Anyone ever think of putting together a con?

I was just thinking: one of the best ways to interact with an audience is to throw together a convention. If there are a small group in the same region (for example, I'm in Massachusetts, which, for those of you who don't know is in the United States) we could just see if a local library would let us meet up together and talk shop. Once we meet face-to-face, we could then see about going further. Maybe WebFicCon 2025 would be in the cards?


I don't know, this might just be a crazy idea. But it would still be an awesome thing to happen even if I end up never being able to make it.


What would your goal be, exactly? Cons are expensive and a nightmare to organize. Also, I don't think people would show up to a convention featuring something or someone they don't know. Cons probably work best for people with already existing large fanbases, and even then the benefit is questionable, imho.


Eh, just any kind of gathering of us irl would be cool. Maybe what I really want is some kind of writer's group.


The chances of any of us living anywhere near you are probably pretty small. You might have better luck asking around in your area or doing some research online. Or try Reddit (r/writing), it has like 146'000 active users as opposed to WFG's... 20-30?


I *wondered* why there were so few posts here. I guess this means give Reddit a try, even though it scares me.


That'd be pretty darn difficult. I mean, Wildbow's one of the ones with a lot of draw, and he's in Canada. He's not the only one of us outside the U.S., and it'd be hard enough flying everyone to one spot just from the U.S.


I mean, we don't really have the star power or anything to draw any sort of general audience, greatly limiting potential attendees, and we're known for providing stuff for free, so I don't know what we'd do for vendors. Most importantly, you know writers would be ducking out to get updates done.


@Psycho Gecko I guess. I just want to get out of the house. Still, if it could work, it would be really cool.


Good idea in theory, but we would just end up with another ball pit. #neverforget


Everyone's in Canada. Come to Canada! Join us!


Seriously though, I'm all for building a bigger community of serial writers. We've got a good foundation here, but it's not as active as Reddit (which I am all freaking over :D) or Scribophile or KBoards... It is, however, the most (only?) serial focused community I've heard of.


Let's sort ourselves out first. Let's try to ramp up participation here. I like you guys, and I know of you, but I don't know any of you to any actual detail. I'd very much like to change that, learning what makes all of you tick and getting better acquainted with your works.


It might be possible for a group of us to meet at an established Con of some kind. As others have been saying to have our own we would need a much larger community first. If anyone does want to do a meet up at a Con I would be interested, provided enough of us could make it.


I highly suspect most of us couldn't afford the money / time investment. But if we could strengthen the online community feeling, I'd be all for it.


I live in the middle of the woods in Florida. My only ball pit is an alligator pit. Instead of shame, it brings pain...


You could try to organize an "online con" with webinar events and such, but I don't know how much that would appeal to anyone.


As a suggestion, a lot of cons have writer tables. I'm thinking the geeky cons (Comic Con, etc, and its smaller cousins). A purely webfic con would be hard to pull off, but a webfic table at a bigger con? Completely do-able. Club together with other writers to share the table and its costs, and expose yourselves* to a big audience.


If you get in touch with the con organisers, particularly for smaller cons, you might even be able to put together a panel discussion about webfic writing.


Also worth considering writing or reading festivals for the same things.


* Your writing. Expose your writing. Most cons have rules against exposing yourself.


I think you might want to think about what your goals are here:


1. To meet people face to face.


vs.


2. To promote your work to an audience and actually have a chance of interacting with them. Plus promoting web fiction as a format for fiction.


They're two different things that overlap. With regards to the first, it sounds fun, but I know I have a limited travel budget, and I'm more likely to use it to take my kids camping. Mind you, I still want to meet people, but given how far flung we all are, it's not really workable.


Now, with regards to the second possibility, I'd like to echo Kess. A web fiction con won't happen any time soon (though who knows? Wildbow might be able to swing a "Worm" con.). That said, if people were going to rent a booth at a con and sell books/merchandise/promote web fiction, it would be worth sending promotional items along. Printing bookmarks through Vistaprint is pretty cheap, for example.


Pen and Cape Society has done that a couple times. We're hoping to do it more.


The funny thing is teaming up to rent a booth with someone relatively nearby would almost certainly help satisfy a bit of the urge to meet people IRL.


@Jim - So what's the Pen and Cape Society? I've heard the name a bunch of times, but I figured it was another serial you working on (like L.o.N).


Good point, Jim: it's important to know what you're trying to get out of it. If you're looking to connect with other writers, I'd suggest seeing if you can get something going at local writing festivals. If you're looking for exposure, target the fan cons.


Tartra: It's a group of writers--a mixed group of online serial writers and indie self-publishers (ebooks, print).


http://penandcapesociety.com


It's most useful to members who are at the point where they're selling their books online--though I have gotten traffic from it to my serial. I've nonetheless gotten more out of it in terms of ebook sales. Previous to joining, I'd sold about $200 at most of Legion of Nothing novels. By contrast, last year I sold $800 worth of ebooks.


I don't know if that's all Pen and Cape Society, but it's a major difference.


Dennis, did you at least get to go to Pensacon?


I don't think anyone on WFG has the resources to start a Con (I could be entirely mistaken though) but it might be feasible to get enough of the authors together to do something like a "Web Fiction Guide Serial Panel" at a pre-existing convention. Would still be a lot of organization to try and find a convention that enough of the authors are planning to attend (or able to attend in order to do something like a panel) far enough in advance to work with the Con Staff to get an actual panel scheduled.


If anyone wants to do the legwork though I'd be happy to try and show up! ^_^


Psycho:


Nah, I haven't been able to attend any good cons sadly. I've had some opportunities but something always prevents it. Two years ago I could've gone to Megacon but I was sick as a dog and wandering the convention floor in a delusional daze seemed dangerous. Last year my ride broke down on me and I had to get into a fight over the phone with the hotel to cancel our reservations.


I attended swampcon, which was held at my old university, but that barely counts, it was super tiny.


This year the finances are looking way too bad to make any attempt.


Maybe next year I'll give cons a try again.