I just got back from the Nineworlds convention which was held over this weekend in two hotels beside Heathrow Airport (in fact the car park of the Renaissance Hotel appears to be a favoured venue for plane spotters). All the stuff I was interested in took place in the Renaissance Hotel. The workshop the T-Party ran on the Saturday was a success even though we had only 7 submissions and 8 critiquers. I was critting with Gaie Sebold and Francis Knight and as always they gave very detailed and insightful comments. All the submitting writers joined in with comments so I think everyone got plenty of discussion of their work. Shame there weren’t more submissions, this is probably down to the announcement of the workshop going out too late.
The con itself seemed to be a success, considering it was the first time the organisers have run such an event. I’m told 1,200 people bought tickets and there may well have been more walk-in sales. There were loads more people in costume than I’ve seen at any other con. The panels worked well because they were scheduled with half an hour between them giving people plenty of time to find the room and the inevitable overruns didn’t matter. The only negative aspects are most likely down to the hotel. The bar was VERY expensive – £4.90 for a 330ml bottle of ordinary lager, £3.00 for a small glass of Coke – and with no decent beer. The bar is the heart of every convention; somewhere to circulate, meet people and relax between panels. The only people spending time there were the people with expense accounts. I didn’t buy a single drink while I was in the hotel (though good on the organisers for having frequently replenished water stations around the con). Same with the food in the hotel – too expensive for the average con attendee. There was no discounted car-parking rate for con attendees either.
I had a brief chat with my agent; the novel on submission has collected a few rejections, but there are still a decent number of editors who haven’t yet responded. It only takes one. Work on the sequel continues.