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Archive for 2010

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 3, Issue 2 (December 2010)

Updates
December is usually a quiet month for us, and it’s a busy time for many of you. But we do have some Sirens and Narrate Conferences news to share before we go into hibernation until the new year!

 

Chat
There is no December chat, but we’ll schedule one in January.

 

Art!
The downloads page on the Sirens website has buttons, banners, icons, and more with our 2011 monster artwork.

If you’re using a Sirens button, banner, or another download on your personal site, check out our banner exchange page to see if you’re eligible to trade links. We’d love to feature you as a supporter!

 

Narrate Conferences Boot Camp
For those of you interested in staffing a conference, now or in the future, boot camp is a great way to learn about the planning that goes into even a small event. More information can be found here. The application deadline is December 15, 2010, and we’d love to have you.

 

Sirens Review Squad
We asked if you’d like to be more involved in reading and sharing reviews at the end of this year’s Sirens, and we were encouraged by your response! We’d like to move forward with this project, so if you’re interested in reading and reviewing fantasy books by women authors or that include important female characters, please read on.

We’re seeking a small group of reader-reviewers to contribute to pilot this project. Each contributor will be part of the online project from January to October 2011, and will write 6-12 book reviews of 300–600 words each. Here are the parameters:

  • Contributors’ reviews can be written in advance, and must be complete two weeks ahead of their scheduled publication so that the project coordinator can ensure that they’re lightly edited. (We expect that there might be a few typos.)
  • About half of the reviews should be drawn from the Sirens reading list or Books and Breakfast reading list, and the other half selected with input from the project coordinator to ensure that there isn’t too much overlap.
  • You can revamp a previously written review, but it’s nice if you put together new content. Once your review is published, we’ll ask that you give us an exclusive for one month before you can re-post it.
  • Reviews need not be wholly positive, but contributors are encouraged to review books that they’d recommend rather than books they wouldn’t.
  • Books reviewed should be women-authored or feature female characters; reviewing books that analyze fantasy literature is an option as well.

We’d love to be able to include everyone who’d like to contribute, but the reality of starting a new project prompts us to keep the pilot group small until we know how many people we can realistically include. If you’d like to be considered as a contributor, please write to (help at sirensconference.org) by December 31, 2010, with the following information:

  1. The name (and pen name, if that applies) that you’d like to review under
  2. Your e-mail address
  3. Three books you’d like to review from the Sirens reading list, and why (a sentence or two about each is fine)
  4. How you’d like to focus your non-reading list/contributor’s choice reviews (for example, would you be interested in focusing on picture books, or short stories available online, or novels written in the 1980s, or anthologies, or…)
  5. If you’re open to receiving advance copies of books, please let us know and provide your mailing address
  6. If you’re familiar with any particular blogging platforms or similar software
  7. A link to three book reviews you’ve written and posted online OR the text of two sample reviews that we can read, pasted in the e-mail

Thank you for your interest! If you have any questions, please feel free to post them here or to write to (help at sirensconference.org).

 


Have questions? You can leave them here in the comments section or e-mail them to (help at sirensconference.org).

Have a happy holiday season, everyone!

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 3, Issue 1 (November 2010)

The Recap
Thank you for making Sirens so incredible again this year! You can see updates from the conference here on our LiveJournal. Guests and presenters wowed us with their thoughtful presentations, and attendees in the audience wowed us just as much with their insightful contributions. It was great to talk books, themes, projects, and favorites with all of you, and great to have generated dozens of books for our personal reading lists. Your participation and enthusiasm made Sirens so very special for us–and, we hope, for everyone who attended.

 

Website Open for 2011!
Check it out: The Sirens website is updated with information for 2011–including guests of honor Justine Larbalestier, Nnedi Okorafor, and Laini Taylor–and a new design to reflect next year’s theme of monsters and the monstrous. Please take a few minutes to look around, to note updates, to grab a new icon/desktop image/banner, to use the Tell a Friend feature, or to check out the updated reading list.

 

Monsters
And speaking of the updated website, we’ve updated information about the theme. Specifically, the theme is “monsters,” but we hope you’ll stretch beyond that to explore ideas around being “monstrous” in literature, especially as it applies to female characters and women-authored stories, and to ask questions about what it means to be monstrous, to be a monster, and so on.

Once you’ve had a chance to read and to think, we hope you’ll be interested in putting together a paper, a panel, a workshop, a roundtable, or an afternoon class; presentation proposals are due May 7, 2011.

 

Chat
If you’d like to start the brainstorming now, Sirens will have an open chat on Saturday, November 6, at noon Eastern. You’re welcome to bring thoughts about women in fantasy literature or questions about Sirens, and we’ll happily discuss our recent reads, monster or not. No particular software or programs are necessary to join in: this page will turn into a chat room at the appropriate time on November 6.

 

Registration
With the website open, registration is open as well. Registration is currently at $165, and it includes all of Sirens’s programming, events, keynote presentations (with a dessert reception and two lunches), one breakfast, afternoon teas, a conference t-shirt, and all the mountain air you can breathe. You can also purchase Shuttle and Supper tickets at this time.

