My First Nebulas Conference

My regular posting has been a bit skewed the past few weeks, due to multiple conferences and the general busyness that comes from doing a lot of things. But I’m back – not just in the figurative sense, but literally back from a four-day trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for my first Nebulas Conference, as a bonafide associate member of SFWA.

See, I have a card and everything.

I love writing conferences because I get a nice energy boost from hanging out with my fellow creatives and talking shop, and each one has something a little different to offer. As you can imagine, SFWA’s annual get-together had a lot to offer, from brilliant programming to great networking and hanging out with awesome people who, like myself and pretty much every other writer out there, are trying to do their best in the crazy world that is the publishing industry. I got the chance to meet writers who I’ve been corresponding with online for a while, and begin forging new friendships and professional contacts that I will hope will last well into the future (do I sound really hokey yet? I’m a little tired, not at all from multiple nights in the hotel bar – I swear I was in bed relatively early each night). I’m not a fan of posts that provide a play-by-play of everything someone got up to at a con, but here are some of my favorite moments from the weekend, in no particular order:

  1. Debating objectively (for me, anyway) who’s more attractive: Neil Gaiman or China Mievelle. Apparently the correct answer is “neither,” in place of a third party (or so I was told).
  2. Fellow author Mike Evans using my own peer-pressuring methods to keep me in the hotel bar for an extra three hours (I think) on Friday night (I still swear my statement above is true).

    Sorry this is a little blurry, Cat!

  3. Cat Rambo delighting in her newly-purchased centrepiece robot from the Nebulas banquet.
  4. Dodging as Tee Morris literally leaped over me in the hotel bar to meet the makers of Habitica (which is an awesome app, by the way).
  5. My friend’s agent asking him, “Wait, are you pulling a Comey memo on me?” as we discussed his detailed agenda for their business meeting.

But all of this pales in comparison to the Nebula Awards ceremony on Saturday night, for the simple reason that I got to cheer in person for the fabulous Amal el-Mohtar, who won the award for Best Short Story for “Seasons of Glass of Iron,” which was published in The Starlit Wood last year. There’s something special about seeing someone truly deserving win that kind of accolade, and if nothing else reinforces that good people who do good work still get acknowledged for it in this world.

Now that I’m returned to the real world here in Ottawa, with a ton of new ideas and resources for my writing and a contented fatigue that I only partly hope will fade so I can actually teach tomorrow, I wanted to say one more thank you to the SFWA board and the organizers of the Nebulas conference. I’m already looking forward to next year, and will be registering as soon as the option is available. And of course, a shout-out and thank you to my friend and mentor, Derek Kunsken, for convincing me to make the 10-hour drive to Pittsburgh to see everything that SFWA has to offer.


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