In ‘Con’ terms, I’m still considered a newbie. I went to my first NZ National Science Fiction and Fantasy convention in Wellington 4 years ago and I’ve been returning (sometimes kicking and screaming against my fear of public speaking) into Convention panels and events ever since.

I can remember my introduction to the scene: a crowded conference room of enthusiastic contributors carrying out an intense discussion about alien exoskeletons and space travel.

“Who are these people?” I asked nobody in particular. Turned out they were my people.

Conventions are a melting pot of ideas, concepts, interests, hobbies and obsessions but mostly, they’re a really good introduction to diversity. You’ll find people who are different to you in the way they perceive Dr Who, the world, their gender, Star Trek, hard science fiction, the role of rats in popular movies and much, much more. And as I found out, you’ll come across a lot of writers.

NZ conventions have always been fairly small but as far as I can work out, have consistently included a large proportion of science fiction, fantasy and horror readers and writers.

This year, the aptly named LexiCon 2017 (being held in Taupō at Queens Birthday weekend) has a multitude of writers speaking on panels and sharing their expertise, whether that’s in publishing, gender roles in fiction, science writing, editing or the Young Writer’s Workshop. You can check out the extensive programme here:

As is often the case, the Guest of Honour is an author too. Seanan McGuire, renowned Californian urban fantasy and horror author, filk composer and cartoonist will be speaking, contributing to panels and hanging out with the rest of us at the bar. If you’ve never heard of her, try the InCryptid series, it’s sassy urban fantasy with laugh out loud moments.

Having written two fantasy novels for children, I’m in awe of how prolific Seanan is and can’t wait to hear more about her writing process, tips and how she created Verity Price, the ‘kickass’ heroine of the series.

LexiCon is being held at the Suncourt Hotel in Taupō from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th June 2017 (Queen’s Birthday Weekend).

Sign up or find up more:

You can also check out or follow @Lexicon_NZ on Twitter.