Edge-Lit is an annual event for science fiction and fantasy writers, held at Derby Quad exhibition centre. It is now in its eighth year but this was my first year attending it. It took place on 13 July 2019 and this article summarises my experience of the day.
There was a welcome event from 9 – 10.30 am and the panels and guest of honour talks started at 10 am. The workshops started at 11 am. There were three rooms of workshops running continually from 11 am – 6 pm (last one starting at 5 pm).
I think the later start for panels/talks/workshops is good because people might have to travel some distance to get to Derby Quad. It allows them to get there later without missing much. Having said that, I can understand people wanting a packed programme all day. Whatever your opinion, no-one need ever be stuck for anything to do because there were also a dealers room, Waterstones bookstall, and readings and book launches throughout the day.
Because of other commitments that morning, I arrived at 11 am. When you arrive at Derby Quad you are given a welcome bag from Waterstones containing a book, which is great. There was also a programme and some exclusive extracts from novels.
I had viewed the programme online the day before and was wowed by the large number of workshops on offer. I’d selected the ones I wanted to go to and I’d ended up with a whole day full of workshops! You had to sign up for them on the day, and because I arrived late I ended up only getting onto half those I’d chosen. So I signed up for others. I ended up attending the following workshops:
|11 am .||Why do Readers not Finish Books?||Dominic Dulley|
|12 pm .||Writing a Novel||Tim Lebbon|
|1 pm .||The Art of Description||Robin Triggs|
|2 pm .||Developing Ideas||Ruth de Haas|
|3 pm .||Worldbuilding 101||K K Perez|
|4 pm .||Writing Short Stories||Dan Coxon|
|5 pm .||Navigating a Writing Career||Adam Christopher|
I enjoyed the workshops very much and I thought they were well-run. The presenters had clearly all prepared to give each workshop. Also, in four of them we were given handouts, which were very useful.
Because I ended up spending the whole day in workshops I didn’t see the rest of the event, which is a shame. Just from the general buzz of the place and all the people it was clear that there was tonnes going on. I would have liked to have seen the dealers room but I was on strict duty not to buy any more books. So it’s just as well I stayed out of there (lol!). There was a large, vibrant cafe/bar on the ground floor which was very busy and the food looked good.
View on a One-day event
Edge-Lit is a one-day event. However, from what I saw and from the programme, there is too much going on for one day. I mean this in a good way because you definitely get your money’s worth out of the ticket price. And there is lots of choice of what to see/do.
However, perhaps it might be better to split the event over two days. If people stayed over in Derby then they wouldn’t have to worry about travel at both ends of the day. For example, the Raffle was held at 7.30 pm and I’m surprised people stayed that late. My opinion is biased though because of my ME. I had to rest up for days before and after the event but I didn’t mind because it was worth it.
If you are a writer of science fiction or fantasy then I highly recommend going to Edge-Lit 9. I will certainly be there. There is so much to do and see, not to mention the networking opportunities. I saw many people from Eastercon there. (You can see my report on Eastercon 2019 here.)
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Did you attend Edge-Lit 8? Are you thinking about going to the next one? What are your views on conventions?