Again this year Capclave is pleased to be able to present a mobile version of our program, thanks to Eemeli Aro.
Upon visiting the mobile guide, two files containing our program information will be cached to your smartphone/tablet/etc. Some browsers will ask for permission, most will not. This information will take up about 1 MB of storage space. The purpose of this is so that if you lose network connectivity, all necessary information will still be available to you. You can delete this information at anytime, usually by looking at your browser's settings, then selecting Advanced > Website settings > [this site] > Clear stored data. However, your browser/operating system may vary.
The Capclave Gaming room is available for open gaming whenever the Con Suite is open. We do request that people borrowing a game available from the library sign out the game in question, and also sign in the game upon return. The Learn & Play schedule is subject to change without notice, rhyme or reason.
Preliminary Program Grid
This is the Preliminary program schedule. These are the program items we're planning on having. New things may emerge, and any of these may disappear in puff of logic, all without warning. The program will be updated as information changes, but please check for official notifications during the convention.
Grid of Scheduled Events
(NOTE: All events are subject to change. Please check back often.)
Author's hallway table
What Should Be In Your NetFlix Queue?
"Holy Shuftik!" He Cried.
Worldbuilding in Science Fiction vs. Fantasy
Rituals for Creativity
Guided by Voices
Writing on the Job
Alternate History and Historical Fantasy
Hypnotism: Reality vs. Fiction
Michelle Sonnier Reading
Joshua Palmatier Reading
Science Fiction: 50 Shades of Hard (and Soft)
So You Want to Be a Writer
Alex Shvartsman Signing
David Walton Reading
Bernie Mojzes Reading
Stephen H. Wilson Reading
Bjorn Hasseler Reading
The Taxonomy of Fantasy
How Not To Get Published
Care and Feeding of Writers Groups and Critique Circles
Learn-and-Play Valeria: Card Kingdoms
K. M. Szpara Reading
Deidre Dykes Reading
Jack Campbell Reading
The WSFA Small Press Award
Write What You Don't Know
Toward A More Diverse Genre
Barbara Krasnoff Reading
Mattie Brahen Reading
Everyone is a Hero in Her Own Story
Romance and SF/F
The Clarkesworld Magazine Chinese SF/F Translation Project
Tom Doyle Book Launch
Darrell Schweitzer Reading
Scott Edelman Reading
WSFA First Friday Meeting
I've Done My Research and You're Going to Suffer For It
DCin2021 Worldcon Bid Party
Dina Leacock Reading
Michael Ventrella Reading
Writing Decent Sex Scenes
Clarkesworld Book Club
Don't Go There - Unless You Really Want To…
Hildy Silverman Reading
Vampires and Angels and Faeries, Oh My!
E.T. Phone Earth: First Contact and Alien Communication
Author's hallway table
Coffee Meet and Greet for First Time Capclave Attendees
Brigitte Winter Reading
Does Hard Science Fiction Have to be Opaque to Non-Techies?
Doctor Who, End of an Era, Beginning of a New One
The Recent Solar Eclipse
Martin Berman-Gorvine Book Launch
Kim Hargan/Larry Hodges Signing
Kate Baker Reading
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading
SF/F in Translation From Russia, Eastern/Central Europe and the Baltic
Reimagining Fairy Tales
Ken Liu Guest of Honor Speech
Learn-and-Play Star Traders
Charles Gannon Signing
James Morrow Reading
DC in 2021 Worldcon Bid
Small Press Publishing in 2018
Writing the Military Workshop
Jersey Pines Ink Book Launch
Book Design 101
Sarah Avery/David Keener Signing
Lawrence M. Schoen Reading
Jean Marie Ward Reading
75 Years of WSFA
Neil Clarke Publisher/Editor Guest of Honor Interview
The News From Pluto
James Morrow Signing
Sarah Pinsker Reading
Fran Wilde Reading
Crowdfunding Dos and Don'ts
What's the Future of Afrofuturism?
