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Professional Development [clear filter]
Thursday, May 16
 

12:00pm

Quiet Writing
It's a convention, but you're a writer and you have deadlines. Get some words in or just relax in this no-talking space. (Note: after Thursday, the quiet room will be Calabasas.)

Thursday May 16, 2019 12:00pm - 10:00pm
Hollywood Hills - 2nd floor

2:00pm

Why So Serious? A look at humor in grim fiction
It's human nature to tell jokes, yet why is so much fiction unrelentingly grim? Let's examine how humor can be used to best effect to support serious, dark fiction. We'll show a variety of examples from popular fiction, then run through several test cases with audience assistance to help lighten the mood.
 

Moderators
avatar for Jenn Lyons

Jenn Lyons

I'm a fantasy author and artist. My first book, The Ruin of Kings, is expected in Winter 2019, by Tor Books. I have 20+ years of experience as an illustrator and graphic artist, and am also a veteran of the video game industry. I have an embarrassing number of hobbies.

Thursday May 16, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Beverly Hills - 2nd floor

3:30pm

Mental Illness is Not the Monster: Conveying Mentally Ill Characters in SFF
Mentally ill characters can be protagonists and heroes, too. Too often mental illness has been the scapegoat for monstrousness and villainy. Come see how to turn that on its end.

Moderators
avatar for Jordan Kurella

Jordan Kurella

Writer
Jordan Kurella is a fiction author whose stories have been featured in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex Magazine, and Strange Horizons. They are bisexual and disabled from a straight flush of mental health disorders. Jordan lives in Ohio with their partner and their service dog.

Speakers
avatar for José Pablo Iriarte

José Pablo Iriarte

José Pablo Iriarte is a Cuban-American writer and teacher who lives in Central Florida. José’s fiction can be found in magazines such as Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, and others, and has been featured in best-of lists compiled by Tangent Online, Featured Futures... Read More →
avatar for Elsa Sjunneson-Henry

Elsa Sjunneson-Henry

Author & Disability Activist
Four time Hugo Finalist Elsa Sjunneson-Henry is a deafblind author and editor of speculative fiction. Her work has appeared in Fireside, Uncanny, CNN, tor.com and numerous other venues.
avatar for Sarah Gailey

Sarah Gailey

Author
Hugo, Campbell, and Nebula award finalist Sarah Gailey lives and works in beautiful Portland, Oregon. Their nonfiction has been published by Mashable and the Boston Globe, and their fiction has been published internationally. They are a regular contributor for Tor.com and Barnes... Read More →


Thursday May 16, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
G/H Salon

5:00pm

Realistic Military In Fiction
From space opera to dystopia to epic fantasy, the military plays a significant role in science-fiction and fantasy. How does one incorporate realistic military into your writing? You think you know what it's like, but the media dramatizes military life to a great extent. In this panel, we'll look at what realistic military life is actually like, and when to deviate for dramatic effect.

Moderators
avatar for Joe Zieja

Joe Zieja

Author, Voice Actor, Renaissance Man Studio LLC
Joe Zieja is a veteran of the USAF, a voice actor, and an author. His current series, the EPIC FAILURE series, combines military space opera with comedy, a la Catch 22 in space. His voice has been heard in thousands of commercials, games, anime, and cartoons, including as Fox McCloud... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Richard Fox

Richard Fox

writer
Richard Fox is the winner of the 2017 Dragon Award for Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy novel, author of The Ember War Saga, a military science fiction and space opera series, and other novels in the military history, thriller and space opera genres.
avatar for Joe Haldeman

Joe Haldeman

writer, MIT
Joe Haldeman is an American science fiction author and combat veteran of Vietnam. He is best known for his 1974 novel The Forever War. That novel, and other of his works including, The Hemingway Hoax (1991) and Forever Peace (1997), have won major science fiction awards including... Read More →
avatar for Jonathan Brazee

Jonathan Brazee

Writer
Jonathan is a retired Marine infantry colonel and now a full-time writer living in North Las Vegas with his wife Kiwi and twin infant girls, Danika and Darika. He has been a Nebula and Dragon Award finalist and is the chairman of SFWA's professional education committee.


