Archive for Sirens Shuttle

Sirens is just over a month away! Don’t forget…

The deadline to register for Sirens is September 7. All registrations, Sirens Shuttle tickets, and Sirens Supper tickets must be made by this date.

Hotel reservations at Skamania Lodge must be made by September 12. After that date, the rest of our block is released and you won’t be able to get our conference room rates.

We have a few tickets left for the Sirens Supper. If you are arriving on Wednesday, we’d love for you to join us for our annual pre-conference dinner. It’s a great way to meet a few new people.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (help at

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 5, Issue 8 (June 2013)

June’s newsletter includes a request for your used books, a spotlight on Guest of Honor Guadalupe Garcia McCall, information on traveling to Sirens, and exciting book news.


The Sirens Bookstore is back and looking for used books!
Our bookstore was very popular last year, and we’re delighted to tell you it will be back in 2013 with new books by attending authors, more new books we think you’ll be interested in, and used fantasy books donated to Sirens. Start putting aside your used fantasy books by women authors–we’ll have details on where to send them in a future newsletter.


Author Spotlight: Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Guadalupe Garcia McCall’s second novel, Summer of the Mariposas, retells The Odyssey with five Mexican-American sisters and La Llorona as a ghostly guide. Summer of the Mariposas was one of the “Best Books of 2012” selected by School Library Journal, is on the 2013 Amelia Bloomer Project List, and was nominated for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy in 2013. The Kirkus Review says of Summer of the Mariposas “Originality and vibrancy shine through…” and The School Library Journal Review notes “the unusual qualities of mythical characters and the sense of adventure that lies behind every twist and turn of the girls’ revelatory journey.”

Her first novel, Under the Mesquite, is not fantasy, but is a tour de force work of verse that tackles the subject of cancer. Under the Mesquite received the Pura Belpré Author Award and a 2012 International Latino Book Awards Honorable Mention, and was a William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist (YALSA). Guadalupe has a BA in Theatre Arts and English from Sul Ross State University.

We’re so excited to have Guadalupe Garcia McCall join Alaya Dawn Johnson, Ellen Kushner, and Robin LaFevers as our guests of honor at this year’s Sirens. If you’re new to their work, our reading list is a great place to start getting acquainted.


Travel Tip: Flying to Sirens
If you’re flying to Sirens, the closest major airport–and the one from which the Sirens Shuttle will depart–is Portland International Airport in Portland, Oregon, also known as PDX. It’s a major west coast airport, and many airlines can get you there. Once you arrive, you’ll find a selection of shops and restaurants inside and outside of the security area, and the airport makes an effort to keep the prices–sales-tax free–the same as you’d find anywhere else in town. Other great amenities include free WiFi, a luggage storage desk, and a direct connection to downtown Portland via the MAX Red Line train.


Travel Tip: Sirens Shuttle
As in past years, we are offering the Sirens Shuttle, a charter bus which will depart from Portland International Airport (PDX) at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 9, and Thursday, October 10, and return to PDX on Sunday morning, October 13, departing Skamania Lodge at 9:45 a.m. The shuttle will travel along the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway, and both the Wednesday and Thursday shuttles will make a brief stop at Multnomah Falls. Don’t forget your camera!

The Sirens Shuttle costs $75 per person, round trip, which is less than a one-way ticket on a commercial shuttle service. Shuttle tickets can be purchased when you register for Sirens, or if you’ve already registered, you can log in to add tickets to your existing registration by clicking here.


Travel Tip: Hotel Reservations
Skamania Lodge, which is located in Stevenson, Washington, is once again the home for Sirens in 2013. Built in the style of a Pacific Northwest lodge, Skamania has a cozy, welcoming atmosphere with a fireplace and rocking chairs in the lobby and views of the surrounding forest and the Columbia River Gorge. The health club, pool, and hot tub all are included in the resort fee, as is wireless Internet access. For more information on Skamania, please visit the hotel page of the Sirens website.

To reserve a room with the Sirens discount rates, please click here to reserve online, or to make a reservation by telephone, please call 800-221-7117 and mention the code Sirens2013 to reservations staff.

