Questions
Thank you for your interest in Sirens! Many of our most commonly asked questions are below, along with our answers. If your question isn’t included, or if you would like additional information, we invite you to write us at (help at sirensconference.org).

General

Registration

Travel

Programming & Events

Miscellaneous


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General

What is Sirens?
Sirens is a conference about women in fantasy literature. We are part scholarly conference, part enthusiastic convention, part networking weekend, and part personal retreat. We invite readers, authors, publishing professionals, scholars, educators, and librarians to attend and add their voices to our conference and our community.

When is Sirens? Where is it?
Sirens will take place October 26–29, 2017, at Hotel Talisa in Vail, Colorado.

Why is the focus women in fantasy literature?
Our conference team believes strongly that women’s place in fantasy literature—as readers, as authors, as professionals, even as characters—is a vital, vibrant topic for discussion and debate. Some of our favorite books are fantasy works by women authors and some of our favorite people are women who write fantasy—and we hope you feel the same!

Who should attend Sirens?
We hope that readers, authors, scholars, educators, librarians, and publishing professionals with an interest in women in fantasy literature will consider joining us. Men and individuals of other genders are absolutely welcome to attend. Since Sirens is a conference designed for adults, all attendees need to be at least 18 years old on October 26, 2017. (Narrate Conferences does plan events where teens are welcome; we’re working on a conference focused on young adult literature, and if you’re interested in that event, please join the Narrate Conferences mailing list to receive the event announcement.)

Does Sirens have a code of conduct?
Sirens expects that everyone, both online and at Sirens, will behave and communicate respectfully and with an awareness of others. We do encourage extensive discussion, debate, and disagreement at Sirens, but we firmly believe that disagreement need not come with hate, intimidation, or harassment. Our Terms of Service prohibits a wide range of disrespectful behavior, and allows us to eject violators from our space, both online and at the conference. Please note that everyone using Sirens’s space, both online and at the conference, must agree to our Terms of Service.


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Registration

How much does it cost to attend Sirens?
At the moment, a registration costs $215. Please see our registration information for future pricing.

What does my registration include?
All programming and events, including our three keynote addresses, are included with a registration. Attendees will receive access to all conference programs, including our meals and receptions, and will receive a conference t-shirt as well. Please note, however, that the Sirens Shuttle, the Sirens Studio, or the Sirens Supper are separately ticketed events, and are not included in a conference registration.

Are registration discounts available?
All attendees—including presenters, staff, and volunteers—must register for Sirens. We’ve chosen to make the cost as low as possible for everyone by asking everyone to pay for their registrations. For information about possible scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

Can I have a refund on my registration if I can’t attend?
As stated in the registration system, we do not refund registration or ticket payments. You may want to consider purchasing travel insurance, which is a good idea any time you take a trip with non-refundable arrangements. Another option is to sell the registration to someone else. If you Tweet us @sirens_con, we will retweet your available registration or tickets, and you’re welcome to post on our Facebook page as well. (Please note that arrangements between individuals are at your own risk.) Once you’ve sold your registration or tickets, please write us at (help at sirensconference.org) to have it transferred to your buyer.

What is your privacy policy with regard to registration information?
We gather personal information about you during the registration process so that we may collect payment, prepare your registration packet, and check you in at the conference. Only designated staff members can see this information, and our on-site registration volunteers will have only the information necessary to check you in. We will not share your information with third parties unless we are required to by law. Please see our privacy policy for more information.


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Travel

Why did you choose Vail?
Simply, Vail is one of the most beautiful, most calming places we have ever been. Vail was designed to be a tourist destination and it shows, from the extensive free transportation system to the heated sidewalks, the pedestrian areas to the friendly locals who staff the hotels, restaurants, and shops. When we’re looking to get away, Vail is always on our list. (Also, the Hotel Talisa offered us an amazing deal that went a long way toward keeping the costs of attending Sirens—catering costs, room rates, and so forth—as low as possible.)

Do you have an official hotel?
Hotel Talisa will be the location of Sirens. It’s a bright, inviting hotel, with a gracious staff, numerous recreation options, and a wonderful spa. Attendees are welcome to stay at the Hotel Talisa at Sirens’s discounted rate, which is $139 per night, plus tax and resort fee. Please see our Hotel page for information on how to make a reservation.

Why did you choose the Hotel Talisa?
Sirens is meant to be a cozy, welcoming conference where everyone feels comfortable jumping into a discussion of women in fantasy literature. To help create that atmosphere, we’ve chosen a hotel with cozy, inviting spaces that makes welcoming guests its top priority. We hope this is a retreat for you, and we hope a weekend at Sirens helps you take a break. (Also, the Hotel Talisa offered us an amazing deal that went a long way toward keeping the costs of attending Sirens—catering costs, room rates, and so forth—as low as possible.)