Thursday May 16, 2019 5:00pm - 6:00pm
C/D Salon

5:00pm

SFWA Self publishing Committee town hall
The SFWA Self Publishing Committee invites everyone to attend this open meeting of the committee. We'll share the status of all the projects we are working on such as the First Chapters Project, Story Bundles and NetGalley to name a few before opening up the floor for questions and suggestions from the audience.   

Moderators
avatar for Daniel Potter

Daniel Potter

Author, Fallen Kitten Productions
Dan Potter is a writer of both Fantasy and Science Fiction. His first novel, Off Leash was released in July of 2015, and prepping to publish the sequel in July 2016. When not writing Dan is a vascular biology researcher, working on projects involving hemorrhagic shock and traumatic... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Craig Martelle

Craig Martelle

Director, Craig Martelle, Inc
I'm the face of 20Booksto50k(R). It keeps me on my toes and keeps me driving forward. I've expanded my business and will expand from being an author with 3 million words in print to being a publisher with numerous co-authors, doubling my backlist in one year. I'll publish about 60... Read More →
avatar for Jeffe Kennedy

Jeffe Kennedy

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning, best-selling author who writes fantasy with romantic elements and contemporary romance. She serves on the Board of Directors for SFWA as a Director at Large. Her most recent works include the high fantasy trilogy from Rebel Base books, The Chronicles... Read More →
avatar for Nathan Lowell

Nathan Lowell

CFO, SFWA
I love meeting new people. Talk to me about my contrarian opinions on ... almost everything. :)


Thursday May 16, 2019 5:00pm - 6:00pm
A/B Salon
 
Friday, May 17
 

9:00am

Quiet Writing
It's a convention, but you're a writer and you have deadlines. Take advantage of this no-talking zone and get some words in.

Friday May 17, 2019 9:00am - 10:00pm
Calabasas - 2nd floor (The Quiet Room)

10:00am

Audiobooks...On The Moon! The Collaborative Art of Crafting the Ideal Sci-Fi/Fantasy Sound
Geared for both authors and narrators, this workshop will tackle the specific challenges and demands of creating dynamic and engaging audio in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre. This workshop will cover topics including research, the effect of language on vocal choices, world-building, and author/narrator communication.

Moderators
avatar for James Patrick Cronin

James Patrick Cronin

Narrator, SAG/AFTRA
Multiple Audie Award nominee and Earphones Award winner, James Patrick Cronin is one of the most prolific narrators in the industry today with over 600 titles recorded in just over 7 years. His recent Sci-Fi/Fantasy titles have appeared on Audible's Best of 2017 list, been nominated... Read More →

Friday May 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
G/H Salon

10:00am

Creating Stakes in Interactive Fiction
Interactive narrative—which bridges the difference between traditional novels and games--delivers complex gaming experiences as well as satisfying and elegant storytelling. How do developers of interactive narratives establish and maintain "stakes" in their games, and how do design mechanics drive storytelling.

Moderators
MD

Mary Duffy

Editor, Choice of Games

Friday May 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
C/D Salon

10:00am

Kidlit: Creating foundations
Children’s literature often addresses tough topics in creative ways - from portal fantasies to adventure quests to space battles. What are the ramifications of doing so? Why are monsters and magic, and reaching beyond the ordinary world so vital? What are tools and techniques to do so?

Moderators
avatar for Fran Wilde

Fran Wilde

author
Fran Wilde’s novels and short stories have been nominated for four Nebula awards, a World Fantasy Award, and a Hugo, and include her Nebula- and Compton-Crook-winning debut novel, Updraft (Tor 2015), its sequels, Cloudbound (2016) and Horizon (2017), her debut middle grade novel... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Ellen Klages

Ellen Klages

Writer
I write historical fiction for middle grade readers and SF/F for adults. I have won multiple awards in both fields. I love research. I have played poker every Tuesday night for 35 years. I collect lead civilians and other odd, old toys. I often give UV tours of my dining room at dinner... Read More →
avatar for Farah Rishi

Farah Rishi

Author
Farah Naz Rishi is a Pakistani-American Muslim writer and voice actor, but in another life, she’s worked stints as a lawyer, a video game journalist, and an editorial assistant. She received her B.A. in English from Bryn Mawr College, her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School, and... Read More →

