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My Experience at MystiCon 2013

March 24, 2013

I attended MystiCon in Roanoke, VA about a month ago, and now that I have some time, I thought I would write about the experience. MystiCon is an annual science fiction, horror, and fantasy convention. The author guest of honor this year was Orson Scott Card. There were over a hundred guests, and the attendee passes sold out. I had a great time and met some wonderful people. The panels I was on and a brief description of what was talked about in each follows.

– Rated “R”

This was my first panel, and it was held at midnight. I was unsure of what to expect, but the other guests on the panel helped me feel at ease. We discussed the meaning of “Rated R” in today’s culture, comparing film and books, and we decided that individual maturity, rather than age, dictates what a person can handle on the screen or on the page. As the only author of young adult literature on the panel, a number of questions were directed to me regarding how authors of young adult fiction decide what is appropriate in their writings. We agreed that in both writing and film it is important to understand the desired audience and to know what they want and can handle.

– There and Back Again: “The Hobbit” in Review

The objective of this panel was to discuss “The Hobbit” movie. The panel contained a number of dedicated Tolkien fans who could find little at fault with the movie since it displays a world they love on the screen for them to enjoy. Since I have not read all the works that Tolkien wrote, I felt less prepared to discuss every minute detail than the other panelists. However, we did agree that there were some issues with timing and over the top action sequences.

– Teen Titans of Publishing

This was a panel of young adult authors and the scholarship winner. The two other authors on the panel were both sophomores in high school. We discussed how we were published and what we hope to do in the future. We also talked about the writing and editing processes.

– Young Adults – What Are They Really Thinking?

This panel consisted of the same panelists as the previous one but with a different moderator. Here we discussed our daily lives, how we fit writing into our schedules, and what our friends and family think of our writing.

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From left to right: JM Lee (author), Cassidy Cornblatt (author), Ysabelle Hulet (author), Angela Pritchett (moderator), Maura Lydon (scholarship winner). Photo credit to J. Thomas Ross.

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