Archive for January 2013

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 5, Issue 3 (January 2013)

Happy New Year! January’s newsletter features the first of four author spotlights, programming information, and book news that excites us this month.


Author Spotlight: Alaya Dawn Johnson
Alaya Dawn Johnson’s first young adult novel, The Summer Prince, set in a futuristic Brazil, will be published in March 2013. She is the author of Racing the Dark and The Burning City, the Spirit Binders series, which explore a fantastic South Pacific and a world of elemental spirits, and the Zephyr Hollis novels, Moonshine and Wicked City, in which vampires and djinni rub shoulders with humans in Prohibition-era New York City. Alaya graduated from Columbia University with a BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures in 2004.

The School Library Journal review of Racing the Dark compared it to work by both Paolo Coehlo and Ursula K. LeGuin, and a Locus review of the Spirit Binders books called her writing “eloquent and unflinchingly vivid.” Alaya’s short stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine,, and in the anthologies Zombies vs. Unicorns and Welcome to Bordertown. Her novella “Shard of Glass” was shortlisted for the Carl Brandon Society Parallax Award.

We are very excited to have Alaya Dawn Johnson join Ellen Kushner, Robin LaFevers, and Guadalupe Garcia McCall as our guests of honor at this year’s Sirens. If you are new to their work, see our reading list for suggestions.


The deadline for programming proposals is May 10, 2013, which means you have just under four months to design a paper (or set of papers), panel, workshop, roundtable, or informal afternoon class. All of Sirens’s programming is presented by our attendees and our guests of honor, and we encourage any potential attendees to submit proposals for programming. Please visit the programming page and our call for proposals for more information.

While each of the first four Sirens themes considered a particular aspect of women in fantasy literature, this year’s theme of “reunion” offers us an opportunity to revisit any of our previous themes of warriors, fairies, monsters, and retellings. We also consider proposals focusing on other works and issues that address women in fantasy literature. Collaborative presentations such as pre-empaneled papers, joint presentations, and workshops are especially welcome.

In the coming months, we’ll host brainstorming sessions, discuss specific types of programming, and walk you through the process of creating and submitting your proposal.

If you’re looking for ideas or inspiration, please browse our archive, or check out our 2009—2011 compendium to explore some of our programming from previous years. Discuss ideas and invite collaborators with friends, colleagues, and fellow attendees on our message boards or Facebook page. You may wish to take another look at our reading list, too; it contains many new and lesser-known works that might spark your imagination. We’re looking forward to your submissions!


What We’re Excited About This Month:

Prophecy by Ellen Oh was released on January 2. –SG

Rise by Andrea Cremer was released on January 8. –KM

There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya is due out on January 29. –SC

Do you have exciting fantasy links or book news? Send it to (help at by January 31 and we’ll include it in February’s newsletter. Happy reading!


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at


Presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc.


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