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A Siren’s Voyage, Part 1: Answering the Call

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After a very unusual year, in which we transformed Sirens into an online gathering, we are again planning for an in-person event this fall. We are readying the programming schedule, collecting newly released books, searching for amazing auction items, and discussing how we can make Sirens—after a year away—feel as warm and welcoming as ever. We confess: This all feels a bit strange.

And we suspect that coming—or coming back—to Sirens might feel a bit strange to you, too. So we thought we’d offer a series of posts about what Sirens is (or isn’t), some travel tips and tricks, and how you might choose to engage with the conference and community. If you’re considering attending, we very much hope you do. And if you’re returning, we can’t wait to see you again.

Sirens: The Conference

If you’re considering attending Sirens, but you aren’t sure, let us ask you some questions: Do you love books? Like, really love books? Speculative books about made-up worlds or a more magical version of our own? Books with dragons or revolutions or living spaceships?

We do, too! That’s why we created a space to talk about those books and what those books, those aspirational books in their aspirational worlds, have to say about gender. And even more, to discuss what you—readers, scholars, educators, librarians, publishing professionals, and authors—have to say about speculative literature and gender. Because after centuries of being silenced, we all have a lot to say!

Sirens is a conference dedicated to examining gender and speculative spaces—and works by women, nonbinary, and trans people in those spaces. We are committed to the fundamental premise that every voice at our conference—veteran or newbie, seasoned or learning, reader or author or scholar—has something valid, valuable, and vital to say. We are committed to including people with diverse perspectives, experiences, and identities in our conference and our community.

After all, we all love speculative literature. It speaks to all of us.

So if you love books—books with queer dragons or feminist revolutions or living spaceships headed for the stars—we do, too. We hope you’ll join us at Sirens this October. Our guests of honor will be Dr. Kinitra D. Brooks, Rin Chupeco, Sarah Gailey, and Fonda Lee. You can see the programming that will be presented here. And you can register here.

Sirens: The Studio

While Sirens is fabulous, it can be hectic: so many people to see, so many conversations to have, not nearly enough time to grab a seat by the fire and just read. The Sirens Studio, however, gives you both that book-loving, gender-discussing Sirens experience and that down time that we all need: small-group workshop intensives led by exceptional faculty in the morning; flexible time to read, write, or relax in the afternoon; and on Tuesday night, both a reception with our Studio faculty and a guest of honor keynote address available only to Studio attendees.

It’s Sirens, but smaller, more intimate, maybe a little less intimidating. And it happens before Sirens, so you might find that it’s a good introduction, an easier way to dip your toe in the water.

This year, our Sirens Studio Guest of Honor is Joamette Gil, who will present the event’s keynote address. Our 2021 faculty include: for reading workshops, Casey Blair, Rin Chupeco, Ren Iwamoto, and Fonda Lee; for writing workshops, Marie Brennan and Anna-Marie McLemore; and for career development workshops, Dr. Kinitra D. Brooks and Jae Young Kim. And you can see their workshop topics here.

If this sounds like your thing, and we hope it does, you can add a ticket to your Sirens registration here.

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