check it out.

Check it out: is deleted, as is her personal journal, .

It gets better. Anybody care to speculate on what happened to the WritersWeekend website?

This is not exactly joy in the downfall of others. It’s a little more like, wtf, over? This whole thing borders on the surreal. I’m waiting for Writer’s Weekend to implode.

37 thoughts on “check it out.

  1. No kidding! It’s like watching a train wreck in really, really slow motion. I mean, I’ve been watching it for years at this point, you know?

  2. Um … what’s WritersWeekend then? I seem to have missed this …

  3. I noticed this morning.

    The Butchercon webpage is gone/messed up too, fwiw.

  4. Let me essplain.


    No, is too much. Let me sum up.

    Writer’s Weekend is a small writer’s conference run out of Seattle. I went to it for the first three years it ran (this is the 4th year), and its small size and intimate nature really means people who go can get a lot out of it. It was good for me, personally (it was there that people suggested I submit to Luna, my current publisher), and I know other people who’ve had direct success in getting agents and the like because of the con. It’s a great idea, in short.

    It is run by a woman who can be vivacious and charming and whose scatteredness makes people want to help her very, very much, especially because she has good ideas. The extremely short version is that if anybody actually tries to help her, she goes absolutely apeshit mad, doing things like accusing them of stealing the con from her, saying horrible things to people who’ve volunteered, and then, bizarrely, insisting none of it ever happened.

    This year she was going to run what seemed to begin as a convention and became a conference (without anyone really being notified), with Jim Butcher as the guest of honor. It was called ButcherCon. To make another very long story very short, three days ago she cancelled it without so much as warning the guest of honor first. Then she posted on her livejournal effectively accusing everyone else of not doing their part to support it (like linking from websites and promoting it) and claiming that’s why it was cancelled.

    For some astonishing reason, people took exception to that. For one thing, she’d never asked anybody to cross-link; for another, the people she was most actively accusing (like JIM!) *had* been promoting it. People responded (very, very politely, all things considered, I thought) on her LJ, but she didn’t like anybody having a different opinion or viewpoint. After about twelve or fourteen hours, all the comments that could be construed as vaguely negative (or, if you’d like to look at it from another angle, vaguely based in reality) were deleted. This is very typical behavior for this person; I’ve seen a lot of iterations of it over the last three or four years.

    But now, even more fun has arisen, as she’s deleted both the Writer’s Weekend related journal *and* her personal journal, and the writersweekend website, which yesterday had a nice CSS layout, suddenly looks like 1994. A lot of people are very upset, and I’m half expecting (more than half) the upshot to be that the original con, Writer’s Weekend, will fall apart before June.

    Ask P-and-TNH what they think of Karen Junker and Writer’s Weekend, sometime. I’d be curious to hear. They were the editor GoHs at the first con a few years ago.

  5. Yeah, I saw that too. I think it’s *really bizarre* to take it down and not leave any sort of explanation in its place. OTOH, I should not expect anything other than really bizarre behavior from her, so.

  6. No kidding! It’s like watching a train wreck in really, really slow motion. I mean, I’ve been watching it for years at this point, you know?

    You more closely than I, but I’ve had at least a midlevel seat for some of the action since you and Hawke first went to the first one.

    I’m soooooo glad I wasn’t involved in this year’s. I had a lot of fun at the one I attended, but not because of Karen–but because I got to hang out with you and Ted and Hawke and Deen and got to meet Jess and Jim and Shannon and got to fangirl a little at Jacqueline Carey.

    And I enjoy getting to read the gossip, so keep on posting if you hear anything more. :)

  7. Wow. I had stumbled across some of that from a distance, but hadn’t put all the pieces together. (I’ve run across similar weird behaviour in the past, too — fandom seems to attract the personality time ever so often — but not on this scale.)

  8. As a friend of mine said, “I wasn’t aware that an entire four-year-old writer’s conference could go off and sulk, but that seems to be what’s happened.” I could innundate you with details of mismanagement, but I’ll spare you; suffice it to say if someone insists on setting fire to herself, at some point I cease to think how horrible it is she burns, but instead get caught up in watching the screaming and the running around.

    Curious: where did you stumble across it distantly? (Right now I’m enjoying myself far too much going around reading people’s reactions.)

    In fact, we’ve had a fair number of discussions about fandom attracting this kind of personality (the reason she started the writer’s weekend con in the first place was she wanted to meet Steve Brust, and there continued to be a lot of that sort of how-to-choose-guests over the next couple years) as a result of this. It’s part of why I’m flocking these posts instead of making them public.