 

Presenter Recordings and Compendium
We’ve retrieved all of the recordings that we captured this year, and we will e-mail presenters with a link to download them soon. These are unedited .mp3s. Some recordings came out beautiful and crystal clear, and others did not, unfortunately. Please accept our apologies if yours includes some interference. (Please note that these recordings are only available to presenters; Sirens does not have the authorization from all the presenters to distribute these more widely, though presenters may choose to make their recordings available.)

Also, compendium submissions for presentations from 2010 are due by November 7, 2010. We will publish a combined collection with presentations from 2009 and 2010. If you’ve lost your link for making your compendium submission, please write to (programming at sirensconference.org) and we’ll send it to you again.

 


Have questions? You can leave them here in the comments section or e-mail them to (help at sirensconference.org).

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 2, Issue 11 (September 2010)

Seven Days Until Registration Closes!
Registration for Sirens, including registration for the Sirens Shuttle, ends on September 8, and all payments are due no later than September 18, even if this means you have less than the usual 30 days to complete your payment. Any registrations or tickets that are still unpaid on September 18 will be canceled. We will only have a handful of first-come, first-served on-site registrations available–and as we can’t hold them for any particular potential attendee, we strongly recommend registering in advance!

If you can’t make it this year, please consider purchasing a supporting registration. This support helps us present Sirens this year and offer Sirens in future years, and you’ll receive a 2010 program book following the conference. Supporting registrations cost $45; $35 of each supporting registration is a donation to Sirens, and because Narrate Conferences, Inc. is a charitable organization, that amount is eligible for tax deduction in the United States. (The other $10 covers a program book for the donor and our mailing costs.)

On-site registration begins at noon on October 7 in the Mountain View Room. Please stop by for tea, snacks, socializing, and your registration packet. If you’re arriving early for the Sirens Supper, we’ll e-mail you in late September with more information on where to meet.

If you’re arriving for Sirens between noon on October 7 and the hotel’s 4:00 p.m. check-in time, and your room isn’t ready, you are welcome to come to the Mountain View Room and leave your luggage with us. We can’t guarantee its safety, but we can offer a quiet corner to leave your belongings for a time.

 

Sirens Shuttle and Flight Tracking
If you haven’t added your airline flight numbers to your shuttle reservation, please visit the registration changes page and update your record. This way, we can set up notifications and reminders, and keep an eye out for delayed flights. Also, if you have a shuttle ticket, keep an eye on your inbox: we’ll send rider information in late September.

 

Meal Information
Registered attendees should have received an e-mail with information about our conference menus, including vegetarian options for each included meal. If you didn’t receive one, or if you need to chat about dietary concerns or request a special plate, please e-mail (help at sirensconference.org). We appreciate hearing from you by September 8; after that, we’ll assume that we’ve collected all the information we need to make arrangements with the hotel catering staff.

 

Hotel Reservations: Fifteen Days Left
Hotel reservations must be made by September 16 in order to get the Sirens rate–and as a reminder, the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa is a mountain resort with somewhat different reservation policies from other hotels. The last day to modify, change, or cancel your reservation is September 16, 2010. Also, your first night’s stay will be charged to you on September 17, so if you intend to share the room’s costs with others, you may want to plan for this now! There are a few folks looking for roommates on the Sirens message boards.

And, as always, if you have issues completing your reservation or if you have problems booking the Sirens room rate for the room types we’ve asked the hotel to set aside, please e-mail us. We recommend making your reservation as soon as possible, in fact, so that we can assist should any problems arise.

 

Volunteers Still Needed!
Now is the perfect time to sign up to volunteer at Sirens. At the conference, we always need people to watch over a track of programming for a morning or afternoon, to assist with our author signings program, to help set up and troubleshoot audio-visual equipment, and other easy but important tasks–most of which can be done without missing a minute of the conference! Also, for each shift you work, we’ll provide a light snack. Now that the programming schedule is up, you can review the volunteer schedule and choose a shift or two here.

 

Some Frequently Asked Questions
We recently put together some updates for this year in terms of our conference space, on-site food options, and so on. You can see that information here on the Sirens LiveJournal.

A few other tips and facts:
You might wish to skim through the Vail and altitude pages on the Sirens website, and we recommend that you keep an eye on the weather widget or use a site like weather.com to help guide your packing–and remember that mountain weather can change very, very quickly. In Colorado, a weather forecast isn’t usually good for more than 12-24 hours anyway, though an extended forecast can give you a general idea of temperature and precipitation. October is a transitional month, so you might have temperatures in the 60s Fahrenheit during the day and freezing temperatures overnight, or a snow flurry in the morning followed by a hot afternoon.

Casual clothes are perfectly appropriate for Sirens. You might see attendees dressed up a bit if they’re presenting, but most will wear jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, and other casual outfits, and layers are always good to deal with changes in temperature, whether in the conference space or outside.

Both casual and fancy wear are welcome at the Faery Lights Ball, but please note that if your ball dress includes wings or other bulky items and you’re shipping them, you should use the address information below, and that you may be subject to a package handling fee (usually $5-10) upon arrival, at the hotel’s discretion. You should time your package to arrive no more than one day before you do, to prevent its being returned. Please also consider how you’ll make a return shipment, as all local shippers are closed on Sunday.

