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Archive for Sirens 2012

Sirens Newsletter – Onsite Edition – Friday, October 12

Registration Opens
Check-in at Sirens opened at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday! New and returning attendees gathered in Skamania Lodge’s Conference Center Lobby to pick up their registration materials, have afternoon tea and chat, and to check out the Narrate Bookstore.

 

 

Meanwhile, down the hall in the Rainier room there were games, crafts sprinkled with glitter, and even an impromptu roundtable discussion:

 

 

Thursday Keynote: Nalo Hopkinson
At 7:00 p.m., Sirens kicked off with a dessert reception featuring ice cream sundaes and cookies, and attendees old and new were welcomed and invited to share their stories with each other.

 

 

Guest of Honor Nalo Hopkinson then shared stories of her own in her keynote address, in which she discussed how our histories are retold and handed down through generations. Attendees were encouraged to participate, learning some of the ring games and songs she has featured in her books, such as Brown Girl in the Ring. She also spoke about how that “living lore” changes as it is passed down.

 


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

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 4, Issue 12 (October 2012)

Checking In at Sirens
You can pick up your registration (and a snack) starting at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 11, in the Conference Center Lobby. Remember to bring a photo ID and a copy of your registration. If you’re a presenter or a volunteer, you’ll also check in with our programming and volunteer coordinators for any last-minute communication and a copy of your schedule. Starting at 4:00 p.m., we’ll open the Rainier room nearby for chatting, informal games, and relaxation.

If you have a ticket for the Sirens Supper, we’ll bring your registration to you on Wednesday night.

 

Registering at Sirens
We have very few on-site registrations available, and those will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting Thursday, October 11, when the Information Desk opens at 3:00 p.m. If you have been thinking about coming and don’t yet have a registration, you might check the message boards; there are a few still for sale by people who can’t make it this year.

 

Volunteering During Sirens
We still have many openings for volunteers, and we’d love to have your help! The shifts range from 2-2.5 hours long on average, but we do have a handful of shifts that are only an hour each.

Claiming even one shift would be a huge help to the conference, and it’s easy! For instance, if you’re already planning on attending the programming during a particular shift, you can sign up to cover that room. Room monitors typically stay in the room during presentations, help the presenters get situated, and keep things running on time.

If you’re interested or would like more information, please take a look at the schedule on our Volunteer page at http://www.sirensconference.org/connect/volunteers.html and e-mail us at (volunteers2012 at sirensconference.org) with your top three shift choices and the number of shifts for which you’d like to volunteer. Thank you in advance!

 

Bookstore
Thank you to everyone who has donated books! We really appreciate your support for our mission to support both Sirens and female fantasy authors, and we hope you’ll stop by during Sirens to browse and maybe find a new (or new-to-you) book to add to your collection. We will also continue to accept donations on site; if you have a moment, please contact Amy Tenbrink at (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org) with what you plan to donate.

 

Auction
Just a reminder–our auction format is changing a little this year, and because of this we’ll need to have a comprehensive list of auction items by the end of the day on Thursday, October 11. All sorts of items are welcome! If you’d like to donate an item or you have questions, please e-mail Amy Tenbrink (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org). She’d love to hear what you’re planning and address any concerns you might have. Thank you in advance for your support!

 

Midnight Ball
On our last evening of Sirens, we invite you to our very own Midnight Ball! Ballgowns are always fun, as are glass shoes, but fantasy creations, cocktail dresses, jeans, and fuzzy bunny slippers are also welcome. Dancing is de rigueur, of course, but our Murder Mystery and our silent auction will run during the Midnight Ball as well. The ball will begin at 9:00 p.m. in Stevenson Ballroom B, and will end at the stroke of midnight.

Do you have a request for the music playlist? Please send it to (help at sirensconference.org) by October 8 and we’ll pass it on to the playlist organizer.

 

Contacting Us During Sirens
Many of our staff will be traveling to Stevenson as early as this Friday, October 5, to prepare for Sirens. While we are in transit and when we’re on site unpacking and setting things up for the conference, we will not be able to monitor our e-mails as closely as we do at other times. If you have an urgent inquiry during this time, please send it to (help at sirensconference.org), and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

During the conference, the best way to contact us is in person! If you have any questions or would simply like to chat, please stop by our Information Desk in Skamania Lodge’s Conference Center Lobby starting at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 11.

 

Sirens Shuttle Meet-ups
Does your flight arrive early on Wednesday or Thursday, or are you driving to PDX and meeting the shuttle there? There will be meet-ups for attendees at Portland International Airport on Wednesday, October 10, and Thursday, October 11 for anyone arriving early who’d like to connect with other attendees. Once you have claimed your bags, please feel free to join us as we gather for a little conversation and perhaps a bite to eat before it’s time to board the Sirens Shuttle. Lunch is on your own.

Location: Beaches Restaurant and Bar, outside the security checkpoint for Concourses D and E at Portland International Airport
Time: Noon and later
Please note there is no event host!

Sirens Shuttle check-in point:
Seating area near Baggage Claim 2/Southwest Airlines baggage assistance desk/ TriMet MAX light rail exit from the airport
Time: Please gather by 3:00 p.m. to ride the Sirens Shuttle.

