When I first started writing Austenesque books, I was amazed and impressed by the community of JAFF readers and writers that already existed. It was a whole world I knew nothing about. A Facebook novice, I set up my page and sought out people and pages with similar interests and soon I really felt like part of a community. Facebook gets a lot of grief, but through it I’ve gotten to know many amazing people. I know about their jobs, their kids, their homes, their spouses—all their ups and downs.
I’ve been lucky enough to meet a couple of these virtual friends when they’ve been in the Washington DC area and at the JASNA Annual Meeting when it was in DC. But I kept thinking how awesome it would be to have a get together specifically dedicated to JAFF. The idea just wouldn’t go away—sort of like a plot bunny that won’t leave me alone.
I knew that I’d be able to use my church’s parish hall for such an event at a minimal cost. I posted a question on my Facebook page to see if others were interested in such an event and the response was an enthusiastic yes. Thus the JAFF Reader and Writer Get Together was born.
I set up a FB page for the event and solicited ideas for programs – and had people vote on dates. Now I am working on finding a hotel to give us a group rate and venues for various meals. Some speakers are lined up, including a keynote address by Abigail Reynolds and a Blogger panel with Meredith Esparza, Margie Longoria, Anna Bitgood Horner, and Serena Agosto-Cox.
I am really looking forward to discussing JAFF-related topics with other JAFF enthusiasts. But the weekend will also give attendees a lot of time to socialize so that we can meet in person all the people we primarily know virtually. The emphasis is on having fun, not selling or endorsing any particular JAFF books.
All JAFF lovers are welcome—Readers as well as Writers.
If you think you might be interested, save the date: November 8-10, 2019. The event will held in various locations around Tysons Corner, VA, which is accessible by subway to Washington DC and is home to a famous mall. Here is a tentative Schedule (I am happy to take suggestions for things you’d like us to do):
Friday November 8
Evening: Dinner, possibly Austen-related games.
Saturday November 9
9 AM to 4 PM: Talks, panels, discussions about Jane Austen Fan Fiction. Lunch.
5 PM: Afternoon Tea
Evening: Austen-related games
Sunday November 10
9 AM to 1:30 PM: Talks and discussions. Brunch. Possibly organized tours of DC in the afternoon.