Introducing the Super Relaxed Fantasy Club!
By The Hodderscape Team
Posted on September 30, 2014 in Fun Stuff with tags Things To Do In London
Jen Williams, author of The Copper Promise, and Den Patrick, author of The Boy with the Porcelain Blade, founded the Super Relaxed Fantasy Club a little more than a year ago. Here’s Jen to introduce it – if you’re around and free tonight, why not drop by?
Super Relaxed Fantasy Club is a monthly gathering of genre fans where we can hang out and be super relaxed together; drink some drinks, chat some chats, and listen to a couple of readings from some brilliant writers.
Sometimes I think it’s also evidence of how far a joke on twitter can go. Myself and Den Patrick (author of the War Manuals, The Boy with a Porcelain Blade and all-around relaxed chap) had been spending a lot of time at conventions and we were reflecting, on Twitter, that really it was the simplest elements of the con scene that we liked the best: the bit where you got to hang out in the bar with likeminded fantasy fans, basically. We were less keen on the complexities of cons, like the fees and the hierarchy and the what have you. What, we wondered, was stopping us from having a really relaxed meet-up? A meet-up so relaxed, in fact, that it was super relaxed: one where everyone was welcome and you really didn’t need to do anything other than turn up.
SRFC was born. Despite the general super relaxed attitude, we do have some principles that are at the heart of the club. Equality is one: at the beginning of our reading sessions, we have a quick introductory session where we all get to say hello to everyone. Normally I would find this quite embarrassing, but the nature of SRFC means it’s the perfect ice-breaker; whether you’re a reader, a writer, a blogger, an editor, an agent or a super intelligent shade of the colour blue, we all get to introduce ourselves and feel a part of the group. If you turn up for one meet, or pop along to all of them, you’re always absolutely welcome. Our other main principle is parity; we have two readers at every gathering (sometimes more) and we want a diverse bunch of writers. This is something we care deeply about, and I promise that if you come along you will be exposed to all sorts of excellent new writing. But not in a scary way.
The cool thing about all this is that, from an offhand comment on Twitter, SRFC has become a thing. People pop along regularly now – new friendships are being formed, and people are finding new books to read. I’m a reasonably shy person myself, and have always found speaking to new people at conventions somewhat difficult. Thanks to SRFC, I saw a number of familiar faces at the last few conventions I’ve been to, and felt instantly at home. Personally, that turns my warm and fuzzies up to eleven.
Super Relaxed Fantasy Club normally takes place on the last Tuesday of every month, and although the venue is currently in flux, our next meet is on the 30th of September (TONIGHT!) at the Grange Hotel in Holborn. Check out our Facebook page and Twitter account for details! (@SRFantasyclub) And I hope to see you there.