Conflux 10 – Friday 3 October to Monday 6 October 2014.

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Art work by Shauna O'Meara

Art work by Shauna O’Meara

Conflux 10 will be held at Rydges Capital Hill on the October Long Weekend.

The chair is Karen Herkes. Guests are Margo Lanagan and Alisa Krasnostein.

This year’s theme is “Journeys of discovery and self-discovery” – not just mere travel, but
those journeys that become revelatory.
This is the heart of “walkabout” in our indigenous culture, our journey has meaning.
As always, in designing our program, we have paid homage to fellow travellers and, on a
less than serious note, punned freely with program item titles. We hope that you will enjoy
the trip!

For more information, click on the above tabs for the Program (including workshop registrations), Social Events and more.

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Conflux 10 social event registration closes tomorrow!

Hey there Con members, did you notice in the last mailing from Conflux 10 chair extraordinaire that you need to register for the social events?

If you did and haven’t, you have until tomorrow to register! If you didn’t and haven’t you still have till tomorrow to register! So, get your skates on and go to the Social Events page where you can download the forms. Please send all forms to chair@conflux.org.au.

Attendance at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from 7pm on Saturday 4 October is free to Con members ($40 for non-members) and attendance at the Banquet from 7.30pm on Sunday 5 October is $60 for everyone. See the Social Events page for more details.

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Conflux 10: have you registered for your workshops yet?

You have less than a week to register for the workshops you wish to attend at Conflux! Please visit the Workshop Registrations page to download a registration form.

If you haven’t submitted your member or non-member form for attendance at the Banquet on Sunday 5 October, you can do that by going to the Social Events page. Please make sure you submit the form to confirm your attendance and to advise any dietary requirements. Any other issues should be discussed with the friendly Conflux team at the Registration desk from the opening of the conference on Friday. Yes, this Friday coming!

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Conflux 10: Countdown 6 workshop details

Countdown Six – publishing preparation

9am-4pm, Friday, 3 October
Pre-register to attend

Presenters – Nicole Murphy and Russell Kirkpatrick

Aimed at – writers with a completed, polished manuscript who are looking to submit to publishers and/or agents

You’ve created an amazing story, with engaging characters, unique world and intriguing plot. Now – it’s time to put on your salesman’s hat and convince publishers and agents to take it on!

With 14 novel sales between them, Russell Kirkpatrick and Nicole Murphy will take you through the three tools you’ll use to sell your book to a publisher – the query letter, the synopsis and your first chapter.

The day will start looking at what a synopsis is and how to write one. You’ll be given tools to break down your manuscript to work out what should go in the synopsis and what shouldn’t. The first session will finish looking a query letters.

In the second session, you’ll look at why you need to polish your first chapter and how to do it. What is the fundamental purpose of an opening chapter? What should an opening chapter do?

Participants will need to bring their manuscript with them, as they will be working with it during the day. This will be a very hands-on workshop and while you won’t leave with your synopsis written and your first chapter polished (that CAN’T be done in six hours), you will leave knowing how to do it and with the work started.

To register, you will need to complete a workshop booking form. Details are here.

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Conflux 10 fundraising auction

Conflux 10 auctionSUNDAY 5 OCTOBER 2014 – 1.00pm in Forest Room 2

An auction will be held at CONFLUX 10 to raise funds for fan funds and charities.

You can donate items for auction to a specific charity or fan fund, all proceeds from these items will go towards the nominee. There is a five-item limit per person (but negotiable, please see Registration). You are also welcome to submit items on a “sale or return” basis – CONFLUX retains 10% of the winning bid amount.

If you would like to submit an item for the Auction, please deliver to Registration by 10am Sunday morning. There is a form at Registration to complete for each item. Please note we have a limit on number of items due to the time available, when the limit is reached we will not accept further bids.

So come along and find a bargain!

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About Graham Joyce

Last week, the terrible news came through that Graham, so full of life, such a funny funny guy, had died of cancer.

Graham was the international guest of honour at Conflux 4, the first convention I chaired in 2007, and inviting him was the idea of Deb Biancotti and Kaaron Warren. I didn’t really have a guest I was dying to have, and after I read up on him I decided he’d be a perfect fit with the lineup of guests I had (which included Kaaron, Garth Nix, Simon Brown and Jonathan Strahan – the addition of Kevin J Anderson and Rebecca Moesta came later in the piece).

