Sorry you guys, I had this written for posting on Monday, but forgot I was doing the post to promote Bound to Ransom, so it got pre-empted. But here it is…
What the H E double hockey sticks happened to the con?
First night of Mid South Con is always a bit overwhelming. The crowd is big, the noise is huge, and the anticipation is high. There were so many changes to the usual con plan this year though, I had to post.
The badges were different. The program is different. The placement of regular attendees was different. I was a little confused. Not, surprising though, as everyone knows con attendance is down across the world. Maybe they had less to work with?
The writer track is located in one room this year, away from all the other panels on say, paranormal, etc. So in a way it is good because I can go in one room and sit and write all day and night and still hear all the good writing advice. But it is bad because we are set apart from the inside thrust of the con. In other words, if anyone doesn’t know about us, they won’t be coming in.
And they might not come in any way because a lot of the panels on speculative fiction are not listed in the program. Oversight? Maybe.
I, Kim Smith, am not listed in the program either- and I signed up as soon as sign ups began. That surely is not an oversight, but rather a bit of lackidaisical programming.
Oh, the people I love are mostly there. I got hugs from Herika R., Jim Hodgson, and Tyrone Tony Reed, but a few big names, worthy of mention are missing. Those would be H. David Blalock who is a con regular. Stephen Zimmer has his own con now up in Kentucky (Imaginarium ROCKS)-and the regulars like Crymsyn Hart, and others. If they were there, I didn’t see them anyway. I missed seeing Tim Gatewood, but I understand why he wasn’t there.
And finally, the dealer room is half of the size it used to be. Very few publishers are there, and they are sort of downplayed. It’s a big focus on cosplay this year, which is great, but … I am a writer. I want more.
So…hate to say it, but unless MSC gets more meat on their skewer for writers, we may be gone next year. And by gone I mean cut out. I may be gone anyway, and I don’t mean cut out, I mean not going. I have another one of those … life intervenes posts coming soon.
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Oh dear…I was one of those cosplayers who attended some of the writing panels. I’m not sure if I was in one of yours (on Saturday, you would’ve seen a Kylo Ren if I was there), but even I as someone who has moved further into cosplay could tell something was off about the organization of the con this year given how late the schedule got posted and how late some of my coworkers got notified of important setup information. And the number of conflicts between the printed programs and the online one was huge. I’m not so sure it was a writer-specific thing though. There seemed to be something going on at the top this time, that I hope they will learn from in order to keep things from going down the wrong track.
I do hope though, that it didn’t seem as though I wasn’t taking the panels seriously, because of attending in costume.
It wasn’t the attendees that were off, at all. It was the programming. The lack of attention to programming. I don’t know…maybe it was just me? I love cosplay and the way everyone works so hard at their costumes. I enjoyed many of your companions. Keep going!
There was something that affected many parts of the con this year…I attended events on multiple tracks and I could tell it wasn’t just the writers’ stuff that was affected. It might not be a bad idea to nicely let the ConCom know some of your concerns. I know I did one year when they scheduled the con on time change weekend and thankfully, that never happened again.