Every year, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society hosts the Maryland Regional Science Fiction Convention known as Balticon. Having attended as a participant in the past, I knew the program was packed with panels on topics of interest writers as well as the broader audience of scifi and fantasy fans.
I’ve been a fan of science fiction and fantasy as a category of fiction—whether in books, movies, or TV shows—all my life, having grown up on Doctor Who, Star Wars, the Chronicles of Narnia and Chronicles of Prydain, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and writers like Piers Anthony, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Melanie Rawn, and more. So I was really excited to speak to other fans as a panelist this year.
I moderated or sat on panels discussing:
- The Publishing Labyrinth
- Getting Published
- The Business of Writing
- How to Work with an Editorial Assistant
In between I enjoyed watching everyone parading around in their awesome costumes. I think that’s my very favorite part about cons…people can be so creative in dressing up as their favorite TV, book, and film characters. One really wonderful addition to Balticon is the art room, where artists in various mediums bring their work in for sale. It’s so inspiring to see how wild and beautiful the human imagination can be, and knowing that many of these visions stem from a lifetime of reading just warms this publishing gal’s heart.
Founder of The Writer’s Ally, Ally E. Machate is a bestselling book collaborator, award-winning editor, and expert publishing consultant who loves using her insider knowledge and experience with the publishing industry to lead serious authors toward success. She and her team live to help make great books happen, whether that means showing a writer how to improve a manuscript, get an agent, or self-publish; or coaching an author on growing her platform to sell more books. Since 1999, she has supported hundreds of authors on their publishing journey and takes pride in serving as their books’ best ally.