Unintentional Terraforming: The Science Behind Present & Future Climate Change
Build A Space Battle Workshop
Learn-and-Play Terraforming Mars
Meg Eden/Steven H. Wilson Signing
Carolyn Ives Gilman Reading
Charles Gannon Reading
I Hate His/Her Politics, But I Love His/Her Books
75 Years of Wonder Woman
StarGates: The Theory & Practice
Lezli Robyn/ Alex Shvartsman/ David Walton Book Launch
Lawrence Watt-Evans/Jim Freund Signing
Craig L. Gidney Reading
Jon Skovron Reading
Engineering in SF/F
Use of Mythology in Science Fiction and Fantasy
Reading Aloud for Writers
Micro Fiction Workshop
Janine Spendlove Signing
Sarah Avery Reading
Margaret Ronald Reading
Handling the Unavoidable Info-dump
Writing Characters of Color: Where to Start
Martin Berman-Gorvine Signing
Catherine Asaro Reading
Writers as Fans: How Fandoms Influence Our Writing
Writing for Anthologies
War on Science
Michael Swanwick Reading
Dustin Blottenberger Reading
Learn-and-Play Wings of Glory
Danielle Ackley-McPhail Reading
Mass Autographing Session
Superheroine to Wise Woman: Creating Powerful Female Characters
WSFA 75th Birthday/ DCin2021/ Capclave party
Eye of Argon
Author's hallway table
How We Imagine The Future and What It Says About Us
How to Edit That Lousy First Draft
SF/F In Translation
Learn-and-Play Tiny Epic Galaxies
Jeanne Adams Signing
Editing the Short Story
LGBTQ Speculative Fiction
What Are The New Questions That SF/F Should Be Asking?
Writing Workshop (Follow-up)
KaffeeKlatsch with Guest of Honor Ken Liu
Alan Smale Signing
Beverly Haaf Reading
GOH Ken Liu Reading
Michelle Sonnier Signing
A.C. Wise Reading
Positive Science Fiction
Lezli Robyn Reading
SF/F as Literature of the Diaspora
Learn-and-Play Roll for the Galaxy
Dina Leacock Signing
Alan Smale Reading
Why Do We Like Being Scared?
Sunny Moraine Reading
First Sentence, First Paragraph, What Does It Take to Grab You?
Malka Older Reading
Reading Outside Your Genre for SF/F Writers
The Economics of Magic
Endings - Bang or Whimper?
Items are sorted by Category, Date/Time, Room and Event Name
(NOTE: All items are subject to change. Please check back often.)
Friday 3:00 pm
What Should Be In Your NetFlix Queue? (Ends at: 3:55 pm) Panelists:Jim Freund (M), Will McIntosh, Hildy Silverman What science fiction, fantasy, and horror movies should everyone see? What are your favorite movies and why do they deserve your love? Are there short films available online that you think everyone should check out?
"Holy Shuftik!" He Cried. (Ends at: 3:55 pm) Panelists:Jeanne Adams (M), Lawrence M. Schoen, Jon Skovron How does an author create a distinctive language for characters in the future or in a different world and keep it understandable to the reader? What's the right balance between creating language and making sure the reader can figure it out without a dictionary appendix to the story?
Worldbuilding in Science Fiction vs. Fantasy (Ends at: 3:55 pm) Panelists:Charles E. Gannon, Jean Marie Ward (M), Lawrence Watt-Evans, Allen L. Wold (M) Are there distinctions in how worldbuilding is approached for a fantasy setting rather than a science fiction setting? Are there different approaches in how the result is presented to the reader? Are there challenges on one side of the fantasy/SF split that are less of an issue on the other?
Friday 4:00 pm
Rituals for Creativity (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Panelists:Sarah Avery, Will McIntosh (M), Irette Y. Patterson, Jon Skovron How do you prepare to write each day? Do you have a special space or time of day? Do you need to have a particular snack nearby or listen to just the right music? Authors share their rituals from the ordinary to the strange that help them create the right atmosphere to write.
Guided by Voices (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Panelists:Jim Freund (M), K.M. Szpara, Steven H. Wilson And entertained by them too. Some of today's top stories are now being podcast. How do podcasts expand the market? Where to find them? Who should you be listening to on a regular basis?
Writing on the Job (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Panelists:Brenda W. Clough, Barbara Krasnoff (M), Joshua Palmatier, Lezli Robyn, David Walton Is it better for a writer to have a non-writing job to save his/her writing energies for fiction or to use writing skills to make a nonfiction living on the idea that any writing improves fiction writing? And when should you quit your day job? Hear writers discuss the relationship between their day job and their writing.
Alternate History and Historical Fantasy (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Panelists:Jack Campbell - John G. Hemry, Tom Doyle, Bjorn Hasseler, Bernie Mojzes, Alan Smale (M) Alternate history and historical fantasy are popular subgenres. How much research should an author do? How much history do you need in your fantasy? How many historical events do you need to change to spin out your alternate history in a logical manner?
Hypnotism: Reality vs. Fiction (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Panelists:Lawrence M. Schoen Lawrence M. Schoen lecture on how hypnotism really works vs. how it is portrayed in fiction and on screen.
