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Archive for March 2014

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 6, Issue 5 (April 2014)

In this issue:

 

PROGRAMMING DEADLINE APPROACHING
The deadline to submit programming proposals to Sirens is May 12, 2014.

We look forward to receiving your proposals! If you’re still thinking about what to present, please join us for one of our upcoming chats (more information below) or check out this year’s brainstorming post. You can get an overview of how to put together a programming proposal on our website, and we’ve posted our annual programming series—a more informal approach to the same information—on our blog.

Looking for someone to join you as a presenter? Please post an ad on our Facebook, message boards, brainstorming post, or any LiveJournal or blog post.

If you’ve got your best idea (or two) ready to go, you’re welcome to submit it now.

As you probably already know, the programming at Sirens is created and presented by attendees. We think that involving everyone in the dialogue of the conference is critical, and that’s why our only presenter requirement is that you be old enough to attend. In the past, we’ve received excellent presentations from students, grandmothers, professors, musicians, readers, and teachers, among others. Please know that we value hearing from everyone—and if it interests you, it probably interests other attendees, too.

If you have any questions about programming, you can comment here or write to (programming at sirensconference.org).

 

UPCOMING CHATS
We’re hosting two chats on our website to talk about programming ideas, travel plans, and the books we’ve been reading. Everyone is welcome! Please feel free to stop by for a minute or an hour. You don’t need to download anything or make an account, or have any special software for the chat, but you may need to refresh the page after the chat’s start time to participate.

Our chats are scheduled for:
Wednesday, April 2, from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern
Saturday, April 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. Eastern

 

YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT…

New and Recent Releases:

April2014Collage
Click the image for a closer look at the covers.

 

Gilded, Christina L. Farley (March 1)

Laura’s Wolf, Lia Silver (March 5)

The Violet Hour, Whitney A. Miller (March 8)

Promise of Shadows, Justina Ireland (March 11)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story, Vol. 1, Magica Quartet, Hanokage (March 25)

The Mark of the Dragonfly, Jaleigh Johnson (March 25)

The Stone Boatmen, Sarah Tolmie (April 1)

Dorothy Must Die, Danielle Paige (April 1)

The Frangipani Hotel, Violet Kupersmith (April 1)

West of the Moon, Margi Preus (April 1)

The Bird Eater, Ania Ahlborn (April 1)

Gilded Ashes, Rosamund Hodge (April 1)

The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (April 1)

Dreams of Gods & Monsters, Laini Taylor (April 8)

Sea of Shadows, Kelley Armstrong (April 8)

Valour and Vanity (Glamourist Histories #4), Mary Robinette Kowal (April 8)

Horizon (Above World #3), Jenn Reese (April 8)

Steles of the Sky (Eternal Sky #3), Elizabeth Bear (April 8)

The Collector of Dying Breaths, M. J. Rose (April 8)

Lagoon, Nnedi Okorafor (April 10)

House of Ivy & Sorrow, Natalie Whipple (April 15)

The Forbidden Library, Django Wexler (April 15)

The Kraken King Part I: The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster (Iron Seas #4.1), Meljean Brook (April 15)

The Inventor’s Secret, Andrea Cremer (April 22)

Deception’s Princess, Esther Friesner (April 22)

The Islands of Chaldea, Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula Jones (April 22)

Heaven’s Queen, Rachel Bach (April 22)

Peacemaker, Marianne de Pierres (April 29)

In the Shadows, Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo (April 29)

 

Interesting Links:

2014 Arthur C. Clarke Award Finalists.

Ursula K. LeGuin, Queen of America (and Ken Kesey Award winner).

Nahoko Uehashi (whose Moribito series has been a Books and Breakfast pick in the past) is on the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award shortlist, and was named as one of two winners.

Sailor Moon 20th anniversary site (maybe you read this for Books and Breakfast?).

Misfits of Avalon, the comic.

Fantasy Book Cafe is hosting Women in SF&F Month again this April.

Sarah Rees Brennan writes a poem about recognition for women’s writing.

Do you have exciting book news or fantasy links to share? Send it to (help at sirensconference.org) and we’ll include it in the next newsletter. We appreciate your contributions! Thanks for helping us expand this month’s news. Special thanks to Kate and Casey for their additions.

