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Featuring a smorgasbord of leading names in Australian and international genre fiction across a spectacular line up of panels, workshops and special events, GenreCon is Queensland’s leading conference for genre writers. Find your tribe and join us as we celebrate all things Genre!

In 2021, GenreCon is going virtual for an action-packed day of amazing Live Streamed sessions.

Program of Events

Check back soon for the full GenreCon 2021 Schedule.

Welcome to GenreCon 2021

Miss us?  We’re back and we’re thriving at GenreCon 2021.

GenreCon is an Australia-wide celebration of all things genre writing. An initiative of Queensland Writers Centre, the conference represents our ongoing commitment to all forms of writing and all kinds of writers. At GenreCon, we know writers find their writing tribe – connections that started at earlier conferences have blossomed into friendships, and conversations that happened over lunches have transformed into projects. Queensland Writers Centre is proud to support and uplift our genre writers with a diverse, inclusive, and active conference like GenreCon.

GenreCon is the result of the dedicated Queensland Writers Centre team and a group of tireless and enthusiastic volunteers who have worked many hours to provide you with a conference to remember. We hope you will all join us in the spirit of GenreCon and experience something new.

And remember, GenreCon is created by us, but it belongs to all of you – the participants.

So, help us make this year’s GenreCon the best yet! Join the fun, learn, and celebrate with us, because Queensland Writers Centre is your writers centre. We urge you to stay in touch and keep your momentum going long after the costume disrobing is done.

2021 Event Schedule

9:45am - 10:30am
Welcome To GenreCon - Michael Robotham

Join award-winning and internationally published Australian crime fiction author Michael Robotham for a special welcome to GenreCon 2021.

Michael Robotham

Have you ever wondered how to reach a broader market, perhaps even selling your titles worldwide – without excess stock, long waits or crazy costs in freight? Join Debbie from Ingram to learn about print-on-demand and global distribution, and how these services are turning the publishing world on its head. Starting with a great quality product, mixing in a generous splash of marketing, and fine-tuning your metadata for maximised retail impact, it’s a winning formula to publish like a pro.

Debbie Lee

Many authors write their first few books fairly easily, drawing on their own experiences and unconsciously using their own voice to create characters. But a few
books on – or a book requiring more than two POV character voices – and it starts to sound repetitious. This workshop teaches authors how to deep-dive into their characters and create multiple POVs that each sound unique to the reader. Starting with personality, and layering on worldview, goals, past trauma, education, flaws, dreams, fears, loves, filters, dialogue tics, physical mannerisms, relationships, and more. Students will leave with the confidence to create an endless array of interesting people to populate their stories.

Aiki Flinthart

Sit back and relax.

With seasoned pros Lauren Elise Daniels and Geneve Flynn, learn what to expect when navigating the editing world, including contrasting your original draft with editorial suggestions, how to negotiate editorial advice and invent organic solutions alongside critique, and much more.

A powerful workshop for emerging authors trying to understand what they have to do and how to do it, and how to tell a good editor from a dodgy one.

Lauren Elise Daniels & Geneve Flynn

Young Adult fiction has often been accused of being too gritty, too bleak and potentially harmful, particularly in relation to depictions of suicide. However, there are others who see the literature being produced for an adolescent audience, as worthwhile and beneficial, dedicated to serving the needs of an inquisitive teenage audience. Young adult readers seek worlds and characters that are familiar to them; characters who are having experiences that our young readers are curious about. In this sense, the experiences in this form of Young Adult literature, serves to explore difficult emotional and social terrains vicariously, rather than in a way that encourages emulation.

How do writers navigate this difficult terrain? What is the role, responsibility and impact of YA fiction when dealing with real-life issues?

Kate McCaffrey

When you apply for a program that doesn’t promise anything but the chance to get your foot in the door, it’s difficult to trust the system, and even more difficult to trust yourself. I’d love to share with you what I think worked for me in pitching my novel to producers and directors through the Adaptable program, and I’m especially keen for you to know how the process so far is going to make my future novels stronger.

Heather Taylor Johnson

Across genres, there are a plethora of tropes and stereotypes that we see incredibly often. Whether it’s a one dimensional character (‘oh look, a black maid who only cares about her white mistress’s needs!), a contemporary myth (she takes her glasses/hijab off, and look and how beautiful and desirable she is!) or simply a one liner (‘I promise nothing bad will ever happen to you’), tropes can either be a very useful tool, or a dangerous crutch. In this talk, we’re going to look at what tropes and stereotypes are there to tell us, ways in which stereotypes can creep up without us realising, and how to avoid (or wisely use!) them in a way that best serves the story.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

What’s involved in achieving a long term writing career in your chosen genre? Having seen many changes in publishing since my first book was published in 1999, I will use this session to discuss ways to establish good work habits, how to develop and maintain a strong working relationship with editors and publishers, and I’ll share strategies for networking and for successfully steering your career through times of uncertainty and doubt.

