Archive for Sirens 2013

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 5, Issue 5 (March 2013)

March’s newsletter features programming news, chat announcements, an author spotlight on Ellen Kushner, and lots of exciting book news.

Congratulations to Hannah Berry, who won our giveaway for Alaya Dawn Johnson’s The Summer Prince!

We’ll have another giveaway next month to celebrate the release of Robin LaFevers’s Dark Triumph, the sequel to Grave Mercy.


Programming News
During the month of March, we’ll be posting our annual guide to programming on the Sirens LiveJournal. If you’d like to submit a programming proposal, or you’d like to know more about the kinds of programming we offer, these posts are a great place to get started.

The deadline for programming proposals is May 10, 2013.

See the guidelines section of our website for more information on putting a proposal together. If you have ideas for programming you’d like to see others present, share them with us at one of our brainstorming chats. If you’re curious about past programming, check out our archive.


Upcoming Chats
If you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow @sirens_con—we’ll be hosting a live Twitter Q&A on Friday, March 15th, 9:30-10 p.m. Eastern. Join some of the Sirens staff as we brainstorm programming ideas and answer your questions.

We’re also hosting two chats on our website to talk about programming ideas, travel plans, and the books we’ve been reading. Everyone is welcome! Please feel free to stop by for a minute or an hour.

Our chats are scheduled for:
Tuesday, March 26th, 9-10 p.m. Eastern
Sunday, April 7th, 2-3 p.m. Eastern


Author Spotlight: Ellen Kushner
Ellen Kushner’s career spans writing, editing, radio hosting, and performing. Her first novel, Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners, which began her Riverside series, was hailed as the progenitor of the “Mannerpunk” (or “Fantasy of Manners”) school of urban fantasy. Her second novel, Thomas the Rhymer, won both the 1991 World Fantasy Award and the Mythopoeic Award. With Delia Sherman she co-wrote The Fall of the Kings, and her most recent novel, The Privilege of the Sword, a genre-crossing, gender-bending novel published by Bantam Books and Small Beer Press, earned an eclectic range of honors from New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age to finalist for the Nebula and Tiptree Awards, and won the Locus Award.

Among Ellen’s many other projects are Welcome to Bordertown (co-edited with Holly Black), an anthology of new stories set in Terri Windling’s seminal shared-world series, and The Witches of Lublin, a musical audio drama written with Elizabeth Schwartz & Yale Strom for public radio. Ellen is also the co-founder of The Interstitial Arts Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports work that exists between genres.

We are very excited to have Ellen Kushner as one of our guests of honor at Sirens this year, along with Alaya Dawn Johnson, Robin LaFevers, and Guadalupe Garcia McCall. If you’re new to their works, check out our reading list for a place to start.


What We’re Excited About This Month:

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson was released on March 1! The author answers questions on NPR’s First Reads series and appears on PW KidsCast (podcast).

Guadalupe Garcia McCall is on a winning streak.

Malinda Lo: A Year of Thinking About Diversity.

Jasmine Richard’s The Book of Wonders is featured on Day 18 of The Brown Bookshelf’s 28 Days Later initiative.

Uma Krishnaswami takes on Thumbelina.

Horror, fantasy, and Nnedi Okorafor — and the cover for Kabu Kabu (out in October).

Rosamund Hodge on Sundered.

An excerpt of Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson (out March 12).

“Kyra, a 16-year-old Master Potioner (specialty: poisonous weaponry) is on a mission to kill her best friend, Princess Ariana.” Poison by Bridget Zinn.

Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, is out March 19.

Malinda Lo recommends five queer fairy tales.

Janni Lee Simner’s Faerie After (May 28) gets a website.

Ellen Kushner, Terri Windling, and Holly Black answer questions about Welcome to Bordertown.

Karen Healey (author of When We Wake) is doing a live chat with Malinda Lo (author of Adaptation) on March 23.

Do you have exciting book news for us? Send it to (help at by March 27th and we’ll include it in the next newsletter.

Until next time, happy reading!


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 5, Issue 4 (February 2013)

February’s Newsletter features a giveaway of The Summer Prince, our programming kickoff, and a lot of book news.


The Summer Prince Giveaway!
We have a copy of Alaya Dawn Johnson’s The Summer Prince to send to one lucky commenter! Here’s what it’s about:

The lush city of Palmares Tres shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that’s sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June’s best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.

Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Tres will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government’s strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.

If you’d like us to send you a copy, tell us about your favorite piece of art—real or imaginary!—in a comment of at least two sentences by February 25, 2013, at this post on the Sirens blog.

We’ll choose one lucky winner from the participants and contact them for a mailing address. Current Sirens staff members are not eligible to win, though they may leave a comment, but all volunteers, attendees, and I-wish-I-could-attendees are welcome to tell us their favorites.