 

Travel Tips
Packing and Weather
October in the Pacific Northwest generally ranges from the upper 40s to low 60s Fahrenheit (about 7-17 Celsius), and there is always a chance of rain. Be sure to pack comfortable, casual layers to make the transition between indoors and outdoors more comfortable. Sturdy closed-toe walking shoes are recommended, as is a raincoat or umbrella. And don’t forget your identification! For more packing tips, please check out the Travel page of our website at http://www.sirensconference.org/travel/gorge.html#packing.

Driving Directions
Directions for those driving to Skamania Lodge from the north, south, or east can be found on our website at http://www.sirensconference.org/travel/transport.html#driving.

Where to eat in Stevenson
Skamania Lodge has two restaurants on site, both featuring locally-sourced, regional cuisine. River Rock, the bar and restaurant next to the lobby, is the more informal of the two and typically has slightly lower prices. The Cascade Dining Room, which is farther down the hallway past River Rock, is more formal and has fantastic views of the Columbia River. Room service is available from 7:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.

The hotel will also offer quick grab-and-go options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the Conference Center Lobby beginning with dinner on Thursday, October 11, and ending with lunch on Sunday, October 14 (excluding meals that Sirens provides).

If you’d prefer to have a meal outside the hotel, the official Stevenson website offers a listing of area restaurants on their Dining page at http://cityofstevenson.com/dining.html.

 

You’re Excited About…

Sirens is next week!!! –Amy

Both The Crimson Crown, the last book in the Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima, and Beautiful Redemption, the last book in the Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, are due out October 23rd. –Sabs

Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith sold Stranger to Viking Childrens. –J.

2011 Guest of Honor Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death won the Carl Brandon Society Kindred Award for Best Speculative Fiction Dealing with Race/Ethnicity, and she has a new novella out called African Sunrise. –KP

The Guardian has a piece on Phillip Pullman’s new book: retellings of 50 of the stories of the Brothers Grimm. –Simon

Seen on @nalohopkinson: The #audiobook of my novel Midnight Robber is out, narrated by the extraordinarily talented Robin Miles http://t.co/Wwm3Ks93

 

Twitter Schedule
Beginning on Thursday, October 11, we will be posting the conference schedule on our Twitter. If you prefer not to receive these reminders, you may want to mute or unfollow @sirens_con until Sunday, October 14. (The schedule will not be cross-posted to Facebook, though a few highlights might be.)

 


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

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 4, Issue 11 (September 2012)

Registration and Ticket Deadline
There are just three days left to register for Sirens. Online registration, including the purchase of tickets for the Sirens Shuttle and Sirens Supper, ends on September 7, 2012.

We do still have a handful of Sirens Supper and Sirens Shuttle tickets available. We’d love to have you join us for our pre-conference staff dinner or on our shuttle trip to and from the airport. Tickets for the Sirens Supper or the Sirens Shuttle can be added to a new or an existing registration. Family or friends who are traveling with you but are not registered for Sirens are welcome to join us for the Sirens Supper or the shuttle trip, too–just add their ticket to your registration. Please note, guests attending the Sirens Supper must be at least 18 years old.

Registration and ticket payments are due no later than September 14, 2012, even if this means you have fewer than the usual 30 days to complete your payment. Any registrations or tickets that are still unpaid after September 14 will be canceled. We will have only a handful of on-site registrations available, and those will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Checking In
We’re almost there! Over the next few weeks, please keep an eye on your inbox for e-mails from us about where to check in for the Sirens Shuttle and how to pick up your registration materials when you arrive at Skamania Lodge.

 

Hotel Reservations Deadline
Have you made your reservation yet? Skamania Lodge is a resort and operates a little differently from most hotels. One of those differences is that you must make or change reservations earlier than you might for other venues. You can reserve the discounted Sirens rate from October 7-16, in case you’d like to extend your stay before or after Sirens, but reservations and changes must be made by September 18, 2012. For more about Skamania’s policies, including how to reserve a room, please visit the Skamania Lodge page on the Sirens website.

If you would like to find a roommate (or two or three!) to share the cost of a hotel room, you can connect with other attendees on our message boards. You can also advertise on our Facebook page here.

 

Dietary Information
All conference registrations include a dessert reception, two keynote lunches, an afternoon tea, and Sunday breakfast. At this time, we have finalized our buffet menus, which are available on the Featured Events page of our website. (We’ve also sent all registered attendees an e-mail with the menu information.) We know that people have a variety of food allergies and other dietary restrictions, and we’d like to know what your restrictions are so that we may work with the hotel’s catering department to make your Sirens experience as enjoyable as possible.

If you have questions or concerns about the menus or the ingredients, please e-mail us at (registration at sirensconference.org). If we don’t know the answer, we’re happy to ask the hotel. If you’ve already contacted us about your dietary restrictions, thank you! Once we’ve collected everyone’s concerns, we’ll discuss the menus with the hotel and have more information for you mid-September.

It takes time to arrange alternatives with the hotel, and we want to make sure that we have time to do so. If we have not heard from you by September 7, we will assume that you are able to eat from our standard menus.

 

Volunteers Wanted!
There are still a handful of volunteer shifts available during the conference. In particular, we are looking for room monitors. If you have some time free during Sirens (or if you plan to be in one room for a couple of sessions in a row), we’d love to have you join our volunteer team for 2012. Typically, volunteers stay in a room during presentations, help the speakers get situated, and keep things running on time. You can find out more on the Volunteers page of the Sirens website.

