It’s been exactly one month since #Ch1Con2018, so we decided now would be a good time to make a conference recap post. This post will allow attendees to re-live that glorious day together. It’s also a great resource for anyone who’s thinking about attending #Ch1Con2019, and are curious kinds of crazy hijinks we get up to at our yearly event. We’ll be walking you through pictures, live-tweets and laughs from one of our best Cons yet!
Ch1Con festivities kicked off on August 3rd when attendees, team members, and speakers all began arriving in Chicago.
Several people met in the hotel lobby from both Ch1Con and Ch21Con to talk, laugh, and toast the conference! Some drinks were fancier than others…
After reveling and dinner concluded, the Ch1Con team sorting out books, swag, and conference folders.
Once everything was prepped and ready to go, team members and attendees alike set their (very early) alarms and settled down for a long summer’s nap…
At 8AM sharp, conference doors opened and the day was underway!
Attendees trickled in, began to socialize, and scoped out all of the swag, books, and ARC’s being given away…
Before we knew it, the day’s programming was underway! After a quick introduction from our new director Emma Rose Ryan, we went right into our first workshop session with Christine Hermann and Amanda Foody.
Sadly, due to awful, evil weather on the east coast, Amanda and Christine’s flights to the conference were both canceled. That didn’t stop them from giving an amazing presentation, though!
Next up, we learned how to craft and sell short fiction from our team member and prolific Sci/Fi wordsmith Allison Mulder. Her workshop covered markets and facets of publishing Ch1Con has never approached before. It had even Ch1Con team members scribbling down notes for later.
Allison closed her workshop with a story-seed exercise that gave all of our attendees a chance to write something new that they could (eventually) turn into a piece worthy of even the highest short-fiction markets.
After cultivating our idea seeds, it was time for lunch. Chicago-style pizza and a fresh salad courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn was the perfect meal for our tomato-loving event.
Our next speaker, Karuna Riazi, was the perfect follow up to Allison Mulder. While Allison showed us concrete ways we can begin to put our work in front of an audience, Karuna encouraged us to take advantage of our time as young writers, creating outside of the spotlight.
Last but not least was our keynote speaker Gloria Chao, who provided amazing and motivational advice about telling one’s own personal truth through fiction. She also told us some of the writerly advice she would have appreciated as a young author.
After speaking, Gloria stuck around to listen to our attendees read excerpts from their latest works in progress. We were absolutely blown away by the work read aloud, and we cannot wait to do this again next year.
After our read-aloud session, Ch1Con moved over into the neighboring conference room to attend the joint Ch1Events Ask Us Anything panel.
Despite blue-screening laptops and uncooperative google hangouts, we were able to live stream a very dynamic, funny, and insightful discussion among our amazing speakers. It is available for viewing on youtube here.
The Ask Us Anything panel concluded with our traditional Panera-related question, and was followed by a book signing! Karuna and Gloria signed copies of their books attendees. Gloria even gave out candy for the people in her line!
And on that happy note, Ch1Con 2018 came to a close. We had so much fun organizing this event for the young writer community. A huge thanks, as always, to the entire Ch1Events team, Lynn Byers, Kathleen Ryan, The Hilton Garden Inn O’Hare, and to other friends of the conference, without whom none of this would be possible. We hope to see you all again next year for another fantastic con!