Finalists
avatar for Rachel Hartman

Rachel Hartman

Writer
Rachel Hartman is the author of the NYT bestselling YA fantasy SERAPHINA and its sequel SHADOW SCALE. Her most recent book, TESS OF THE ROAD, was just nominated for the Andre Norton and Lodestar Awards. Rachel lives with her family in Vancouver, Canada. In her free time she sings... Read More →


Friday May 17, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
I/J Salon

2:00pm

Writing science fiction as social fiction: A Workshop on writing fiction as a vehicle for change
This workshop is targeted towards writers who either use or are interested in using their writing as a way to create a different future. Science fiction throughout the ages has been used to think of new realities and new worlds, whether they be dystopic or utopic in nature they have often yearned for a different future. This can be seen in the political writing of Robert Heinlein, or the progressiveness of Ursula Le Guin’s work. New futures can be glimpsed in the warnings of George Orwell’s 1989 or the utopic visions glimpsed in B.F Skinner’s Walden Two and many more writers who have tried to better mankind through their writing. Whether we use our science fiction as a warning or a how-to-guide, there is no denying its increasing importance in today's society. Frank Herbert’s Dune series whilst often viewed as a popular space opera is less often viewed in its promotion of nature and the importance of ecological balance. This workshop will begin with a short presentation on social fiction with a focus on Herbert’s environmental ethos read through Dune followed by a writing prompt which engages with writing convincing social fiction.

Speakers
avatar for Tara Smith

Tara Smith

PhD Candidate, University of Sydney
Tara Smith is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her PhD explores how science fiction can be used to affect social change. Her Honours Thesis examined the ecological messages within Frank Herbert's Dune series. Tara hopes that her work can help science fiction... Read More →


Friday May 17, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Beverly Hills - 2nd floor

3:30pm

Culture: It's not a monolith
When we discuss culture and world-building, we often discuss the set-dressing, without considering at the underlying philosophy of a culutre. As such, it is easy to assume that certain basic pieces are universal. What can we learn by unpacking real world individualistic cultures (like the US), where the rights of an individual are valued over the community, or communalistic cultures (like Sri Lankha), where community rights and rules are privileged over that of the individual?

Moderators
avatar for Henry Lien

Henry Lien

Author, Holt/Macmillan
Henry Lien is a 2012 graduate of Clarion West. His works have appeared in publications including Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF, and Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, and earned multiple Nebula Award nominations. He is the author of the Peasprout Chen fantasy series, which he workshopped... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Researcher, LIRNEASIA
Science fiction author. Futurism and Big Data Researcher @LIRNEasia. Politics + data science guy. Wrote Numbercaste, now working on the Commonwealth Trilogy for @HarperCollinsIN.
avatar for R.R. Virdi

R.R. Virdi

R.R. Virdi is the two time Dragon Award—Nominated author, and a Nebula finalist. He has worked in the automotive industry as a mechanic, in retail, and in the custom gaming computer world. He's an avid car nut with a special love for American classics. The hardest challenge for... Read More →
RF

R. F. Kuang

Author, HarperCollins


Friday May 17, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
C/D Salon

3:30pm

The Future of the Past
Historical and alternate-historical settings are not static. How do the thematic concerns of writers in 2019 inform the way they imagine and re-imagine stories set in, or inspired by, Earth's history? 

Moderators
avatar for Susan Forest

Susan Forest

Laksa Media Groups
Susan Forest writes SF, fantasy and horror, and is an award-winning fiction editor for Laksa Media. Her novel, Bursts of Fire, came out in 2019, to be followed by Flights of Marigolds. She has published over 25 short stories, contributes to When Words Collide, and has appeared at... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Mary Anne Mohanraj

Mary Anne Mohanraj

Director, Speculative Literature Foundation
avatar for Kate Heartfield

Kate Heartfield

Author
Kate Heartfield is the author of the historical fantasy novels Armed in Her Fashion (ChiZine 2018) and The Humours of Grub Street (ChiZine 2020) and the time travel novellas Alice Payne Arrives (Tor.com Publishing 2018) and Alice Payne Ride (Tor.com Publishing 2019). She has also... Read More →


Friday May 17, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
A/B Salon

5:00pm

Language to use when writing and speaking about disability
Moderators
avatar for Lee Martindale

