  I was hoping to run into you there to thank you in person, but wasn't able to.  (I did meet Dan which was nice)  So I just wanted to say thanks.  If we happen to go to the same convention again I"ll bring you a block of cheese per Brandon's suggestions in WOK.  Any particular type your partial to?  Thanks again.
Follow my journey from aspiring author to published phenom.  Along the way we'll discover the dos and don'ts of successful writing!

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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: World Fantasy Convention
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2010, 05:48:45 AM »
I like cheddar. :)

I'm glad that you had a successful time. Sorry to have missed you; I was there Friday and Saturday and was around Dan multiple times, such as when he was playing board games in the lobby.
All Saiyuki fans should check out Dazzle! Emotionally wrenching action-adventure and quirky humor! (At least read chapter 6 and tell me if you're not hooked.) Volume 10 out now!