If you would like to find roommates, you can post a message on the Skamania Lodge section of our message boards.

We recommend making your hotel reservation as soon as possible, especially if you want a room with two beds. Last year, we used all of the rooms set aside for Sirens, and we expect to fill our room block in 2013, too.


Sirens Supper
If you’ll be at Skamania on Wednesday, October 9, we invite you to join us for our traditional pre-conference Sirens Supper. It’s a great way to unwind from travel, meet other attendees, and enjoy a fabulous buffet dinner with friends new and old. We’ll be announcing the menu soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to note that there are only 10 tickets remaining for this event.


What We’re Excited About This Month

Guest of Honor Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint audiobook won a 2013 Audie award for Audio Drama. Congratulations!

Time has an excerpt from 2009 Sirens Guest of Honor Tamora Pierce’s upcoming novel Battle Magic, which is set two years before the events of The Will of the Empress and Melting Stones. –Michelle

Tamora Pierce talks about winning the Edwards Award, writing female characters, and more. –Z

Richelle Mead’s Gameboard of the Gods was released on June 4, as was Steadfast by Mercedes Lackey. –Anonymous

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes was released on June 4. –Suzi

Mur Lafferty’s The Shambling Guide to New York City was out June 4.

The title for the last book in Laini Taylor’s trilogy that began with Daughter of Smoke and Bone has been revealed. Spoiler: It’s Dreams of Gods and Monsters. –Anonymous

Cassandra Claire’s Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale, part three of The Bane Chronicles, will be out on June 18! –Anonymous

Kate Elliott’s Cold Steel, the final book in the Spiritwalker Trilogy, was out on June 25! –Sabrina

An NPR piece titled “Scheherazade: From Storytelling ‘Slave’ To ‘First Feminist'” includes an interview of Lebanese author Hanan al-Shaykh, and her thoughts about her retelling One Thousand and One Nights. –Anonymous

Janni Lee Simner wants to know if you… Know Your Faeries: Friendly, Fierce, or Fatal? –Anonymous

A meditation on Gender, Ambivalence & the Women of Westeros. –Anonymous

Seen all over Twitter: Karen Lord talking about Redemption in Indigo.

SFWA recently announced the the 2012 Nebula Awards (we recognize some of you on that list!). We also recognize some favorites on the 2013 Mythopoeic Awards list.

Check out these illustrations of East of the Sun, West of the Moon from 1914.


Do you have exciting fantasy book news or links you’d like to share? Email us at (help at by June 27 and we’ll include it in next month’s newsletter!


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

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:

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 See you in October!

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 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, 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 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 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


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 (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.

Her website can be found at

Her blog is at

She can be found on Twitter at

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

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

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 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

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 and we’ll be glad to help.

Presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc.


RSS Feed

The news archive for Sirens is linked below as an RSS feed. If you need instructions or would like more information, please click here. If you have questions about our RSS feed, please email us at (web at

RSS Feed Button



October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January

December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January

December, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March

November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January

December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, March, February, January

December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January

December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January

December, November, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January

December, November, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January

December, November, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January



annual programming series, attendee perspective, auction, book club, book list, book reviews, books, bookstore, boot camp, chat, community, compendium, deadlines, giveaway, guests, hotel, inclusivity, interview, meet-up, menus, narrate conferences, newsletter, perspective, professionals, programming, read along, recap, registration, review squad, schedule, schedules, scholarships, sirens, Sirens 2009, Sirens 2010, Sirens 2011, Sirens 2012, Sirens 2013, Sirens 2014, Sirens 2015, Sirens 2016, Sirens 2017, Sirens 2018, Sirens Shuttle, Sirens Studio, Sirens Supper, site visit, skamania, special edition, sponsorship, support, testimonials, themes, things we're excited about, travel, volunteering, website, where are they now
Meet Our Guests of Honor
About the Conference
Accepted Programming
Sirens Twitter
Sirens Facebook

Connect with the Sirens community

Sign up for the Sirens newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list