This post is for those on the fence.
Here's why you should be there.
Being a writer is a whole lot more than just words. It's about people and the connections between them. In this context, I like to bander one particular word around a lot: community. Oh, and celebration, which is a whole lot more than tossing back champagnes and scoffing pizza at two in the morning. Events like the Aurealis bash give writers a chance to celebrate the community that welcomes, guides and supports them (us) through what can, honestly, be a pretty shitty career path. They provide opportunities to bond, to form networks, and to share info. Cons do the same thing, but this is just one night. It's cheaper. Why wouldn't you go?
Besides, this is the night of the year on which we, the speculative fiction crowd of Australia, really truly frocks up. You know that cliche about fans wearing Star Trek costumes? Well, anyone who's been to an AA night knows just how stupid that is. We are one hot looking bunch. And the spotlight's on everyone, not just the nominees and winners. We bask in each other's brilliance.
I'm assuming that every Sydneysider who can physically make it has already bought a ticket and will be coming along. (I'll be there--I'll notice if you're not!) I understand that for everyone else it's a long way to go and money is tight. Just think seriously about it. I've lost count of the number of AA bashes I attended in Brisbane and elsewhere, sometimes in very lean times indeed, and I regard it as money well spent. An investment in my vocation--hell, even the ATO agrees with me on that.
Without you, celebrations like this aren't possible. Community isn't possible. So come along and clink glasses with your best mates and your worst enemies. We're all in the same boat, after all, and the journey is so much more enjoyable in good company.