Ten Things I Learned at SFWA Nebulas Weekend
by Cecilia Tan
This past weekend was the SFWA annual gathering known as Nebulas Weekend, which is not only when the Nebula Awards are given out, but also a conference for professional science fiction writers. People tell me that in the past Nebulas Weekend was mostly a party/schmoozefest and not so much of a professional development seminar. That might explain why I never bothered to attend before. I go to plenty of schmoozefests at other cons and book industry functions where I can rub elbows with the elite writers and editors in science fiction/fantasy (viz: the SFWA suite at any Worldcon or World Fantasy, the SFWA annual “Mill & Swill” in NYC, ICFA, miscellaneous book launches and parties, various regional fan cons, et cetera). I didn’t need another one. But a pro development seminar for sf/f? Sign me up.
Before this, there was no open attendance professional development seminar for sf/f writers. There are the application-only writers workshops like Clarion, Odyssey, and Viable Paradise. There are science courses like Launch Pad and the Schroedinger Sessions. But nowhere within sf/f except occasional tracks or workshops at cons to learn career skills, i.e. self-marketing techniques, social media management, website management, legal issues, and so on. I had been advising writers I know to attend their nearest regional romance writer conventions (even if they didn’t write romance) in order to get some of that.
Thanks to the co-location of this year’s Nebs with BookExpo America, presentations at the conference included many by service providers of various companies in the publishing ecosystem, as well as the opportunity to sit down one-on-one to pick the brains of many presenters. (Schedule) Reps from Kobo, Draft2Digital, Patreon, Kickstarter, Amazon/KDP, Audible.com, and others were here, and also various members put themselves forth for brain-picking in the Ask an Expert area. So I picked some brains, went to some seminars, and here’s what I learned during Nebulas Weekend: (details below the cut)
1. We Clean Up Pretty Good
2. Kickstarters Should Be Pretty
3. At Patreon a Little Means a Lot
4. Dictate for Artistry
5. The Myth of Self-Publishing
6. White Knights and Online Harassment
7. Think Globally
8. You Can’t Be in Two Places at Once
9. John Hodgman is Really Funny
10. Not the Hugos or the Worldcon
Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.