Do I have to stay at the Hotel Talisa?
No, you don’t, but we’d appreciate it if you would stay with us. One of the ways that we’re able to arrange meeting space for Sirens is by having attendees stay at the Hotel Talisa, and your staying there is a convenient way to help make Sirens successful. Also, since you won’t have to travel back and forth to your alternate lodgings, staying at the Hotel Talisa will help you experience the full range of Sirens.

Is the Hotel Talisa handicapped-accessible?
Yes, it is. If you have any questions or concerns about the rooms or spaces, please contact the Hotel Talisa.

Some meals are included, but not all of them. What am I going to eat?
The Hotel Talisa features several dining options, including an old-world pub. If you’d like to venture outside the hotel, numerous dining options are available, and the Hotel Talisa provides guests with a complimentary shuttle service within Vail.

How can I get to Vail? Are there travel discounts?
Please visit our transportation page for more information on traveling to Sirens. We expect that most of our attendees will fly into Denver International Airport, though some may choose the Eagle Airport. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer group travel discounts, but we will be offering our Sirens Shuttle, at an additional cost, to and from Denver International Airport.


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Programming & Events

What is on the schedule for Sirens?
Our conference includes numerous conversations, both as part of programming and otherwise, that will intrigue anyone with an interest in women in fantasy literature. In addition, we offer keynote presentations by our guests of honor as well as other events and activities. Our goal is to provide a friendly, smart, thought-provoking weekend for discussion, debate, and networking, and we hope that’s what you find at Sirens. We have a very preliminary schedule at this time; you can also get a sense of what Sirens might be like by visiting our conference archive.

Who presents Sirens’s programming?
Our attendees do. The programming schedule for Sirens is created from topics that our attendees propose, craft, and present. All potential attendees are invited to propose programming, and if selected by our independent vetting board, to present them to Sirens’s attendees.

When will your submission system be open? When is the submissions deadline?
The submissions deadline was May 8, 2017.

Do you have a Call for Proposals that I can distribute?
Absolutely. You may download our Call for Proposals here.

Can I be on your vetting board?
Our vetting board is chosen by our programming team to ensure that the board has a wide range of collective scholarship and experience. The programming team extends invitations to be on the board each year, assembling a board that reflects new and returning voters as well as expertise in a particular year’s theme.

Will you be publishing proceedings from the conference?
Those who present at Sirens will be offered the opportunity to submit written versions of their presentations to the conference compendium, which, assuming sufficient participation, will be published about every fourth year. Not all presenters will choose to participate, but we intend to publish the compendium so that attendees and others can have a record of the conference’s programming.

I’d like to be a guest of honor. How can I be included? How can I suggest someone?
Our guests of honor are chosen by a private committee, sometimes several years in advance, and invited by our conference staff. While we don’t currently solicit ideas for guests of honor, we do encourage all attendees to take an active part in our programming, which is a great way to connect with others and share your work.

Is it okay to send you a copy of my book?
Absolutely—and thank you! We read all sorts of books (in advance review and final copies), pass them to our staff and guests of honor committee, give them to volunteers to blog about, donate them to Sirens’s bookstore, package them as contest prizes, and so on. (We regret that we can’t promise a particular use for any title.) Additionally, we’re happy to receive news about upcoming releases of interest to Sirens. Our mailing address is Sirens, c/o Narrate Conferences, P.O. Box 149, Sedalia, CO 80135.


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Miscellaneous

Who is presenting Sirens?
Narrate Conferences, Inc., a 501(c)(3) educational organization, is the presenting company behind Sirens. Our company was founded in 2006 to provide conferences that welcome scholars, professionals, authors, and readers to discuss, debate, and collaborate with one another. You can find more information about Narrate Conferences on its website.

I’d like to make sure Sirens is successful. How can I help?
Each year, in order to cover all of Sirens’s expenses, we rely on thousands of dollars in monetary donations from supporters, as well as further thousands of dollars in proceeds from auction items donated by supporters. If you wish to support Sirens, we thank you, on behalf of our team and our community. Please visit our Donations page to see how you can help with monetary or in-kind donations. Equally important is spreading the word about Sirens to your friends and readers of your website or blog. Please see our Artwork page for more information on helping to promote Sirens in your online spaces. Finally, if you are interested in spreading the word in person at other events, please write us at (help at sirensconference.org); we’ll be able to get you materials and information.

Who did your logo? Who does your other artwork?
Manda Lewis, a long-time, exceptionally talented Sirens staff member, creates Sirens’s artwork, including our logo, website, program book, and merchandise designs.

May I use your artwork?
Everyone is welcome to download our banners, avatars, and desktops from our Artwork page, for personal use, and we hope that you do. If you are seeking to use other artwork for other purposes, such an online community or physical items, it’s not impossible, but it is difficult for us to permit you to use our artwork, due to the Internal Revenue Service rules governing endorsements by charities. Please write us at (help at sirensconference.org) if you’d like to inquire.