Lee Martindale

Writer, SFWA
As a writer, Lee Martindale's short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and can now be found in the collection BARD’S ROAD. As an anthologist, she edited the groundbreaking SUCH A PRETTY FACE and THE LADIES OF TRADE TOWN. Lee is a Lifetime Active Member, a member of the... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for A. J. Hackwith

A. J. Hackwith

Author
A. J. Hackwith is (almost) certainly not an ink witch in a hoodie. She’s a queer writer of fantasy and science fiction living in Seattle. THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN, the first in her fantasy trilogy, is coming October 1 2019 with Ace. She also writes sci-fi romance as Ada Harper... Read More →
avatar for Jordan Kurella

Jordan Kurella

Writer
Jordan Kurella is a fiction author whose stories have been featured in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex Magazine, and Strange Horizons. They are bisexual and disabled from a straight flush of mental health disorders. Jordan lives in Ohio with their partner and their service dog.


Friday May 17, 2019 5:00pm - 6:00pm
A/B Salon

5:00pm

The Gentle Art of Cursing
Cursing functions as punctuation in every language and culture. While some areas seem consistent, such as the use of excrement, others vary wildly. By taking a look at cursing, we can learn a lot about what a culture considers sacred or taboo. Extrapolating from that, one can use cursing as part of worldbuilding to create a well-rounded world.

Nah-- We're just f*cking with you. This is a bunch of linguists and folklorists sitting around cursing and pretending to be academic about it.

Moderators
avatar for Juliette Wade

Juliette Wade

Writer, DAW
Juliette Wade's debut novel Mazes of Power will come out in 2020 from DAW books. Her short fiction has appeared in Fantasy and Science Fiction, Clarkesworld and several times in Analog magazine. Her nonfiction has appeared in Analog and in Lightspeed's special issue, Women Destroy... Read More →

Speakers
MB

Marie Brennan

Writer
Marie Brennan is an anthropologist and folklorist who shamelessly pillages her academic fields for material. She is currently misapplying her professors' hard work to the Victorian adventure series The Memoirs of Lady Trent; the first book of that series, A Natural History of Dragons... Read More →
avatar for Lawrence M. Schoen

Lawrence M. Schoen

Author, Paper Golem LLC
Lawrence M. Schoen holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, founded the Klingon Language Institute, runs a small press, and occasionally does work as a hypnotherapist specializing in authors' issues. He's been a finalist for Campbell Award, the Hugo Award, and the Nebula Award, and... Read More →
avatar for Alyc Helms

Alyc Helms

Author
Alyc Helms fled their doctoral program in anthropology and folklore when they realized they preferred fiction to academic writing. They dabble in corsetry and costuming, dance Scottish Highland and Irish Ceili at Renaissance and Dickens fairs, and game in all forms of media. They... Read More →


Friday May 17, 2019 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Beverly Hills - 2nd floor
 
Saturday, May 18
 

9:00am

Quiet Writing
It's a convention, but you're a writer and you have deadlines. Take advantage of this no-talking zone and get some words in.

Saturday May 18, 2019 9:00am - 10:00pm
Calabasas - 2nd floor (The Quiet Room)

10:00am

Consent in Interactive Narrative
In the context of interactive narrative, consent is/should be handled differently than in traditional prose. How do authors negotiate these issues in their work?

Moderators
avatar for Darusha Wehm

Darusha Wehm

Author
M. Darusha Wehm is an author, long-distance sailor, and cyborg. They are the author of the interactive fiction game The Martian Job, as well as the science fiction novels Beautiful Red, Children of Arkadia, The Voyage of the White Cloud, and the Andersson Dexter cyberpunk detective... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Caitlin Starling

Caitlin Starling

Author, HarperCollins
Caitlin Starling is a writer of horror-tinged speculative fiction of all flavors. Her first novel, The Luminous Dead, came out from HarperVoyager on April 2, 2019. It tells the story of a caver on a foreign planet who finds herself trapped, with only her wits and the unreliable voice... Read More →
avatar for Natalia Theodoridou

