Guest Post: RamboCon – Proposed Sessions for an Imaginary Spec-Fic Convention

by Cat Rambo

Cat RamboSome panel ideas, which any convention organizer is welcome to grab.

Making the Transition from Short Story to Novel
What are the pitfalls and what should the writer know before starting? Is it easier to do it in reverse and go from novel to short story? What’s similar and what’s different? Does it help to think of chapters as mini-stories?

(This seems to me to be harder than anyone acknowledges it to be, and I know there’s several basics I wish I’d known before I’d begun blindly floundering in the much deeper waters of a novel. I’m also pretty sure this is not a new idea for a panel, but I haven’t seen it at recent cons I’ve been at.)

The Architecture of the Country of the Blind
Reading blind, so you see just the story and not the name of the author with its info about gender, is something many editors and publishers agree is a good idea. What are the practical aspects of setting up such a system? What do you do if editors or slush readers recognize the story? Is it true you can tell gender by how someone writes? What about the fact that such a system removes the “name recognition” that some widely published authors hold?

(Let’s just start with the assumption it’s a good idea for once. For the love of Pete. Thx.)

What the F*** is Flash Fiction?
Some people say flash fiction has a minimum length, such as 1000, 500, even 250 words, while others say Hemingway’s famous “For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.” is a complete story. Who’s right? Where does prose poetry fit? Why are flash magazines so popular and what are the ones doing interesting things in the field? Who are the flash authors to watch out for?

Teaching Writing
Many of us teach writing classes in order to supplement our incomes. What’s the best way of doing it? What should (and shouldn’t) a student expect from a writing class? How can you make the best of them? Which are the good ones and are there any that should be avoided?

Does Anyone Have a Business Model Yet?
Online magazine publishers discuss what works and what doesn’t, including what’s surprised them about online transactions. What are the basics of starting up an online magazine and what are the most effective ways of making it grow?


Find Cat Rambo’s fiction at her website. She teaches at Bellevue College, acts as a board member for Broad Universe and serves as a volunteer with Clarion West. Her most recent publication is her short story collection for Kindle and other e-readers. Look for upcoming work in Abyss & Apex, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Bull Spec, Daily Science Fiction, Giganotasaurus, Lightspeed, and more.