 

Bookstore
Narrate Conferences, our presenting nonprofit, will run a new and used bookstore during Sirens. Our goal is to support both Sirens and female fantasy authors by selling new and used books, and we hope you’ll help us out.

If you are a published author, please let us know! We’d like to include you in our author signing time and have new books on hand. We have access to many books from major publishers; for those books we don’t have access to, like out-of-print titles or books that aren’t available through a major distributor, we have suggestions for how to make sure that your books are available at Sirens. Please contact Amy Tenbrink (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org) by September 8 to take part.

We will also be selling used books, with all the proceeds going to support Sirens. If you would like to donate fantasy books in good condition, we would be delighted! Registered attendees received a mailing address in the August attendee e-mail; if you’re not attending this year and want to donate books, please write to (help at sirensconference.org) for mailing information.

 

Auction
Last year, we were so overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity of those donating auction items and those bidding on them. It was a great fundraiser for Sirens and went a long way in covering our conference costs–so let’s do it again! We’re changing our auction format a bit this year, so we’ll need to have a comprehensive list of auction items by the end of the day on Thursday, October 11, and all sorts of items are welcome. If you’d like to donate an item and you have questions, please write to Amy Tenbrink (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org). (She’d love to hear what you’re planning and address any concerns you might have.) Also, for those of you with bulky items, we can provide a shipping address, if you’d like. And, of course, thanks in advance for your support.

 

You’re Excited About…

An excerpt from Rick Riordan’s third Heroes of Olympus book, The Mark of Athena, is available on the Disney website! –Amy

Some of the books I’m excited to read in August and September: Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction (short stories by a lot of women YA authors, including Malinda Lo and Laini Taylor), out on August 28; Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff (out September 1) – reputed to be Japanese steampunk with a strong female protagonist; Riveted, the third in Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas steampunk romance series (out September 4). –Casey

The Crown of Embers, sequel to The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson is due out September 18. –Sabs

Congratulations to Nnedi Okorafor and Karen Lord for winning the 2010 Carl Brandon Award! Details, including the full list of awards and honors, are available here! –Anonymous

 

Supporting Registrations
If you can’t make it this year, we will miss you, and we hope that you’ll please consider purchasing a supporting registration. This helps us present Sirens this year and offer Sirens in future years, and you’ll receive a 2012 program book following the conference. Supporting registrations cost $50; $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 $15 covers the cost of the program book and our mailing costs.)

 

Spotlight: Guest of Honor Malinda Lo
Malinda Lo’s first novel, Ash, a retelling of Cinderella with a lesbian twist, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the Lambda Award for Children’s/Young Adult, and was a Kirkus 2009 Best Book for Children and Teens. Her second book, Huntress, a companion to Ash, was published in April 2011 and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Her two-book young adult science fiction series, beginning with Adaptation, will be published in fall 2012. Prior to her work as an author of fiction, Malinda was an entertainment reporter, and was awarded the 2006 Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Journalism by the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and has master’s degrees from both Harvard and Stanford.

Nifty:
Her website can be found at http://www.malindalo.com.

Her blog is at http://www.malindalo.com/blog/.

She can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/malindalo.

Book covers!


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

Registration, Tickets, Hotel, and Volunteering Reminder

Registration for Sirens ends three weeks from today. (We’re getting so close!) The deadline for registration is Friday, September 7, and we very much recommend registering by then. Though we’ll have a few registrations available at the door, it will be only a few, and they will be sold to the first buyers who request them. If you’ve been waiting to register, please don’t miss the deadline! Our at-the-door costs are higher, and yours will be too.

Also, we’ve got a handful of Sirens Supper and Sirens Shuttle tickets remaining. We’d love to have you join us for our pre-conference staff dinner or on our shuttle trip to and from the airport. All payments for registrations and tickets are due no later than September 14.

Hotel reservations for Skamania Lodge can be made until September 18. And, of course, if you’re looking for roommates or travel buddies, please feel free to visit the forums and to post on the Sirens Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SirensConference

If you have a little time free during Sirens—or just time when you’re planning to be in one room for a couple of sessions in a row—we’d love to have you join our volunteer team for 2012. Typically, volunteers stay in a room during presentations, help the speakers get situated, and keep things running on time. You can find out more on the Sirens Volunteers page.

Questions? Please feel free to ask them here or via (help at sirensconference.org). See you in October!

Sirens News – Volume 4, Special Edition: Conference Schedule

Conference Schedule
The complete conference schedule for Sirens is now available on the Schedule page of the Sirens website. We’re sure that you’ll wish you had a Time-Turner so that you could be in three places at once; we always do! That’s a testament to this year’s presenters, and a challenge we’re extremely grateful to have.

If you are a presenter, you should have received a notice regarding the time and location for your presentation(s), as well as information about the audio-visual equipment available to you, if any. If you did not receive this e-mail, please check your bulk folder, and if you still can’t find a notice for one of your presentations, please write to (programming at sirensconference.org).

 

Schedule Notes
Because we’ve moved to a new location for 2012, we’ve adjusted our overall schedule to work with the space we have available to us. That’s affected the schedule in ways that might seem odd at first glance! Here’s what you need to know about this year’s changes.

Wednesday, October 10
If you’re an early arrival for the Sirens Supper, we’ll send you an e-mail about where to meet for dinner. If you’re taking the Sirens Shuttle on this day, we’ll e-mail you with the pickup point information in early October.