Your Name, Guest
Dates of Arrival and Departure
Vail Cascade Resort and Spa
1300 Westhaven Drive
Vail, CO 81657

Do not put “Sirens” on your package! We are not shipping any items to Vail, and the hotel front desk will refuse packages sent to the conference. Also, typically, hotel staff will attempt to contact a Sirens staff member if a package is labeled “Sirens,” or try to deliver your package to a staff room, and we might not notice it among other conference materials. Thanks for understanding!

 

Sirens Chat
Our last chat for 2010 will be held in September, and all are welcome to chat about Sirens, books, travel, and other topics.

DATE: Sunday, September 12
TIME: 2:00-4:00 p.m. Eastern/1:00-3:00 p.m. Central/noon-2:00 p.m. Mountain/11 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Pacific
LOCATION: www.sirensconference.org/chat/

You don’t need to download anything or have any special software to participate; the page will turn into a chat room when the chat begins.

 

Quick Links
The Sirens Website and Tell a Friend
Registration
Travel
Become a Supporter
Read the FAQ

 

For More Information
Please feel free to contact us at (help at sirensconference.org). We’re happy to answer any questions you might have. You can leave general questions in the comments here as well.

We hope to see you in Vail!

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 2, Issue 10 (August 2010)

Programming Schedule
It’s here! You can get a downloadable .pdf here. Except for a few items–such as a bulletin board where you can leave messages for other attendees, a freebie table where you can leave items for others to take home, and signup spaces for use on a first-come, first-served basis–you’ll find this schedule includes all programming and activities for Sirens. We’re going to have a hard time choosing what to attend because it’s full of fascinating presentations! Thank you so much to all of our presenters!

 

Registration and Shuttle Ticket Deadline
Registration for Sirens, including registration for the Sirens Shuttle and Sirens Supper, ends on September 8, and all payments are due no later than September 18, even if this means you have less than the usual 30 days to complete your payment. Any registrations or tickets that are still unpaid on September 18 will be canceled. We will only have a handful of first-come, first-served on-site registrations available–and as we can’t hold them for any particular potential attendee, we strongly recommend registering in advance!

If you can’t make it this year, please consider purchasing a supporting registration. This support helps us present Sirens this year and offer Sirens in future years, and you’ll receive a 2010 program book following the conference. Supporting registrations cost $45; $35 of each supporting registration is a donation to Sirens, and because Narrate Conferences, Inc. is a charitable organization, that amount is eligible for tax deduction in the United States. (The other $10 covers a program book for the donor and our mailing costs.)

 

Sirens Supper
If you’ll be in Vail prior to the start of Sirens on Thursday, October 7, please feel free to join us for our Sirens Supper on Wednesday, October 6. The western-style buffet will start at 7:00 p.m., and we have only a handful of places still available! The buffet costs $60, which includes food, non-alcoholic drinks, and gratuity, and offerings on the buffet include barbecued ribs and chicken, Rocky Mountain trout, a baked potato bar, additional sides and a selection of desserts. You may add this option with a new registration or via the change registration link on the left side of the registration page. There are only a couple of tickets remaining for this extra activity.

 

Meal Information
Speaking of meals, registered attendees should have received an e-mail last week with information about our conference menus, including vegetarian options for each included meal. If you didn’t receive one, or if you need to chat about dietary concerns or request a special plate, please e-mail (help at sirensconference.org).

 

Hotel Reservations
Hotel reservations must be made by September 16 in order to get the Sirens rate–and as a reminder, the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa is a mountain resort with somewhat different reservation policies from other hotels. The last day to modify, change, or cancel your reservation is September 16, 2009. Also, your first night’s stay will be charged to you on September 17, so if you intend to share the room’s costs with others, you may want to plan for this now! There are a few folks looking for roommates on the Sirens forums.

And, as always, if you have issues completing your reservation or if you have problems booking the Sirens room rate for the room types we’ve asked the hotel to set aside, please e-mail us. We recommend making your reservation as soon as possible, in fact, so that we can assist should any problems arise.

 

Volunteering
Now is the perfect time to sign up to volunteer at Sirens. At the conference, we always need people to watch over a track of programming for a morning or afternoon, to assist with our author signings program, to help set up and troubleshoot audio-visual equipment, to be the backup rider list manager for the shuttle buses on Wednesday and Thursday, and other easy but important tasks–most of which can be done without missing a minute of the conference! Also, for each shift you work, we’ll provide a light snack. Now that the programming schedule is up, you can review the volunteer schedule and choose a shift or two here.

 

Afternoon Teas–and Autographs!
Sirens will again include afternoon teas on Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the conference, and we hope that you’ll use them again to chat with each other and The Bookworm of Edwards. Also, this year, we hope you’ll use the time to talk to our attending authors! Our afternoon teas on Friday and Saturday will feature many of our attending authors ready to talk about their work and autograph your books–and The Bookworm will be sure to have some of their works on hand. At this time, participating authors include Holly Black, Marie Brennan, Valerie Frankel, Ellen Kushner, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, Delia Sherman, and Terri Windling.

