s.e. smith (@realsesmith)
I attended Sirens at the urging of someone who had been going since the very first year. She encouraged me to hop on the Sirens train on the basis of our mutual love of women in fantasy, and the need for spaces where people can talk about literature in an environment dedicated specifically to exploring women and intersectional issues. Many larger cons are too sprawling for the conversations that happen at Sirens, and she promised me an intimate, rewarding experience. She was right.
Gillian C. (@gnomes_g)
A friend invited me. I’d never been to any kind of con before, so Sirens was my first ever con experience, and now I tell people that it’s ruined me for all other cons!
I am a writer and I love Sirens because the community is so supportive and inspiring. Telling stories is difficult, often lonely work, especially when you have to balance it with a demanding day job, but every year I leave Sirens with a renewed belief in my voice and the stories that I have to tell.
I’ve been an avid reader of fantasy and sci-fi since I was a little girl, but I had always felt a bit isolated as most of the people I knew who were into fantasy growing up were male and mostly white. I didn’t feel as if I could discuss the things I liked about books with them. This continued even on the Internet; I’m old enough to remember a time when fandom didn’t really have the Internet as a space for discourse about fantasy. I would engage in fandoms for many types of media, books, etc. but not necessarily fantasy, as those spaces also felt very male and white. I also hadn’t considered conventions as a place to find that community.
Fast forward to 2015. I’ve since started writing my own stories while still being a reader. I often talk with Kate Elliott on Twitter, and she’d been telling me for at least two years that I should consider going to Sirens as she knew I was both a reader and a writer. As Kate is someone I respect, whose books I had read for years, I decided to take a risk and go to Sirens!