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Gen Con Writers’ Symposium 2023 – Final Thoughts from the Chair

Gen Con Writers’ Symposium 2023 – Final Thoughts from the Chair

 Gen Con Writers’ Symposium 2023 – Overview

Chairing the 2023 Writers’ Symposium was an honor and privilege. The organizing committee set out to double our attendance while growing the community and growing representation & scope. We more than doubled ticket sales (vs 2022) and grew our unique-ticket-purchasers by 50%.  Being our second year post-covid, we created a strong foundation for success in 2024 and beyond.

Gen Con is a massive gaming event, the largest gaming convention in North America. This year they have over 70,000 attendees (nearly a record, and wonderful growth from last year’s 50,000). One in every thirty (3.5%) attendees purchased tickets for the Writers’ Symposium. We offered 70 Free Seminars, 60 Workshops, 20+ Signings, 65+ Presenters; these were organized into different categories (tracks, categorized sessions) to promote longer stays.  We also featured the track Game Narrative (storytelling in video and tabletop games) led by Toiya Kristen Finley to better integrate with the larger event.

We had ~2,500 unique ticket sales, another ~500 walk-ins, and the average attendee purchased 2.5 tickets (up from ~1.5 last yr., indicating our move to “tracks” worked).

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7th-9th April is Conpulsion! Edinburgh’s Ultimate Roleplaying and Tabletop Convention!

7th-9th April is Conpulsion! Edinburgh’s Ultimate Roleplaying and Tabletop Convention!

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Scotland’s biggest weekend gaming convention
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I’ll be doing a writing workshop based on my Storyteller Tools

If you’re anywhere near Edinburgh, then don’t miss Conpulsion this Easter!

It’s basically Valhalla for geeks, a temporary Nerdtopia — think Burning Man, but with less sun and more dice.

We’re talking two and a bit days of actual table top gaming in a popup community that you wish would just settle down and start its own township!

It’s Scotland’s biggest weekend gaming convention, and it is a splendid experience. (See reviews for 2014 and 2o15)

There are dozens of roleplaying games squirrelled away in the Gothic venue’s labyrinth, all refereed by experienced GMs. These run morning, afternoon and evening, so it really is possible to roleplay solidly for two days.

There are whole areas devoted to modern board and card games, some of them entirely new, plus various LARP games and panel discussions.

There’s also always wargaming going on, especially X-Wing and Warhammer 40K, but also games you  won’t have heard of, or are yearning to try.

The atmosphere is inclusive and have-a-go, with roleplaying sessions aimed at a range of ages and experiences, and board and wargames hosted by enthusiastic demonstrators.

Overall it’s a really good chance to try out — or at least, watch — the kind of games that look tempting but are a bit too expensive to just buy on the off-chance that they are any good. It’s also the place to pick up copies of games without having to pay shipping —  a refreshingly retro experience in an era when the Internet is usually cheaper.

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