Friday 5:00 pm
Science Fiction: 50 Shades of Hard (and Soft) (Ends at: 5:55 pm) Panelists:Jeanne Adams (M), Charles E. Gannon, Lezli Robyn Just as there are many, many subgenres of fantasy, there are also many subgenres of science fiction. E.g. first contact novels, space opera, military sf, dystopias, etc. what are the current trends and pluses and minuses of various SF subgenres?
So You Want to Be a Writer (Ends at: 5:55 pm) Panelists:Brenda W. Clough (M), Scott Edelman, Alan Smale, Bud Sparhawk Authors discuss how they became a writer, and why you should(n't). Writers share their experiences and offer advice to those interested in becoming a professional writer. Pay it forward.
Friday 6:00 pm
The Taxonomy of Fantasy (Ends at: 6:55 pm) Panelists:Michelle D. Sonnier, Michael Swanwick, Lawrence Watt-Evans Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Dark Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Mythic Fantasy, etc. How many types of fantasy are there? Readers' tastes evolve over time. Which types of fantasy are currently the most popular, which are becoming less popular, where is fantasy headed and why?
How Not To Get Published (Ends at: 6:55 pm) Panelists:Neil Clarke, Mike McPhail, Hildy Silverman, Ian Randal Strock, Michael A. Ventrella (M) Editors will discuss all the things authors shouldn't do if they want to be published. For instance, submission guidelines exist for a reason. And no matter how brilliant your story is, threatening the editor will reduce the probability that it will be published to zero.
Care and Feeding of Writers Groups and Critique Circles (Ends at: 6:55 pm) Panelists:Sarah Avery, Larry Hodges, Dina Leacock, Irette Y. Patterson, Alex Shvartsman What are Writers Groups and Critique Circles and how do they help or hinder writers? What are some of your own experiences with writer groups? Please share the good, the bad, and the interesting.
Write What You Don't Know (Ends at: 7:55 pm) Panelists:Scott H. Andrews, Joshua Palmatier, Michael A. Ventrella (M), Jean Marie Ward Fantasy authors rarely get irate email from dragons saying they got it wrong. How to write characters from places and times that you don’t know but members of your audience do, and why it’s important to get outside your comfort zone.
Toward A More Diverse Genre (Ends at: 7:55 pm) Panelists:Sarah Avery, Craig L. Gidney, Vanessa Phin (M), Michelle D. Sonnier, K.M. Szpara How do authors portray persons of color, the disabled, and gender in their stories? Science fiction and fantasy have come a long way and have often been at the forefront of these issues and sometimes not. What more needs to be done? What's the next step in portraying a more diverse universe?
Friday 8:00 pm
Everyone is a Hero in Her Own Story (Ends at: 8:55 pm) Panelists:Jack Campbell - John G. Hemry, Brenda W. Clough (M), Will McIntosh, Michelle D. Sonnier Engaging characters draw the reader's interest and keep him/her interested in following the story all the way through. So how does the author create three dimensional characters that the reader is interested in? Villains and side characters need to be "3D" as well, not just cardboard cutouts or stereotypical toons. How do you "show" motivations and characteristics of your characters without "telling" via biographical essays each time a new character appears?
Romance and SF/F (Ends at: 8:55 pm) Panelists:Catherine Asaro, Natalie Luhrs, L. Penelope, Lezli Robyn, K.M. Szpara A significant number of science fiction and fantasy books are reviewed in publications such as Romance Times and nominated for awards in the romance genre. Were the genre line distinctions always artificial? What are romance readers' expectations with respect to the plot and its resolution? HEA vs. the tragic romance. Is romance handled better or worse in YA SF/F? Are certain types of romance plots (such as first love) more likely to show up in YA?
The Clarkesworld Magazine Chinese SF/F Translation Project (Ends at: 8:55 pm) Panelists:Scott H. Andrews (M), Neil Clarke, Ken Liu Guest of Honor Neil Clarke and Ken Liu discuss Clarkesworld's commitment to publishing Chinese science fiction and fantasy in translation, including how the stories are chosen, interaction with the authors, and general audience reception to the project.
Friday 9:00 pm
Handling Rejection (Ends at: 9:55 pm) Panelists:Sarah Avery (M), Kate Baker, Barbara Krasnoff You put your heart and soul into that book or story and the rejection letters are pouring in. Where do you go from there? Panelists discuss how they handle rejection.
I've Done My Research and You're Going to Suffer For It (Ends at: 9:55 pm) Panelists:Charles E. Gannon, Larry Hodges, Alan Smale (M), Lawrence Watt-Evans Writers will often spend significant amounts of time doing background research for a story. How do you avoid going down the rabbit hole and taking the readers with you? How much of the research should be included in the final story?