 

A Star Shall Fall Launch Party Contests
Have an idea for a non-alcoholic drink? You can still enter the contest until August 15. Go here to see the rules and regulations. If you’d rather show off your design skills, there’s also an at-conference competition for the best-dressed Onyx Court faery; the rules may be found at the link above.

 

Sirens Chat
Our last chat will be held in September, and all are welcome to chat about Sirens, books, travel, and other topics.

DATE: Sunday, September 12
TIME: 2:00-4:00 p.m. Eastern/1:00-3:00 Central/noon-2:00 p.m Mountain/11 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Pacific
LOCATION: www.sirensconference.org/chat/

You don’t need to download anything or have any special software to participate; the page will turn into a chat room when the chat begins.

 

Quick Links
The Sirens Website and Tell a Friend
Registration
Travel
Become a Supporter
Read the FAQ

 

For More Information
Please feel free to contact us at (help at sirensconference.org). We’re happy to answer any questions you might have. You can leave general questions in the comments here as well.

We hope to see you in Vail!

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 2, Issue 9 (July 2010)

Programming!
As presenters register and confirm their participation at Sirens, we’ll be adding their presentations to the accepted proposals page on the Sirens website. Keep an eye out here to see what will be on the programming schedule, which will be available in August. Here are three confirmed presentations to entice you to visit the accepted proposals page! (More will be posted once all of our presenters have registered and we’ve made all of our site updates.)

Panel: Are There Faeries Outside Western Europe? Exploring Fey Folklore from Around the World
Presenters: Shveta Thakrar, Valerie Frankel, Andrea Horbinski, Cindy Pon
Mention the word “faerie,” and everyone knows what that means: a tiny Victorian winged girl devoted to flowers, or an inhumanly beautiful Celtic creature who fears iron and loves mischief in equal measure. Yet this loaded term is often used as an umbrella for all supernatural creatures, regardless of origin. Does it fit? Join us as we delve into the worlds of Persian peris, Polynesian patupaiarehe, Indian apsaras, Iroquois jogah, Australian tukonee, and Japanese kitsune, and encounter fey the world over.

Roundtable: Queerness and Fairy Tales
Presenter: Malinda Lo
The word “fairy” has long been used as a marker of homosexuality, both derogatively and more recently as a badge of pride. Feyness, indeed, could almost be synonymous with stereotypes of effeminate gay men. So why are there so few queer fairies in fairy tales? Or are they just closeted? This roundtable will provide an opportunity to discuss queerness in the context of fairy tales, old and new. Participants are invited to share and recommend queer fairy tales they have enjoyed.

Paper: Dangers Posed by the Fairy Godmother: Four Modern Novelists Reinterpret Cinderella
Presenter: Annette Doblix Klemp
After discussing the fairy godmother as a character popularized in a literary fairy tale by Charles Perrault and in the film version by Walt Disney, the presentation will focus on four modern reinterpretations of “Cinderella”: Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix, Godmother by Carolyn Turgeon, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carlson Levine, and Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett. These four novels present the fairy godmother as a fiction advanced to devalue the heroine, an elderly, guilt-ridden resident of New York, a would-be dictator, and a well-intentioned fool. Although their characterizations vary greatly, all four works underscore the dangers of simplistic faith in fairy tale characterizations and themes.

 

The Conference Schedule
The programming schedule is coming! We’re waiting for a few presenters to confirm their participation by registering, and then we’ll sit down with presenters’ conflicts, our audio-visual requests and so forth and tackle creating the schedule. In the meantime, we wanted to let everyone know that we post occasional updates to our Twitter (a program that shows brief updates from people you follow, either on the web or via text to your cell phone). During Sirens, we’ll have a virtual schedule via Twitter: each hour, you’ll see each program item and its location as a separate “tweet.” If you need a reminder, or you don’t want to carry your program book all day, Twitter is one option for keeping a personal schedule. Please note that as we can’t monitor the Twitter full time, it won’t follow you back or see messages directed to the account. You can always e-mail us at (help at sirensconference.org) with any questions–or you can leave a comment on any news outlet where we post updates.

 

Sirens Chat
Our next chat is scheduled for this weekend. General chatter, book discussions, and Sirens questions are all welcome! This one is an early morning chat in the U.S., and we’ll continue to move them around so that people in different parts of the world can join in. Please note that last month’s newsletter had the right time and day of the week, but the wrong date.

DATE: Saturday, July 10
TIME: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Eastern/10 a.m.-noon Central/9-11 a.m. Mountain/8-10 a.m. Pacific
LOCATION: www.sirensconference.org/chat/

You don’t need to download anything or have any special software to participate; the page will turn into a chat room when the chat begins.

 

Sirens Supper
If you’ll be in Vail prior to the start of Sirens on Thursday, October 7, please feel free to join us for our Sirens Supper on Wednesday, October 6. (The conference shuttle is scheduled to run that day, as well as on Thursday, if you need a ride to Vail.) The western-style buffet will start at 7:00 p.m., and we have only a handful of places still available! The buffet costs $60, which includes food, non-alcoholic drinks, and gratuity, and offerings on the buffet usually feature several entrée options such as local fish and steak; soup, salad and sides; and a variety of desserts. You may add this option with a new registration or via the change registration link on the left side of the registration page. We had a blast at last year’s Sirens Supper, and we hope you’ll be able to join us this year!