 

BOOK GIVEAWAY
Post a comment of at least two sentences on our blog or LiveJournal by April 18, 2014, and tell us which April release you’re most excited about and why. We’ll choose one lucky winner from the participants and contact them for a mailing address, and that person will win a copy of the book they chose. (U.S. addresses only, please!) Current Sirens staff members are not eligible to win, though they may leave a comment, but all volunteers, attendees, and I-wish-I-could-attendees are welcome to tell us their favorites.

 

MARCH’S GIVEAWAY WINNER
No one entered the March giveaway, so no winner has been named. (We’d say that future entrants may find the odds are highly in their favor.) That said, the March giveaway is open until April 4, so that’s a hint.


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

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Sirens Newsletter – Volume 6, Issue 4 (March 2014)

In this issue:

 

PROGRAMMING NEWS
During the month of March, we’ll be posting our annual guide to programming on the Sirens LiveJournal and blog. The first post and the second post in the series are up, with information applicable to all types of presentations. If you’d like to submit a programming proposal, we hope you’ll take a peek at our tips.

The deadline for programming proposals is May 12, 2014.

Please see the guidelines section of our website for more information on putting a proposal together. If you’re curious about past programming, check out our archive.

 

BRAINSTORMING!
If you have ideas for programming you’d like to see others present, why not share them on our brainstorming post? We’re happy to have you offer and exchange ideas, to seek out co-presenters, and to think out loud.

 

UPCOMING CHATS
We’re also hosting two chats on our website to talk about programming ideas, travel plans, and the books we’ve been reading. Everyone is welcome! Please feel free to stop by for a minute or an hour. You don’t need to download anything, to make an account, or have any special software for the chat, but you may need to refresh the page after the chat’s start time to participate.

Our chats are scheduled for:
Wednesday, April 2, from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern
Saturday, April 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. Eastern

 

GUEST OF HONOR SPOTLIGHT
Within our focus on fantastic women, each year Sirens features a fantasy-related theme—and in 2014, that theme is “hauntings.” The traditional ghost story, of course, has decidedly feminist roots, but we’ll also be examining the topic more broadly: namely, what it means to be haunted. To further our discussion, we have invited three guests of honor, each of whom writes powerfully and reflectively about hauntings: Kendare Blake, Rosemary Clement-Moore, and Andrea Hairston. This month, we’d like to highlight Andrea Hairston.

RedwoodandWildfire Mindscape COVER1

Andrea Hairston’s second speculative novel, Redwood and Wildfire, won both the James Tiptree, Jr. Award for 2011 and the Carl Brandon Kindred Award for 2011. Her first novel, Mindscape, won the Carl Brandon Parallax Award and was shortlisted for the Phillip K Dick Award and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award. She is the artistic director of Chrysalis Theatre and has created original productions with music, dance, and masks for over thirty years. Andrea is also the Louise Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre and Afro-American Studies at Smith College. Her plays have been produced at Yale Rep, Rites and Reason, the Kennedy Center, StageWest, and on public radio and television. Andrea has received many playwriting and directing awards, including several National Endowment for the Arts grants for playwrights, new works, to work as a dramaturge/director with playwright Pearl Cleage; a Ford Foundation grant to collaborate with Senegalese master drummer Massamba Diop; and a Shubert Fellowship for playwriting. Since 1997, her science fiction plays produced by Chrysalis Theatre included Soul Repairs, Lonely Stardust, Hummingbird Flying Backward, and Dispatches. Archangels of Funk, a sci-fi theatre jam, garnered her a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship for 2003. Her next book, Lonely Stardust: Two Plays, a Speech, and Eight Essays, will be released by Aqueduct Press this spring.

For more information about Andrea, please visit her website or her blog.

 

REGISTRATION PRICE INCREASE
The next price increase for Sirens will happen on March 31, 2014.

Registration cost includes entry to 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 four meals or receptions. Currently, the cost of registration is $185. It jumps to $195 at the very end of March. Visit http://www.sirensconference.org/registration/ for more information or to register now.

 

BOOK REVIEWS
In past years, we’ve been fortunate to host fantasy book reviews as part of our newsletter. We’d love to revive this tradition and feature more readers and writers of women in fantasy. If you think you could contribute a book review of at least 250 words (and perhaps no more than 1,500, at the longest—though we could talk) sometime during the next year, please visit the volunteer system and on the third page, where you are offered different volunteer team choices, indicate that you’d like to be a book reviewer in the section that says “Please tell us of any specific position you are interested in” (or let us know in any volunteer system text box—we’ll sort you out).

For those of you who have volunteered, thank you!

If you’re with a publisher and are interested in providing review copies or similar, please contact us at (help at sirensconference.org).

