RamboCon – Proposed Sessions for an Imaginary Spec-Fic Convention

Some panel ideas, which any convention organizer is welcome to grab.

(Writing) Making the Transition from Short Story to Novel
What are the pitfalls and what should the writer know before starting? Is it easier to do it in reverse and go from novel to short story? What’s similar and what’s different? Does it help to think of chapters as mini-stories?

(This seems to me to be harder than anyone acknowledges it to be, and I know there’s several basics I wish I’d known before I’d begun blindly floundering in the much deeper waters of a novel. I’m also pretty sure this is not a new idea for a panel, but I haven’t seen it at recent cons I’ve been at.)

(Editing or Publishing) The Architecture of the Country of the Blind
Reading blind, so you see just the story and not the name of the author with its info about gender, is something many editors and publishers agree is a good idea. What are the practical aspects of setting up such a system? What do you do if editors or slush readers recognize the story? Is it true you can tell gender by how someone writes? What about the fact that such a system removes the “name recognition” that some widely published authors hold?

(Let’s just start with the assumption it’s a good idea for once. For the love of Pete. Thx.)

(Writing) What the F*** is Flash Fiction?
Some people say flash fiction has a minimum length, such as 1000, 500, even 250 words, while others say Hemingway’s famous “For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.” is a complete story. Who’s right? Where does prose poetry fit? Why are flash magazines so popular and what are the ones doing interesting things in the field? Who are the flash authors to watch out for?

(Flash seems like such a great place for new writers to start. They can get stuff out there and in circulation while the magazines constantly need new stuff. At the same time, there’s some great writing happening in this area. I’m teaching a flash fiction workshop called Sudden Fiction this Saturday at Bellevue College, so obviously I’ve got strong opinions about some things mentioned above.)

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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