LeakyCon 2013: A Magical And Literary Experience | By Ria

Saturday, 24 August 2013

LeakyCon header
LeakyCon is a Harry Potter fan convention, established in 2009 by Leaky Cauldron webmistress , journalist and author Melissa Anelli. Their first run of conferences held in the US centred around the series, it's fandom and the positive messages of the books. Since then the size and scope of the convention has expanded at an astronomical rate, encompassing all kinds of popular culture, and more pointedly literature. 

This year at LeakyCon's ran their first European convention, held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in central London. Their focus was very much present on it's roots in the Harry Potter fandom with the celebration centred on the 15 year anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts and dubbed by Anelli as the 15 year reunion for the fans. Though the focus was very much on Harry Potter, fans of Doctor Who, Supernatural, Glee, Games of Thrones, Nerdfighters, Team Starkid and so many more, were all attendees at the convention.

Close friend of the convention runners and YA author Maureen Johnson helped establish LeakyCon's Lit Track, a special pass for attendees to get the opportunity to meet authors, discuss writing and literature. 

This year's Lit Track came along sans Maureen (*sad face*) but there was still plenty on offer for those with passes to go along to. 
The authors present at this year's event included James Dawson, Laure Eve, Sally Gardner, Abigail Gibbs, Will Hill, Dawn O'Porter, Samantha Shannon, Elizabeth Wein and Matt Whyman, all of whom were the loveliest people ever and I was lucky enough to meet some of them all at the author's signing too. 
LitTrack autographs

As well as being their for book signings many of the authors participated in panels about writing. Due to the insane amount of scheduled events at Leaky I sadly only got to properly join in on a few of the panels, but the ones I did attend were amazing. The first, held on the Friday, was about 'Fear and Loathing in the writing process', the authors present discussed techniques breaking writer's block and shared what scares them the most about publishing a novel. It was reassuring to hear that even some of the most experienced YA authors suffered from the same anxieties about getting their work right as an amateur. 
The other panel dubbed 'Who needs school' focused on the authors, their academic (or in some cases non-academic) lives and whether a creative educational background helps you become an author. This panel was my favourite as it started on topic and ended up with conversations about side-jobs the authors did to supplement their career as novelists, conversations on writing under pen-names and pseudonyms and secrets I'm not allowed to reveal about certain authors writing for certain dancing dogs from BGT's autobiography...;)
The biggest panel of the LitTrack was open to the whole convention and had James Dawson and Dawn O'Porter debate Boys vs Girls: Who has it worse? I caught only the part of this one - damn scheduling again! - as the two debated topics centred around feminism. 
LitTrack panels
- LitTrack authors panel l-r moderator Rosianna and authors James Dawson, Matt Whyman, Samantha Shannon, Abigail Gibbs & Elizabeth Wein during the 'Who Needs School?' panel - Dawn O'Porter & James Dawson debate Girls vs Boys - 
As you can tell from the small amount of Lit programming I was actually able to attend - once again Ahhhh scheduling! - , LeakyCon ended up being a lot more hectic than I anticipated. With Harry Potter as the obvious starting point, literature, literary discussion and insane amount of creativity literature inspires ran on throughout the whole Convention.

Not to mention the awesome that was Waterstones Oxford Street - and the man behind their genius Twitter account! - set up a pop up shop on the fourth floor with all of the Lit authors books, John Green and Maureen Johnson's YA novels, and all of the Potter novels. They were even lovely enough to take orders for Leaky attendees and would bring them to the Convention the next day!
Waterstones pop up stall
Writing this post-Leaky has made me think of the impact Harry Potter as a literary series on so many people. It's been almost 6 years since the last Harry Potter book was released yet Rowling's work still stands to inspire every individual who was at the Convention. From the creative minds who run the Convention such as Melissa Anelli and Maureen Johnson, the special guests from the Potter films (including Evanna Lynch herself!), the 'crazy Internet famous' stars like Hank Green and Team Starkid, YouTubers like Lex (who was running Lit Day in Maureen's place) and Sanne (a.k.a BooksandQuills, who I managed to chat with brief at the Con!), the Lit Track authors and the Wizard Rockers. No matter how famous, no matter how old, or how dedicated, everyone was a fan at LeakyCon :) and they sum it up best in their Mission Statement...
We come from the Harry Potter fandom and celebrate everything about it, and everything about the pop culture fandoms our community is growing to include. LeakyCon is a place where fans can, finally, be their true selves. Where that’s the coolest thing in the world to be. - LeakyCon website
LeakyCon really was a fantastic experience and was actually a great opportunity to plug Blogger's Bookshelf too ;)
....hehe Mischief Managed!

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If you want to read more about my LeakyCon experience check out my round ups on my blog here and here, feel free to tweet me questions (@RCagz) about the Con or comment on here if you wanna know more!

This was written by regular reviewer Ria, get to know her here.
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Post author: Ria

Ria is a coffee addicted, part time blogger at Thoroughly Modern Millennial and professional fangirl (it's a thing, believe me). She co-founded Blogger's Bookshelf with Erin back in 2012 and the rest, as they say, is history...

1 comment :

  1. I would love to go to this so much!! It looks like you had an amazing time! And seeing amazing people! Needless to say, I'm very very jealous.

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