Convention Spotlight: WindyCon

You can find the summary of the Convention Ideas here.

WindyCon is one of the older
conventions in the United States (I attended one in 1986).  As I've
been researching conventions and their "professional events" I was glad
to go and see what was up with the convention.

WindyCon is a convention held near Chicago,
currently held in Lombard, IL.  Indeed if you're a fan, geek, what-have
you in the area, you probably know about it.

fan-to-pro events put a large emphasis on writing  – there are
workshops, panels, and soforth for writers interested in
science-fiction.  What really stands out is their manuscript review,
modeled after the Worldcon Writer's Workshops.  This is something other
conventions could definitely emulate.

It works like this:

  1. Beginning authors send in manuscripts.
  2. WindyCon arranges professional authors and editors to critique them.
  3. There are face-to-face meetings between those who submit manuscripts and the pros themselves.
  4. There's live feedback and Q&A.

is a model I think could be extended to any number of profan activities
– art, game design, website design, cosplay, etc.  It gives the experts
time for review, gives solid feedback, and encourages a professional
approach from the start.  My guess is it also would be good for
networking or networking could be added to and encouraged at the events.

WindyCon has been doing this for several years.  It sounds like it's worth giving a try at your own convention.

Of course if you're in the area, you could also attend WindyCon and get the full experience yourself . . .

– Steven Savage