Thursday, October 11
You’ll notice that this year, we’re opening conference registration pickup at 3:00 p.m., a little later than we normally do. (If you are arriving early, let’s meet up for lunch at noon in the River Rock at Skamania Lodge.) Starting at 3:00, we’ll have our Information Desk in the Skamania conference center lobby, and we’ll have another room just down the hall where you can meet, chat, play games, and have afternoon tea. We’ve listed a location for the Sirens Shuttle on this day, but please do check your Sirens Shuttle e-mail in early October if you’ll be riding on Thursday; the bus vendor might change our meeting point. All shuttle riders will be at Skamania in time to grab dinner in the River Rock or the Cascade Dining Room before the dessert reception; the hotel is also planning to offer inexpensive grab-and-go meals in the conference center lobby, so that’s another option.

Friday, October 12, and Saturday, October 13
This year, we accepted more presentations than ever! We’ll still run three tracks of programming, but our programs will stretch later into the afternoon and evening. Also, we don’t have a separate ballroom to which we can adjourn for keynote lunches, so we’ll be clearing and repurposing one of the rooms we’re using for presentations during the middle of the day, and we’ve decided to put a break at this point in the schedule for 2012. At 11:00 a.m., you can join our exploratory programming team for writing challenges, and if you’d like to go hiking on the resort golf course trails or go swimming/hot tubbing with other attendees, we’ve put those on the schedule as suggestions. It’s also a good time for borrowing a bike at the fitness center, visiting the gift shop, squeezing in a pedicure, grabbing that forgotten item from your hotel room, or just relaxing in the main lobby.

After lunch, the hotel staff needs time to reset our space, so we’ll host author signings during that time. (And if you’re an attending author who would like to participate, please get in touch with Amy Tenbrink at (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org) as soon as possible.)

All of that said, we’ve squeezed in some free space for meet-ups and those discussions that just weren’t ready for programming proposals yet. There are five hours available as sign-up space; you can reserve a room once you arrive at Sirens.

Sunday, October 14
Finally, on Sunday, we’ll start the morning early to ensure that attendees catching mid-day flights to the East Coast have plenty of time to get through security lines. (Our tips: Bring your luggage to breakfast, and use the business center in the conference area to print your boarding pass for free before you leave.) If you’re not taking the Sirens Shuttle, we’ll provide meet-up points for creating and crafting with others, or squeezing in a few last minutes outside (in Washington, that means rain or shine) or in the pool until it’s time to check out.

 

Volunteering
If you’ll be attending Sirens, we could use a few extra hands! Volunteer shifts vary in length and responsibilities. If you’re a presenter who feels confident in managing the room while presenting, you may volunteer to monitor the shift that overlaps your presentation.

Most volunteer shifts are low-key, and nearly all of them are within waving distance of the Information Desk should you encounter a problem and need help. In general, because of Sirens’s size, our greatest need is for people to monitor a morning or afternoon’s worth of presentations. You might help people find seats, turn microphones on or off (or up or down), give presenters their five-minute warning to wrap up, and collect lost and found items. This kind of help goes a long way toward making Sirens run smoothly, and is much appreciated.

To volunteer, please visit the Volunteers page and fill out the volunteer form. You’ll be invited to join a Google Group with a light volume of informational e-mails. If you’re a returning volunteer, you don’t need to fill out the form—just keep an eye out for e-mail from the Google Group. Many thanks in advance!

 


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

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 4, Issue 10 (August 2012)

Registration and Ticket Deadline
Registration for Sirens, including the purchase of tickets for the Sirens Shuttle and Sirens Supper, ends on September 7, 2012. All payments are due no later than September 14, 2012, even if this means you have fewer than the usual 30 days to complete your payment. Any registrations or tickets that are still unpaid after September 14 will be canceled. We will have only a handful of on-site registrations available on a first-come, first-served basis. Since we can’t hold them for any particular potential attendee, we strongly recommend registering in advance!

As we get closer to Sirens, please keep an eye on your inbox for e-mails from us about where to check in for the Sirens Shuttle and how to pick up your registration materials when you arrive at Skamania Lodge.

If you can’t make it this year, please consider purchasing a supporting registration. This helps us present Sirens this year and offer Sirens in future years, and you’ll receive a 2012 program book following the conference. Supporting registrations cost $50; $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 $15 covers the cost of the program book and our mailing costs.)

 

Sirens Supper
There are only about a dozen tickets remaining for the Sirens Supper, our annual pre-conference staff dinner. If you’ll be in the Portland area on the evening of October 10 and would like to join us for a laid-back evening of chat before the conference begins, we suggest you get your ticket before they’re gone! Tickets are $60, and this year’s Pacific Northwest menu will include: house green salad with Northwest organic greens, heirloom cherry tomatoes, English cucumbers, and housemade herb vinaigrette; forest mushroom soup with almond milk vermouth; wild rice and Hood River cherry pilaf; roasted asparagus; tenderloin of pork with pear-brandy demi-glace; grilled salmon with lemon butter sauce and tomato-artichoke ragout; tofu and vegetable curry with coconut milk; rolls and butter; huckleberry crème brûlée; three-berry cobbler; and coffee, iced tea, and lemonade.

Tickets for the Sirens Supper can be added to a new or an existing registration. Family or friends who are traveling with you but not registered for Sirens are welcome to join us for the Sirens Supper, too—just add their ticket to your registration!