Natalia Theodoridou

Author
Natalia Theodoridou is the winner of the 2018 World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction and a Finalist for the Nebula Award for Game Writing, an editor of sub-Q interactive fiction magazine, and a Clarion West graduate (class of 2018). Natalia's stories have appeared in Clarkesworld... Read More →
avatar for Stephen Granade

Stephen Granade

Writer, Scientist
Stephen Granade is a scientist and writer. His interactive narratives include the award-winning "Will Not Let Me Go" and "Fragile Shells". He hosts NASA's "No Small Steps" series and organizes the Dragon Con science track.
avatar for Carrie Patel

Carrie Patel

Narrative Designer / Writer, Obsidian Entertainment
Carrie Patel is an author and narrative designer from Houston, Texas. Her first novel, The Buried Life, is a steampunk-flavored science fantasy filled with murder and intrigue, and it will be published by Angry Robot in July 2014. She currently lives in Irvine, California, where she... Read More →


Saturday May 18, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
A/B Salon

10:00am

Diversifying story form, themes and aesthetics
Diversity and representation discussions tend to focus on the identity of the characters and the creators. This panel explores how diversity can also encompass different story forms, themes, aesthetics, and values drawn from non-Western traditions. 

Moderators
avatar for Henry Lien

Henry Lien

Author, Holt/Macmillan
Henry Lien is a 2012 graduate of Clarion West. His works have appeared in publications including Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF, and Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, and earned multiple Nebula Award nominations. He is the author of the Peasprout Chen fantasy series, which he workshopped... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Xia Jia

Xia Jia

Author, Researcher
Xia Jia (a.k.a Wang Yao) is Associate Professor of Chinese Literature at Xi’an Jiaotong University. She has been publishing speculative fiction since college. Seven of her stories have won the Galaxy Award, China's most prestigious science fiction award. So far she has published... Read More →
avatar for Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Researcher, LIRNEASIA
Science fiction author. Futurism and Big Data Researcher @LIRNEasia. Politics + data science guy. Wrote Numbercaste, now working on the Commonwealth Trilogy for @HarperCollinsIN.
RF

R. F. Kuang

Author, HarperCollins


Saturday May 18, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
I/J Salon

10:00am

Writing and Revision with Scrivener
Scrivener is an important arrow in the writer's quiver, but it can be intimidating to use. The workshop will take the attendees step by step through some of the software's most valuable and accessible features, especially during the revision process, but also during the outlining/storyboarding process. Can be done either as a solo presentation or workshop. (I am a user of Scrivener and have nothing to do with the company.)

Moderators
avatar for barbara barnett

barbara barnett

author
Barbara Barnett is author of the Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel The Apothecary’s Curse (Pyr Books). She is Executive Editor of Blogcritics Magazine (blogcritics.org), a general-interest online magazine, for which she has also contributed nearly 1,000 essays, reviews, and interviews... Read More →

Saturday May 18, 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm
Beverly Hills - 2nd floor

4:00pm

Megatrends for the near future
In SF, we talk about near future as being within our lifetime and try to imagine what it might be like. Did you know that the UN works on anticipating real-world megatrends and projecting the world until 2030? Population shifts, economics, demographics - These show trends such as China's ratio of dependents to workers increasing, and thus their economic boom slowing; while in India, the trend is going the other way - so there's a boom ahead, but rapid urbanization and shadow migration is creating monsters that are both unregulatable megacities and megaslums, like William Gibson's Sprawl. Meanwhile, militaries are focusing on cyberwarfare and smaller disruption teams, and the Pakistan-India conflict is gumming up the works on regional co-operation, and rising CO2 emissions are going to nuke agricultural economies. Our panelists discuss tools and lessons from the real world that SF writers can apply to extrapolate their near future fiction.

Speakers
avatar for Xia Jia

Xia Jia

Author, Researcher
Xia Jia (a.k.a Wang Yao) is Associate Professor of Chinese Literature at Xi’an Jiaotong University. She has been publishing speculative fiction since college. Seven of her stories have won the Galaxy Award, China's most prestigious science fiction award. So far she has published... Read More →
avatar for Tara Smith

Tara Smith

PhD Candidate, University of Sydney
Tara Smith is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her PhD explores how science fiction can be used to affect social change. Her Honours Thesis examined the ecological messages within Frank Herbert's Dune series. Tara hopes that her work can help science fiction... Read More →
avatar for Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow

Writer, Boing Boing
Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction novelist, blogger and technology activist. He is the co-editor of the popular weblog Boing Boing (boingboing.net), and a contributor to many magazines, websites and newspapers. He is a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier... Read More →
avatar for Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Researcher, LIRNEASIA
Science fiction author. Futurism and Big Data Researcher @LIRNEasia. Politics + data science guy. Wrote Numbercaste, now working on the Commonwealth Trilogy for @HarperCollinsIN.


