Playing and Writing: The Gen Con Writers’ Symposium

The Gen Con Writers’ Symposium just launched a spanking-new website for this year’s events. Since Gen Con badge registration just opened up yesterday, it’s a good time to start thinking about making plans for the show.  This slate of dozens of events comprises a genre writer’s convention run inside of Gen Con, the largest tabletop gaming convention in this hemisphere. If you’re a writer who also plays games—or who just lives within striking distance of Indianapolis—it’s worth your while to take part.

This year’s panelists include Anton Strout, Brad Beaulieu, Daniel Myers, Dave Gross, Don Bingle, Dylan Birtolo, Elizabeth Vaughan, Gregory Wilson, Jason Sizemore, Jean Rabe, Jennifer Brozek, Jerry Gordon, John Helfers, Kelly Swails, Kerrie Hughes, Lawrence Connolly, Linda Baker, Marc Tassin, Maurice Broaddus, Maxwell Drake, Mike Stackpole, Monica Valentinelli, Pat Tomlinson, Paul Genesse, Ramsey Lundock, Richard Lee Byers, Sabrina Klein, Steve Sullivan, Steven Saus, and Tobias Buckell. I’ll be on four panels myself, in between my other duties at the show. (I’ll be one of Gen Con’s guests of honor again this year.)

In addition to the writers joining the symposium, Gen Con regularly gets dozens of other writers there, including bestsellers like Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, Ed Greenwood, R. A. Salvatore, James Lowder, and many more. In the days before the Gen Con Writers’ Symposium, you could track down writers on the convention floor or in a bar after the show closed and try to buttonhole them for advice. Now, with the convention nosing over 30,000 attendees every year, it’s easy to walk right past such people without even knowing they’re there.

It’s far better to sign up for symposium slots and know where and when you’ll be able to find the people you want to chat with—and that they’ll be ready and willing to talk openly with you and a group of like-minded folks. Beyond that, many of the other authors plan events of their own, often concentrating on their next big project or some other passion. Be sure to check out the full schedule once it’s available. In the meantime, check out the Gen Con Writers’ Symposium schedule and start making your plans.

Matt Forbeck is the author of thirteen tie-in novels, most of them having to do with Dungeons & Dragons or Blood Bowl. Recently, Angry Robot published his first original novel—Amortals—and his second—Vegas Knights—is due out this spring.


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