 

Guests of Honor Summer Book Discussions
In June, we discussed some current work by Holly Black, and through July and August, we’ll continue our Tuesday book discussions according to the schedule below. Everyone is welcome to stop by and offer thoughts at the Sirens LiveJournal, whether you plan to attend Sirens this year or not.

July: Terri Windling’s The Changeling and A Midsummer Night’s Faery Tale (first two weeks), and some of the works that she has edited (last two weeks)

August: Marie Brennan’s Midnight Never Come and In Ashes Lie

 

Books and Breakfast
As a reminder, we’ll be hosting our Books and Breakfast program again this year. Like last year, all attendees are welcome to grab their own breakfasts and join a group to discuss influential, controversial and fun faery literature spanning new works and old favorites. Here’s the schedule:

Friday, October 8:
Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner, The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope, Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner, War for the Oaks by Emma Bull, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Saturday, October 9:
Ash by Malinda Lo, How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier, Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire, Tam Lin by Pamela Dean, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

 

Dinner Excursions
We’ll be hosting a meetup point again this year during the evening break at Sirens (when you’re on your own for dinner). At the end of the daytime programming, the schedule will give a time and place for people to meet up with a group for dinner. This is also a fantastic time to gather a specific group (e.g., everybody from Iowa, people writing their second book, e-reader devotees, Team Alice) for a meal or to use our signup space. Look for a bulletin board near the information desk to post your excursion or to find one, whether it’s designed for a specific interest or designed for all.

 

Volunteering
Now is the perfect time to sign up to volunteer at Sirens. At the conference, we always need people to watch over a track of programming for a morning or afternoon, to assist with our author signings program, to help set up and troubleshoot audio-visual equipment, to be the backup rider list manager for the shuttle buses on Wednesday and Thursday, and other easy but important tasks–most of which can be done without missing a minute of the conference! Also, for each shift you work, we’ll provide a light snack. We’ll schedule volunteers once the conference schedule is posted, but in the meantime, you can sign up to volunteer and join the volunteer mailing list at the Sirens volunteers page.

 

Quick Links
The Sirens Website and Tell a Friend
Registration
Travel
Become a Supporter
Read the FAQ

 

For More Information
Please feel free to contact us at (help at sirensconference.org). We’re happy to answer any questions you might have. You can leave general questions in the comments here as well.

We hope to see you in Vail!

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 2, Issue 8 (June 2010)

Programming Update
First, thank you to everyone who submitted a programming proposal this year! Whether your proposal was chosen for 2010 or not, please know that our staff and the vetting board appreciated that all of you offered up so many enticing ideas. We’re looking forward to this year’s conference sessions and the discussions they will spark among attendees!

All notices about proposals were e-mailed by June 1. If you’ve checked your inbox and bulk folder and yours is missing, please write to (programming at sirensconference.org) with your proposal title to have your status letter sent again.

Finally, it’s not too early to start planning for next year. You’ve got time to start researching that topic, to refine your abstract, to plan that workshop, or to generate discussion questions. The proposal submissions system will open again this autumn, and we’ll offer a session at Sirens this October designed to help you plan for 2011.

 

Accepted Proposals
As presenters register and confirm their participation at Sirens, we’ll be adding their presentations to the accepted proposals page on the Sirens website. Keep an eye out here to see what will be on the programming schedule, which will be available in August.

 

Guests of Honor Summer Book Discussions
Over the next few months, we’ll be discussing works by our 2010 Guests of Honor. We’ll be posting weekly discussion topics on our LiveJournal according to the schedule below, and everyone is welcome to stop by and offer thoughts, whether you plan to attend Sirens this year or not.

June: Holly Black’s Tithe (first three weeks), and Kin and Kith (last two weeks)

July: Terri Windling’s The Changeling and A Midsummer Night’s Faery Tale (first two weeks), and some of the works that she has edited (last two weeks)

August: Marie Brennan’s Midnight Never Come (all four weeks)

 

Books and Breakfast
Speaking of books, we’ll be hosting our Books and Breakfast program again this year. After last year’s rousing success, with attendees showing up to discuss books they’d never read, how could we not? Like last year, all attendees are welcome to grab their own breakfasts and join a group to discuss influential, controversial and fun faery literature spanning new works and old favorites. Here is the schedule, and if you’d like some help choosing a book or two to read, just let us know!

Friday, October 8:
Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner
The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope
Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner
War for the Oaks by Emma Bull
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Saturday:
Ash by Malinda Lo
How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier
Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

 

Sirens Chat
Our next chat is scheduled for this weekend. General chatter, book discussions, and Sirens questions are all welcome, and we’ll be ready with plot summaries and thoughts on our Books and Breakfast books. This one is a morning chat in the U.S., and we’ll continue move them around so that people in different parts of the world can join in.

