Over a week has passed since the virtual Nebulas 2022 conference. I finally recovered from the time difference to report on my experience, which included being a panelist for the very first time!
I took the plunge and ticked the box, indicating I’m interested in being put on a panel. I admit I got quite the energetic butterflies in my stomach when I learned I was to appear on the “Living Overseas and Publishing in the US and CA” panel. But I shouldn’t have worried. My fellow panelists Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, Kristin Osani, and A.J. Fitzwater were fabulous and so was our lovely moderator, Eugen Bacon.
We had an engaging discussion about publishing in a country different from the one we live in and issues arising from cultural differences, financial circumstances, and access or the lack thereof to events that take place across an ocean. I was left with a lot to think about after listening to the other speakers’ experiences.
I was so pleased to meet Oghenechovwe and congratulate him on his Nebula award for his gem of a thought-provoking novelette, “O2 Arena.” If you haven’t yet, go read it, and then please head over here to donate money to help Nigerian women with cancer receive radiotherapy because, for these women, the world in “O2 Arena” is their reality.
I wonder if this was my last Nebulas conference. It might be, at least for a while, if the next event is in-person only. I understand why participants would love to finally meet face to face again, but I’m rooting for a hybrid next event.
These past two years, Covid closed a lot of doors for me and caused all sorts of havoc in my life, but a window to virtual conferences and workshops opened as compensation. Writing in English has not made it easier to connect with other writers here in Germany, especially since I live in a rural area. Ever since events went virtual, my horizon as a writer has expanded.
I’m so grateful for the hard work organizers and volunteers from SFWA and many other cons and workshops put in the past two years to make online events possible. For us, overseas people, it has made a tremendous difference.