 

Sirens Shuttle
Tickets are still available for the Sirens Shuttle. You can add them to a new or an existing registration even if you don’t have your flight details yet. A round-trip ticket on the shuttle, at $75 per person, is less than half the cost of a commercial van service, and your trip to Skamania will include a brief stop at Multnomah Falls on the Columbia River. The Sirens Shuttle is also a great chance to meet others, decompress, and enjoy the beautiful Columbia Gorge scenery.

 

Dietary Information
All conference registrations include a dessert reception, two keynote lunches, an afternoon tea, and Sunday breakfast. At this time, we have finalized our buffet menus, which are available on the Featured Events page of our website. (We’ve also sent all registered attendees an e-mail with the menu information.) We know that people have a variety of food allergies and other dietary restrictions, and we’d like to know what your restrictions are so that we may work with the hotel’s catering department to make your Sirens experience as enjoyable as possible.

If you have questions or concerns about the menus or the ingredients, please e-mail us at (registration at sirensconference.org). If we don’t know the answer, we’re happy to ask the hotel.

It takes time to arrange alternatives with the hotel, and we want to make sure that we have time to do so. If we have not heard from you by September 7, we will assume that you are able to eat from our standard menus.

 

Hotel Reservations Deadline
Have you made your reservation yet? Skamania Lodge, like the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa, operates a little differently from most hotels. One of those differences is that you must make or change reservations earlier than you might for other venues. You can reserve the discounted Sirens rate from October 7-16, in case you’d like to extend your stay before or after Sirens, but reservations and changes must be made by September 18, 2012. For more about Skamania’s policies, including how to reserve a room, please visit the Skamania Lodge page on the Sirens website.

If you would like to find a roommate (or two or three!) to share the cost of a hotel room, you can connect with other attendees on our message boards.

 

Programming Sponsorships
Another way to support Sirens is by sponsoring a presentation. To do so, visit the accepted programming page at http://www.sirensconference.org/conference/accepted/, and follow the link to donate. You’ll select the presentation you wish to sponsor (if it’s not on the list, it’s been claimed), give us the sponsor name you’d like to have listed publicly, and follow the instructions. We’ll list your name on the website and with the presentation summary in the program book.

In addition to individual programming sponsorships, we are always accepting general donations at http://www.sirensconference.org/support/. Your support helps to defray the cost of Sirens, including the cost of providing audio-visual support for presentations. Thank you in advance!

 

Author Signings
Narrate Conferences, our presenting nonprofit, will run a new and used bookstore during Sirens. Our goal is to support both Sirens and female fantasy authors by selling new and used books, and we hope you’ll help us out.

If you are a published author, please let us know! We’d like to include you in our author signing time and have new books on hand. We have access to many books from major publishers; for those books we don’t have access to, like out-of-print titles or books that aren’t available through a major distributor, we have suggestions for how to make sure that your books are available at Sirens. Please contact Amy Tenbrink (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org) to take part.

 

You’re Excited About…

The first four chapters of Malinda Lo’s Adaptation are available on Little Brown School’s Facebook page!!  –Anonymous

The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan comes out on August 14!  –Amy

The third book in Kiersten White’s Paranormalcy series is out! Endlessly was released on July 24th. And Girl of Nightmares, the sequel to Anna Dressed in Blood, by Kendare Blake is due out August 7th!  –Sabrina

 

Auction
Last year, we were so overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity of those donating auction items and those bidding on them. It was a great fundraiser for Sirens and went a long way in covering our conference costs–so let’s do it again! We’re changing our auction format a bit this year, so we’ll need to have a comprehensive list of auction items by the end of Thursday, October 11, and all sorts of items are welcome. If you’d like to donate an item and you have questions, please write to Amy Tenbrink (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org). (She’d love to hear what you’re planning and address any concerns you might have.) Also, for those of you with bulky items, we can provide a shipping address, if you’d like. And, of course, thanks in advance for your support.

 

Spotlight: Guest of Honor Nalo Hopkinson
Nalo Hopkinson has published five novels and numerous short stories, and has edited or co-edited four anthologies, most in the realms of science fiction and fantasy. She is a recipient of the Locus Award for Best New Writer, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and the Ontario Arts Council Foundation Award for Emerging Writers. Her works have won a World Fantasy Award, a Gaylactic Spectrum Award, an Aurora Award, and the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic (twice), and have been nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, the James R. Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award, the Hugo Award for Best Novel, and the Nebula Award for Best Novel. Brown Girl in the Ring was also a finalist in Canada Reads. Nalo holds an MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, and is currently an associate professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. She has served as faculty for Clarion East, Clarion West, and Clarion South, and she is a founding member of the Carl Brandon Society.

Nifty:
Her website can be found at http://www.nalohopkinson.com/.

Her blog is at http://nalohopkinson.com/blogmain

She can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nalohopkinson.

A few compelling book covers:

 

Volunteering at Sirens
Sirens will be here before you know it, and we’d love to have your help. Typically, we need people to be the point of contact during presentations—they welcome and introduce presenters, help latecomers find a seat, collect forgotten items, and call for help when audio-visual equipment goes on the fritz. (Some folks choose to volunteer for presentations to ensure that they have a seat for their favorite items!) We can sometimes use extra hands to direct traffic, carry boxes, and so on as well. If you’re interested, please visit this page to join the volunteers group (if you’ve joined in the past, there’s no need to re-apply). You’ll be the first to know about volunteer opportunities.

