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

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 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 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.


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.


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 ( or to an existing registration ( 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.

Her website can be found at

Her blog is at, 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

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.


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

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Presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc.


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