Genre Con – Opening Night

It was an enthusiastic and joyful opening night last Friday, when the first Genrecon (themed Forbidden Doors) in person for three years, happened in Brisbane on the Terrace of the State Library QLD after having to be online during the pandemic and floods.

It included fairy floss, popcorn, sushi, Japanese beer, sandwiches, a back drop of Rocky Horror Show silent on a big screen, some cosplay for launch night for this who wanted to, socializing, and a celebration of all things to do with Fantasy, spec fic, crime, romance, fairy tale as well as combination genres.

You could if you like talk to some of the best selling authors, like Garth Nix who were super friendly and encouraging of emerging and budding authors and who stayed throughout the weekend for more than just their own panels. Other presenters and writers in attendance were Nalini Singh, Natasha Lester, Rob McDonald, J.P. Pomare, and Jay Kristoff, Ali Sinclair, Leanne Young and more.

Lori-Jay Ellis (CEO of the QLD Writers Centre), was delighted to launch the event, and spoke up talented best selling Queensland writers, as well as our international and interstate visitors for the conference and the best cos players.

Roaming photographer Jemma Polari, and also MC board member, captured some of the joy and creativity of the evening. Other board members also in attendance over the weekend were Lara Cain Grey and Stephen Torre.

The amazing Lauren Elise Daniels, editor, writer, writing across a number of genres, soon to be panellist and panel host over the next few days strutted her costume out in super scary style.

There were speeches and prizes for a writing competition (Jay Mckensie won for February Girl), and costumes, with Writing Centre CEO, Lori-Jay aka, Wednesday Addams, and sponsors and organisers (Craig Cauchi came as Lori-Jay’s favourite character/actor). Which included the major one of the QLD Writers Centre and the State Library, but other sponsors are listed on the website and were dutifully and gratefully thanked.

Raelene Purtill won best costume, and gave a thank you speech in character!

One of the major highlights of Genrecon, was being able to learn about genres you might not have considered writing before, and realising you perhaps could. As well as being surrounded by writer tribes you might not have known before.

As well as of course for some connecting with their much missed writing tribe, separated by said floods, and pandemics and lack of interstate travelling rights.

The enthusiasm, knowledge and skill of the horror and speculative fiction writers, as well as writers of paranormal romance, was so enjoyable to witness.

I particularly enjoyed talking to creators, like Geneve Flynn, over the weekend, author/ co-editor of Black Cranes who I was later to host on a panel, Writing Partnerships.

There are some tremendous photographs of genrecon being posted online, with one of my favourite being this one by Garth Nix which captures Craig Cauchi communing with the Fairy Floss machine in full gladiatorial glory. You can find many by following the hashtag #genrecon2023

More posts to come…


Writing Partnerships & Collaborations


It was inspirational to discuss the ins and outs of how to create successful writing collaborations, with award winning authors Geneve Flynn, Jay Kristoff, and Mykaela Saunders at Genre Con 2023.

Most of the audience had little experience of this, and were curious to learn more, especially about the personal qualities to look for in potential collaborators and the mechanics of managing a writing partnership.

We examined this from the point of view of writing partners, collaborating editors and creating publishing opportunities to bring collectives together to have a voice.

Jay’s meeting with his writing partner, of Illuminae and Aurora Cycle, Amie Kauffman, was over their difficulties in navigating overseas taxation for individual books they had coming out, and a suggestion from a third party who said they could help each other out. They then had a breakfast meeting and this led to a cowriting…

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