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I wanted to do a brief post sumarising the excellent DragonCon, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia on the Labour Day weekend (31st August - 3rd September). It was my second DragonCon - my first was back in 2008 because evidently I only seem to like doing it during Presidential Election years. First thing to say is that it's grown massively over the last 4 years. Back in 2008 I was told that they were expecting around 10,000 people and it seemed phenomenally busy. This year they had around 40,000 people and it seemed that the convention had completely taken over downtown Atlanta, which was incredible. To get an idea of the number of people, I took this picture in the Hyatt hotel:

I'm not going to do a full report of everything I attended because (a) it would take too long and (b) some things were said off the record so I don't want to betray any confidences. I hung out mostly at the YA Track and having volunteered myself to Bev Kodak, the awesome YA Track co-ordinatory, I managed to get onto 4 of the panels:

- Whitewashing of YA with Susan K Chang, Cinda Williams Chima and Diana Tixier Herald. This was a good discussion about the representation of ethnic minorities, disabilities and LGBT characters in YA fiction and had some great audience participation through questions and observations. I came out of it with a tonne of book recommendations for which my bank manager sends no thanks and I hope that I managed to offer up some of my own;

- Beyond The Hunger Games - Dystopias in YA with Kathryn Hinds and Jana Oliver. I thought this was a really interesting look at the general state of dystopian fiction, what makes a book dystopian and why readers seem to engage with it so much;

- Under The Covers with Susan Chang, E. C. Myers, Jana Oliver, and Kathleen David. This was a look at what went into covers for YA fiction, the current trend in covers and things that people like and hate. It's a shame that this coincided with the parade because it hit the attendance but it was a really good talk and I learnt a lot about the cover art process, which seems to be part negotiation and part artistic concept; and

- My Monster Boyfriend with Mari Mancusi, Debbit Vigurie, Diana Peterfreund and Lil. I probably wasn't that qualified for this panel because as long time readers of this LJ know, I'm definitely not about love and romance but this panel really got into what it was about supernatural boyfriends that was so appealing and why it wasn't so much the case with paranormal girlfriends.

I also attended lectures from the Armoury Track (including talks on explosives, writing fight scenes (photo of the panel below), a talk on Jack the Ripper hosted by the Alt History track and the always rowdy Zombies v Vampires on the YA Track.

All in all, I had a thoroughly enjoyable time at the convention and met some really lovely people. I'm already trying to work out my finances so I can go again next year. ETA: Finally managed to add my meagre photos - sorry for the delay but LJ was being an absolute pig about it and not letting my upload.

Comments

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hooton
Sep. 10th, 2012 07:01 pm (UTC)
It was a total blast and I'm really glad I went. I'm weighing up whether to go next year but it's difficult because I also want to go to the SCBWI event in LA earlier in August. /first world problems.
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