Saturday May 18, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
A/B Salon

4:00pm

Writing Teens
How do you write teenage characters? Even speculative fiction geared toward adult readers often features teen POV characters, and, well, we've all been teenagers, and yet often these teen POVs sound like brilliant, smart-alecky little adults, or like respectful padawans ready to be blown away by the wisdom of their mentor characters. Does it matter if these characters are not terribly realistic, as long as they're interesting? Assuming it does, how can writers who don't have a teenager in the house with them learn to get it right?

Moderators
avatar for Fran Wilde

Fran Wilde

author
Fran Wilde’s novels and short stories have been nominated for four Nebula awards, a World Fantasy Award, and a Hugo, and include her Nebula- and Compton-Crook-winning debut novel, Updraft (Tor 2015), its sequels, Cloudbound (2016) and Horizon (2017), her debut middle grade novel... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Henry Lien

Henry Lien

Author, Holt/Macmillan
Henry Lien is a 2012 graduate of Clarion West. His works have appeared in publications including Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF, and Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, and earned multiple Nebula Award nominations. He is the author of the Peasprout Chen fantasy series, which he workshopped... Read More →
avatar for Alexis Baker

Alexis Baker

Alexis Baker is completing her senior year in high school, and is interested in pursuing the arts through higher education with a focus on visual media and filmmaking. Always ready with the latest meme handy, she also considers herself a gamer and an avid consumer of anime.
avatar for Sam J. Miller

Sam J. Miller

Sam J. Miller is the Nebula-Award-winning author of The Art of Starving (an NPR best of the year) and Blackfish City (a best book of the year for Vulture, The Washington Post, Barnes & Noble, and more – and a “Must Read” in Entertainment Weekly and O: The Oprah Winfrey Magazine... Read More →
avatar for José Pablo Iriarte

José Pablo Iriarte

José Pablo Iriarte is a Cuban-American writer and teacher who lives in Central Florida. José’s fiction can be found in magazines such as Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, and others, and has been featured in best-of lists compiled by Tangent Online, Featured Futures... Read More →


Saturday May 18, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
G/H Salon
 
Sunday, May 19
 

9:00am

Quiet Writing
It's a convention, but you're a writer and you have deadlines. Take advantage of this no-talking zone and get some words in.

Sunday May 19, 2019 9:00am - 4:00pm
Calabasas - 2nd floor (The Quiet Room)

10:00am

QUILTBAG Characters and QUILTBAG Writers
QUILTBAG (Queer, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Trans, Bisexual, Asexual, Gay) characters are becoming more common, but QUILTBAG readers often complain that it's challenging to find QUILTBAG characters that feel real, while QUILTBAG writers say it's challenging to publish a QUILTBAG story outside of specialty publications. Without diminishing the great strides we have already made, how can we do better? How can straight writers better capture the nuance and depth of real QUILTBAG experiences? How can we create space in the publishing world for authors whose take on their own identity does not jibe with mainstream expectations? QUILTBAG writers share our experiences as both readers and writers so we can find answers together.  

Moderators
avatar for Sarah Gailey

Sarah Gailey

Author
Hugo, Campbell, and Nebula award finalist Sarah Gailey lives and works in beautiful Portland, Oregon. Their nonfiction has been published by Mashable and the Boston Globe, and their fiction has been published internationally. They are a regular contributor for Tor.com and Barnes... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Emma Osborne

Emma Osborne

Emma Osborne is a queer, non-binary writer of horror, fantasy and science fiction from Melbourne, Australia. Emma’s work appears in Uncanny Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, GlitterShip, Pseudopod, Apex Magazine, the Review of Australian Fiction and Lightspeed’s Queers Destroy Science... Read More →
avatar for Jordan Kurella

Jordan Kurella

Writer
Jordan Kurella is a fiction author whose stories have been featured in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex Magazine, and Strange Horizons. They are bisexual and disabled from a straight flush of mental health disorders. Jordan lives in Ohio with their partner and their service dog.
avatar for Kyle Aisteach

Kyle Aisteach

Writer
Kyle Aisteach is a short storyist. He lives in the desert north of Los Angeles with his husband and a small menagerie of pets.


