When Genres Attack! originated in a Twitter conversation. I, in my role as Twitter chief at Shearer’s Bookshop in Leichhardt, had thrown out the question of which authors we’d like to see in literary cage fights. Proposals came thick and fast (mainly for Peter Carey vs. Bryce Courtney) and I suggested P.M. Newton vs. Kirsten Tranter. Both were friends of the bookshop and known to me through Twitter and had both just been nominated for the same Indie Award (best debut fiction, I believe). Kirsten suggested that they would simply wind up in the corner of the cage, drinking wine and talking about Battlestar Galactica. Suddenly I had several Tweets from people saying that they’d love to see that as an event and the wheels were in motion. Sophie Hamley, in her triple role as Twitter expert, former Shearer’s employee and P.M. Newton’s agent, quickly volunteered to chair the event. We organised a third member of the panel in prominent Australian author James Bradley and reserved space at Shearer’s for Friday the 13th of May 2011.
The event was a great success, everyone had fun, much wine was consumed and the discussion was only constrained by time. We immediately decided to organise more events, start a blog and see where we can take this idea. Think of us as a community of authors and other literary types with strong opinions on genre and literary fiction and with the awesome power of the internet before us!
(Just to be official about it, the WGA team consists of Mark Harding, Sophie Hamley and PM Newton.)