  9. Oh that’s right I somehow forgot you’d been along for that much of the ride. Silly me! I do think the reason WW has worked is because of that social aspect, and … just … man. Just, man. :) At this point I’m probably enjoying the entire mess too much to be a morally superior person, but as I said above, if someone insists on setting fire to herself…

  10. :) I forgive you for forgetting, you’ve written a lot of stories since then! :)

    And yeah. I’m far enough removed from the whole situation that I’m having a kind of similar reaction as you are. Marshmallow? *offers you one for the toasting*

  11. Wow, I got in there in front of Jim and Shannon… I’m never going to wash these eyes again.

    No really, that made sense in my brain at the time.

    I blame allergy meds.

  12. Oh, hey, Chrysoula would love to see/read your thoughts. Her LJ is .

    Not that you have to add her or anything but just in case you didn’t know she had an LJ account for this stuff…

    How awkward! :-P

  13. Well, if she cancels the con, I get to go camping that weekend.

    Win/win for me.

  14. The lady’s bonkers, but sometimes it’s good to recognize you’re bonkers and run away from it all. I think she may be doing the latter without the former but, hey, beggars can’t be psycho hose beasts.

    I think I screwed up that cliche a little. Dearie me.

    Say, could you add to your friend lock (she be mah wife)? I’d like to share some of the details of the drama with her and, well, easier to just point her at your nicely executed summary. :)

  15. This has indeed been one of the most interesting train wrecks I’ve had the opportunity to witness in some time. As you say, I don’t take joy from it, as it’s a hit to some people that I quite like, but still, interesting to watch, innit.

  16. Oh, dude. I *thought* there was another WW-related blog, but I couldn’t remember what it was. Wow, I really wonder if it’s all flying apart at the seams.

  17. Perhaps, and this is – of course – wild speculation, there was just enough of a stink about ButcherCon and the abrupt, unprofessional way that she cancelled it, that other professionals did a doubletake and said ‘woah, why do I want to associate myself with this person?’ With the loss of a publishing world figure, the draw for the writer’s weekend certainly goes down, nevermind what happens if the authors decide not to come. Add to that the growing realization that even the fans are suspecting that her shit does, indeed, stink… well, what’s a good drama without storming off in a huff when people start to figure out that you aren’t walking on clouds above their heads? :)

    Admittedly, I have no experience with this woman beyond what I’ve seen of her unprofessional, passive-agressive games that she’s played with friends of mine.

    And, unrelated, I can damn well tell you that if I’m paying full price for a convention, and paying my air fare and my room costs, I’m sure as hell not interested in missing all the content to /work/ said event. If you want me to work, make it worth my time. I get enough of paying other people to let me work for them with school.

  18. If it is, I suspect we’ll never hear about it. If she didn’t even notify *Jim* before she did her very dramatic ‘I’m taking my toys and going home!’ post, I can’t imagine she’ll tell anyone that Writer’s Weekend isn’t happening.

    Me, I hope that the people who *did* pay get their money back. If they don’t, I’d suggest *getting* it back.

  19. On the one hand, that seems extremely likely. On the other, it’s so completely insane I can’t actually imagine anybody doing it.

    Which means it’s probably *exactly* what she’s doing.

    I did get email (the first email I’ve gotten from Karen in half a year; I’d assumed I was no longer on any of her lists, since I didn’t get any email about ButcherCon changing venues…or changing venues again…) saying WW needed volunteers. This was after the explosion on her blog and before it went away. I thought there was irony in that, too. Irony all around! Big servings for everybody!

  20. Oh hey, check it out. New email from WW, stating the speaker policy.

    With a still stupidly long list of GoHs who are supposedly completely compensated for an organization that moans and whines about the fact that they have no money, can’t afford to pay travel costs, yadda yadda yadda.

  21. Oh, okay, good, I was wondering if I just got that. The Guest of Honor list and how long it is makes me cringe. Most of the email makes me cringe.

  22. I just got that too, and boggled. And then asked to be removed from the list, since I seem to have only just been put back on it three days ago. Either that or she didn’t send out any email on it for the last six months, which is entirely possible.

  23. I just got that mail myself, yeah. I think she just hasn’t bothered to send out any mail in a while.

    All I can think of, looking at this thing, is “defensive, much?”

    And, “EIGHTEEN GOHS?!” Last time I saw an organization trying to support that many GoHs, it went down in spectacular flamage. Just ask Dara some time about FS/1.

  24. Well, if today’s mail with the speaker policy in it is any indication, it still seems to be holding together with spit and spackle.


  25. I’d never heard of it before following the recent saga in your journal, but the description

    . . . if anybody actually tries to help her, she goes absolutely apeshit mad, doing things like accusing them of stealing the con from her, saying horrible things to people who’ve volunteered, and then, bizarrely, insisting none of it ever happened

    is something that happened in the Colorado Burner community about a year to two years ago. Psychodrama can be really ugly, but it can also be really funny, in a very black, dipossessed sort of way.

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