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Sirens Newsletter – Volume 5, Issue 10 (August 2013)

August’s newsletter includes registration deadline reminders, calls for used books and volunteers, notes about our schedule, and some exciting fantasy book news.

 

Registration Deadlines
Sirens is less than two months away! If you haven’t purchased your registration yet, including Sirens Shuttle and Sirens Supper tickets, please make sure to do so before registration closes on September 7. If you have any questions, please contact us at (registration at sirensconference.org).

All payments for registrations and tickets are due no later than September 13, 2013.

 

Hotel Reservations
If you haven’t yet made your hotel reservations, please do so as soon as possible. Skamania Lodge is a resort, and so some reservation and guarantee policies are different than standard hotel policies, including a requirement to reserve rooms well in advance. Please see the hotel page on our website for more details. Hotel reservations must be made no later than September 12, 2013.

If you’d like a roommate (or two or three), please check out our Facebook page and website message boards.

 

Author Signings
Sirens hosts author signings on Friday and Saturday afternoons. If you are a published author attending Sirens and you’d like to participate in our author signings, please email us at (help at sirensconference.org) as soon as possible. We’d love to have you join us.

 

Used Book Donations
Beyond the selection of new books that we’ll be carrying by attending authors and others that we think you’ll enjoy (like the ones featured during Books and Breakfast, for example), the Narrate bookstore will sell some used books as well. If you have fantasy books written by or about women that you’d like to donate to the used section of our bookstore, and they are in good used condition, we’d love to have them. You don’t need to attend to donate; anyone can send books by regular or media mail to the following address:

Sirens
c/o Narrate Conferences
P.O. Box 149
Sedalia, CO 80135

Be aware that media mail has restrictions, and that we must receive all packages and mail by September 12, 2013, in order to get your donations to Skamania in time for Sirens. And make sure to stop by and see us at the bookstore this fall! We’ll have plenty of recommendations.

 

Volunteers
Would you like to help out during Sirens? Volunteer shifts vary in length and responsibilities, but most are low-key, and you’re always able to ask a staff member for assistance if you encounter a problem. Most volunteer shifts are during programming and allow you to attend presentations; you might help people find seats, turn microphones on or off, give presenters their five-minute warnings, and gather lost and found items. See the volunteers page on our website for more details. If you’re a returning volunteer, you don’t need to fill out the form—just keep an eye out for email from the Google Group. Many thanks in advance!

 

Schedule
If you’ve seen our recently released programming schedule, you may have noticed some changes to accommodate a fourth keynote presentation this year.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
If you’re arriving on Wednesday and joining us for the Sirens Supper, we’ll email you about where to meet for dinner. If you’re riding the Sirens Shuttle, we’ll email you with the pickup point information in early October.

Thursday, October 10, 2013
Conference registration pickup opens at 3:00 p.m. (If you’re arriving early, please feel free to meet up at noon in the River Rock at Skamania Lodge for lunch.) We’ll have spaces where you can meet, chat, play games, and enjoy an afternoon tea. Look for your Sirens Shuttle email in early October for details on when and where to meet if you’ll be using it for transportation to Skamania.

Friday, October 11, 2013 and Saturday, October 12, 2013
Books and Breakfast begins at 8:00 a.m., followed by our three programming tracks at 9:00 a.m. Keynote luncheons begin at noon, followed by author signings at 2:00 p.m. (And if you’re an attending author who would like to participate, please get in touch at (help at sirensconference.org) as soon as possible.) Presentations resume at 3:00 p.m. and continue until evening. On Friday, we’ll begin Bedtime Stories at 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, the keynote reception begins at 7:00 p.m., with the Reunion Ball and Murder Mystery to follow.

Throughout the weekend, we’ll have spaces near the information desk and the Narrate bookstore for casual chats, auction book page creation, and write-ins. At 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, you can join our exploratory programming team if you’d like to go hiking on the resort golf course trails or go swimming/hot tubbing with other attendees. It’s also a good time for borrowing a bike at the fitness center, visiting the gift shop, squeezing in a pedicure, grabbing that forgotten item from your hotel room, or just relaxing in the main lobby.

All of that said, we’ve squeezed in some free space for meet-ups and those discussions that just weren’t ready for programming proposals yet. Please check the website schedule for available space. You can reserve a room and time once you arrive at Sirens.

Sunday, October 13, 2013
We’ll start the morning early to ensure that attendees catching mid-day flights to the East Coast have plenty of time to get through security lines. (Our tips: Bring your luggage to breakfast, and use the business center in the conference area to print your boarding pass for free before you leave.) If you’re not taking the Sirens Shuttle, we’ll provide meet-up points for creating and crafting with others, or squeezing in a few last minutes outside (in Washington, that means rain or shine) or in the pool until it’s time to check out.

 

What We’re Excited About This Month

Heiresses of Russ 2013, The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction was released August 10, and includes stories by Malinda Lo, Carrie Vaughn, and others.

Kate Elliott on worldbuilding.

Janni Lee Simner concludes her excellent series of posts on Writing for the Long Haul.

