I’m very much looking forward to attending the 2017 iteration of Rainbow Con! Rainbow Con’s held a whole lot of firsts for me. It was the first convention I attended where I was travelling alone, the first convention where I had met literally no one that was going to be there and really had only barely met some of the people who’d be there while working with them online, and the first convention that I attended as a published author. I was a volunteer at both the 2014 and 2015 convention (since at this point, I’m so used to running the conventions I’m at that it feels wrong to go to a convention and just attend) and it was a lot of hard work but also a lot of fun.
Each year Saundra, Kris, and Roger work hard to make sure there’s a huge amount of great programming and the only complaint I’ve ever heard about the programming was that attendees often wanted to be in two (or more) places at once so they could see and do everything. There’s also a ton of amazing authors who show up and everything about Rainbow Con is so relaxed that you can actually meet the authors and talk to them. I lit the fires of a bunch of good friendships at Rainbow Con and each year it seems like I’m adding more and more people to my “awesome people” list. Also, the con suite is open for most of the convention (think reasonable business hours) for all attendees to come up, grab a snack, maybe hang out and say hi if there’s room on the couches. Some of the most fun I’ve had previous years was just talking with people in the con suite for hours!
The 2017 convention is coming up July 6-9 in Tampa, Florida. This will be the second year at the Holiday Inn Westshore and I really love the venue. It feels nice and cozy inside but there’s also a lot of great food in easy walking distance. (Including a Waffle House across the street, which isn’t exactly great food, but it’s food that I enjoy.) The Holiday Inn also happens to be nice and close to the airport, which makes flying in from out of town a breeze. They offer a complimentary shuttle which will also take you around to some of the close-but-too-far-to-walk eateries. (Just remember to tip!) Also, if you’re worried about the Florida heat mid-summer, don’t be! They keep it nice and cool inside the hotel. (A little too cold in some of the closed off panel rooms, but that got worked out eventually.)
The schedule is already online so you can plan out your visit well in advance. I don’t know yet which panels I’ll be on besides the workshop on building an author website, but they’ll probably have something to do with fanfic, social media, or mpreg and other weird things. (What can I say, I’m
a dirty trash panda eclectic…) As an example of just a few of the things I’m looking forward to attending:
Selling Yourself: Social Media and the Indie Author – (Thursday, 2pm, Section III) Press and networking, blog tours, tweets, Facebook, etc etc etc… These days, it seems like the opportunities to market one’s work are endless. But what is the most effective way to reach your readers? How do you do it without overextending yourself (or making yourself unwelcome). Panelists will discuss beat practices in effectively managing social media as both an author and as a brand, without burning out.
BDSM Demonstration – (Friday, 10pm, Queen Palm) Join Brenda Cothern for an informative BDSM demonstration!
When Two Won’t Do: Polyamorous Fiction – (Saturday, 11am, Section III) Polyamory is gaining in notoriety, slowly becoming a common trope in many erotic romances. But polyamory is about more than sex. Drop by to find out how!
Euphemism BINGO – (Saturday, 10pm, King Palm) A hilariously inappropriate take on the classic BINGO game. Join us as our caller yells out euphemisms until someone scores five in a row!
I’m also on the fence about attending the Kaleidoscope Masquerade on Saturday night. On one hand, I love costume parties and it’d be a great time to mingle. On the other hand, I’m flying from Buffalo so I need something that will travel well. Also, I do enjoy being a lazy panda in the con suite in the evenings and Saundra makes amazing Jell-o shots. It’s entirely possible that I’ll buy a ticket and then decide at last minute!
Registration is open and is currently $125 for the full con (Thur-Sun) or $60 for just the weekend (Sat-Sun). There’s also an industry registration if you’re an author and want to promote your work. I can guarantee that if you’re a reader, writer, reviewer, or even just remotely interested in queer media, you will have a fun time!