Post panel ponder

Well, yesterday was the panel on ‘Future Writing’ at the Emerging Writers Festival, for which I was one of the panelists, and I think it went pretty well. All four people involved had very different ideas about what the panel topic meant and what they wanted to talk about, and we explored a variety of different angles and philosophies in the seven minutes we each had to speak.

For my part, I said that whatever form it took, future writing was likely to be writing without the backing of a major publisher. From my perspective as someone who works for a major publisher, I talked about the benefits that they provide (editing, marketing, production etc.) and how a single person or small group could hope to finance and gain those benefits. Which led to the concepts of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, and I talked for a while about those things – things I didn’t know a great deal about until recently, but I could share what I’d learned and found with the group. And all that talk about looking to an audience for support and making them part of the process finished up with the notion that future writing is / would be, by its nature, closely tied to collaboration and community, and about sharing your passion and enthusiasm with readers in a genuine way from start to finish.

I didn’t make any jokes. I was too nervous.

Feedback afterwards was pretty positive, and there were some very good reviews on Twitter, so I feel like I acquitted myself honourably. And I got to hang out with a bunch of writers in the bar afterwards and talk about the festival and writing in general, which was a lot of fun. So that was great. Now I’m really hoping they’ll have me back next year.

Next on the speaking agenda is Continuum in two weeks, where I’m sharing panels with cool people like Ben McKenzie, Richard Harland and Catherynne Valente. So that’s likely to be pretty damn fun. Once, you know, I work out what the hell I’m talking about.

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