|CONFERENCE SESSION OUTLINE: |
*Our craft-focused conference schedule is designed to provide the kind of education that all science fiction and fantasy writers can use to take their work to the next level. The following sessions are confirmed for the event.
|SESSION 1: Small Press, Big Five, or Self-Publishing: Choosing the Best Path for Your Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel|
While there is a lot of partisan rhetoric about the "best path," there isn't a universal best fit. There is, however, a path that an individual author will be better suited for. In this session, Michael J. Sullivan, veteran of all three paths, will discuss the pros and cons of each, and how to determine which is the best for you. He'll cover everything from traditional publishing contract clauses to look out for, and what it takes to successfully self-publish.
Michael J. Sullivan is the author of fifteen novels and writes stories of classic adventure with unlikely heroes. His best-selling Riyria Revelations series (Theft of Swords, Rise of Empire and Heir of Novron) and The Riyria Chronicle prequels (The Crown Tower and The Rose and Thorn) are published by Hachette's Orbit imprint. He has self-published a standalone time-travel science fiction thriller, Hollow World and the third Riyria Chronicle, The Death of Dulgath . Michael's works have sold more than three-quarters of a million English language copies, been translated into thirteen foreign languages, and appeared on more than one hundred and fifty "best of" or "most anticipated" lists including those compiled by Library Journal, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and Audible.com.
|New - SESSION 2: Microworldbuilding: Advanced Techniques for Science Fiction & Fantasy Writing|
You've got your planet, technology, and magic systems down pat, but how do you populate your world with plausible societies and individuals? Join award-winning fantasy author N. K. Jemisin for a deep-dive discussion on social science, power dynamics, and how identity is not the same thing as personality.
N. K. Jemisin is a Brooklyn author whose works have been nominated for the Hugo, the World Fantasy Award, and the Nebula, and have won the Locus Award. Her latest novel, THE FIFTH SEASON, came out from Orbit in August 2015 and was a New York Times Notable Book.
|SESSION 3: The Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction|
The best way to get your speculative novel right is to first know how to avoid getting itwrong. In this 60-minute session, award-winning fantasy author K.M. Weiland shares the top five mistakes authors make in creating their speculative worlds and building their stories.
K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso. She is the IPPY and NIEA Award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel, as well as Jane Eyre: The Writer's Digest Annotated Classic. She writes historical and speculative fiction from her home in western Nebraska and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.
|SESSION 4: Raising the Stakes: How to Keep Readers Hooked on a Series|
This class will discuss how to increase the sense of jeopardy and conflict in a story that will make your characters more interesting, the plot more riveting, your villains more menacing, and the setting more intense-while influencing your readers to delay putting the book down in order to read just "one more chapter!"
Jeff Wheeler, author of the Amazon bestselling Kingfountain and Muirwood series, took an early retirement from his career at Intel in 2014 to become a full-time author. He is, most importantly, a husband and father, a devout member of his church, and is occasionally spotted roaming hills with oak trees and granite boulders in California or in any number of the state's majestic redwood groves.
|SESSION 5: The Secrets to Steampunk: Getting Published in Today's Most Unique Science Fiction & Fantasy Genre|
Learn from recent works what steampunk has become, find out what makes steampunk different from other science fiction, and finally look at the commercial value and publishing options of the genre.
Tee Morris has been writing science fiction, fantasy, horror, and nonfiction for over a decade. His first novel, MOREVI: The Chronicles of Rafe & Askana, became the first novel to be podcast in its entirety, ushering in a new age for authors - podcasting. The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, his series written alongside his wife, Pip Ballantine, has won several awards including the 2014 Parsec Award for Best Science Fiction Anthology Podcast, the 2011 Airship Award for Best Steampunk Literature, and RT Reviews' Choice Awards for Best Steampunk of 2014.
|SESSION 6: Crafting Compelling, Three-Dimensional Female Characters in Science Fiction & Fantasy|
In this class, we'll look at some of the current crop of female characters in speculative fiction, identify what makes them work, and how they fit into the wider world of the novel. We'll consider the cultural aspects of their nature, and delve into building powerful many faceted women.
New Zealand born fantasy writer and podcaster Philippa (Pip) Ballantine is the author of the Books of the Order and the Shifted World series. She is also the co-author with her husband Tee Morris of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels as well as Social Media for Writers from Writer's Digest Books. Her awards include an Airship, a Parsec, the Steampunk Chronicle Reader's Choice, the RT Reviewer's Choice Award for steampunk, and a Sir Julius Vogel.
|SESSION 7: First, the Dragon Attacks: Writing Gripping Opening Scenes in Science Fiction and Fantasy|
On page one, a dragon breathes fire on a crowd of screaming victims and gobbles one of them up. Then, the author describes the dragon, but only after grabbing your attention. This order is crucial. In this class you will learn the qualities of a gripping first sentence and paragraph, the principal of in media res (in the middle of things), and how to keep your readers engaged by recognizing what they need to know in the moment.
Philip Athans is a consultant, editor, ghostwriter, former senior managing editor for TSR/Wizards of the Coast, and the best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other books, including The Guide to Writi