This is the season when we take a little time for rest and rejuvenation, so this year, we’re combining the November and December newsletters into a single edition. In other words, you didn’t miss one!
Thank you again to everyone who made our reunion year so special. There’s something undeniable about the chance to speak and listen, to be in the company of like-minded folks, and to celebrate women in fantasy, but that could never happen without your support. Thank you for presenting. Thank you for attending. Thank you, especially, to Alaya Dawn Johnson, Ellen Kushner, Robin LaFevers, and Guadalupe Garcia McCall for being our guests of honor. We hope you enjoyed Sirens in 2013 as much as we did!
2013 Deadlines: Compendium
If you presented in 2013, you received a reminder that compendium submissions were due December 1, 2013; if you thought you had a few more days, and require a short extension to prepare the written version of your paper, talk, roundtable, panel, or workshop, please write to us at (programming at sirensconference.org). Participation in the compendium is entirely optional! The current plan is for presentations from 2012, 2013, and 2014 to be published as one volume sometime in 2015. Please see emails from our programming team for more information.
2014 Theme and Guests of Honor
While we’ve been quiet, we’ve been updating the Sirens website at http://www.sirensconference.org. Here’s a bit on the theme for 2014 from the home page:
Within our focus on fantastic women, each year Sirens features a fantasy-related theme—and in 2014, that theme is “hauntings.” The traditional ghost story, of course, has decidedly feminist roots, but we’ll also be examining the topic more broadly: namely, what it means to be haunted. To further our discussion, we have invited three guests of honor, each of whom writes powerfully and reflectively about hauntings: Kendare Blake, Rosemary Clement-Moore, and Andrea Hairston.
In other words, we think that ghosts are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to thinking about hauntings. Past lives, future fears, dreams, visions, prophecy, spirits of all kinds, and persistent memories are just a few of the ideas we hope you’ll explore next year.
And while you’re pondering, please feel free to check out the programming section of the Sirens website. Proposals are due May 14, 2014.
Gift Certificates and Registrations
If you’d like a friend to attend with you October 16–19, 2014, you might consider purchasing a gift certificate. They can be given to friends, family, and even strangers so that they can attend Sirens. Gift certificates may be purchased in any amount, and may be given anonymously if the benefactor chooses. Gift certificates may be used only for Sirens registrations, and for Sirens Shuttle and Sirens Supper tickets.
As a reminder, the registration price increases on January 1, 2014. Sirens registrations include access to all of our conference programming and events, including the keynote presentations by our guests of honor and a conference T-shirt available only to attendees, as well as four meals or receptions. Neither our Sirens Shuttle nor our pre-conference Sirens Supper, however, is included in a conference registration; these must be purchased separately.
Volunteering and Reading
As we mentioned, this is a quiet time of year for us, but in the coming year, we’d love to have your help for Sirens. For example, in the lead up to Sirens, we have occasional research projects that can be completed online, and during the conference, we always, always appreciate having short-term help for setup, teardown, and room monitoring. (Helping out on-site is also a great way to get an idea of whether you’d like to become more involved year-round.) Please visit the volunteers page to sign up.
In past years, we’ve been fortunate to host fantasy book reviews as part of our newsletter. We’d love to revive this tradition and feature more readers and writers of women in fantasy. If you think you could contribute a book review of at least 250 words (and perhaps no more than 1,500, at the longest—though we could talk) sometime during the next year, please visit the volunteer system and on the third page, where you are offered different volunteer team choices, indicate that you’d like to be a book reviewer in the section that says “Please tell us of any specific position you are interested in” (or let us know in any volunteer system text box—we’ll sort you out).
If you’re with a publisher and are interested in providing review copies or similar, please contact us at (help at sirensconference.org).
What We’re Excited About
Here’s a peek at how books get from final manuscript to final printed copy.
And on book covers.
And on maps for books.
“Before they got watered down, [fairy tales] were women’s stories…” – Terri Windling interview. (Also of interest: a blog post on birds and the mythical.)
Newest Marvel superhero, Kamala Khan.
Trailer for Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge on USA Today.
New science fiction and fantasy imprint at Simon & Schuster.
Signups open for World Book Night 2014.
Strange Horizons focuses on Indian speculative fiction in a September edition.
Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells is on the Kirkus Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2013 list.
Cold Steel by Kate Elliott is nominated for best fantasy novel of 2013 in Romantic Times Book Reviews Magazine.
Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall is on the 2014 Texas Lone Star reading list.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, Inheritance by Malinda Lo, and Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce are part of the 2014 Rainbow List nominees.
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown are on Amazon’s 2013 best books for teens and young adults.
Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor
Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow
“Freeze Warning” by Susan Kinard
Crown Duel (Audible edition) by Sherwood Smith
The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell
The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales edited by Paula Guran
Blythewood by Carol Goodman
Copperhead by Tina Connolly
A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway
If you have fantasy-related links—reviews, links, news, announcements, or something else that’s of interest to Sirens attendees—we welcome them! Please send them to (help at sirensconference.org) at any time.
Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).
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