The Nebula Awards Weekend

May 28th, 2014

For the past two years, the Nebula Awards weekend has been hosted in San Jose. I went last year on a whim and had an absolutely wonderful time. It definitely set the tone for this year, which was busier, more difficult to navigate, but equally engaging.

Despite being one of the more geographically diverse cons, in that the nominees come from all over, I spent both Nebula weekends mostly with local writers. Funny how sometimes it takes an awards banquet to bring people together! Last year I stuck close to Rahul Kanakia, who I miss dearly, and this year I caught up with my local group, including Vincent Jorgensen and Amy Sundberg. I also had the chance to spend lots of time with Dr. Lawrence M. Schoen and his wife, Valerie. I know him even better now than I did after spending two weeks with him at Taos Toolbox in 2010.

Myself, Lawrence, and Amy

Myself, Lawrence, and Amy

And that’s really what I enjoy about the Nebs: while it’s certainly a fantastic opportunity to network, everyone is so open and friendly and excited. It truly felt that we were all a part of the same tribe, and that we were collectively honoring some of the best and brightest among us. The glow of the writer community brightened especially in the evenings. I made new friends, shook hands with some very well known writers, and smiled so much my jaw ached.

As always, there are things that could have been improved. Sunil Patel began a conversation on Facebook which has been summarized neatly by Juliette Wade at her blog. I wasn’t at the “Writing About Other Cultures” panel. I admire Sunil and Juliette for sharing their experience. I hope we continue to talk and reflect on diversity, that we find ways to improve our panels, our writing, ourselves. Next year, the 50th Nebulas Awards ceremony will be held in Chicago. I’m hoping to attend.

But before that, I have many other workshops and cons to attend this summer. Next up: a trip to Philadelphia for a writing workshop with some of my dearest writer friends.

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