Sunday May 19, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am
G/H Salon

11:30am

Structuring a Series
We talk about beginning, middles and ends, but a series contains a multitude of endings. What are the strategies for keeping a reader's interest, while giving them a satisfying ending? How do you sustain tension across multiple works?

Moderators
avatar for Margaret Dunlap

Margaret Dunlap

Writer
Margaret Dunlap writes for the small and smaller screens. Credits include: television (Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Eureka, The Middleman), new media (The Lizzie Bennet Diaires, Emmy-winning transmedia adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice), animation (Marvel Rising... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for John Scalzi

John Scalzi

Author, "The Consuming Fire"
John Scalzi is a fan of pie and oxygen, not necessarily in that order.
avatar for Michael R. Underwood

Michael R. Underwood

Author & Consultant
Mike is an author, a podcaster, and a publishing consultant. He's the author of over a dozen books, including the comedic fantasy Ree Reyes Geekomancy series and the Stabby Award-finalist GENRENAUTS. Most recently, he was the creator and lead writer of BORN TO THE BLADE, a Serial... Read More →
avatar for Susan Forest

Susan Forest

Laksa Media Groups
Susan Forest writes SF, fantasy and horror, and is an award-winning fiction editor for Laksa Media. Her novel, Bursts of Fire, came out in 2019, to be followed by Flights of Marigolds. She has published over 25 short stories, contributes to When Words Collide, and has appeared at... Read More →
avatar for Michael Cassutt

Michael Cassutt

writer-producer, Hulu, Apple+, Netflix, Syfy
In addition to novels, short stories and non-fiction, I've written, produced or developed a great deal of SF/fantasy for television: THE TWILIGHT ZONE, MAX HEADROOM, EERIE INDIANA, THE DEAD ZONE, Z NATION, BLACK SUMMER and now WILD CARDS and FOUNDATION.


Sunday May 19, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm
G/H Salon

11:30am

Talking up: Worldbuilding in KidLit
What does it mean to build believable, accessible, meaningful worlds for younger audiences? A panel of published middle grade authors discusses how to write for kids without "writing down” to them. How are difficult, dark, or adult themes altered, refocused, or built into a world? And how much detail is enough--or too much, to create a world that enthralls without throwing off pacing? How do science-fiction or fantasy worlds provide kids with ways to explore and understand real life? Join this panel of debut authors as they discuss their experiences creating worlds that can both challenge and support kids. 

Moderators
avatar for Christine Taylor-Butler

Christine Taylor-Butler

Author
CHRISTINE TAYLOR-BUTLER has written more than forty books for children, including biographies, state histories, and several science and fiction series. An avid reader since she was a child, Taylor-Butler believes that for many children books are their introduction to the vast diversity... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Joshua Levy

Joshua Levy

Author
Joshua S. Levy was born and raised in Florida. After teaching middle school (yes, including seventh grade) for a little while, he went to law school. He lives with his wife and children in New Jersey, where he practices as a lawyer. Unfortunately, outer space doesn’t come up in... Read More →
avatar for Gabrielle Byrne

Gabrielle Byrne

Author, Macmillan
Gabby lives in the rainy wilds of the Pacific Northwest, where she writes fantasy for kids of all ages. She studied opera in Philadelphia, medieval studies in New York, literature in Scotland, and marine biology in the Pacific Northwest. Her debut middle grade fantasy, RISE OF THE... Read More →
avatar for Nicole Valentine

Nicole Valentine

Author
Nicole Valentine has an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her debut novel, A Time Traveler's Theory of Relativity is coming this October from Lerner/Carolrhoda. She teaches writing at the Highlights Foundation in Honesdale, PA. Previously, Nicole was a... Read More →