May I obtain a press pass to Sirens?
Due to our limited space, we will not be offering press passes for Sirens. Members of the media are welcome to attend by purchasing a registration, and must contact us to arrange a special badge designation that will inform other attendees of their press affiliation if they plan to cover the event for a media outlet. We appreciate advance notice of your attendance so that we may prepare for your arrival.

Can my publisher send books to Sirens?
Of course! In fact, we often receive books from publishers interested in making sure that their works by women authors are present in our bookstore. We do appreciate, however, if publishers write us at (donate at sirensconference.org) before shipping books, whether for donation to our bookstore or for other requested uses.

Do you have a “freebie” table?
Yes, we do. We are happy to accept flyers, bookmarks, postcards, and small items for attendees; please note that we do reserve the right to reject any item that violates any law, including trademark or copyright law, or that we otherwise deem inappropriate. You may bring items and place them on the freebie table or mail them (to arrive no later than September 23, 2017) to Sirens, c/o Narrate Conferences, P.O. Box 149, Sedalia, CO 80135. As not all attendees will take home one of each freebie, 25 or so of your item is usually sufficient to reach all those with interest. We apologize, but we cannot return any unclaimed items to you, though you may retrieve your items in person at the end of the conference.

I have fantasy, whimsical, literary, or other items to sell that I think Sirens attendees might like. Will there be a dealer room?
Currently, we aren’t planning to include a dealer room at Sirens, though we may decide to do so in the future. If you are looking for opportunities to promote your business or products to our attendees, please write us at (help at sirensconference.org) so we may discuss providing items or coupons.

Is there a green room/​con suite/​masquerade/​art show?
Narrate Conferences’s events draw their overall shape from scholarly, professional, media, fan, and association conferences, so some elements that you may be familiar with might not appear at Sirens—and you might discover some elements that are new to you. We won’t have any of the elements listed above, but we will have a few others that we think you’ll enjoy. Please visit our About section for more information on programs and events that Sirens will include.

Can I talk about other genres here? I’m interested in programming about science fiction/​speculative fiction/​steampunk/​romance/​horror/​suspense/​mystery/​something else.
The main focus for Sirens is fantasy, whether it’s for adults, teens, or children. There are other events focused on different genres, of course, and while our staff and our attendees certainly enjoy other genres, we wanted to create a space specifically about fantasy written by and starring women and girls. That said, you will probably find that fantasy encompasses themes and stories that include all of the above, and cross-genre, interdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary programming is more than welcome, as are cross-genre, interdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary readers, authors, professionals, and scholars.

May I take photographs at Sirens?
Of course! Please bear in mind, however, that not everyone wishes to have their picture taken or posted on the Internet. It is polite to ask before photographing or filming other attendees. Please do not take pictures of individuals who are not comfortable having you do so. For this reason, Sirens prohibits photographs during programming sessions, unless the program book indicates that the presenter has given permission.

Can Sirens accommodate my food allergies?
Sirens will do its best to accommodate a variety of diets and food needs during the weekend, and will always offer meat and vegetarian entrée options or a flexible entrée option. In the summer of 2017, we will contact all attendees about dietary issues, and we will work with the hotel’s caterer to accommodate restrictions. We do recommend, however, if you have special concerns that you ask the catering staff before partaking; we will also designate a staff member to help you contact the catering staff at all meal functions. Our staff does not have the recipes for any particular items served over the weekend, and cannot provide absolute assurance that an ingredient is not present. If after reviewing our menus, which will be available in the upcoming months, you are concerned about your dietary issues, please write us at (help at sirensconference.org).

Can I bring my child? Do you provide childcare? Do you have children’s activities?
We are happy to allow infants and pre-mobile babies to attend Sirens alongside a parent at no charge, so long as the child does not cause a distraction or disruption. Sirens has no child-appropriate activities, however, and requires all other attendees to be at least 18 years old by the first day of the conference. Finally, please feel free to use Twitter or our Facebook group to connect with other parents, set up cooperative childcare arrangements, and share resources.

How can I contact staff if I have a question? When will I get a response? Can I call you?
Most sections of our website have a contact address that will connect you directly to someone who will answer your email as soon as possible, or you may use the email address at the top of this page. Generally, you’ll receive a reply within 72 hours, though we may take longer to answer non-urgent email during weekends, holiday periods, vacations, or when we’re receiving a large volume of messages, which can happen around the programming presentations deadline, the close of online registration, and so on. Our staff is made up entirely of volunteers, but we do try our very best to respond as quickly as we can; if you don’t hear back within a few days, please feel free to write to us again because your email or our answer might have been misdirected into a bulk mail folder, caught in an Internet outage, or sent awry some other way. Unfortunately, because we’re volunteers working from around the world, we don’t have a customer service phone number to give you. We appreciate your understanding.

Presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc.
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