Convention Programming

In the most general terms, my approach to writing is to write the book I want to read, and hope other people want to read it too.

I take the same approach when I’m in charge of programming at a convention—that is, I try to put together panels built around writing topics that I’m struggling with and that I want to hear a lot of smart people talk about.  That is, for the most part.  For five years I had the honor and pleasure of teaching at a week-long writing workshop called Viable Paradise (recommended, by the way), and so based on that experience, I also like to throw in some of the more common problems I saw coming up among students.

I am, just now, about to start putting together the schedule for Narrativity, to be held (absent a new COVID upsurge) over Labor Day Weekend.  Looking through the proposed list of panels—the ones I came up with, and the ones suggested by others—it’s kind of a drag we’re not going to be able to do them all.  As a rule, we pick which ones make the cut by how many people are eager to be on them, although I reserve the right to say, “No, we’re doing that one cuz I wanna.”

Narrativity is small, with single-track programming that includes breaks for lunch and supper, so the idea is that most people will be at every panel, which leads to what is, for me, the fun part: trying to figure out the flow, that is, how each panel feeds into the next one, as well as which ones are likely to generate the best discussion over the supper break or between days.

Anyway, consider the post an advertisement for the convention, if you’d like, although mostly I’m just procrastinating before diving into the brutal chore of figuring out how many panels we aren’t going to have time for.

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I play the drum.

4 thoughts on “Convention Programming”

  1. I am tempted to try to have a five day convention, except that then we’d probably come up with seven days worth of panels.

  2. @LizV The guaranteed best way to extend the panel-attendance day, to guarantee the guests and attendees are all present at an evening session, and WANT to be there is to have a panel at the hotel bar with the presenters well-supplied with a convention-supplied open tab.


  3. First, I just saw your friends list. I have not read a couple of them and I was looking for new recommendations. Thanks! Scalzi is someone I recommend almost as often as you. Second, do you have any idea when the cost details will be released?

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