Au Contraire – Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention in Wellington

SpecFicNZ at Au Contraire Wgtn
The new & old SpecFicNZ committee including Elizabeth Heritage, Dan Rabarts, Liz Gatens, Marie Hodgkinson, Grace Bridges, Beaulagh Pragg, Darian Smith, Darusha Wehm, Simon Petrie, and others. What an incredible team!

The New Zealand National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention – Au Contraire – took place in Wellington 12-14 July with 200 Sci-fi and fantasy buffs attending. Although I’m not in this photo of the new and old SpecFicNZ committee, my claim to fame is that I took it!

 It was amazing to meet many of the NZ authors that I had only seen online. And to meet those who organised the contests that I recently won!  Au Contraire was an amazing event, full of education, fun, and frivolity! There were book launches, panels with well-known writers giving us their versions of reality, plenty of opportunities for mingling and 200 people to talk to! If you know me well, you’ll be laughing – 200 people to talk to?  I was in my element!

What were my highlights?

Grace BridgesMeeting Grace Bridges, the President of SpecFicNZ and owner of Splashdown Books, who gave me a fantastic critique as part of my SpecFicNZ Going Global 1st place prize.

Jennifer FallonGoing out to dinner with the Guest of Honour, Jennifer Fallon, who discussed her new self-publishing ventures with me for three hours – yes 180 minutes! And every minute was great!
beaulah-akaroa-smallDarian SmithA fun and informative class on psychology of our friends and family, um, I mean characters, taken by the hilarious team Beaulagh Pragg and Darian Smith.

Phillip MannA flash fiction workshop by Guest of Honour Phillip Mann. Believe it or not, I never spoke once. I’d signed up late and was only there as an observer! So observe I did, and heard some great flash pieces from NZ authors.

phoenix2Meeting Phoenix Writer’s Group members whom I had emailed many times – Alicia Ponder, Lorraine Williams, Rob Campbell, and Lynette Howell.

SJV AwardTo cap off the weekend, the Sir Julius Vogel Awards were presented to the best writers in many categories and genres. See the winners here. It was great to make so many meaningful connections with writers. Au Contraire has given me many new writing opportunities – some which I’ll mention soon! Watch this space!