Friday 10:00 pm
Writing Decent Sex Scenes (Ends at: 10:55 pm) Panelists:Jeanne Adams (M), Bernie Mojzes, Sunny Moraine, K.M. Szpara Do you fade to black? How anatomical do you want to get? What works and what doesn't. Will include writing for both professional publication and fanfiction.
Clarkesworld Book Club (Ends at: 10:55 pm) Panelists:Kate Baker, Neil Clarke, Sam Lubell (M), Sean Wallace Sam Lubell, the head of the WSFA Committee to Actually Discuss SF/F will moderate a discussion with audience participation, of the current issue of Clarkesworld as well as a discussion of which stories over the last decade have particularly stuck with people.
Don't Go There - Unless You Really Want To… (Ends at: 10:55 pm) Panelists:Jon Skovron (M), Lawrence Watt-Evans Taboo subjects in fantasy and science fiction. Are there any? What lines won't you cross? What lines should you cross?
Friday 11:00 pm
Vampires and Angels and Faeries, Oh My! (Ends at: 11:55 pm) Panelists:Jim Freund (M), Hildy Silverman, K.M. Szpara Vampires, zombies, fae and angels have all had their day as the top the urban fantasy/paranormal romance supernatural being. What mythical and supernatural being will be the new #1? Which supernatural beings will never get there? Why are werewolves always second best?
E.T. Phone Earth: First Contact and Alien Communication (Ends at: 11:55 pm) Panelists:Jack Campbell - John G. Hemry, Bud Sparhawk What happens when humans meet aliens? How might we communicate with them? What barriers stand in the way? How have different SF stories, TV shows, and movies addressed this situation?
Saturday 9:00 am
Coffee Meet and Greet for First Time Capclave Attendees (Ends at: 9:55 am) Panelists:
Saturday 10:00 am
Does Hard Science Fiction Have to be Opaque to Non-Techies? (Ends at: 10:55 am) Panelists:Jack Campbell - John G. Hemry, Mike McPhail, Nalin A. Ratnayake, Ian Randal Strock (M), David Walton Panelists will discuss how writing about quantum computing, string theory, nanotechnology, genetics, chemistry, rocket science, etc., can be done in a way that is scientifically accurate, yet understandable by people who have no science background past high school and maybe college distribution requirement. E.g. making Bose-Einstein Condensate understandable to someone who never got past "physics for poets."
Doctor Who, End of an Era, Beginning of a New One (Ends at: 10:55 am) Panelists:Victoria Janssen, Vanessa Phin (M), Hildy Silverman, A.C. Wise Moffatt's era ends and Chibnall's era begins. What did we think of the Capaldi era and Clara and Bill as companions? What do we want from Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor? What are our hopes for Chibnall as showrunner? Moffatt era vs. Davies era?
Saturday 11:00 am
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading (Ends at: 11:55 am) Panelists:Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jeanne Adams, V. Hartman DiSanto, Elektra Hammond, Karen Wester Newton, Jennifer Povey, Janine Spendlove, Denise Timpko, Jean Marie Ward (M) Broad Universe is an international organization with the primary goal of promoting science fiction, fantasy, and horror written by women. Members will be doing readings from their own works
Reimagining Fairy Tales (Ends at: 11:55 am) Panelists:Marilyn "Mattie" Brahen, Margaret Ronald, Jon Skovron, Michelle D. Sonnier, A.C. Wise (M) Who doesn't love a fairy tale retelling? Part of the universal appeal of fairy tales is that they were never a static form, at least not as an oral tradition. Re-tellers have used these archetypes and modes to spin new variations ever since these stories first came to the page. Angela Carter once said that "Ours is a highly individualized culture, with a great faith in the work of art as a unique one-off.... But fairy tales are not like that, and nor are their makers." We can find fresh insight into our own lives and connections through these age old tales. This panel will focus on a variety of approaches in reconstructing fairy tales with a modern bent, both in their favorite respins and in their own work.
Saturday 12:00 pm
DC in 2021 Worldcon Bid (Ends at: 12:55 pm) Panelists: Bill Lawhorn The Chair of the DC in 2021 Worldcon Bid will discuss why the bid committee wants to bring Worldcon back to DC and what Worldcon is and why it is different from other conventions.
Crowdfunding Dos and Don'ts (Ends at: 2:55 pm) Panelists:Neil Clarke, Ron Garner, Joshua Palmatier (M), Alex Shvartsman, Lawrence Watt-Evans So you have a fabulous idea or product and a shortage of funds - what do you do. Panelists will discuss successful and unsuccessful crowd funding campaigns, either their own or those of other people. Topics include how to set reward levels, how to budget how much money you need and the merits of various crowd funding sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Pozible.
