Been meaning to write this post for a little while, but since tickets have been long sold out since before the news was ever confirmed, I suppose now’s as good a time as ever! Next weekend is the huge Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, and it’ll be my first time venturing out to attend and do a bit of coverage here and there. More importantly, though, I’m attending because I will be speaking on a big ‘ol panel about freelance writing with some colleagues and editors.
The panel is (unfortunately) titled Dick Jokes and Die Hard References: The Life of a Freelance Games Journalist and is being held at the Wolfman Theatre on Sunday, August 28 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm. My pal, fellow freelancer, and podcast co-host Mitch Dyer assembled the panel and will be moderating it, and as implied by the title, we hope to dig into various elements of the freelance writing life — likely things like pitching, keeping motivated and on-point, and finding gigs. Anything’s possible.
Joining Mitch and myself are freelancers Taylor Cocke and Andrew Groen, but we’ll also accompanied by four well-known editors that I’ve had the pleasure of working with quite frequently over the years: Francesca Reyes from Official Xbox Magazine, Andy Eddy from @Gamer, and Gary Steinman and Brett Elston from GamesRadar (though Elston will be starting at Capcom shortly thereafter). They’ll be offering feedback from the other side of the freelance routine and assuredly talking about working with freelancers, being pitched, and what you should do to win their affections and voluminous freelance dollars. Or, more likely, what NOT to do if you want said things in your life.
With eight people on the panel, it’s bound to be a bit raucous and I’ll be shocked if I log a grand total of five minutes of actual speech, but it should be an entertaining and enlightening hour. I was originally fairly terrified of the concept, but after doing this professionally for more than four years — full-time for the vast majority of that — I’m sure I can provide a bit of insight on the life, even though I always contend that there are tons of ways to find work in this industry and no one “right way” in.
I really don’t know how large the Wolfman Theatre is, nor how much interest there is in our panel, but I’m preferring to take this last-day-afternoon slot as a sign that they saw this panel as a potentially solid draw; and not that they tucked it in near the end since nobody would care. So if you’re interested in attending, please come by the theatre early and keep an eye out for how quickly it’s filling out. And please, if you see me at PAX or before/after the panel, come up and say hello and get a high-five or something. I’m used to attending things like E3 where it’s all business all the time (at least for me as press), so an event like this should prove to be a much different and hopefully looser environment. Whatever the case, talking on a panel for the first time is a big deal for me, and I’m really looking forward to sharing the experience with whomever can make it out next Sunday! See you in a week, hopefully.