I wanted to comment on the whole Phoenix Comicon experience, and why it is an absolutely amazing resource for authors. I was astounded by the quantity and quality of classes offered. There were five rooms for Books/Authors, and most were full in every time space. Classes were an hour long with 30-minute breaks in between – which means every 90 minutes from 10:30 am to 8:30 pm there were four or five classes for authors to choose from.
Many of these classes are valuable to you no matter what genre you write in. Of course, there are the typical science fiction/fantasy classes:
- Fantasy Worldbuilding
- Urban fantasy and epic fantasy
- Worldbuilding Economics
- Fantasy that defies description (or doesn’t fit neatly into a niche)
But there were also other classes that were offered on a wide variety of topics and genres:
- Young Adult Writers
- Utopian versus Dystopian societies
- The Military in Speculative Fiction – with a military guy
- Writing Rogues
- Writing across genres
- Writing Humor
- Constructing a Mystery plot
- Crime writing for non-crime writers
- Description in fiction
- Evening Erotica
- How heraldic symbols are used in pop culture
Even the universities got in the action: ASU presented their hieroglyph project for authors and scientists to come together to create a better future and UofA presented a panel on Real Science versus Pseudo Science
There was a good mix of NYT bestselling authors and well-known local authors, and I felt that each class gave me a good bit of unexpected information. And of course, you get the other added benefits of being at *Comicon* – costumes, actors, authors, artists, demonstrations, and parties.
Overall, it was an incredible experience for $80. I paid $150 total including parking for the three days and took sandwiches and cliff bars to keep my energy up and avoid the long lines for food between classes. One thing to note is that many of the classes with more famous authors were full at least ten minutes before the class time began – so that made it difficult to wait in line for food or coffee because you had to be physically present or you wouldn’t get in. I went straight from one class to the next to scope out the popularity before deciding whether to take a coffee break or not.
But crowds and price notwithstanding, I would definitely recommend the experience to any author who is looking to broaden their writing horizons. I came back invigorated, with new purpose and perspective, and most importantly, ready to write!