Heading off to Metrpolis Supercon today for a return to an event that I did for the first time last year. Metropolis IL is known for all things Superman, from the statue in the town to the museum, to a festival it holds every year. The Metropolis Supercon is held at the Metropolis Community Center, and will feature a range of guests, including comic book artists, authors, filmmakers, and more. I had a great time last year and made some new friends that I've kept in touch with, so it will be nice to return to the town. The hours are 10-5 on Saturday and 11-4 on Sunday.
The week went by fast. The highlight was without question a pair of fantasy writing workshops I did at Washington County High School, for the classes of Danielle Burke. I worked with a group of sophomores in one class and a group of juniors in the other.
With the help of Danielle, I had given them a small creative writing assignment prior to the workshop, so before I even arrived I had already critiqued the assignments handed in from the class. I talked about the value of the fantasy genre and my own path in becoming a writer, which led into individualized critiques of the assignments done by the students, followed by a period of open Q and A afterwards. The students were really attentive, engaged, and fun to work with.
There were definitely some promising writers in the group, but my goal of showing them that every single one of them could come up with original ideas and concepts for a fantasy-genre story was accomplished without question. Really loved the range of ideas and sub-genres that were reflected in the assignments. Some very creative approaches, interesting plot devices, character concepts, and settings were contained in the writing exercises. Definitely a workshop that I would like to do again with high school students in the future.
The week had a lot of activity, and Fandom Fest announced some great new guests such as John Rhys-Davies, the legendary actor, and Ernest Cline, one of the bright new stars of the literary realms whose Ready Player One was one of the biggest debut novels of all of 2011.
It seemed that the week rushed by with all of the activity and the workshops, as when I looked up the weekend was already upon me and it was time to prepare for Metropolis. So off I go to my second Metropolis Supercon. Friends of mine like actor John Wells, actor and 5 time MMA champion Dale Miller, filmmaker Zach Schuyler, Fandom Fest leaders Ken Daniels and Myra Daniels, author Bobby Nash, and many others will be on hand for what promises to be a fun weekend event. I'll try to remember to get some pictures!