Dysprosium (otherwise known as Eastercon) – British Science Fiction Association

The 2015 Eastercon was held at The Park Inn, Heathrow (3rd to 6th April)—four days of panels, workshops, author interviews and readings, demonstrations… the list goes on… and packed full of science fiction and fantasy devotees. Heaven!

As always I was torn between equally attractive and compelling events that were, sigh, timetabled at the same day/time. This always happens. The hotel lounges were full of people agonising over the programme and trying to decide what to go to next (apart from the dedicated bar loungers, who concentrated on catching up with old friends and the making the most of the networking opportunities—another essential aspect of any BSFA convention).

So, what did I see/do over those four days?

Friday was effectively a half-day, starting at lunch-time. For me it had a very practical focus: How to Find an Agent, and a panel on the ‘Maturing Readership in Young Adult Fiction’.

How to Find an Agent – pointers included checking out the Literary Rejections website and Query Shark for example synopsise and letters. A challenge was posed to the audience: Can you pitch your book in a tweet? It’s something that Gollancz is asking their authors to do!

Query Tracker – Helping Authors Find Literary Agents

Agent Query – database of literary agents.

Saturday was a packed, full-on day. The highlights for me were the two editing workshops:

Editing your masterpiece, run by Elsewhen press, where participants were encouraged to bring along a short story that needed work. Four authors published by Elsewhen press were on hand to help and advise. The workshop was professionally run, but kept a friendly and helpful atmosphere at all times.

An editorial workshop was also run by Donna Scott. This was another extremely useful and well-run event. Key areas covered:

  • Clean and lean use of adjectives and adverbs
  • Show-don’t-Tell
  • Watch out for mixed metaphors
  • Cliché away
  • I taught I tore a tautology
  • Is there an echo in here… here… here?
  • Once upon a time there was a way of introducing a character that won’t do anymore

That’s enough for one post. I’ll catch up on the Sunday and Monday events next time…

2 Comments

I had a great time at Eastercon. I probably went to more panels than I usually do. There were some excellent scientific lectures. Of course, hanging out in the bar with friends is always a huge part of the fun, too. I’m looking forward to Fantasycon later in the year. (Nottingham in October.)

Yep, I’m signed up for Fantasycon too. Also thinking about going along to Bristolcon in September, as I can combine that with a visit to family (well, that’s my excuse, anyway).

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