Graham graciously accepted the invitation, and arrangements were made. I remembered almost too late he’d need a visa, but that was organised and he arrived. I picked Graham up at the airport and took him to the hotel (Rydges Lakeside – I know some of you are shuddering right now – terrible venue). Graham instantly charmed me and set me at ease. He did that for everyone throughout the weekend.

One of the first things Graham said to me – “Trudi Canavan will be here, right?” His daughter was a massive Trudi fan and he’d been tasked with getting her autograph. It was the only thing that he HAD to do at Conflux. Otherwise, he was going to be all about the fun.

And he was. He made Canberra reviewer Colin Steele’s day by having lunch with him (Colin was a massive fan). He had lunch with a group of us Canberra folk at Gillian Polack’s house the day before the con, and that was a hoot! And at the con itself, he was open and available and funny.

I remember one time, I finally had a few minutes to sit (doesn’t happen often when you’re chairing a con). I went to bar and there was Graham, and Garth Nix, and there were some other folks but I can’t remember who. Anyway, the conversation turned to the fact after Conflux, Graham was going to stay with a family member who lived on a property between the Snowy Mountains and the South Coast. What followed was the typical Aussie ribbing about all the horrid creatures he was going to meet out there (I don’t think we resorted to a drop bear – we were writers, we can make the real horrific enough – hell, who needs a drop bear when there’s huntsman to scare the bejeezus out of you?) and Graham was having a rip-roaring time. We were laughing so much we were crying.

At the con, I bought one of Graham’s books and finally read him and realised not only was he and amazing human being, he was one of the most stunning writers I’ve ever come across.

So I can’t decide what I’m more devastated about – that we’ll never have another Graham Joyce book, or that Graham’s laughter will never be heard again.

My thoughts, and the thoughts of the extended Conflux family, go to Graham’s wife and children, his family and friends.

Nicole Murphy
President, Conflux Inc

Here are Graham’s answers to the questions posed to all our guests that year as part of our Progress Reports (our theme for the con was heroes):

Who are your real-life heroes?
The trouble with real-life heroes is they all turn out to have feet of clay, like the rest of us. Many years ago I paid a fat little barefoot Indian guru a week’s wages for a mantra. He had this beautiful and transcendent smile. The idea was that you paid for this mantra and you would end up with a similar smile. Later I found out that he was barefoot because he lived in deep-pile carpet in a luxury fortress in Switzerland, where he kept a dozen Rolls Royces and ate chikken tikka even though he was supposed to be a vegan. Well, you would smile, wouldn’t you? But if I have to name one it would be Oliver
Cromwell. Another would be Nelson Mandella. Then there’s Grace O’Malley, the Elizabethan pirate queen. But no-one can transcend their own humanity, and heroes are really about mythology, not humanity.

Who is more fun to write – villains or heroes? 
Well, I like the idea of heroes who turn out to be villains and villains who turn out to be heroes.

Heroes or heroines?
Heroines. They photograph better in the leather kilt.

Do you have a favorite fictional hero?
Yes. Dr Strange. Much more interesting than Spiderman and the rest.

What makes a hero come alive on the page?
Their frailties. If they are invulnerable or untouchable the outcome is secure. The bigger the heroic flaw or weakness, the more the outcome hangs in the balance.

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Conflux 10 Program is live!

9837 Conflux 10 Logo
We have a program! The Conflux 10 Program has been released into the wilds of the interwebs.

This is the provisional program and will most definitely change between now and 3 October. We recommend you book as soon as possible to secure your place at the workshops – space is limited!

The conference is shaping up to be another great celebration of and conversation about the journeys we explore in speculative fiction and the emotional journeys we experience as fans of speculative fiction. So join us from 3-6 October!

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Pitching at Conflux 10

Conflux 10 is happy to announce that there will be pitching sessions for members of Conflux 10 (supporting or full).

We have five different sessions for pitchees.

Note the session with Alex Adsett is on the weekend before Conflux 10 as Alex is unable to attend. Pitching with Alisa Krasnostein is on Friday at 4.00pm just before the opening ceremony. Other pitching sessions will take place on Saturday.

Pitching sessions are five minutes long so get your pitched honed and practice, practice. Limited to 10 people per session. Note Satalyte have advised that they are willing to do two sessions if demand requires.

First up we have:

Alex Adsett, Alex Adsett Publishing Services (10 am, Saturday 27 September, Rydges Restaurant). Note this session will be held a week before the convention.