What's the Future of Afrofuturism? (Ends at: 2:55 pm) Panelists:M'Shai Dash, William Jones, Chad Eric Smith, Diane Williams, Kenesha Williams, K. Ceres Wright (M) Afrofuturism represents the intersection of Black culture, history, mysticism, science, and technology, all set with an eye toward the future. Listen as this group of artists, filmmakers, and writers detail their journeys in producing Afrofuturistic works and their hopes for the field, moving forward.
Saturday 3:00 pm
I Hate His/Her Politics, But I Love His/Her Books (Ends at: 3:55 pm) Panelists:Ron Garner, Natalie Luhrs, Shahid Mahmud, K.M. Szpara (M) Should a personal evaluation of an author be separated from how you view his/her politics? Many people refused to see the movie Enders Game because of Orson Scott Cards statements on homosexuality and other writers charge that political views influence award nominations and who is picked for con programming. Is this true and if so, is it a good thing or a bad thing?
75 Years of Wonder Woman (Ends at: 3:55 pm) Panelists:Jeanne Adams, Victoria Janssen (M), Janine Spendlove, Fran Wilde It's been 75 years since Wonder Woman first appeared in Sensation Comics Issue #1. In that time she's been in comic books, animated TV shows, a live action TV show and the recent extremely popular movie starring Gal Gadot. Panelists discuss the character and her interpretation over the years.
Saturday 4:00 pm
Anthology Builder (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Panelists:Neil Clarke, Ron Garner, Joshua Palmatier (M), Lawrence M. Schoen, Darrell Schweitzer So you want to edit and publish an anthology. How do the stories get picked? How do you come up with a theme? What sells and what doesn't? How do authors produce readable fiction in the straitjacket of an original themed anthology? How do you properly curate your anthology?
Engineering in SF/F (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Panelists:Scott H. Andrews, Catherine Asaro, John Ashmead, Ken Liu, Fran Wilde (M) How things work in your science fiction and fantasy. For instance, if you are going to have flight in your fantasy novel, how is it going to work, e.g. how are the wings going to be load bearing and catch air currents. In your science fiction novel, have you given much thought to how your characters will interface with their supercomputer or mecha-suit?
Use of Mythology in Science Fiction and Fantasy (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Panelists:Jack Campbell - John G. Hemry, Carolyn Ives Gilman, Scott Roberts, Michelle D. Sonnier, Jean Marie Ward (M) There are a lot of different mythologies out there, with both similarities and differences. How do we incorporate and adapt them when writing our stories. What's acceptable to adapt and change, especially when using a mythology from a culture not one's own. E.g. dragons in Europe and dragons in various Asian countries often have quite different motives and personalities ascribed to them.
Saturday 5:00 pm
Handling the Unavoidable Info-dump (Ends at: 5:55 pm) Panelists:Jack Campbell - John G. Hemry, Will McIntosh, L. Penelope, Alan Smale (M), Lawrence Watt-Evans As you know, Bob, it's often considered more elegant to establish backstory or setting details gradually rather than in an info-dump. Sometimes, though, the demands of the rest of the novel leave little choice. What are some of the tricks to info-dump in a way that at least keeps the reader interested, and doesn't disrupt the other elements of the story? Are there ever points at which an info-dump is preferable over other methods of communicating setting detail?
Writing Characters of Color: Where to Start (Ends at: 5:55 pm) Panelists:B. Sharise Moore, L. H. Moore, Diane Williams, K. Ceres Wright (M) Adding characters of color to your writing not only helps to reflect the real world, but adds complexity and depth to your stories. Learn about specific ways you can conduct effective research and avoid stereotypes to empower your characters and stories.
Saturday 6:00 pm
Writers as Fans: How Fandoms Influence Our Writing (Ends at: 6:55 pm) Panelists:Meg Eden (M), Sunny Moraine, Margaret Ronald, K.M. Szpara A panel of writers discusses their favorite fandoms and how their passions have inspired and influenced their writing.
Writing for Anthologies (Ends at: 6:55 pm) Panelists:M'Shai Dash, Larry Hodges (M), Alex Shvartsman, Hildy Silverman, A.C. Wise Anthologies are an excellent opportunity for writers to get their work out to new readers. Where to look for submission opportunities, how to write to a theme, tips on catching the editor's eye (in a good way), and a what-not-to-do list are some of the things to be addressed.