Barbara Hannay

Ever given up with Facebook ads because you heard they’ve become too competitive? You’re partly wrong. The possibilities for authors on Facebook are now richer than ever. But the competitive space has tightened — which is why it’s all the more important to know the right ways to use the platform. If you want to up your Facebook ads game with established strategies and new ideas, then this workshop is for you. Reedsy’s Ricardo Fayet has years of experience running Facebook ads for authors and will be teaching some of the advanced Facebook ads targeting, creatives, and placements that have brought him success. On the menu: dynamic ads, multi-layer ads, instant experiences, and tracking conversions!

Ricardo Fayet
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Characterisation Through Narration with Michelle Somers

Characterisation Through Narration is a practical workshop that takes the art of characterisation one step further than most, detailing how to incorporate your characters seamlessly into your story.

In any discussion on writing craft, there’s always mention of creating believable characters. Any search will uncover lists on what to consider, and whilst helpful in telling us what we need to do, most don’t demonstrate how. How do we write these character traits seamlessly into our story, making each and every character believable to our reader, and dare I say, real? How do we transform our knowledge into practice?

This is where Characterisation Through Narration comes into play. In this workshop, we will explore the narrative modes of fiction—dialogue, exposition, action and description. We will look at developing GMC (goal, motivation, conflict) and begin to incorporate this, along with character appearance, psyche, backstory and more, into the narrative, lending complexity and context to these traits, and in turn, to our characters.

Using narration to impart characterisation provides readers with a greater understanding of each character, whether major or minor, inviting them deeper into their world and mind, making them more 3-dimensional, believable, and real. It creates strong, character-driven stories that capture the hearts and imagination of readers.

Characterisation Through Narration is a must workshop for any writer wanting to take their storytelling ability to the next level.

Michelle Somers

GenreCon 2021 Tickets

GENRECON VIRTUAL PASS
$99
  • All-Access Virtual Pass to GenreCon 2021's main Event Schedule
  • Industry-led sessions and workshops from our genre experts
  • Official welcome from our special guest host
Buy now
Hot!
'WHAT'S IN THE BOX' PACKAGE
$149
  • All-Access Virtual Pass to GenreCon 2021's main Event Schedule
  • Receive a mystery genre box filled with goodies!
  • Attend our special pre-conference in-person meet-up event
  • Industry-led sessions and workshops from our genre experts
  • Official welcome from our special guest host
Buy now

GenreCon 2021 Presenters

MICHAEL ROBOTHAM

AWARD-WINNING CRIME WRITER

YASSMIN ABDEL-MAGIED

WRITER, BROADCASTER, & SOCIAL ADVOCATE

HEATHER TAYLOR JOHNSON

NOVELIST & POET

TESTIMONIALS
At my first Genrecon, I was blown away by the quality of the presentations and the variety of panels. I learned so much that I wanted to give back and be a presenter so I could help other writers. Six years later, here I am, giving the Masterclass on writing Fight scenes for female characters, and participating in some great panels with some outstanding authors. Excited to be part of the 2019 Genrecon team.
AIKI FLINTHART
The one thing that’s definitely pencilled in on my writing calendar is the fabulous immersive genre focussed GenreCon run by QWC every two years. I know!! Two years!! (I start looking for the date at the beginning of the second year LOL). But worth the wait. It’s like a box of chocolates but only filled with your favourites – romance, crime, fantasy, sci-fi… It was easy not to want to go home- pitch sessions, workshops, writing techniques, publishing tips, the business of writing … how to write fight scenes for women (true – real session in 2017). Impossible not to meet someone you click with or maybe fangirl over. If you write genre and you live in Brisbane and you have to crawl over broken glass to get there – do it (they’ll have Band-Aids I’m sure). You’ll never make a better investment in your writing.
KELLY LYONNS
Connecting with potential audiences and readers makes GenreCon the best ticket I’m going to buy all year. I’ll do a craft workshop, listen to an international genre writer and I’ll dress up for the mystery dinner! But for me, this year’s GenreCon is about giving me access to readers and the public with a night market and book launch opportunities. Can’t wait!
GREG REED

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