Finalists
avatar for Henry Lien

Henry Lien

Author, Holt/Macmillan
Henry Lien is a 2012 graduate of Clarion West. His works have appeared in publications including Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF, and Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, and earned multiple Nebula Award nominations. He is the author of the Peasprout Chen fantasy series, which he workshopped... Read More →


Sunday May 19, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm
A/B Salon

2:00pm

Science Fiction as Philosophy
Much speculative fiction explores philosophical themes such as personal identity, the nature of utopia, the nature of consciousness, and the ethics of future technology.  Often it succeeds best in these aims when it draws on philosophical resources in a well-informed way.  One example is the popular, Hugo-award-winning TV series The Good Place, which features a philosophy professor and other characters attempting to learn ethics in the afterlife.  The Matrix, West World, Arrival, Her, Ex Machina, and Black Mirror are other examples of films and TV series whose philosophical themes have been central to their popular success.  Speculative fiction novelists and short-story writers who centrally incorporate philosophical themes in their work with popular success include Ursula K. LeGuin, Philip K. Dick, Ted Chiang, Stanislaw Lem, Greg Egan, and Neal Stephenson.  

Moderators
ES

Eric Schwitzgebel

Professor of Philosophy, UC Riverside

Speakers
avatar for S.B. Divya

S.B. Divya

Author, Editor
S.B. Divya is a lover of science, math, fiction, and the Oxford comma. She is the Hugo and Nebula nominated author of Runtime and co-editor of Escape Pod, with Mur Lafferty. Her short stories have been published at various magazines including Analog, Uncanny, and tor.com, and her... Read More →
avatar for Rachel Hartman

Rachel Hartman

Writer
Rachel Hartman is the author of the NYT bestselling YA fantasy SERAPHINA and its sequel SHADOW SCALE. Her most recent book, TESS OF THE ROAD, was just nominated for the Andre Norton and Lodestar Awards. Rachel lives with her family in Vancouver, Canada. In her free time she sings... Read More →


Sunday May 19, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
I/J Salon

2:00pm

Science Fiction is set dressing, Romance is structure
Science fiction and romance are two genres that seem well defined and yet contain a wide variety of story types. Certainly, they combine well together. Is that, in part, because science-fiction does not have an inherent structure? Romance requires wooing and a Happily Ever After but can exist in any milieu. Looking at the core elements of these two genres, can we learn more about modes of storytelling?

Moderators
avatar for Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of the Nebula and Hugo nominated novel The Calculating Stars. She has received the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, three Hugo awards, the RT Reviews award for Best Fantasy Novel, and has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. Her... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for A. J. Hackwith

A. J. Hackwith

Author
A. J. Hackwith is (almost) certainly not an ink witch in a hoodie. She’s a queer writer of fantasy and science fiction living in Seattle. THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN, the first in her fantasy trilogy, is coming October 1 2019 with Ace. She also writes sci-fi romance as Ada Harper... Read More →
avatar for Jeffe Kennedy

Jeffe Kennedy

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning, best-selling author who writes fantasy with romantic elements and contemporary romance. She serves on the Board of Directors for SFWA as a Director at Large. Her most recent works include the high fantasy trilogy from Rebel Base books, The Chronicles... Read More →
avatar for C. L. Polk

C. L. Polk

C. L. Polk is the Aurora-nominated writer of Witchmark, a romantic fantasy mystery about bicycles and apple trees. The sequel, Stormsong, is forthcoming in February 2020.


Sunday May 19, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
A/B Salon

2:00pm

The Geek's Guide to Literary Theory
Once upon a time, some teacher may have tried to convince you of the right way to read a piece of literature. Lit theory is not about the "right" or "wrong" way to read a text. It's like a wibbly wobbly group of lenses through which we view writing in order to gain a greater understanding of the work. What's more, nerd and geek culture are already masters at several of these lenses. In this presentation, find out what lenses you already use and discover new ways to examine literary texts in order to deepen your understanding of the craft of fiction. Plus, you'll sound hella smart at parties.

Moderators
avatar for M Todd Gallowglas

M Todd Gallowglas

Writer
M Todd Gallowglas has been a professional storyteller at Renaissance Faires and Medieval Festivals for roughly twenty years. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University in 2009, he used his storytelling show as a platform to launch... Read More →

Sunday May 19, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
C/D Salon