‘My agency is currently representing fourteen authors across all genres of fiction – science fiction, fantasy, crime and romance, for YA and adults. Although my heart will always belong to dystopian and urban fantasy, these markets are incredibly tough to sell right now. I’m particularly looking for science fiction (including science fiction romance), swashbuckling adventure and crime, but if you have a great genre story, I would love to hear about it.’

Alisa Krasnostein – Twelfth Planet Press (Friday 4.00pm, 3 October 2014)

‘Twelfth Planet Press is looking to develop a new line of dynamic, original genre novels. Twelfth Planet Press novels will push boundaries to question, inspire, engage and challenge. We are specifically looking to acquire material outside that which is typically considered by mainstream publishers.

We are looking for science fiction, fantasy, horror and crime. We will consider borderline literary, new weird, steampunk, space opera, hard science fiction, soft science fiction, urban fantasy, cyberpunk, military science fiction, young adult, paranormal romance, science fiction romance and everything in between.’

Rochelle Fernandez (Saturday 4th October 10.00am)

‘Rochelle Fernandez is the Associate Publisher for Voyager, the speculative fiction imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Voyager is the publisher of great global fantasy and science fiction, including George RR Martin, Robin Hobb, Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov as well as spectacular Australian talent such as Kylie Chan, Will Elliott and Jo Spurrier. We are looking to for sophisticated and original fantasy and science fiction, specifically stories that form part of a series and contain complex character development for publication in print and in our digital-only imprint, Impulse. We welcome shorter stories and novellas, as long as there is scope to develop them into further works. We want to work with collaborative authors who wish to connect with their readers.’

Stephen Ormsby- Satalyte (11 am Saturday 4th October)

‘Satalyte is interested in all genres, as we do not want to be seen as genre specific. We have published steampunk, dark fiction, romance, and everything in between so far.  We will not look at erotica. Satalyte Publishing have been in existence for 9 months, and have already published over a dozen novels.  We have books coming up from Jack Dann, K. J. Taylor and Dirk Strasser to mention a few.’

Tehani Wessely- Fablecroft (12.00 Saturday 4th October)

‘FableCroft is a boutique publishing house dedicated to the future of speculative fiction in Australia. Over the past four years, FableCroft has published emerging and established Australian authors in both short story and novel form. In the future, we are looking to expand our original novel list with exciting and engaging speculative fiction books. We are seeking stories that use genre to challenge the reader, with characters that jump off the page and plots that offer the reader an escape from the norm. We are NOT seeking gratuitous violence or sexual depictions in the story. We are interested in books for either adult and young adult readers. Please familiarise yourself with the work we have published previously for an idea of the quality of writing we are seeking.’

Registration for pitching will open on 1 September 2014 and close on 22 September 2014. To register please send your details to chair@conflux.org.au.  You will be advised after 22 September about the pitching sessions.

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NAFF race now on!

This year’s Natcon (Continuum X) is on in June and once again, the call is out for people to support the National Australian Fan Fund (NAFF).

NAFF supports sending an Australian fan to the Natcon. Last year, Emma Kate came from Tasmania to Conflux and she was great fun and a great help for us.

This year, the candidates are Tehani Wessely and Matthew Lindus. Casting a vote costs $5, which helps support the fund.

Please vote to send an Aussie to the Natcon, and support fandom!

Read more at Tehani’s blog (we’re not saying vote for Tehani, but that’s where we found the link to the voting information and form).

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2014 Aurealis Awards – call for judges

Conflux Incorporated is looking for judges for the 2014 Aurealis Awards. Any Australian resident with a passion for speculative fiction can put their name forward. More information available here. Applications close 30 April 2014.

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All about the Conflux Writer’s Day and the Aurealis Awards

Last weekend, the inaugural Conflux Writer’s Day was held, along with the first hosting by Canberra of the Aurealis Awards.

Both events went smashingly well, but don’t take our word for it! Here’s the thoughts of some of the attendees.

Lisa Fleetwood

Ellen Gregory

Dave Versace

Leife Shallcross

Donna Maree Hanson – Conflux Writer’s Day and Aurealis Awards

Once again, Cat Sparks photographed various aspects of the weekend and you can see her images here.

Finally, while it’s not the same as being there, Sean Wright’s Storify of the Aurealis Awards via thoughts and images posted on Twitter and Facebook does a great job of capturing the night!

Planning has already begun for next year’s Aurealis Awards ceremony, however there isn’t any plans currently to hold the Conflux Writer’s Day, due to the lack of a convenor/organiser for the day. If you are interested in taking on this role, please email.

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