If you’re in Australia, and love genre writing, then there’s one place you have to be in November this year: GenreCon. I went to my first GenreCon, Brisbane’s biggest and best celebration of all things genre writing, in 2015 and I snapped up my early bird ticket’s to this year’s event without thinking twice. Why?

1. Everyone is super-friendly

Like most writers, I’m a bit of an introvert and find it difficult to show up to places where I know hardly anyone. And joining in a conversation with someone I don’t know – that’s the worst kind of hell. But everyone at GenreCon is so friendly. The organisers take extra care to make it a inclusive event. No sexism, no bullying, no excluding others. Just one big happy GenreCon family.

2. Great workshops

Excellent workshops are included as part of the cost. In 2015 I attended a short story masterclass with amazing Angela Slatter that was worth the cost of the ticket alone. There are a variety of workshops to suit all interests, and if you work out your timetable well you should be able to fit in at least 2 workshops.

3. Fantastic panel conversations

There were so many great panels at GenreCon it was difficult to choose. Every one I went to was filled with insightful conversations and followed up by great audience questions. There was a lot to learn and be inspired by, and a lot of laughs to be had as well.

4. Discover new writers and great new books

There are plenty of books on sale and the opportunity to meet the writers:  large trade publishers, small boutique publishes as well as independents. There are opportunities to meet your writer heroes as well as discover fantastic new authors. Everyone – from best-selling writers with 20+ year careers to first-time authors – is friendly, approachable and happy to have a chat and sign your latest book purchase.

5. Meet publishers and agents

As well as scheduled pitching sessions with publishers and agents, the friendly and relaxed vibe of GenreCon means that there are also opportunities to have a chat  during break times with these lovely folk. They’re people who love books after all, and (within reason) are happy to have a  conversation about their perspectives on writing and the publishing industry.

So there you have it: GenreCon is a fantastic event for lovers of genre writing. But I hear tickets are selling out fast so if you’re interested in attending, better be quick and register now.