Programming Kickoff
The programming team at Sirens is ready to receive your proposals for this year’s conference! Programming at Sirens takes many forms: papers and presentations, pre-empaneled sets of papers, panels, workshops, roundtable discussions, and afternoon classes and the majority of programming for Sirens comes from proposals submitted by attendees. New and returning attendees alike are welcome to participate. We consider proposals from a range of perspectives, fields, and experiences. Anyone eligible to attend Sirens is eligible to submit a programming proposal.

In March, we’ll be running a series of how-to guides for new and experienced presenters, and soon we’ll be announcing our brainstorming and question-and-answer chats. In the meantime, here is some essential information to get you started:

Deadline: All proposals must be submitted through our online system by May 10, 2013.

Theme: This year’s theme is “reunion.” Remix and revisit any of the themes from the first four years of Sirens or explore other topics related to women in fantasy literature.

Requirements: You don’t have to be registered at the time you make your proposal, but accepted presenters must be registered by July 1, 2013, to confirm attendance.

For more information: The programming section of the Sirens website has information on presentation formats and lengths, things to consider, and the support the conference may be able to provide (projection services, easels, etc.).

If you have a question that’s not answered by the website, the programming team can be reached at (programming at


Registration Price Jumps March 31
The next price increase for Sirens will happen on March 31, 2013.

Registration cost includes entry to conference programming and events, including the three keynote presentations by our guests of honor and a conference T-shirt available only to attendees, as well as four meals or receptions. Currently, the cost of registration is $185. It jumps to $195 at the very end of March. Visit for more information or to register now.


What We’re Excited About This Month:

Holly Black revealed the cover for The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

Guadalupe Garcia McCall’s Summer of the Mariposas is on the 2013 Amelia Bloomer list recognizing “well written and illustrated books with significant feminist content, intended for young readers from birth to 18 years old.”

Alaya Dawn Johnson is featured in a profile at The Brown Bookshelf.

If you purchased Malinda Lo’s Adaptation as an e-book, check out her announcement to see if you need to update it. She has announced the title and cover for the sequel.

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan is featured in Publishers Weekly. It was released on February 5.

Speaking of dragons, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman won the 2013 Morris Award, which “honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.”

Tamora Pierce won the 2013 Edwards award, which “honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature.”

Cindy Pon on virgin saviors and murderous succubi.

Nalo Hopkinson’s Sister Mine, out in March, will also be released as an audiobook.

Laini Taylor has news on the film producer for Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Have exciting fantasy book news for us? Send it to (help at by February 27th and we’ll include it in our next newsletter!

Until next time, happy reading!


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 5, Issue 3 (January 2013)

Happy New Year! January’s newsletter features the first of four author spotlights, programming information, and book news that excites us this month.


Author Spotlight: Alaya Dawn Johnson
Alaya Dawn Johnson’s first young adult novel, The Summer Prince, set in a futuristic Brazil, will be published in March 2013. She is the author of Racing the Dark and The Burning City, the Spirit Binders series, which explore a fantastic South Pacific and a world of elemental spirits, and the Zephyr Hollis novels, Moonshine and Wicked City, in which vampires and djinni rub shoulders with humans in Prohibition-era New York City. Alaya graduated from Columbia University with a BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures in 2004.

The School Library Journal review of Racing the Dark compared it to work by both Paolo Coehlo and Ursula K. LeGuin, and a Locus review of the Spirit Binders books called her writing “eloquent and unflinchingly vivid.” Alaya’s short stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine,, and in the anthologies Zombies vs. Unicorns and Welcome to Bordertown. Her novella “Shard of Glass” was shortlisted for the Carl Brandon Society Parallax Award.

We are very excited to have Alaya Dawn Johnson join Ellen Kushner, Robin LaFevers, and Guadalupe Garcia McCall as our guests of honor at this year’s Sirens. If you are new to their work, see our reading list for suggestions.


The deadline for programming proposals is May 10, 2013, which means you have just under four months to design a paper (or set of papers), panel, workshop, roundtable, or informal afternoon class. All of Sirens’s programming is presented by our attendees and our guests of honor, and we encourage any potential attendees to submit proposals for programming. Please visit the programming page and our call for proposals for more information.

While each of the first four Sirens themes considered a particular aspect of women in fantasy literature, this year’s theme of “reunion” offers us an opportunity to revisit any of our previous themes of warriors, fairies, monsters, and retellings. We also consider proposals focusing on other works and issues that address women in fantasy literature. Collaborative presentations such as pre-empaneled papers, joint presentations, and workshops are especially welcome.

In the coming months, we’ll host brainstorming sessions, discuss specific types of programming, and walk you through the process of creating and submitting your proposal.

If you’re looking for ideas or inspiration, please browse our archive, or check out our 2009—2011 compendium to explore some of our programming from previous years. Discuss ideas and invite collaborators with friends, colleagues, and fellow attendees on our message boards or Facebook page. You may wish to take another look at our reading list, too; it contains many new and lesser-known works that might spark your imagination. We’re looking forward to your submissions!


