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*All programming panels and events are subject to change*

Click here for events schedule

Title: I have A Great Idea for A Story – Now What?
Description: How do you ge that great idea for a few words jotted down in a notebook (or at the top of a document on your screen) in a fleshed-out plot development, storyline, outline, or screenplay? The panelists will share their muse, provided good tricks for you, including how to expand your ideas, from creating a framework to putting solid “meat on the bones” of your manuscript. How to craft both the physical and emotion elements of your work, including sounds, smells, sights, and more. Be prepared to be playful with your work, then learn simply and effective tools to complete the project, any project — on time and with joy!
Participants: Leslie Ann Moore, S.P. Hendrick, Justin Robinson, Russell Nohelty, Tony Todaro (M)

Title: Why Manuscripts Arrive Dead On Arrival, and How to Increase Your Odds for Success as an Author
Description: A panel of science fiction and fantasy literary agents and veterans will discuss the steps to take to prepare your manuscript for success and how to avoid having it thrown in the trash and never published.
Participants: Marci Baun, Paul S. Levine, Whitney Davis, Tony N Todaro

Title: How Authors Make Money From Audio Books
Description: *draft* – Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle De Cuir share samples of material and discuss what makes an audio book a money maker
Participants: Skyboat Media and Publishing, Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle De Cuir

Title: Writing Your Story as a Novel vs. Writing a Screenplay
Description: It sounds easier to craft a 120 page script than a 350 page novel. But each field is equally demanding with a unique skillset, which is why most authors only write novels, while others only screenplays. This panel will discuss the skills necessary to survive and prosper in each field. Important for novelists and screenwriters of all levels.
Participants: Tony Todaro, David Gerrold, Joel Eisenberg, Whitney Davis, Craig Miller

Title: All about editing – and editors
Description: Given that as much (or more!) time is spent editing as writing, what tips, tricks, and traps are there to be aware of as a writer? What’s the difference between a developmental edit/editor, a line edit/editor, and a copy edit/editor? Where can aspiring writers find editors? Come hear our panelists’ favorite tips, tricks, advice, and traps to avoid, during editing.
Participants: Jerry Pournelle, Laurie Tom, Richard Foss, Tim Powers, S.B. Divya

Title: Best Advice I Never Got
Description: Come join our panel of authors to find out what advice they wish you had gotten, but didn’t, when they started their writing careers.
Participants: Larry Niven, Laurie Tom, Laura Frankos, Harry Turtledove, Maria Alexander, Steve Barnes

Title: Revisiting Themes and Tropes vs. Being Lazy
Description: Some writers re-visit the same themes over and over again in order to tell new stories. Other writers, uh, recycle themes and their stories rely on the same themes and tropes that they’ve practically told the same story, just with different characters. Let’s compare and contrast writers and works that do either, and talk about what the key differences are.
Participants: Mark Oshiro, John DeChancie, Valerie Estelle Frankel, S.P. Hendrick, J.L Doty

Title: Science Fiction Poetry
Description: Speculative poetry is a rising professional field in our infinitely diverse genre! The Science Fiction Poetry Association elected Bryan Thao Worra as its new president; new markets have arisen offering professional rates for cutting-edge poetic forms; new stars are coming out of the poetry field exploring the speculative in what is a very experimental form. Find out more about where you can read such works and where the field might head into next!
Participants: Bryan Thao Worra, Jaymee Goh, Nikia Chaney

Title: Starting The Story
Description: Arguably one of the worst parts of writing, starting a story stumps many young writers, and even some veteran writers. How do writers deal with the problem of starting the story? How do we stop procrastinating and just write the darn thing? What are some problems in story-starting that are unique to science fiction and fantasy, if any?
Participants: Barbara Hambly, S.P. Hendricks, Harry Turtledove, Laura Frankos, John DeChancie

Title: Stealing From The Best
Description: From the adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” into “Forbidden Planet” and H. G. Wells’s “The Time Machine” into “Time After Time”, writers have been “borrowing” themes and situations from other writers and turning them into something new and different.
Participants: Jacqui Freas Baric, S. P. Hendrick, Harry Turtledove, Jerry Pournelle, Laura Frankos, Tim Powers

Title: The New Hybrid Author Model
Description: Two highly successful authors, whose original successes came through self-publishing, and are now also traditionally-published, discuss the evolution of the new hybrid author model. With plenty of ups and downs, successes and failures, self-publishing has upended all of the traditional thinking regarding the writing and publishing paradigm, and to be successful, today’s writer must be flexible and innovative.
Participants: JL (Jim) Doty, Debra Holland

Title: The Odds of Gods (in Spaaaaaaaace!)
Description: We assume that the future must be secular, because we assume science is incompatible with religion. This might not be the case! From alien religions, to the demystification of the divine, to the evolution of human religions, portrayals of religion in the distant future are present in science fiction. Let’s discuss some of these portrayals and what we think about them from a variety of perspectives.
Participants: Gregg Castro (, Aviya Amir (, Isabel Schechter (

Title: Working without an agent
Description: Do you really need an agent? Hear what you can do without one.
Participants: James C. Glass, Mel Gilden, Valerie Estelle Frankel, S.P. Hendrick, Maria Alexander

Title: Writers of the Future – Contest News
Description: The Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contests host a 4 day workshop for winners annually as part of the gala celebration. Hear from winners themselves what they learned during the workshop. They will share stories of the various essays from L. Ron Hubbard on writing that they study and also the advice received from the various judges.
Participants: Joni Labaqui

Title: Writing for Rookies: Your First Steps Toward the Industry
Description: This panel addresses the question every aspiring writer wants answered: “How do I break into the business?” Hollywood screenwriters and graphic novel producers share insider information, publishing secrets, and the professional realities on how to develop your ideas into a viable property. Moderated by 2015 Disney/ABC Writing Program winner and 2014 Eisner Award nominee Brandon Easton (Marvel’s Agent Carter, ThunderCats), the panel includes Geoffrey Thorne (Leverage, The Librarians), Erika Alexander (Concrete Park, Living Single), and Tony Puryear ( Concrete Park, the Schwarzenegger film Eraser). Topics will include how to hire artists and build a strong contract, how to seek out a publisher, and how to navigate the tough new world of intellectual property management in the digital frontier.
Participants: Brandon Easton, Geoffrey Thorne, Erika Alexander, and Tony Puryear