It’s time for our annual programming series posts! You can see all of the posts here including perspectives from past presenters, submission information, and more. We want to give you inspiration, information, and things to think about. While most details don’t change from year to year, it’s always good to refresh your memory and knowledge—especially because each year, the presentation proposals we receive get better and better (and we thank you sincerely).
The deadline for proposals is May 9, 2016.
To help you prepare, we’ll explain our programming selection process (including any updates), discuss different types of programming commonly seen at Sirens, and show you how to put together a strong programming proposal. Here’s the first thing you should know:
Everyone who is eligible to attend Sirens is eligible to present at Sirens.
You have something to share.
Your voice is important.
Presenting is not an activity just for published authors, or professors, or professionals. The programming for Sirens is presented by attendees because the perspectives and inquiries of attendees are important. Readers, authors, moms, publishers, cousins, scientists, psychologists, friends, mathematicians, librarians, historians—and any other broad category you might be able to think of—all have interesting perspectives to share.
This year’s theme is lovers, and we hope you’ll consider how that’s reflected in fantasy. We’ll also be happy to receive programming proposals more generally applicable to women in fantasy, and presentations might focus on particular authors, stories, or themes, related topics in gender studies and community, the business and enjoyment of books, and so on. For inspiration, take a look at what attendees have presented over the last seven years.
Here are some quick facts and answers to frequently asked questions about programming for Sirens:
- Proposals are accepted via our online system only, and are due no later than May 9, 2016.
- We have some guidelines and considerations for presentations so that we can create a coherent schedule that will fit in the time and space we have available.
- Collaboration is encouraged! Except for roundtable discussions, where the participants need to have a single moderator, you’re welcome to make your presentation with another person or with several other people.
- One or two presentations is usually a good maximum number of presentations for any one person. Likewise, one or two proposals is a good maximum number of proposals to submit.
- Proposals are kept confidential by the vetting board.
- Decisions will be made by June 13, 2016 so that you have the time you need to prepare your presentation at Sirens.
- You may submit a proposal even if you are not registered yet, but you must be registered by July 9, 2016, to confirm your participation if your proposal is chosen for Sirens.
You’ll Want to Know
The Call for Proposals
A call for proposals (or papers) formally sets out a conference’s theme, desired presentations, and presentation requirements. It also gives a brief overview of the process by which proposals will be selected.
An independent vetting board will read all of the proposals and decide which proposals to accept for Sirens in 2016. We enlist a rotating board to make sure that proposals are evaluated by people who have a strong collective knowledge of current trends, scholarship, events, and so on; we feel it is most fair to have proposals evaluated by a group of people who know and appreciate what you want to talk about.
Tips and Tricks
- Make sure you include all requested information when you make your proposal. (More on what to include is coming up in the next posts in the series.)
- If you’re working with collaborators—perhaps co-writing a paper, grouping together for a panel, or team-teaching a workshop—be sure to verify that your collaborators want to be part of the presentation before you submit it! Let them know that they’ll receive an email asking them to confirm their participation and to input their contact information and a short biography.
- You’ll receive all proposal and presentation communications via email. Please use one that you’ll have access to for all of 2016 and that you check regularly.
Join Us for a Chat!
We’ll be hosting two chats on the Sirens website for talking about programming ideas—and for books, travel, Sirens, and meeting potential travel buddies and roommates. Join us on Friday, April 22, from 9 to 11:00 p.m. Eastern or Sunday, May 1, from 1 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern. The linked page will turn into a chat during those hours; no software or downloads are required, but you may need to refresh the page.
Our next posts will describe different types of proposals; what to put in a biography, summary, and abstract; and posts simply for exchanging ideas and finding collaborators. If you have questions, we’re happy to receive them, here or via email at (programming at sirensconference.org).