Aussie Con 4 – My First Panel (inclusive of legs, nerds, boys and fruit)

“This is probably the single most coolest thing that has ever happened to me” – Megan on a voicemail message to Amy (close friend).

So this morning marked my FIRST EVER LIT PANEL.

*Breathe, breathe*


I should be upfront and say I don’t have any photos, recording or any other evidence that it actually happened, so I’m going to do my level best to talk you guys through it.

I did, however try and record it. My housemate’s best friend, Amy (different Amy to above) is this fantastically awesome girl who came up with the smart idea of recording the session on my phone, which I could then either transcribe or post on my blog for you to listen to.

I thought that was a brilliant idea, however was slightly scared that I’d look like an idiot with my phone in the middle of the table (if it was a similar set-up to Melbourne Writers Festival).

However, when I got there it was tables together in a straight line and we all sat next to each other, so that was fine (but also presented other problems – would my mobile pick up everyone’s voice, or just mine (since I was in front of it)?).

Then Bec, Lili and I decided to Tweet throughout the session

So we all pulled our phones out and put them on the desk in front of us – “Perfect!” I thought. “Now I’ll be able to record and no-one will be none-the-wiser!”

I hit record and immediately used that menu button that most phones have to go into Twitter. You know the one that allows you to text and stuff while on a phone call?

Anyway, so I put that on Twitter and then promptly didn’t Tweet at all – but I don’t think Bec or Lili did either, so that was okay.

When the session ended I realised that as soon as I hit the menu button to get into Twitter the recording stopped.

So I had nothing.

And that’s the long-winded story of why I don’t have a recording!

So anyway, moving on.

I woke up this morning feeling good. Not too nervous, just good.

I laid in bed for a while thinking of what to wear.

In the end, I decided on a skirt, pink long-sleeve top, a cute little vest I picked up from Sportsgirl the other day and my awesome as heels.

I ran into the living room to see Amy – housemate’s best mate – on the mattress on the floor and asked her if I looked okay, and she said I looked really cute, so tick!

Next was my bag. Threw in a book for good measure, and also with the theory that I could read it if I was getting too nervous and needed to calm down.

I made my train, then got a tram to the Convention centre.


I picked up my pass – pictured above! (Note the blu-tac over my suburb, which was printed (and sorry, I don’t want stalkers! But I guess that means if you see me around you’ll know where I live…)) – and got an information pack which had awesome things in it, including the program:


Today’s panel outline – featuring ME!

After I got that, I went to the Green Room. THE GREEN ROOM.
I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to excuse my outbursts of caps and excited tone.
I just CANNOT BELIEVE this is happening to ME.
So in the Green Room I was greeted by two lovely American women who told me they could make me a coffee since the coffee machine was really technical and hard to use. Otherwise there was fruit and baked goods or cold drinks.
And then I sat in the Green Room, basking in the awesomeness of it (inclusive of someone writing the following on the white board: “Your mother called. She said eat fruit, drink water and get lots of sleep”). I ate some fruit and drank water. Lots of famous authors came in and waited before sessions.
At about ten to, I left and hovered outside my session room.
It was there I saw Bec, and we went in together.
There was a STAGE and MICS and Bec and I walked up on the stage and I felt so impossibly cool you cannot even imagine!
Then Miffy turned up – who also does some work with ALEA, and I saw her present the CBCA book talk awards so I was already familiar with her – and then at the last moment Lili came up to the stage and suddenly we were off!
We each spoke a little about social networking and then got stuck into a real discussion with some fantastic questions from Miffy.
It’s all a blur really.
And I’m really, really kicking myself that the recording didn’t work because I’ve love to be able to quote everyone and give you a proper run-down of what happened.
I remember a few things from sitting up on the stage:
  • Trying my level best to keep my legs together, as I had a skirt on and the table was open – so ie people could see my legs!
  • Spying both Leanne Hall and Karen Healy in the audience
  • I think I counted about thirty-five people, but a few more people came and left through-out the session
  • Being so utterly comfortable once I found my groove and thinking, “This is what I want to do”
  • Trying my level best not to make a dumb comment or seem stupid (but I did shout out somewhat excitedly towards the end “I’m a nerd! I love being a nerd! Embrace it!” to a comment that I can no longer remember)
We talked about negative feedback, boys and reading, emails from fans, blogging, Facebook, Twitter.
As soon as it started it was over!
When it finished several people came up to us and said it was a great panel which I REALLY appreciated so THANK YOU if that was you! I’m going to make a bigger effort from now on to tell people when I think their panels rock as I really appreciated it.
When we were all leaving, I grabbed my name card and shoved it in my bag (Miffy, Lili and Bec all left their’s).

I’d like to think that I sounded all intelligent and awesome but you’ve really got to talk to Bec and Lili and Miffy and everyone who came to watch us and ask them!
And now I’m at home, typing this up.
I was originally going to come home and grab my mini and head straight back into town – as I have a 6pm meeting at ACMI – but then got caught up here, and decided that I might as well use my actual computer.
The panel today really cemented one thing, however.
I really, really want to do this. Badly. SO badly.
It was liberating and exhilarating and amazing and I want to do it again and again.

Listening to Miffy introduce me was just the most awesome feeling in the world. There I was, sitting in front of a huge photo of me (Miffy made this nifty slide show with our names and photos on them while she read out our biographies), listening to Miffy tell the audience who I was.

I saw people in the audience nodding and agreeing with what I was saying and it was such an indescribable feeling.

These people were listening to me and agreeing with what I was saying.

As I left the conference centre I felt on top of the world. My panel pass was swinging around my neck; my heels were clicking on the stone.

You know what? This isn’t the last time you’ll see me on a panel.
Watch out world, here I come!
ps – after the panel I went to The Melbourne Writers Festival for a panel on feminism. There is no point me telling you about it, though, as The MWF blog already has perfectly summed the session up!
pps- I would also like to point your attention to Shirley Marr’s blog, where she has written beautifully about her time at MWF, inclusive of photos of her and I, me and Anada, and the following quote: “I am astounded by Megan’s almost limitless knowledge and passion of YA. It gives me much respect to know Megan has such integrity toward her blogging.” IS THAT ME?! Gosh.

7 thoughts on “Aussie Con 4 – My First Panel (inclusive of legs, nerds, boys and fruit)

  1. Hey Meg, I'm glad you had a good time, and I'm sorry I couldn't be there. I'll be on the job from early tommorow – let's make sure we catch up.
    Michael Pryor

  2. Thanks Michael!
    Yep I know you were on the road with MWF!
    Sounds good. I'm not in tomorrow morning but I may come tomorrow evening. I have a session at MWF at 530 which I'm straight from work from but I might drop into Aussie Con:)

  3. haha you're so lovely. I love how you can hear your excitement and enthusiasm coming through in your writing. I can just imagine your random squeals and outbursts now. I'm glas it went well, i had my fingers crossed. Annoyed that there's no audio though! :P

  4. Oooh, sorry Megan – just realised I replied to this:
    YES! Would love to catch up for a coffee and proper chat sometime :)

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