War on Science (Ends at: 6:55 pm) Panelists:Carolyn Ives Gilman, Inge Heyer (M), Thomas Holtz, James Morrow, Nalin A. Ratnayake Some of America's leaders don't believe in global warming, want creationism taught in schools, and others want to ban human cloning or restrict genetic modified foods. Why this distrust of science? Is it growing? Are political leaders trying to appeal to the ignorant or do they really believe this? And what is the danger to the planet?
Octavia Butler (Ends at: 6:55 pm) Panelists:Victoria Janssen (M), B. Sharise Moore, L. H. Moore, Sarah Pinsker, K. Ceres Wright Twelfth Planet Press has just published Luminescent Threads. While a more prolific novelist than short story writer, her short fiction, such as "Bloodchild" continues to be discussed to this day. Panelists will discuss the late Octavia Butler's ongoing influence on the field.
Saturday 10:30 pm
Superheroine to Wise Woman: Creating Powerful Female Characters (Ends at: 11:55 pm) Panelists:Joshua Palmatier, A.C. Wise What goes into creating strong, compelling female characters in fantasy worlds? Speculative fiction authors discuss how to approach elements such as world-building, magic, special powers, and plot when crafting a multi-dimensional character, and how to avoid the pitfalls of the "Mary Sue."
Saturday 11:00 pm
Eye of Argon (Ends at: 11:55 pm) Panelists:Hildy Silverman, Ian Randal Strock, Michael A. Ventrella (M) Our panelists read the worst fantasy story ever written, mistakes and all, and if they laugh or read it incorrectly, they are forced to act out the story. Just try not to fall over laughing! At some point, volunteers from the audience can participate and discover firsthand the author's contentious relationship with spelling, capitalization and punctuation.
Sunday 10:00 am
How We Imagine The Future and What It Says About Us (Ends at: 10:55 am) Panelists:Malka Older, Bud Sparhawk (M), K.M. Szpara, Fran Wilde It's always fun to look at what sci-fi visionaries of the past thought the future would be like, what they got right (and what they didn't). But why did they imagine it the way they did? How was it affected by the world they lived in? Given the times in which we live, what sort of future should we be imagining?
How to Edit That Lousy First Draft (Ends at: 10:55 am) Panelists:Brenda W. Clough, Irette Y. Patterson, Alan Smale (M) Sometimes a first draft of a story is just not in a state you want to send to an editor or publisher, and yet too promising to simply set aside. What's a good mindset to identify the pieces that can best be salvaged in revision? How can a first draft go from lousy to respectable with the least amount of exertion that could perhaps be spent on other works?
SF/F In Translation (Ends at: 10:55 am) Panelists:Jim Freund (M), James Morrow, Kathryn Morrow, Alex Shvartsman Panelists discuss what makes a good translation. How literal does it need to be? What cultural markers do and do not translate? How does the translator capture the author's voice yet still keep the work comprehensible to an audience that doesn't speak the original language and may not be familiar with the culture in which the author lives/lived.
Sunday 11:00 am
Editing the Short Story (Ends at: 11:55 am) Panelists:Scott H. Andrews, Kate Baker, Neil Clarke (M), Scott Roberts, Bud Sparhawk Panelists talk about the work of editing short fiction, keeping things interesting and on-pace and making sure all the elements of a good story are in place when there are only so many words to work with.
LGBTQ Speculative Fiction (Ends at: 11:55 am) Panelists:Craig L. Gidney, Vanessa Phin (M), Sarah Pinsker Panelists will discuss where to find the best LGBT fiction being written today and what they think are the dos and don'ts of writing LGBT characters.
What Are The New Questions That SF/F Should Be Asking? (Ends at: 11:55 am) Panelists:M'Shai Dash, Carolyn Ives Gilman, Malka Older, Nalin A. Ratnayake SF in particular is meant to be a forward-looking genre. What questions should contemporary SFF writers be asking that they are not? What issues are being successfully addressed?
Positive Science Fiction (Ends at: 1:55 pm) Panelists:Malka Older, Sarah Pinsker, Nalin A. Ratnayake, Bud Sparhawk (M) Much SF these days is dystopian or grim. Why isn't there more positive SF? Jetse DeVries's anthology Shine demonstrated that it's possible to write positive SF even when dealing with issues such as climate change.
SF/F as Literature of the Diaspora (Ends at: 1:55 pm) Panelists:Jeanne Adams, Martin Berman-Gorvine, Yosef Lindell Unless you're indigenous, Americans come from someplace else. We're Jews who don't live in the shtetl or in Israel, Chinese people who don't live in China, Irish-Americans whose ancestors left home during the potato famine, etc. What are the implications of this dual identity and how does it inform our writing?
