We’re all still recovering from this year’s AWM GenreCon here in the office, so we asked our most recent editorial intern to provide us with her thoughts about the experience.


It has been ten days since the doors closed on GenreCon for 2013, and I am still plagued by sudden bouts of melancholy, along with strong, daily urges to head back to the State Library of Queensland. On the last day of the conference, I announced that I was going to create a GenreCon bubble, live in it forever, and no one was allowed to leave! This was met with nervous laughter, and perhaps even a little fear, from the QWC ninjas. But honestly, that weekend was AMAZEBALLS.

I was given an opportunity this year to work with the AWM and QWC team, completing an internship as part of my Master of Arts in Writing, Editing, and Publishing. When I was told that I would have the opportunity to combine my study with the GenreCon experience, there was a fleeting moment when I thought I might actually implode due to an overload of awesome. While my main project was working on a booklet of resources for writers, I was also included on the roster for the actual weekend event.

Just quietly, I think Peter Ball thought it was a bit strange when I got excited about packing con bags or helping to alphabetise nametags at the registration desk, but being involved and helping those busy people filled me with the happy.

At the opening night event, Meg Vann addressed a balcony full of con goers and expressed the happiness she felt as a result of finding her tribe. As I scanned the audience, there were collective nods and smiles that broadened in agreement. The eclectic mix of writers and industry professionals in the room understood. We felt that sense of belonging too.

Over the course of the three days, I managed to catch quite a few presentations and panels while fulfilling my quasi-ninja duties. Local, national and international authors and industry folk engaged in entertaining and informative discussions about writing. I was able to tweet the goodness of each session while crossing my fingers that some kind of awesomeness by osmosis was taking place. ‘Cause that’s how it works, right?

Here is a list of the top ten things I’ll miss about GenreCon 2013:
1. The orb of excitement and happiness pulsing continuously in my chest.
2. Being surrounded by words and writing and coffee and convos ALL OF THE TIME.
3. Free hugs! People were comin’ at me from all angles with the love. It was awesome.
4. Being referred to as a ninja. (By QWC staff and Anna Campbell! Woot and winning!)
5. Listening to funny, creative, and intelligent people share their experience and love of writing in ALL THE GENRES.
6. Having so many sheroes and heroes in one room. (I’m aiming to master the art of conversation with said peeps by GenreCon 2015.)
7. Cocktail parties and banquets…with wine, writerly goodness, old friends and new. FULL OF WIN!
8. Presentations and panels inducing ALL THE FEELS!
9. The laughter…and hugs! Did I mention free hugs?
10. Having an excuse to be in the QWC office every week, hanging out with all of those awesome peeps.

I cannot speak highly enough of the dedicated team who fill the cubicles in the QWC office. I have witnessed the enormous amount of energy and time these talented folk feed into the system every day. We are lucky, as Queensland writers, to have these people backing us.

Thank you for organising such a fabulous GenreCon experience for all involved.

And I have to admit, while sitting in the audience of the closing ceremony, on Sunday afternoon, feeling like I was plummeting from some kind of weird, emotional sugar high, I could kinda appreciate why the ninjas weren’t totally on board with my ‘forever after GenreCon bubble’ idea. They work hard. All of the time.
So Meg, Peter, Aimee, Sophie, Megan, Stacey, Terry, Emily and Simon, along with mah PHERER, Kim – thank you. It has been the Internship of GenreCon Awesome.

And whether you’ve realised it or not, you’re already in my bubble of ALL THE AWESOME THINGS.
Sappy? Probs. True? Totally.

Liz McKewin is currently undertaking a Master of Arts in Writing, Editing, and Publishing at The University of Queensland, where she has also attained a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary). Liz is based in Brisbane and is a high school teacher by day and a speculative fiction writer by night.

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