Blood of Tyrants, Naomi Novak’s latest Temeraire novel is out August 13! Read the first 50 pages on Suvudu.

The World Fantasy Awards ballot for 2013 can be viewed here. Maybe something new for your reading list?

“Fantasy… makes up worlds and cultures, but it doesn’t do this in a vacuum.” Read more of this interview with Kari Sperring here.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon is out August 20.

The paperback edition of Under My Hat is out, and according to reviews, it’s “an enjoyable witches’ brew of tales.”

Sherwood Smith’s short story collection, Whispered Magics, is out; get more information here.

 

If you have fantasy-related links—reviews, 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).

Sirens News – Volume 4, Special Edition: Conference Schedule

Conference Schedule
The complete conference schedule for Sirens is now available on the Schedule page of the Sirens website. We’re sure that you’ll wish you had a Time-Turner so that you could be in three places at once; we always do! That’s a testament to this year’s presenters, and a challenge we’re extremely grateful to have.

If you are a presenter, you should have received a notice regarding the time and location for your presentation(s), as well as information about the audio-visual equipment available to you, if any. If you did not receive this e-mail, please check your bulk folder, and if you still can’t find a notice for one of your presentations, please write to (programming at sirensconference.org).

 

Schedule Notes
Because we’ve moved to a new location for 2012, we’ve adjusted our overall schedule to work with the space we have available to us. That’s affected the schedule in ways that might seem odd at first glance! Here’s what you need to know about this year’s changes.

Wednesday, October 10
If you’re an early arrival for the Sirens Supper, we’ll send you an e-mail about where to meet for dinner. If you’re taking the Sirens Shuttle on this day, we’ll e-mail you with the pickup point information in early October.

Thursday, October 11
You’ll notice that this year, we’re opening conference registration pickup at 3:00 p.m., a little later than we normally do. (If you are arriving early, let’s meet up for lunch at noon in the River Rock at Skamania Lodge.) Starting at 3:00, we’ll have our Information Desk in the Skamania conference center lobby, and we’ll have another room just down the hall where you can meet, chat, play games, and have afternoon tea. We’ve listed a location for the Sirens Shuttle on this day, but please do check your Sirens Shuttle e-mail in early October if you’ll be riding on Thursday; the bus vendor might change our meeting point. All shuttle riders will be at Skamania in time to grab dinner in the River Rock or the Cascade Dining Room before the dessert reception; the hotel is also planning to offer inexpensive grab-and-go meals in the conference center lobby, so that’s another option.

Friday, October 12, and Saturday, October 13
This year, we accepted more presentations than ever! We’ll still run three tracks of programming, but our programs will stretch later into the afternoon and evening. Also, we don’t have a separate ballroom to which we can adjourn for keynote lunches, so we’ll be clearing and repurposing one of the rooms we’re using for presentations during the middle of the day, and we’ve decided to put a break at this point in the schedule for 2012. At 11:00 a.m., you can join our exploratory programming team for writing challenges, and if you’d like to go hiking on the resort golf course trails or go swimming/hot tubbing with other attendees, we’ve put those on the schedule as suggestions. It’s also a good time for borrowing a bike at the fitness center, visiting the gift shop, squeezing in a pedicure, grabbing that forgotten item from your hotel room, or just relaxing in the main lobby.

After lunch, the hotel staff needs time to reset our space, so we’ll host author signings during that time. (And if you’re an attending author who would like to participate, please get in touch with Amy Tenbrink at (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org) as soon as possible.)

All of that said, we’ve squeezed in some free space for meet-ups and those discussions that just weren’t ready for programming proposals yet. There are five hours available as sign-up space; you can reserve a room once you arrive at Sirens.

Sunday, October 14
Finally, on Sunday, we’ll start the morning early to ensure that attendees catching mid-day flights to the East Coast have plenty of time to get through security lines. (Our tips: Bring your luggage to breakfast, and use the business center in the conference area to print your boarding pass for free before you leave.) If you’re not taking the Sirens Shuttle, we’ll provide meet-up points for creating and crafting with others, or squeezing in a few last minutes outside (in Washington, that means rain or shine) or in the pool until it’s time to check out.

 

Volunteering
If you’ll be attending Sirens, we could use a few extra hands! Volunteer shifts vary in length and responsibilities. If you’re a presenter who feels confident in managing the room while presenting, you may volunteer to monitor the shift that overlaps your presentation.

Most volunteer shifts are low-key, and nearly all of them are within waving distance of the Information Desk should you encounter a problem and need help. In general, because of Sirens’s size, our greatest need is for people to monitor a morning or afternoon’s worth of presentations. You might help people find seats, turn microphones on or off (or up or down), give presenters their five-minute warning to wrap up, and collect lost and found items. This kind of help goes a long way toward making Sirens run smoothly, and is much appreciated.

To volunteer, please visit the Volunteers page and fill out the volunteer form. You’ll be invited to join a Google Group with a light volume of informational e-mails. If you’re a returning volunteer, you don’t need to fill out the form—just keep an eye out for e-mail from the Google Group. Many thanks in advance!

 


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

Presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc.

 

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