DATE: Saturday, June 12
TIME: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Eastern/10 a.m.-noon Central/9-11 a.m. Mountain/8-10 a.m. Pacific
LOCATION: www.sirensconference.org/chat/

You don’t need to download anything or have any special software to participate; the webpage will turn into a chat room when the chat begins.

 

Sirens Supper
If you’ll be in Vail prior to the start of Sirens on Thursday, October 7, please feel free to join us for our staff dinner on Wednesday, October 6. (The conference shuttle is scheduled to run that day, as well as on Thursday, if you need a ride to Vail.) The western-style buffet will start at 7:00 p.m., and we have only eight places still available! The buffet costs $60, which includes food, non-alcoholic drinks, and gratuity, and offerings on the buffet usually feature several entrée options such as local fish and steak; soup, salad and sides; and a variety of desserts. You may add this option with a new registration or via the change registration link on the left side of the registration page. We had a blast at last year’s Sirens Supper, and we hope you’ll be able to join us this year!

 

Quick Links
The Sirens Website and Tell a Friend
Registration
Travel
Become a Supporter
Read the FAQ

 

For More Information
Please feel free to contact us at (help at sirensconference.org). We’re happy to answer any questions you might have. You can leave general questions in the comments here as well.

We hope to see you in Vail!

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 2, Issue 7 (May 2010)

Programming
The proposal deadline is May 7, 2010. That’s this Friday! It’s important to Sirens that attendees take a part in devising the conference program through making proposals and presentations. The perspectives of readers, of writers, of scholars, of professionals, of artists, of fans—these help everyone understand the community of fantasy, and its past, present, and future. So, as we often reiterate, please don’t be shy. You can visit the Sirens website for more information, or review our series on how you can participate in programming as a presenter on the Sirens LiveJournal.

 

Programming Chat
Want to brainstorm? Looking for collaborators? Need to talk out your idea? Seeking technical help? We’ve scheduled a chat tomorrow night specifically for last-minute programming help: topic discussions, possible collaborator matching, and answering all of your questions about the proposal submissions process. As always, general chatter, book chatter, and conference questions are welcome as well.

DATE: Tuesday, May 4, 2010
TIME: 9-11 p.m. Eastern/8-10 p.m. Central/7-9 p.m. Mountain/6-8 p.m. Pacific
LOCATION: www.sirensconference.org/chat/

You don’t need to download anything or have any special software to participate: the webpage will turn into a chat room when the chat begins.

 

Travel Tip #1: Humidity
While Vail gets an average of 200 inches of snowfall each winter, its altitude and alpine location mean that it’s still pretty dry. The Vail Cascade Resort and Spa offers humidifiers in every guest room, and we recommend that you try using yours while you’re in your room. (We noticed better sleep and more comfortable sinuses when we used ours each night.) Otherwise, extra water and some Gatorade will help combat dehydration, though beware alcohol and caffeine, which have stronger effects at Vail’s average altitude of 8150 feet above sea level.

 

Travel Tip #2: Dining
Some meals at Sirens are on your own, and there are several options on and immediately adjacent to the Vail Cascade. If you’d like to explore more widely, there are many restaurants with a variety of price points accessible via the Gore Creek walking path as well as via a short ride on the hotel’s complimentary shuttle. Even better, Vail Restaurant Month runs September 20–October 17, 2010, so be sure to keep an eye out for specials. (As Sirens is held during a quiet time for the area, you can often find fantastic deals and fixed price offerings at local eateries.) Check out the list we’ve compiled here that includes local restaurants and services. We’d love to hear your reviews of any of the listed establishments! (We like Blue Moose Pizza, Sushi Oka, and The Red Lion when we’re on a budget, and Sweet Basil when we’re seeking a meal fit for a faery queen.)

 

Quick Links
The Sirens Website and Tell a Friend
Registration
Travel
Become a Supporter
Read the FAQ

 

For More Information
Please feel free to contact us at (help at sirensconference.org). We’re happy to answer any questions you might have. You can leave general questions in the comments here as well.

We hope to see you in Vail!

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 2, Issue 6 (April 2010)

Programming
The proposal deadline in May 7, 2010. That’s sooner than you think! Remember, all attendees are welcome to submit proposals, even if new to Sirens, new to presenting or both! We’re hosting a series on how you can participate in programming as a presenter on the Sirens LiveJournal. Please spread the word–and please consider submitting a proposal. We really value the opportunity to include the voices of our attendees. If you’re not sure about how to make a proposal, visit our LiveJournal for how-to information for papers, panels, and (coming soon) workshops, roundtables, and afternoon classes. You can also visit the Sirens website for programming proposal instructions.

 

Magic Mind Melds
Are you looking for someone to present with? You’re not the only one, we promise! The Sirens message boards have several threads with people looking for co-presenters. Feel free to respond to these or to start your own! We’ll happily feature you in upcoming posts and newsletters. Current threads can be seen here. (Keep an eye out on the Sirens LiveJournal for one more fun feature: we’ll do a post where you can submit your interests and we’ll offer you a topic to propose.)