Many thanks in advance!

 


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

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 4, Issue 9 (July 2012)

Programming
Have you checked out the accepted programming page lately? Many new presentations have been published since June 1. The deadline for presenters to register and confirm their participation at Sirens was July 1, so the complete list will be available soon. Then, we’ll publish this year’s schedule, which will be packed with fantastic presentations.

 

Presentation Sponsorships
If you–or your group, or your website, or your business–would like to sponsor a presentation, we welcome your support! To help defray the cost of Sirens, including the cost of providing audio-visual support for presentations, we are always accepting general donations at http://www.sirensconference.org/support/. This year, you can also show your support of specific presentations. To sponsor one, visit the accepted programming page, and follow the link to donate. You’ll select the presentation to sponsor (if it’s not on the list, it’s been claimed), give us the sponsor name you’d like to have listed publicly, and follow the instructions. We’ll list your name on the website and with the presentation summary in the program book.

 

Book Signings
Narrate Conferences, our presenting nonprofit, will run a new and used bookstore during Sirens. Our goal is to support both Sirens and female fantasy authors by selling new and used books, and we hope you’ll help us out.

If you are a published author, please let us know! We’d like to include you in our author signing time and have new books on hand. We have access to many books from major publishers; for those we books don’t have access to, like out-of-print titles or books that aren’t available through a major distributor, we have suggestions for how to make sure that your books are available at Sirens. Please contact Amy Tenbrink (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org) to take part.

 

Book Donations
For everyone attending, and frankly, friends of women in fantasy literature as well, we hope you’ll help us with our used bookstore, because all proceeds will go to Sirens. If you have fantasy books written by or about women that you’d like to donate, and they are in good used condition, we’d love to have them. You don’t need to attend to donate–though you’ll need to attend to buy all the amazing fantasy works we’ve already collected for sale. We’ll have information on getting your books to us available later this summer.

 

Auction
Last year, we were so overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity of those donating auction items and those bidding on them. It was a great fundraiser for Sirens and went a long way in covering our conference costs–so let’s do it again! We’re changing our auction format a bit this year, so we’ll need to have a comprehensive list of auction items by the end of Thursday, October 11, and all sorts of items are welcome. If you’d like to donate an item and you have questions, please write to Amy Tenbrink (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org). (She’d love to hear what you’re planning and address any concerns you might have.) Also, for those of you with bulky items, we can provide a shipping address, if you’d like. And, of course, thanks in advance for your support.

 

Sirens Supper
If you’ll be in the Portland area on the evening of October 10, perhaps you’d like to join us for dinner. Each year our conference staff hosts a dinner for a limited number of attendees, and you’re welcome to come. We love having a chance to chat with folks before the conference starts!

We’re thrilled to finally be able to share our Pacific Northwest menu for the Sirens Supper: house green salad with Northwest organic greens, heirloom cherry tomatoes, English cucumbers, and housemade herb vinaigrette; forest mushroom soup with almond milk vermouth; wild rice and Hood River cherry pilaf; roasted asparagus; tenderloin of pork with pear-brandy demi-glace; grilled salmon with lemon butter sauce and tomato-artichoke ragout; tofu and vegetable curry with coconut milk; rolls and butter; huckleberry crème brûlée; three-berry cobbler; and coffee, iced tea, and lemonade.

Tickets for the dinner are $60, and may be added to a new registration (http://www.sirensconference.org/registration/) or to an existing registration (http://www.sirensconference.org/registration/changes/). Attendees may purchase additional tickets for the Sirens Supper for others who are at least 18 years old as of October 10, 2012.

 

Sirens Shuttle
Tickets are still available for the Sirens Shuttle. You can add them to a new or existing registration even if you don’t have your flight details yet. A round-trip ticket on the shuttle, at $75 per person, is less than half the cost of a commercial van service, and your trip to Skamania will include a brief stop at Multnomah Falls on the Columbia River. The Sirens Shuttle is also a great chance to meet others, decompress, and enjoy the beautiful Columbia Gorge scenery.

 

Books and Breakfast Reminder
Books and Breakfast will be held on Friday, October 12, and Saturday, October 13, first thing in the morning. You can grab a to-go breakfast from the River Rock restaurant—they’ll have light items on hand—and join any of these discussions. It’s perfectly okay to turn up if you haven’t read any of the books yet, but if you’d like to come prepared, the schedule is listed below.

Friday, October 12
Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins by Emma Donoghue (HarperTeen, 1999)
The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente (Spectra, 2006)
The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Doubleday, 2008)
Roses and Bones: Myths, Tales and Secrets by Francesca Lia Block (HarperTeen, 2010)
Sailor Moon manga, being re-released as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi (any release of Acts 1-5, which was released in the U.S. by Tokyopop in 2003; other versions also available)
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011)

Saturday, October 13
A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Scholastic, 2008)
The Dark Wife by Sarah Deimer (Createspace, 2011)
Mella and the N’anga: An African Tale by Gail Nyoka (Sumach Press, 2006)
Peaceweaver by Rebecca Barnhouse (Random House, 2012)
The Sigh by Marjane Satrapi (Archaia Entertainment, 2011)
There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (trans. Keith Gessen and Anna Summers) (Penguin, 2009)

 

Spotlight: Guest of Honor Kate Bernheimer
Kate Bernheimer has been called “one of the living masters of the fairy tale” by Tin House, and is the author of four books of fiction, most recently the final novel in a trilogy, The Complete Tales of Lucy Gold (FC2 2011), and Horse, Flower, Bird, a collection of stories with illustrations by Rikki Ducornet (Coffee House Press 2010). She has edited three anthologies including the World Fantasy Award winning My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales (Penguin 2010). Her fiction and critical essays have appeared in The Los Angeles TimesFence MagazineBookforumPuerto del SolBomb MagazineMarvels & Tales: The Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies, and elsewhere. She teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Arizona, and is founding and acting editor of Fairy Tale Review.