 

YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT…

March and Recent Releases:

The Kindred of Darkness, Barbara Hambly (March 1)

The Tropic of Serpents: A Memoir by Lady Trent, Marie Brennan (March 4)

Murder of Crows, Anne Bishop (March 4)

The Winner’s Curse, Marie Rutkoski (March 4)

The Ghost Train to New Orleans (The Shambling Guides #2), Mur Lafferty (March 4)

Half-Off Ragnarok (InCryptid #3), Seanan McGuire (March 4)

Emilie and the Sky World, Martha Wells (March 4)

Death Sworn, Leah Cypess (March 4)

Boy, Snow, Bird, Helen Oyeyemi (March 6)

Night Broken (Mercy Thompson #8), Patricia Briggs (March 11)

The Lascar’s Dagger (The Forsaken Lands #1), Glenda Larke (March 18)

The Midnight Witch, Paula Brackston (March 25)

Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki, Mamoru Hosoda and Yuu

 

Links:

Cover reveal for Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan.

Jane Yolen, Ellen Datlow, Kate Elliott, Elizabeth Hand and N. K. Jemisin talk about being women writers, writing female characters, and the role models they look up to on SF Signal.

Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman, and Terri Windling teaching at Hollins University in 2015.

Special edition of Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor.

The 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards finalists have been announced, and you’ll recognize at least a few, we think.

An article from The New Yorker on Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomins.

The 2013 Nebula Award Nominees have been announced, and a number of the works will be of interest to Sirens attendees (our congratulations to many of you who’ve joined us in the past!).

Do you have exciting book news or fantasy links for us? Send it to (help at sirensconference.org) and we’ll include it in the next newsletter.

 

GIVEAWAY!
Post a comment of at least two sentences on our blog or LiveJournal by April 4, 2014, and tell us which March release you’re most excited about and why. We’ll choose one lucky winner from the participants and contact them for a mailing address, and that person will win a copy of the book they chose. (U.S. addresses only, please!) Current Sirens staff members are not eligible to win, though they may leave a comment, but all volunteers, attendees, and I-wish-I-could-attendees are welcome to tell us their favorites.

 

FEBRUARY’S GIVEAWAY WINNER
Rachel R., who was excited about Grim, is February’s winner. Please write to (help at sirensconference.org) to give us your mailing address. Congratulations!


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

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Programming Brainstorming

Do you need a programming topic? Want to encourage someone else to take on an idea? It’s time to brainstorm!

Here are a handful of ideas that might spark a presentation. We’d love to hear what ideas you have for others to present as well; please feel free to post them here. This is also a great time to start seeking co-presenters, and we’re happy to have you post here on the blog, on any post on our LiveJournal, on the Sirens Facebook, or on our message boards.

Let us know if you’d like to take on any of these ideas and we’ll cross it out (with no guarantee that someone else won’t propose it—just as a note that someone is working on it). A few of these are old suggestions, but always mentioned as topics people would love to hear more about.

  • The Past Comes Back: Exploration of Past in the Works of X, Y, and Z
  • The Age Line?: Differences Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Fantasy
  • Ghosts as Metaphor in…[Title]
  • Better Worldbuilding…
  • Programming on characters identified with nonbinary genders and orientations.
  • The Lady Knight
  • Cycles and patterns of particular tropes—what does it mean when our views on werewolves and vampires and fairies and witches change directions? What does it reflect?
  • Panel or roundtable: Fantasy Future (Where fantasy is going, where it can go/boundaries it can push, where it isn’t going yet…but it could and we’d like it to.)
  • Best/most useful social media, websites, and organizations for readers
  • Fantasy to read next—great reads from small presses, from outside the U.S., being self-published, out of print or hard to find, etc.
  • Ten Years of Women: Portrayals in Fantasy Film (Maybe animated? Or looking at when and where women are included?)
  • Power and Personality in [Book? Series?]
  • Women—creators and characters—in fantasy-related comics and graphic novels

You might also check out some brainstorming and topic giveaway posts from the first five years of Sirens: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Again, please feel free to look for collaborators, to add more ideas, to take ideas, and to discuss ideas in the comments.

Questions? Feel free to write to the programming team at (programming at sirensconference.org).

 


We have two chats scheduled for talking about programming ideas, books, travel, Sirens, and meeting potential travel buddies and roommates: Wednesday, April 2, from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern and Saturday, April 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. Eastern. We hope you’ll join us!

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