Friday night kicked off with the IFWA talent show, ConVersion Cabaret. We had great acts — even Guest of Honor, Tanya Huff sang! The next morning, I was one of four judges for the Robin Herrington Memorial Short Story Contest, and all five of the finalists wrote marvellous stories, but top honours went to Erika Holt for a compelling fantasy story about a witch who loses her powers and is tempted to regain them by killing a street waif.
One of the best sessions I went to — at ANY convention — was one held Saturday afternoon with Tanya Huff, Rob Sawyer and Terry Brooks on the business of writing. Yes, the marketplace is tough, and one must always keep in mind that it is a commercial environment where the bottom line is the deciding factor. But despite the recession, people are getting published. The keys are: write the best damn story you can, and write for the market that loves you. Persist!