[LMB] WorldCon OT:

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Tue, 10 Aug 2004 19:27:57 -0400

-- Paula Lieberman
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Sara Amis" <mabonwy at mindspring.com>

> My objective is to maximize the amount of hanging around with
> writers/editors/agents I can do, and generally soaking up writery stuff :)

There are a number of caveats involved in that, though.

1.  One of the better places for that is to hang around in the bar, however,
a lot of the people in there have known one another for a -long- time, and
will be making references to people and events of the past, sometimes
decades before. They aren't necessarily going to be talking writing,

2.  The person who is "just a fan" today could be a Big Name Editor or
Writer some years in the future-- Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Teresa Nielsen
Hayden were late teens or very early 20s when they were working on the 1978
World Science Fiction Convention.  Today Patrick is a Senior Editor at Tor,
and Teresa also does editing work for Tor.  Ginjer Buchanan of Ace was "just
a fan" once upon a time.  Charlie Stross was a pushy wannabee for a number
of years, these days he's on the Hugo ballot. Mike Resnick and Carol Resnick
were Masquerade competitors when I first met them, in the Masquerade at
Torcon II, these days Mike is a regular name on the Hugo ballot.  The best
place to talk to Mike is the CFG suite, at one in the morning, he and Jack
Chalker and others talking about publishing and such with their hair own
[not that they have that much hair, but....]

3.  There are hundreds of writers present, and a lot of editors, and a lot
of agents.  But they aren't the only people who know about "the business of
writing," and particularly some of them are narrow specialists in some
particular area.

4. What is it you want to talk about?  The mechanics of writing?  Agents?
Writer's block? There are one line forums such as Holly Lisle's website
which focus on -writing- and such, there are also forums like Critters on
sff.net where people do critiques on one another's writing, and the is the
#horrorcellar IRC Monday nights on irc.sff.net hosted by Karen N. Taylor, a
vampire novelist, which usually has several horror writers present and
talking about books, publishing, whatever.  Terry McGarey, who does line
editing day job work and has several novels out, is the host showing up
around ten or 11 PM EST on  Thursday nights on the #lobby IRC on

There are other on-line forums where people talk about writing and markets
and such.  www.ralan.org or www.ralan.com or some such lists SF markets.
Speculations which turned into a website from a print magazine focuses on SF
and fantasy writing.   Julie Czerneda's sff.net newsgroup which I gave up
trying to keep up to date on, and Sherwood Smith's sff.net newsgroup, are
both places where lots of people talk about writing.

People who've been in contact on-line, often arrange to meet in person at

At the Worldcon, Glen Cook usually has a dealer's table, and you can walk up
to his table and talk to him about writing and such at his  dealer's table.
Meisha Merlin and other small/specialty presses have tables.   Some of them
may be easier to get published by than having your manuscript sat on by a
Big Publisher by two or more years....

5. Baen Books usually throws a party that the entry to is relatively open,
and has editors present.  Big publisher parties, though, tend to
get -noisy-, also more and more of the publishers have a habit of playing
monopoly games with the authors and taking them offsite for an entire

6. There is no Secret Method to getting published, Heinlein's "You must
write, you must finish what you write, you must submit what you write" is
the "secret."   And you have to keep doing it... persistence won't always
work, but if you don't keep trying... some people sell the first thing they
ever try sending out, but that's rare.  Other people it's dozens or more
than 100 rejection slips later before they sell.