My Wiscon 2018
This year I attended WisCon 42 in Madison Wisconsin and crossed paths with some dear writing friends both from my virtual critique group PAWS (the Post-Apocalyptic Writing Society) and from workshops and courses I’ve taken over the last ten years. There are so many amazing people in genre and WisCon seems to draw nearly all of them into its vortex. Feminism and social justice. Explorations of gender, race, and class. WisCon’s focus includes my favorite themes–well, besides death, pain, and alienation–all wrapped up in a mesmerizing genre bow. One of my personal standout moments was reading a horror piece to a live audience. It’s not often I get to feel an audience’s reaction in real time and see how seemingly very different people are drawn to the same words. In grand WisCon tradition, the communal focus led to an unexpected and inspired moment. I read with Sarah Read, Kathrin Köhler, and Megan Arkenberg. We were four strong women and four strong writers. And all four of us, without any prior planning, read horror stories. Yes of course women clearly do write horror. At the same time, it’s often a male-dominated genre, except, as it turns out, when it isn’t.