Andromeda One Convention – Here’s the Rhubarb!

A one-day genre convention can be a great way to see your favourite writers discussing their work, find out what’s hot in independent publishing, meet like-minded people – or old friends – who love reading genre as much as you do, or even pick up some writing and publishing tips from the pros.


Hot on the heels of one-day events from earlier this year, FUTURA and Edge-lit, comes Andromeda One on Saturday 21st September, featuring Guests of Honour Paul Cornell (author of London Falling; TV writer for Doctor Who and Merlin; Comic Writer for Wolverine and Saucer Country) and Jaine Fenn (author of Hidden Empire series), as well as many more writers and speakers.

Andromeda One is going to be taking place at the immensely hip Custard Factory in Birmingham, the former site of an actual custard factory – Birds Custard Factory, no less! The site was rescued from dereliction in 1988 and is now home to many creative enterprises and studios. As well as craft and vintage shops and cool cafes, you will find theatres, TV studios art galleries and the famous green man sculpture! The industrial past and digital future sit side by side here, making it the ideal place to hang out and talk about science fiction.


So what else can you expect from a one day convention? There will be panel talks, signings, book launches as well as the chance to take part in writing workshops and intimate kaffeeklatsch discussions with your favourite writers. There will also be a stream dedicated to workshops on gender parity and multiculturalism  and disabilities in the SFF/Horror community.


But for a taster of what you can expect, I have gathered (with permission) some of the blog posts related to the Edge-Lit one-day convention from around the web…

First up, Adele from Fox Spirit Books. Fox Spirit is a fantastic independent publisher, which has created a special range of pocket anthologies for lovers of a good, quick read. Adele writes about the convention being the perfect place to launch their latest anthology, Noir Carnival:

Yesterday was Edge-Lit two and although I missed it last year I have enough experience of Alex Davis’s events that Fox Spirit booked a launch in full confidence that this was the right kind of event for us to bring the Carnival to.

The Fox Spirit Skulk

There were some twenty five or more of the skulk* in attendance on the day and in addition to being a fantastic event as can be expected from Alex, it was also incredible for me on a personal level to see so many of the writers and people involved in Fox Spirit (including our tireless copy editor Daz) in one place and to meet some of them face to face for the first time as well as catching up with old friends. I could not wish to work with a more fun, passionate and inspiring bunch of people. […] I spent the day talking, enjoying the sunshine and eating in fantastic company. All in all I’m not sure it could have been much more perfect.”

*Fox Spirit Books gang


Next up, writer Geraldine Clark Hellery (@gclarkhellery) who writes:

“I really enjoyed Edge-Lit but it was over all too soon (especially as we needed to do the long drive home). The panels were interesting and didn’t address some of the ‘staid’ issues which seem to be on repeat at other conferences. It was a small, intimate feeling con and all the staff were really approachable and friendly.”

So, all good… except Geraldine does have one little criticism…

 “Would I go again? I really enjoyed Edge-Lit but think there’s a little too much to do in one day (great panels, interesting people to talk to and meet) so organizers please take note, we want a two day event! Also, next time I’d need to stay for a second night to fully appreciate and enjoy this great con!”

James Everington is a writer from Nottingham who writes dark, strange fiction. His latest collection, Falling Over, is out now from Infinity Plus. He drinks Guinness, if anyone is offering. He writes:

“Here’s some things I learnt from the day – as with going to university some of the real ‘lessons’ took place in the bar…


5. Holding a newly purchased book in one hand, a glass of wine in the other, and trying to eat a cupcake is not a skill I possess.

6. Any raffle that Sarah Pinborough hosts (ably assisted by Conrad Williams) is a thing of strange beauty and crude, crude jokes – so much so that not actually winning anything doesn’t seem to matter that much.

10. That despite reaching my mid-thirties, I still get inordinately excited by a bag of free books.”

Shhh…I’m older, James, and I do, too! I also had the same problem with cake.

And finally, Victoria Hooper, a writer, blogger and freelance editor from Nottingham, had the following to say:

“Edge Lit is easily my favourite of the conventions I’ve been to so far. It’s small and intimate, and though all cons have been very friendly to me, this is even more so. And, despite the lack of air con, which may have just unluckily not been working on that day, it really is a great venue. It’s open, has a lovely cafe and patio area, two big cinema rooms that are good for panels and talks, and plenty of restaurants around. And I have a soft spot for Derby anyway, as I used to live there.

As always, it was lovely to see so many people again, and for the first time ever, I actually introduced some people to each other! Woohoo, I’m not the newbie anymore! I also met wonderful new people, and have added even more authors and books to my never-ending To Read shelf! On such a hot day, it was so nice to be able to relax with a drink with such a great group of people.

The panels I went to were all good, and I particularly enjoyed the discussion about Urban Fantasy and what makes it so popular. I also loved the raffle, which really has to be experienced! Well done to the raffle hosts, Sarah Pinborough and Conrad Williams, for making it so fun.

If you enjoyed Edge-Lit – or if you missed it and regret doing so (you should) – then Andromeda One may be thing that satisfies the yearning you have to indulge in your love of genre to the fullest – just for one day.

Single Tickets are £25 each; Group Tickets (for up to five people) are £100. Prices held until 9th August 2013.

Prices go up 10th August 2013 to £27.00 or Group ticket £110.00

Book your tickets now at


This entry was posted in Events, SF News, Uncategorized by Donna Scott. Bookmark the permalink.

About Donna Scott

Chair of the BSFA since June 2013. Prior to this I was Awards Administrator, taking over that role from Claire Briarley in 2008. I am officially Donna Bond since getting married in May 2013, but continue to write and perform under my previous name, Donna Scott. My short fiction stories have been published in various anthologies and magazines, and I was winner of the inaugural Short Cuts at the MAC in 2005. As a comedian, I have performed all over the UK. Comedy has also given me the opportunity to perform alongside big names like Sarah Millican and Jasper Carrott! As a poet, I've also performed all over the place, including lots of science fiction conventions, and sometimes my poetry and comedy get kind of mixed up. I was the first official Bard of Northampton, it's true. I've got a tankard that says so... I love being a part of the BSFA - I've always been a devourer of books and being part of this association has enabled me to explore some great science fiction classics - and classics of the future, that I might otherwise have not heard about. I've met some lovely people with an enthusiasm for the genre, made firm friends, and got to meet some of my favourite writers, too! As a writer, I also have to say that FOCUS is the best magazine for writers I've ever come across - and as a member I get that for free. Who wouldn't want to be a part of this?

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