Make a friend and chat about your favorite fandom! Join your fellow fans and creative cosplayers for a Cosplay Meetup. Take a selfie with a matching fan, make new friends, and debate those longstanding debates with other obsessed attendees. Cosplay is encouraged, but not required. Come on out and meetup! Please note that our meetups are an accepting and inclusive space for everyone.
Many aspire to write a novel. Far fewer make their way to the end of the all-important first draft. Maybe you revise too much, or too little. Maybe you spend all your time world-building and never get around to writing. Maybe you lose your motivation when the well of new ideas stops flowing. Either way, it’s time to get off your draft and finish. Presented by freelance editorial boutique the Writer’s Ally, Get Off Your Draft brings editors and authors together for a fun and informative panel on what it takes to reach that next step forward—a completed draft—on the road to becoming a published author.
Harrison Demchick (moderator), Laura Shovan, William Ray, Lia Mack, Marcos Antonio Hernandez, T. C. Weber
It’s time to stop dreaming about your first project and finally get it done! Join our incredible panel of indie artists in film, graphic novels, art, books, and comics as they share what you need to know (and do) to take your project from idea to finished product. The panel will include brief presentations on best practices from each artist, followed by an in-depth Q & A session designed to address YOUR specific challenges and help you move ahead!
Cerece Rennie Murphy, Greg Burnham, Marcus Johnson, Joe Carabeo
How does one book become two, then three, then ten? There is an art to creating a fully fleshed out story contained within one book, but leaving more unanswered questions in a way that keeps your reader coming back for more. It’s more than just spreading out one story over multiple books, it’s about pacing, story flow, and when to drop the essential bombs which excite and delight readers. Join panelists J. Kelley Skovron, David Liss, Peter V. Brett and L. Penelope as we discuss writing a series.
How do horror and thriller authors keep us on the edges of our seats? Why do they know what makes us worry? The what ifs are always taken to the extreme in exceptionally well written horror and thriller works. Join David Liss (Author, The Peculiarities) and Ellen Datlow (Editor and Anthologist, Body Shocks) as they dig in on what gives us a rush of adrenaline and long lasting nightmares.
If you’re a fantasy writer, building a fully fleshed out world is the first step in making your creation real to the reader. Unless you can fully understand the world in which your characters live, you won’t be able to effectively write about their experiences. Join J. Kelley Skovron, Constance Sayers, L. Penelope, and Peter V. Brett as we dig in on the question, “How do I build an entire other world that seems real?”
Exploring the issues surrounding the recent public controversy over racial stereotypes in some Dr. Seuss books.
Rafael Medoff, Brian Jay Jones
Asexuality is often known as the “invisible orientation,” not just because people are less aware of its existence but also because it is defined as the absence of certain feelings and behaviors. These things make representation both critically important and full of unique challenges. This interactive presentation will explore the ways a creator can portray asexuality and discuss potential pitfalls in its depiction.
When one thinks of the term ·world-building; it immediately invokes the image of creating fantasy realms or alien planets. But world-building is an essential part of any story, and something many authors take for granted.
Joab Stieglitz, Jennifer Povey, Amy Kaplan
From Middle-Earth to Bon Temps to Tattooine, every fictional world has its own rules, history and unique trademarks that make them feel as real as our own. In this panel, authors will share a behind-the-scenes look at how fictional worlds are developed, from epic fantasy to space opera to horror.
Lauren Blackwood, Timothy Johnson, Malka Older, Emily Thiede, E. J. Wenstrom, Fran Wilde
Every creator starts out as a fan. Join our panelists as they discuss the books, films, and comics that first inspired them to begin their own creative journey and how their personal fandoms influence their work to this day. Our panelists will also share their latest fan obsession and how these projects are challenging them to continue to improve their craft.
Cerece Rennie Murphy, L. Penelope, David Liss, Sam Maggs
Interested in becoming an author? Curious what it takes to go the distance as a writer? Your burning and bookish questions will be answered during this Q&A session with a variety of established authors across various genres including politics, children’s fiction, fantasy, YA, science fiction, and thriller.
What do editors do and what do they look for when acquiring a writer’s work? Get the inside scoop on what you can expect from an editor before they acquire your work and if they do, acquire it–from that point on in the process. Join Ellen Datlow, award-winning science fiction, fantasy, and horror editor and anthologist, during this Q&A session.
Science fiction and fantasy are full of tropes. Some we love, some we love to hate, and some we hate that we love, but they are inescapable in genre fiction all the same. On this panel, science fiction and fantasy authors will explore the use of tropes in the speculative genres—the good, the bad, and the problematic. This deep dive into the genres will celebrate and dissect its pieces, as well as how the authors put them to work in their own stories.
Lauren Blackwood, Nick DeWolf, Megan Lynch, Malka Older, Emily Thiede, E. J. Wenstrom
Ever considered writing fanfiction but didn’t know where to start? Then this panel may be for you! In this panel fanfiction writers will discuss various topics on the hobby, such as ideas for gathering inspiration, how to plot your story, the various publishing platforms available, and much more.
Larissa Zek, Priya Sinha, Blackstar Cosplay
In this (mostly) serious panel, two nerds talk about their podcast, The Fic List, where they espouse the many merits of fan-fiction – as a creative outlet, a means of self-expression and discovery, and a basis for community. We also just… really love fan-fiction and want to give it the credit it deserves for being something so many of us sincerely enjoy. So join us as we discuss favorite fics, top tropes, and the ways in which fanfic genuinely enriches our lives.
Erin Murphy, Alan Gonzalez Bisnes, Caitlin Toner
Alternate history is everywhere: Watchmen, The Man in the High Castle, even the endings of a couple of Tarantino films. What sorts of changes make good hinge moments for altered historical paths? What time periods and places have perhaps been overdone, and what others might be good for further exploration? How does the metaphor of alternate timelines affect the way we view the disorienting changes of the present and predicted changes of the future? Five authors of history-infused science fiction and fantasy will discuss how you can improve your own alternate histories (including your secret histories and time travel stories). They’ll also help you decide when to stop your research into the tangled timelines.
Carolyn Ives Gilman, Day Al-Mohamed, Alan Smale, Robert Waters, Tom Doyle
Everyone wishes they could wave a magic wand every now and then, and the popularity of magic as a theme in books is proof of that. The allure of having secret powers to make all your wishes come true is a universal concept that has spurred millions of books, comic books, movies, and TV shows. How is it that magic is such a pervasive theme in fiction? Join fantasy authors J. Kelley Skovron (Hope and Red), Constance Sayers (The Ladies of the Secret Circus), Cerece Rennie Murphy (The Wolf Queen Duology), and Peter V. Brett (The Demon Cycle Series) as we untangle the mysteries of magic in writing.