Hey y’all, it’s time for another Magical Words Party Talk! Spring is coming, and that means it’s almost time for con season. We writers love cons as much as fans do – a con is often the only time we get a chance to get together and gab with each other about upcoming projects and ideas in person. Today we’ve asked our most recent guests for their opinions on a few questions about cons. Feel free to chime in (via the comments) to tell us what kinds of panel topics you’d love to see!
When you’re asked for panel suggestions by con program directors, how do you come up with panel topics to submit?
Faith Hunter: Oy. I am so bad at this. I usually ask Misty Massey what she came up with and second hers. Or, if she isn’t going, I offer the idea of the Person of Color Panel because my characters are often non-European.
Chris Marie Green: When I’m asked for panel suggestions by con program directors, I come up with panel topics to submit by asking my friends on writing group loops what *they’d* like to hear about. They’re always a gold mine of ideas.
Delilah S Dawson: First, I look at the pool of available panelists, then I try to figure ways to combine them that would be interesting and different yet maximize their strengths. It’s a balancing act, coming up with panels that will show the audience something new yet give the panelists topics they can speak to and that will showcase their knowledge, humor, and book topics. My favorite panels are those that get the panelists and audiences laughing but can still stay on-topic and add value. And I’ll admit I try to keep panels from being nothing but a bunch of white dudes, because many of the comic cons I attend have panels end up that way.
Chloe Neill: I generally think about the type of panel I’d like to attend as a writer and brainstorm from there. I’ve written 13 novels, but I’m still adjusting my writing process, and I particularly like to hear how other writers brainstorm, plot, and draft. I err toward panel proposals on those topics—so I can use their ideas.