Hi folks.

You know I had a plan for what I was going to post today, I had seen that a convention had moved its programming online and I wrote an entire piece about which of the lectures and so on I was looking forward to. So, of course, minutes after finishing that very long post I found another convention that I also want to talk about, only this convention is for this weekend coming, rather than a later one. So  that original post is getting pushed back so that I can talk a bunch about this earlier convention.

I was almost organised. Oh, well.

So this convention I want to talk to is the Flights of Foundry convention. It is being run by the Flights of Foundry Org as a streamed and pre-recorded convention because of the current pandemic. It’s a publishing and writing convention, with most of the focus on genre fiction, so the various flavours of Fantasy and Science Fiction. There are a whole bunch of readings and Q&A sessions with authors and publishers going on, but I am not going to be talking about them so much as I believe the tickets for them have already been given out. Plus it’s a long weekend and I will need to prioritise which events I check out if I don’t want to get burn out.

The schedule is a bit complicated as they have multiple streams and even multiple streaming programs to contend with. However, I think some of the pre-recorded things will end up being posted on a YouTube channel somewhere, which should make it a lot easier for me to find them and watch them after the weekend. This is especially important as the timezone for this convention is Chicago, while I live in the UK. I’ll be entirely honest with you, I’m not getting up for a 4 am lecture. I wish I was the kind of person who could do that, but not enough to make myself be that person.

So I am going to list everything that I want to see here, in the hopes that it will get put on that YouTube channel so I don’t have to get up at Half Past Too Early. There is a lot to choose from and if you are going to go to this convention too, let me know in the comments which things you want to see and how early is too early in your opinion for a virtual convention. Obviously, there is a lot more going on, but if I were to talk about everything that they were doing I would never actually get to see any of them because I would be writing this post for the rest of time. So if you are tempted to watch any of these do check out the schedule so you can get a better idea of what’s on.

Here is the link to the convention website.

The convention schedule is a bit hard to work out, especially as it starts at midnight on the Friday-Saturday (Chicago time). But as long as you remember that it counts the night up until 4 am as the previous evening, then it’s not impossible.

Friday going into Saturday depending on your timezone

  • The first event that I want to see is a talk about using real science to design alien planets and ecosystems which sounds super interesting.
  • Then a little after that there is a talk about translating which I don’t do, but I am always very interested to hear about other people doing.
  • Then at 9 am Chicago time there is a whole bunch of things I like the look of (which always happens at conventions). There’s a talk about editing as and for self-published authors. Which I should probably watch since that is supposed to be my job. But there is also a talk about game writing and choices and branching plots, which is what I want to do. And, just in case those two weren’t tempting enough, there is also a talk about the physical components of emotion, which seems like an A+ thing for any writer to find out about.
  • Then at 10 am there is a talk about writing short stories, another talk about sustainability and being eco-aware in your writing.
  • At 11 am there are three talks I am particularly intrigued by. One is about the work behind publishing and getting books put out into the world, another is about popular misconceptions about Medieval history, and the third is about writing fight scenes, which yes, that sounds fun and something I would like to hear about.
  • At noon there’s a talk about the business and legal sides of writing, which I should probably pay attention to. And also talks about bringing international SFF into the English speaking world and collaborative works between writers and artists which are also tempting.
  • Then at 1 pm one of my favourite game publishers, Choice of Games, is doing a talk, which I will have to check out because I desperately want to write for them. They do loads of cool text-based games using their own coding language, which is soo cool. And then as competition to that a bunch of writers I also really respect are doing a talk about effective story openings, which just sounds useful, and then as well there is a presentation about why some works get more fan art and I want to have three versions of me to watch all of these.
  • At 2 pm there is a very interesting talk on engineering in fantasy which has definitely caught my eye, its competition is a talk about networking as a creative person, which I know I should watch, but the fantasy engineering one is probably going to win out.
  • Then at 3 pm you get the choice between a talk on world-building in YA, writing for comics and graphic novels, and writing for games with established IPs.
  • At 4 pm there are talks about adapting older stories and folklore, a talk about running a crowdfunding event for a creative project, or you have the option of learning about the differences between writing prose vs. game writing.
  • At 5 pm there will be a talk about Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Folklore. And that folks is a topic with my name all over it.
  • At 6 pm I will have the choice between watching a lecture on maps and geography in SFF or RPG design. That will be a pretty tough choice, hopefully, I will get to watch one or the other later on.
  • At 7 pm there are some lectures about author branding and community building. And I know that I should definitely watch those because they would be really useful and would teach me a lot. But it depends on how tired I’ll be.
  • At 8 pm the choice for me will be between the talk on noir and mystery, or on psychology. Both are things I have studied in the past and love to hear more about.
  • After this point, things are less interesting for me, but there will still be plenty on for people who want to do other stuff.

Sunday which starts at 5 in the morning and goes on until 11 at night

  • Again an early start with a lecture on the law in world-building that sounds very interesting at 5 am.
  • Then at 6 am a talk about the current “landscape” of the short story publishing community.
  • At 7 am a Q&A session with publisher, Luna Station Quarterly.
  • Another very interesting sounding lecture on using mythology in your writing at 8 am.
  • At 9 am an interview with author Ken Liu or a talk about embracing your failures and learning from them.
  • At 10 am there is a talk about disability representation, plus a talk about plot and revising work, or a talk about writing for games. The topics for this hour will be tough to choose from.
  • Then at 11 am the options are between a talk on character building, a talk on creativity in difficult times, or a talk about good research tools for world building. And again, though the day was slower to start off, we are now into the point where there is a lot more choice and I am going to have to make some tough decisions.
  • At 12 there is a talk about space that I really want to watch, luckily I can probably persuade myself that it is the really important one for that hour.
  • Then at 1 pm I get a bit of a break because the stuff for that hour are for media that I am not super involved with.
  • At 2 pm there is a talk about Queer representation in Young Adult fiction that I will probably want to catch.
  • 3 pm has a talk about decolonising SFF which I am very interested in. I want to learn to be a better writer and one of the ways I want to do that is by unlearning bad habits so this will be a good one to catch. There is also a talk about how to make your short stories stand out, which also sounds really good and practical, but I might see if I can watch that some other time.
  • At 4 pm there is a talk about writing Artificial Intelligence in SFF and that will be very interesting and useful and I will not be getting out of seeing that one at some point.
  • At 5 pm there’s a presentation about how to create your own (fictional, they do stress fictional) religion and I think we all know that I am going to be interested in that one, don’t we?
  • Then at 6 and 7 pm I will get another break as the talks filling those hours are more publishing business-oriented than I am really needing. Though depending on how tired I am I might log in for the talk on “Career Visioning for Creatives” but, again, I might not.
  • Then at 8 pm, there is one last talk for me, which is about writing group dynamics in fiction. Given that I tend to write a lot of stories about groups of people who get into trouble and adventures together this is probably a good one for me to watch! There is always more to learn.

And somehow that is about it. Of course, I will probably back and forth a few times over what things I will watch, but this should at least help me remember when things are happening and stop me from having to check their website and crawl through the schedule nine times a day over the weekend. I don’t know if this will be very useful to anyone else, but if it does end up giving you some ideas of what to look out for leave me a comment or a like. They help to make me feel useful.

I’m not sure how to sign off on this one? I might do a few posts at some point about what I learn or hear about during the con, probably nothing in very much detail, when I take notes they are rarely useful to anyone but me. But yeah, Flights of Foundry Con, starting May 16th and going on through the rest of the weekend. I hope to have tempted a few of you into going. It is virtual, after all. That makes it a bit easier to get there!

Stay safe,