When it comes to organising something, anything, that relies on the interest of others for its success, there’s a nagging voice at the back of your head. You could have everything analysed down to the nth degree, all situations planned out and the minutiae of each possible outcome accounted for and YET STILL the little goblin at the back of your mind tells you to worry and fuss and panic that all your hard work will be for naught.
Planning a conference, unsurprisingly, is no different. Suddenly concepts such as venues, merchandise, prices, dinners and speakers take priority over other such trivial matters such as food, sleep and oxygen.
However, as we draw slowly (yet still somehow maddeningly quickly) to our end goal, these past few weeks have really begun to realise something that only a few months ago was still really just an idea. We have a venue in Glasgow University’s eye-catching Boyd Orr Building. We have have reservations at The Curler’s Rest (a popular watering hole amongst the first generation of the Fantasy MLitt students) for our conference dinner. We have nailed down the dates for GIFCon; 29th – 31st March. We have even already had the first few submissions in response to our Call for Papers.
But imagine our surprise, amid all our expected yet unhelpful anxiety, when Glasgow’s own Louise Welsh engaged our Chair, Laura Becherer, in discussion about GIFCon and asked if she would be able to be involved. This was a stroke of fortune we most certainly did NOT expect, but received with good grace and only a slight amount of excited trembling. Stay tuned for some more info on Welsh in the near future.
As you may already be aware, Scotland’s own Julie Bertagna has agreed to be the first guest speaker of GIFCon. This has bolstered the spirits of all involved with GIFCon no end as Bertagna is not only a native of this our fair northernland, but an alum of Glasgow University itself. It feels right that the first speaker of the first Glasgow International Fantasy Conference is a graduate of Glasgow as well. Over the next few weeks, keep your eyes peeled for a closer look at the works of Julie Bertagna, notably her eco-sci-fi novel ‘Exodus’.
It’s coming together folks. We are stepping down from the door where it began.