 

Programming Chat
Want to brainstorm? Looking for collaborators? Need to talk out your idea? We’re devoting our next chat to programming: topic discussions, possible collaborator matching, and answering all of your questions about the proposal submissions process. As always, general chatter, book chatter, and conference questions are welcome as well: bring your recommendations of what to read. We hope you’ll join us!

DATE: Saturday, April 17, 2010
TIME: 2-4 p.m. Eastern/1-3 p.m. Central/noon-2 p.m. Mountain/11-1 p.m. Pacific
LOCATION: www.sirensconference.org/chat/

You don’t need to download anything or have any special software to participate: the webpage will turn into a chat room when the chat begins.

 

Registration
Remember, the current registration rate of $165 expires April 30, 2010. After that, the rate is $180 until September 8, 2010 (when we stop registration until we open again at the door). Registration includes access to all conference programming and events, including the three keynote presentations by our guests of honor and a conference T-shirt available only to attendees, as well as a dessert reception, two lunches, and a breakfast. Via registration, you can also add a ticket for the Sirens Supper, a pre-conference kickoff banquet, or the Sirens Shuttle, which provides service from Denver International Airport to Vail. Find out more or register now at the Sirens website.

 

Travel Tip: Room Budgeting
The rate of $119 (for one or two people) or $139 (for three or four people), plus tax and resort fee, per night at the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa can be shared with a roommate or three to help your budget. Make a reservation here, and feel free to post here if you’re seeking roommates. To break it down, your room cost for three nights could be $357 if you choose to stay alone (plus applicable taxes and fees), and you’ll have the fluffy bathrobes all to yourself. Alternatively, you can find three people to share a slumber party, and you’ll each pay only $104.25 (again, plus applicable taxes and fees).

 

Volunteering
Hello, starving college students (and others)! For 2010, we’ll provide a modest snack in the form of items like apples and granola bars for each volunteer shift you complete. On-site volunteers help keep presentations running on time, troubleshoot electronics, and provide information to others. If you’re interested in volunteering, you can sign up here to get more information (typically, we start letting people claim volunteer shifts once the conference schedule is posted). If you signed up last year, no need to sign up again: you’ll get group e-mails once volunteering news is available.

 

Recommended Reading
Tell us! What have you been reading? What did you love? What are you raving about? Leave us a comment!

 

Quick Links
The Sirens Website and Tell a Friend Link
Registration
Travel
Become a Supporter
Read the FAQ

 

For More Information
Please feel free to contact us at (help at sirensconference.org). We’re happy to answer any questions you might have. You can leave general questions in the comments here as well.

We hope to see you in Vail!

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 2, Issue 5 (March 2010)

Programming
As you might have noticed, we’re hosting a series on how you can participate in programming as a presenter on the Sirens LiveJournal. We encourage you to become a presenter, whether this is your first conference or your hundredth. Sirens’s programming will be designed, proposed, and presented by you–and will represent your interests, research, work, and passions. We’d also love to include as many viewpoints as possible. Signal boosting is welcomed and appreciated!

This month and next, we’ll provide how-to information for papers, panels, workshops, roundtables, and afternoon classes. In the meantime, you can visit the Sirens website for programming proposal instructions. Proposals are due May 7, 2010.

 

The Matchmaker
Are you looking for someone to work with? You’re not the only one. There are several threads on the Sirens message boards with people looking for co-presenters–feel free to respond to these or to start your own! We’ll happily feature you in upcoming posts and newsletters.

Current threads can be seen here, and they include:

Fantasy Book Covers
Faerie Folklore from Around the World
Fairy Tale Panel
Queer Fairy Panel

 

Programming Chat
Want to brainstorm? Looking for collaborators? Just need to talk things out a little to get your idea to gel? Instead of discussing a faery book, we’re devoting our chat this weekend to programming: topic discussions, possible collaborator matching, and answering all of your questions about the proposal submissions process. As always, general chatter, book chatter, and conference questions are welcome as well. We hope you’ll join us!

DATE: Saturday, March 6
TIME: 2-4 p.m. Eastern/1-3 p.m. Central/noon-2 p.m. Mountain/11-1 p.m. Pacific
LOCATION: www.sirensconference.org/chat/

You don’t need to download anything or have any special software to participate: the webpage will turn into a chat room when the chat begins.

 

Follow Along
Sirens has a number of information outlets. The most complete is the Sirens website. The most frequently updated is the Sirens LiveJournal, with the message boards following closely behind. Newsletters are posted to our Facebook group and mailing list. We’ve started using our Twitter account on occasion as well, and used it to post schedule reminders at Sirens in 2009. (If you don’t use Twitter, you can also subscribe to sirens_con’s RSS feed.)

 

Registration
As a reminder, the current registration rate of $165 expires April 30, 2010. After that, the rate is $180 until September 8, 2010 (when we stop registration until we open again at the door). Registration includes access to all conference programming and events, including the three keynote presentations by our guests of honor and a conference T-shirt available only to attendees, as well as a dessert reception, two lunches, and a breakfast. Via registration, you can also add a ticket for the Sirens Supper, a pre-conference kickoff banquet, or the Sirens Shuttle, which provides service from Denver International Airport to Vail.

Find out more or register now at the Sirens website.

