Friday, November 21, 2014

Toronto International Book Fair report

It's five days since I got home from Inspire!, the Toronto International Book Fair, and I'm just about recovered enough to write about it. This was the first year for the Fair and they were very enthusiastic about having SFWA participate, so Communications Director Jaym Gates and I organized setting up a booth and getting SFWA members involved in the Fair's programming. Lots of members from across Canada and the U.S. sent postcards, bookmarks, buttons and other material to hand out to attendees, and we also had pamphlets about SFWA and Writer Beware, the two most recent issues of the SFWA Bulletin, the 2014 and 2013 Nebula anthologies and volume one of the Grant Masters anthology.

SFWA Showcase reading
Our first item on the program, the SFWA Showcase Reading Series, featured Alyx Dellamonica, Ed Hoornaert, Robin Riopelle and Karina Sumner-Smith all doing short (5-6 minute) readings from their works. It was on Friday, when most of the attendees were kids, parents or teachers, and while it didn't attract a huge crowd the readers were all warmly received.

"The Future Ain't What It Used to Be" panel
On Saturday I got my own six-minute slot in the Put That On Your Bookshelf: Quirky Shorts reading, where I shared the stage with D.D. Miller and Shawn Syms and managed to read all of "When We Have Time". Finally we had our panel, "The Future Ain't What It Used to Be," in which Andrew Barton led a lively discussion between Julie Czerneda, Douglas Smith and Stephanie Bedwell-Grime that started with the question of why we didn't get the future SF promised us and moved on to many interesting places. Saturday was much livelier and we had a standing-room-only crowd for this one.

SFWA wasn't involved in any official programming on Sunday but traffic to our table was still good, and by the end we were out of Writer Beware pamphlets and Bulletins and down to our last copy of each of the anthologies. Then, after many chats with readers, writers, and friends old and new, not to mention witnessing the ChiZine crew descend upon the Piller's booth in a mad frenzy for free lunch meat products, it was time to pack up and head home.

Oh, and Popeye stole my pen.



Arlee Bird said...

Followed you on Twitter and then proceeded over to your blog. Looks like you kind of went on a break for a while.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Crystal Huff said...

Hey, I recognize that last pic from the Toronto Book Fair! Glad I convinced you guys to make a silly face photo. ;)