Nifty:
Her website can be found at http://www.katebernheimer.com/.

Her blog is at http://www.katebernheimer.com/news.php, where you can find out the story behind the AIANY Unbuilt award for Baba Yaga’s house.

Hear her “loving homage to and deconstruction of Hansel and Gretel” at http://catranslation.org/blogpost/two-voices-a-night-of-fairy-tales.

And a few beautiful book covers…

 

Volunteering at Sirens
Sirens will be here before you know it, and we’d love to have your help. Typically, we need people to be the point of contact during presentations—they welcome and introduce presenters, help latecomers find a seat, collect forgotten items, and call for help when audio-visual equipment goes on the fritz. (Some folks choose to volunteer for presentations to ensure that they have a seat for their favorite items!) We can sometimes use extra hands to direct traffic, carry boxes, and so on as well. If you’re interested, please visit this page to join the volunteers group (if you’ve joined in the past, no need to re-apply). You’ll be the first to know about volunteer opportunities! Many thanks in advance.

 

Travel
Diana needs a roommate. Do you? Visit the message boards to join her or to post your own request for a share.

 


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

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 4, Issue 8 (June 2012)

Programming
Thank you, so many of you, for proposing programming for Sirens in 2012. We received a record number of proposals! At this point, we have e-mailed all notices regarding this year’s proposals, so if you’re not sure about the status of a proposal, please check your bulk folder, and if you can’t find your e-mail, write to us at (programming at sirensconference.org) to have it sent again.

Thank you also to the members of the vetting board, who had the tricky task of selecting this year’s programming from among the offerings. We think you’ll be thrilled with their picks.

Accepted presenters have until July 1, 2012, to confirm their presentations by registering for Sirens. As they do, we’ll publish their titles, summaries, and presenter biographies on the accepted programming page of the Sirens website.

 

Books and Breakfast
We know you’re busy reading books by guests of honor Kate Bernheimer, Nalo Hopkinson, and Malinda Lo, but we thought we’d encourage you to seek out a few more! One of our favorite bits of informal programming is Books and Breakfast, held on both Friday and Saturday of Sirens.  These theme-focused book discussions are held before presentations begin, and we encourage you to bring your breakfast along, whether that’s a grab-and-go item from the hotel’s River Rock restaurant, something you brought from home, or a cup of coffee (or tea, cider, or cocoa) from the free offerings in the hotel lobby.  This year, we wanted to expand the book formats, so we’ve added middle grade selections and a graphic novel to our list of retellings. And, as always, we wanted to offer a variety of books that we thought would spark interesting discussions.

book covers of the books mentioned below
Friday, October 12
Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins by Emma Donoghue (HarperTeen, 1999)

The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente (Spectra, 2006)

The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Doubleday, 2008)

Roses and Bones: Myths, Tales and Secrets by Francesca Lia Block (HarperTeen, 2010)

Sailor Moon (manga, being re-released as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon) by Naoko Takeuchi (any release of Acts 1-5, which was released in the U.S. by Tokyopop in 2003; other versions also available)

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011)

 

Saturday, October 13
A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Scholastic, 2008)

The Dark Wife by Sarah Deimer (Createspace, 2011)

Mella and the N’anga: An African Tale by Gail Nyoka (Sumach Press, 2006)

Peaceweaver by Rebecca Barnhouse (Random House, 2012)

The Sigh by Marjane Satrapi (Archaia Entertainment, 2011)

There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (trans. Keith Gessen and Anna Summers) (Penguin, 2009)

 

Sirens Supper
Unfortunately, we don’t yet have anything to report, since we don’t want to sell tickets until we can offer a menu. We are, of course, wrangling Skamania for menus, and as soon as tickets are available, we’ll post announcements and e-mail all registered attendees. Thank you for your patience!

 

Sirens Shuttle
We can, however, report good news about the Sirens Shuttle! The announcement about shuttle times and tickets can be found here. Even better, we verified that Portland International Airport has a luggage storage facility. What does this mean? If you’ve got a long wait at the airport—and you’re tired of the free Wi-Fi, or the restaurants and shops, many of which are available before and after the security checkpoint and offer the same prices as off-airport locations—you can drop your bags with luggage storage on the baggage claim level for $10 per bag. Then, from the other end of baggage claim, you can take the MAX Red Line to Portland for sightseeing. Please plan to arrive back at the airport by 3 p.m. if you need to get your luggage and catch the Sirens Shuttle.

 


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

Sirens Shuttle

We have good news—and even better news! First, we have finished our research on the Sirens Shuttle, so we have dates, times, and other information for you. Second, and even better, the ticket price is cheaper than last year!