 

Banner Exchanges
We’re excited to be exchanging banners and buttons with a number of sites, including newsletters, archives, conferences, artists, and online stores. To see the offerings or to exchange a banner, visit the Banner Exchange page of the Sirens website.

 

Travel Tip
The rate of $119 (for one or two people) or $139 (for three or four people), plus tax and resort fee, per night at the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa can be shared with a roommate or three to help your budget. Make a reservation here, and feel free to post here if you’re seeking roommates.

 

Quick Links
The Sirens Website and Tell a Friend Link
Registration
Travel
Become a Supporter
Read the FAQ

 

For More Information
Please feel free to contact us at (help at sirensconference.org). We’re happy to answer any questions you might have. You can leave general questions in the comments here as well.

We hope to see you in Vail!

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 2, Issue 4 (February 2010)

Programming!
It’s time! Time to start turning all of your great ideas about women in fantasy into programs! Over the coming weeks–right up until the proposal deadline of May 7, 2010–we’ll be hosting a series of posts right here on our LiveJournal and message boards that will guide you through the process of becoming a presenter. (You’re welcome to post want ads for co-presenters on Facebook, but we won’t post all of the series there.)

Remember:

  • Everyone is welcome to submit a proposal for a paper, panel, roundtable, workshop, an afternoon class, or something similar. It’s great if you’ve presented elsewhere and it’s great if it’s your very first time to step out of the audience. We want our programming, created by you, to represent important topics in fantasy, what you’re interested in, and what you’d like to share with others.
  • We have some guidelines for presenters as far as format, length, and so on, because like all conferences, we need to fit into our reserved space and time. Start your planning now by visiting the programming section of the Sirens website and reading through the links on the left.
  • We’ll be hosting some topic exchange posts on LiveJournal and our conference message boards, where you can drop off ideas and pick up something that sounds interesting. Nearly all of our programming comes from the proposals attendees make and participate in! If you want something to be on the schedule, please consider organizing a proposal, whether that means gathering a group of presenters or leading the presentation yourself. Also, don’t forget that we have a section of our message boards devoted entirely to discussing programming topics, finding co-presenters and asking questions.
  • Lacking inspiration? You still have plenty of time to try some books from the Sirens reading list! And remember, while faeries are our 2010 focus, programming need not be about faeries. All submissions on women in fantasy literature are welcome!
  • As you plan your proposal, we’re happy to help with technical difficulties, answer procedural questions, and advise on special situations. The programming team is always available at (programming at sirensconference.org).

 

Online Chats
Our next chat is Saturday, March 6, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time. Chats are a great place to talk about books, travel, and that presentation you’ve been thinking about proposing–and to meet other book lovers and potential attendees. No particular software or programs are necessary to join in: this page will turn into a chat room at the appropriate time on March 6. We’ll be skipping a faery work in March in favor of helping everyone get presentations together and answering questions about the submissions and vetting process. If you have ideas, if you’d like encouragement, or if you’re looking for collaborators, we hope that you’ll join us–or write us at (programming at sirensconference.org).

 

Reminder: Book Discussions
Over the months leading up to Sirens–and at Sirens itself–we’ll be reading, reading, reading and then discussing. We’ve featured works by women in fantasy at our periodic chats, and we’ll feature more this summer. If you’d like to get a jump on our summer discussion books, take a look at Kin (The Good Neighbors) by Holly Black, Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan, and both The Changeling and A Midsummer Night’s Faery Tale by Terri Windling. Our Books and Breakfast program will be returning at Sirens this fall as well, so brush up on your faery reading now!

 

Share Sirens!
Do you have a friend or colleague who would be interested in Sirens? Just about every page of the Sirens website has a link to “Tell a Friend” about the conference. We’ve already written the e-mail, and you can send it with just a click! Please do remember to tell people about Sirens. Our first year was great, and we want to make sure our second year is great as well.

Are you going to a conference or an event? Do you work somewhere that connects to fantasy aficionados? We are printing new and updated bookmarks for Sirens, and we’d be happy to send you some to hand out or leave on a freebie table. The bookmarks should be ready to ship out in mid-March. If you’d like a set to give away, please write to (help at sirensconference.org) with your name, address, and where they’ll go, and allow three weeks between your request and your event.

 

Travel Tip: Two Days of Sirens Shuttle to Vail
Did you know that the Sirens Shuttle is available on Wednesday this year? That’s right, if you’re looking to come in early to acclimate, to explore Vail or to join us for our rollicking Sirens Supper, we will be running a shuttle from Denver International Airport to Vail, leaving at 3:30 p.m. We’ll still be running a shuttle on Thursday, of course, also leaving Denver International at 3:30 p.m., and all shuttle folks will be returning to Denver International by 2:00 p.m. on Sunday (for flights leaving at 3:30 p.m. or later). You can book your shuttle ticket when you register.

 

Quick Links
The Sirens Website and Tell a Friend Link
Registration
Travel
Become a Supporter
Read the FAQ

We hope to see you in Vail!

 


Have questions? You can leave them here in the comments section or e-mail them to (help at sirensconference.org).

Presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc.

 

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