Archive for October 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

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 and e-mail us at (volunteers2012 at with your top three shift choices and the number of shifts for which you’d like to volunteer. Thank you in advance!


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 with what you plan to donate.


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 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 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, 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

Driving Directions
Directions for those driving to Skamania Lodge from the north, south, or east can be found on our website at

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


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


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

Presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc.


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