Sunday 2:00 pm
Why Do We Like Being Scared? (Ends at: 2:55 pm) Panelists:Dina Leacock, Scott Roberts, Darrell Schweitzer, A.C. Wise Fear probably developed as a survival mechanism. We fear things that might hurt us. Yet many read horror, go to slasher films, ride roller coasters, and climb cliffs. Why? What does this say about us and our psyches?
First Sentence, First Paragraph, What Does It Take to Grab You? (Ends at: 2:55 pm) Panelists:Scott H. Andrews (M), Sarah Avery, Yosef Lindell Great first sentences, to work, have to be sneaky or elegant. But great first sentences are rare. So what qualities does a novel or story have to have to make you keep reading beyond that first sentence or first paragraph? How do you craft the perfect opening hook?
Sunday 3:00 pm
Reading Outside Your Genre for SF/F Writers (Ends at: 3:55 pm) Panelists:M'Shai Dash, Scott Edelman (M), Natalie Luhrs Panelists discuss the non-genre works that have influenced them and why it's important to read outside of genre.
The Economics of Magic (Ends at: 3:55 pm) Panelists:Jeanne Adams, Michelle D. Sonnier, Jean Marie Ward (M), Lawrence Watt-Evans How do you use magic in your fantasy work so that it doesn't become a get out of jail free option? When your characters use magic what are the costs to the magic user or the fantasy world? Should conservation of energy apply?
Endings - Bang or Whimper? (Ends at: 3:55 pm) Panelists:Neil Clarke, Joshua Palmatier, Irette Y. Patterson, Sarah Pinsker (M) So many short stories start out well but end abruptly or just trail off, leaving the reader to wonder, what's the point. Why does this happen and how can writers avoid this fate? How do you determine your endings? Is a twist ending a cheat?
Learn-and-Play Roll for the Galaxy (Ends at: 2:55 pm) Demonstrator: For 2-5 players
Saturday 10:00 am
Plotting Workshop (Ends at: 11:55 am) Coordinator:Allen L. Wold (M) What makes a story a story? How do you construct a viable plot from a bare (naked) idea? We'll start at the beginning, and by the end, you should have everything you need to know to plot your story. Limited to 25 participants. No late arrivals.
Environmental Storytelling (Ends at: 11:55 am) Coordinator:Meg Eden (M) The popular saying goes: "A picture's worth a thousand words." With the rapid developments in technology, our storytelling is changing to not just be on the page, but through movies, television, and video games--highly visual mediums. Through the power of images, we can convey a whole narrative in a short space. Think about how games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Gone Home use environmental storytelling to give us pieces of characters' lives. In this workshop, we'll discuss examples of games that tell stories through objects, and go into our own writing exercises inspired by video games. Limited to 15 people.
Saturday 12:00 pm
Writing the Military Workshop (Ends at: 1:55 pm) Coordinators:Ron Garner, Janine Spendlove Science fiction and fantasy stories have the ability to transport readers to new worlds and immerse them in new experiences. Losing themselves in the flow of the story, readers become something outside of, something more than, themselves, if only for a little bit of time. But this trance can be broken when the author has not paid attention to the all-important details. This is as true of military engagements in science fiction and fantasy as it is of any other element...perhaps even more so. In order to suspend belief enough to buy into the story, the reader needs to feel like the rules within the universe the author is creating, and the general rules of existence the reader already knows to be true, are consistent.
Join U.S. Marine officers and writers Ronald T. Garner and Janine K. Spendlove as they discuss methods for incorporating military actions into science fiction and fantasy in a way that will help readers fully engage in your story. Limited to 15 people.
Book Design 101 (Ends at: 1:55 pm) Coordinator:Danielle Ackley-McPhail (M) Are you an aspiring publisher? Or perhaps an author considering going it on your own? This Q&A workshop, run by Danielle Ackley-McPhail, will get you started on what you need to know to design and produce books in both print and ebook that can stand up beneath industry scrutiny. We will cover the basic elements of design and review examples of titles that both meet and fall short of the industry benchmark. Attendees are encouraged to bring examples of their own books for a brief review and recommendation session at the end of the workshop. Limited to 15 people.
Saturday 2:00 pm
Build A Space Battle Workshop (Ends at: 3:55 pm) Coordinator:David Keener So you want to include a titanic space battle in your military SF novel or your galaxy-spanning space opera. But...who's fighting? Why are they fighting? You'd like to make the battle realistic...but what tactics and strategies make sense? In this workshop, you'll learn by doing as we collaboratively build an epic space battle. Limited to 20 people.