Just like in past years, as the logistics and cost of arranging transportation between the closest airport and the Sirens hotel can be daunting, we’re offering the Sirens Shuttle, a charter bus reserved just for Sirens’s attendees. We hope this helps you travel more cheaply, ride in comfort, and enjoy the company of friends along the way.

 

When will the Sirens Shuttle run?
The Sirens Shuttle will pick up from Portland International Airport at 3:30 p.m. on both Wednesday, October 10, and Thursday, October 11. The Sirens Shuttle will pick up from Skamania Lodge at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday, October 14. The Sunday departure time is admittedly strange, but we noticed that some major connecting flights depart for the East Coast at 12:15 p.m., and we wanted to make sure those flights were an option for riders.

 

What flight times work?
We recommend that you book a flight arriving in Portland no later than 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday or Thursday (depending on which day you arrive). We recommend that you book a flight leaving Portland no earlier than 12:15 p.m. on Sunday.

 

What does the shuttle cost?
Round-trip tickets on the Sirens Shuttle cost $75. That’s actually less than a one-way trip on a commercial shuttle—and, of course, less than half the cost of a round trip!

 

What is the Sirens Shuttle route?
Our shuttle will follow the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway from Portland to Skamania (and back). The view is majestic, with the Cascade Mountains rising on either side of the Columbia River. And the nice thing about a bus is that you can do all the gawking—and picture-taking—that you like! The shuttle will make a brief stop at Multnomah Falls in Oregon, one of the tallest year-round waterfalls in the United States, for sight-seeing on Wednesday and Thursday.

 

How do I buy a shuttle ticket?
Our shuttle tickets are now available in our registration system. If you’ve yet to register for Sirens, just add the shuttle when you do. If you’ve already registered, just log back in to your registration and add the shuttle. You won’t need your flight information to add a shuttle ticket yet, but if you don’t have your information now, please make sure to add it to your registration later this summer so we can track your flights.

 

What if I have questions?
Ask! Just shoot us an e-mail at (registration at sirensconference.org) and we’ll be glad to help.

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 4, Issue 7 (May 2012)

Programming Proposal Deadline
The deadline for proposing programming is Sunday, May 6, 2012. That’s just 4 days away! We can’t emphasize enough how important it is that you take part. Your thoughts on everything from this year’s theme, tales retold, to fantasy by and about women, to craft-focused presentations and even general fantasy discussion are welcome—but we do need you to submit them for consideration! Even though the proposal deadline is now, you’ll have until October to finish your paper or presentation, polish your panel, refine your workshop, firm up your roundtable discussion questions, or add the finishing touches to your afternoon class.

 

Where to Get More Information
We highly recommend the following links:
The programming section of the Sirens website
This is where we go over our requirements for programming in a formal manner, and where you can find the submissions system to provide us with your proposal.

The archive section of the Sirens website
For all of your questions about whether something has ever been presented before.

The Sirens LiveJournal programming tag
For a series of informal posts on how to put together a proposal.

(programming at sirensconference.org)
Where to e-mail us for more specific questions or for clarification.

 

Where to Find Collaborators
Folks have ads up and are looking for people to partner for presentations at…
This brainstorming post
The Sirens Chat LiveJournal
Facebook
Sirens message boards

 

Programming Deadline Chat
Just ahead of the programming deadline, we’ll open the chat room so that you can get last-minute feedback from others, ask questions, or just hang out to be a cheerleader and talk about books. Please note that this chat is at an unusual time for us!

DATE: Friday, May 4, 2012
TIME: 9 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Pacific), lasting about two hours
LOCATION: www.sirensconference.org/chat/

Remember, you won’t need any special software or a login; the page will turn into a chat room during the chat time. (You will need to refresh the page if it isn’t in chat mode when you arrive.)

 

You’re Excited About…

Kristin Cashore’s Bitterblue, a companion book to both Graceling and Fire, was released on May 1! Veronica Roth’s Insurgent, sequel to Divergent, was also released on May 1! –Sabrina

And Kristin Cashore, a past Sirens’s guest of honor, is going on tour for Bitterblue. More info is on her blog: http://kristincashore.blogspot.com/–Amy

Flora’s Fury, the third book in Ysabeau Wilce’s Flora series, about a plucky girl in a very strange world indeed, is coming out May 8. –Sarah

 

Travel Tip: Sirens Shuttle
Are you waiting for the information on the Sirens Shuttle from Portland International Airport to Skamania Lodge before you finalize your plans? We are too! We’ve been working with local transportation providers on quotes so that we can, in turn, offer you a no-fuss option for getting to and from Sirens at a cost cheaper than car rentals and private shuttles. We just about have the details sorted, and we expect to pass them on to you later this month. Once the Sirens Shuttle information is ready, you’ll be able to add a ticket to a new registration or log in to your existing reservation to purchase your space on the shuttle.

 

Travel Tip: Hotel Reservations
Skamania Lodge is part of the same hotel system as the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa, so you might already be familiar with their reservation policies. If you’re not, Skamania Lodge operates a little differently from most hotels. One of the differences is that you need to make or change reservations in advance of when you might make them at other venues. You can get the discounted Sirens rate from October 7-16, in case you’d like to extend your stay, but reservations and changes must be made by September 18, 2012. For more about Skamania’s policies, please visit the Skamania Lodge page on the Sirens website.

If you missed the pictures from our recent staff trip to Skamania Lodge, you can see them on the Sirens website here.

 


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

Presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc.

 

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