What We’re Excited About This Month:

Prophecy by Ellen Oh was released on January 2. –SG

Rise by Andrea Cremer was released on January 8. –KM

There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya is due out on January 29. –SC

Do you have exciting fantasy links or book news? Send it to (help at by January 31 and we’ll include it in February’s newsletter. Happy reading!


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 5, Issue 2 (December 2012)

We have a short newsletter this month! Many of our staff members will be traveling or on vacation between now and the end of the year, but we’ll do our best to answer any questions you might have in the next few weeks.


Reminder: Registration Prices Go Up January 1!
Registration for Sirens is currently $175. After December 31, the price goes up to $185. You can register and purchase Sirens Shuttle and Sirens Supper tickets at the same time—or add extras later by logging in to your existing registration.


Gift Certificates
Sirens gift certificates are available on our website. Gift certificates are a terrific addition to your holiday wishlist, and they are an excellent gift for friends who would like to join us but need a little financial help to do so. Gift certificates can be purchased in any amount. All you need is a name and an email address for the recipient.

After you purchase your gift certificate, we will create it in a PDF and send it to either you or your recipient, depending on your wishes. We know that sometimes it’s about the gift and not the giver, so gift certificates can be given anonymously.

The fine print: Gift certificates purchased between now and next October can be used only for 2013 Sirens registrations, and for Sirens Supper and Sirens Shuttle tickets for 2013. Like the registrations and tickets, the gift certificates are non-refundable, but can be transferred. Because the gift certificates are for Sirens attendance, your recipient must be 18 years old as of October 10, 2013. Please note that gift certificates purchased now are only good for Sirens in 2013 and don’t roll over to other years; they’ll expire in October.

For more information and to purchase gift certificates, please check out our gift certificate page. If you have questions, just ask our registration team at (registration at


Programming for 2013
It’s never too early to start thinking about presenting at Sirens in 2013. We encourage you to take on the theme of “reunion” and revisit any of the themes—warriors, fairies, monsters, and tales retold—from the past four years. Why not mix it up with monstrous fairies, or retold warrior tales? For a journey down memory lane, and to see what was presented in past years, take a look at the Sirens archive. We think you’ll have more to add to the great conversations of 2009–2012.

In the spring, the Sirens LiveJournal will host a series of posts on how to prepare a proposal, but in the meantime, please feel free to explore the programming section of the Sirens website, check out the Sirens reading list for ideas, and put out feelers for co-presenters on the Sirens message boards or Facebook. (We’ve heard some folks are already brainstorming!)


We’re Excited About…
Do you have fantasy book-related news for us? Send us your links and announcements (help at by December 31 and we’ll add them to the January newsletter.

Until next month, happy reading!


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 5, Issue 1 (November 2012)


Sirens: Tales Retold was a huge success, and we would like to thank you all for making our first year at Skamania Lodge such a fantastic one. We enjoyed hot drinks and spirited conversations by the fireplace with this stunning view of the Columbia Gorge, animated discussions and debates and classes, and thought-provoking keynote addresses by guests of honor Nalo Hopkinson and Malinda Lo. And, of course, we loved the costumes and dancing at the Midnight Ball.

Thank you for another amazing year. We can’t wait to do it again.



Next year will be Sirens’s fifth, and our theme is “reunion.” We’ll revisit all of our previous themes–warriors, fairies, monsters, and storytellers–and so we’ve invited Alaya Dawn Johnson, Ellen Kushner, Robin LaFevers, and Guadalupe Garcia McCall to represent those themes as our guests of honor. If you are new to their works, please check out our reading list for suggestions on where to start. We’ll be spotlighting each guest in future monthly newsletters, beginning in January.

Sirens will be held from October 10–13, 2013, again at Skamania Lodge outside of Portland, OR. Registrations for Sirens are $175 until January 1, 2013. Our Sirens Supper and Sirens Shuttle tickets are also available, and our gift certificates are a lovely way to encourage your friends to join you. If you have any questions, please see our Questions page or e-mail us (registration at

Every year, we are delighted by how welcoming, enthusiastic, and insightful the Sirens community is. The energy and ideas you bring to our events inspire us, and we want to recognize and celebrate the community you’ve all helped to build over the last four years. We hope you’ll join us, and encourage your friends to join us, whether they’ve attended in previous years or are only just learning about us. We welcome anyone interested in fantasy literature by or about women; readers, writers, educators, publishing professionals, librarians, and scholars are all welcome.



If you’d like to help us make our reunion year even more fantastic, we have many ways for you to get involved:



  • Laini Taylor’s Days of Blood and Starlight is out November 6! Laini is sponsoring a Book Trailer Contest on her blog. Details are here. (Send us links to your entries—we’d love to see them!) -SRG
  • Nnedi Okorafor’s Zahrah the Windseeker won the Black Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature (Fiction). See Nnedi’s blog for details. -HT
  • Also out November 6: Sherwood Smith’s Revenant Eve. –AL

Do you have book-related news for us? Send us your links and announcements (help at by November 30 and we’ll add them to the December newsletter.

Until next month, happy reading!


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at

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