Writing Workshop (Ends at: 3:55 pm) Coordinators:Michael A. Ventrella, Allen L. Wold (M), Darcy Wold Allen Wold will lead a panel of authors in a hands on workshop. Learn many skills as you work on a short story. All you need is a pen and paper. Limited to 15 people.
Saturday 4:00 pm
Reading Aloud for Writers (Ends at: 5:55 pm) Coordinator:Jim Freund (M) Jim Freund, host of the long-running "Hour of the Wolf" broadcast radio program as well as Lightspeed Magazine's podcast, provides practical advice and feedback on how to read your work aloud - whether for a podcast, radio audience, audiobook, or in front of a live audience. Limited to 15 people.
Micro Fiction Workshop (Ends at: 5:55 pm) Coordinators:Dustin Blottenberger, Deidre Dykes (M), Brigitte Winter Micro Fiction, a subset of flash fiction, are stories of 300 words or less. Learn how these word count restrictions force writers to boil stories down to their most powerful core elements. You will create micro fiction pieces through a series of exercises, learn about exciting markets for tiny stories and discuss how micro fiction can be a useful tool for deepening your writing skills. Limited to 15 people.
KaffeeKlatsch with Guest of Honor Ken Liu (Ends at: 11:55 am) GOH:Ken Liu NOTE: The KaffeeKlatsch will be held at the table in the alcove just outside Darnestown/Gaithersburg. A sign-up sheet will be at Registration/Information. Limited to 10.
The Recent Solar Eclipse (Ends at: 10:55 am) Presenter:Inge Heyer A Science Presentation by Dr. Inge Heyer
Saturday 11:00 am
Ken Liu Guest of Honor Speech (Ends at: 12:25 pm) Presenter:Ken Liu Title: Betrayal With Integrity: Conformance and Estrangement in Translating Chinese Science Fiction
A one-hour talk in which Guest of Honor Ken Liu discuss the origin of Chinese science fiction through translation of Western works, and then his own translation of the Hugo-winning novel, The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin and its reception by readers in the West. He will give some background on translation theory and the modern conception of translation as a performance in cultural negotiation, and apply these academic concepts to genre literature in particular.
Ken Liu will conclude the talk by extending the theoretical framework of "translation" to his debut novel, The Grace of Kings, which melds Western and
This will be followed by a half hour Q&A;session.Chinese epic traditions by transposing a foundational narrative from one culture into another.
Saturday 1:00 pm
The News From Pluto (Ends at: 1:55 pm) Presenter:Inge Heyer Science lecture by Dr. Inge Heyer
Saturday 2:00 pm
Unintentional Terraforming: The Science Behind Present & Future Climate Change (Ends at: 2:55 pm) Presenter:Thomas Holtz Dr. Thomas Holtz science presentation
Saturday 3:00 pm
StarGates: The Theory & Practice (Ends at: 3:55 pm) Presenter:John Ashmead John Ashmead science presentation
Saturday 10:00 pm
Filking (Ends at: 11:55 pm) :
Saturday 1:00 pm
Neil Clarke Publisher/Editor Guest of Honor Interview (Ends at: 1:55 pm) GOH & Interviewer:Scott H. Andrews, Neil Clarke GOH Neil Clarke is interviewed by Scott H. Andrews
Friday 8:00 pm
Tom Doyle Book Launch (Ends at: 9:55 pm) Authors:Tom Doyle
WSFA First Friday Meeting (Ends at: 9:55 pm) : The Washington Science Fiction Association holds its First Friday meeting. President Bob MacIntosh presiding.
DCin2021 Worldcon Bid Party (Ends at: 11:55 pm) :
Saturday 1:00 pm
75 Years of WSFA (Ends at: 1:55 pm) : Judy Kindell, Bob MacIntosh, Elaine Stiles, Steve Stiles, Michael Walsh The Washington Science Fiction Association turned 75 this year. Various WSFA members past and present will discuss what the club has been doing and how it has changed.
Saturday 7:30 pm
Mass Autographing Session (Ends at: 8:55 pm) : The Guests of Honor and other program participants will be available to sign books
Also, a cash bar.
Saturday 9:00 pm
Award Ceremony (Ends at: 10:55 pm) : Awards ceremony for WSFA Small Press Award and BSFS Amateur Writers Contest
Saturday 10:30 pm
WSFA 75th Birthday/ DCin2021/ Capclave party (Ends at: 11:55 pm) : Eat our food and consume our drinks so we don't have to pack it up and take it home!
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