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Archive for Sirens 2014

Programming Brainstorming

Do you need a programming topic? Want to encourage someone else to take on an idea? It’s time to brainstorm!

Here are a handful of ideas that might spark a presentation. We’d love to hear what ideas you have for others to present as well; please feel free to post them here. This is also a great time to start seeking co-presenters, and we’re happy to have you post here on the blog, on any post on our LiveJournal, on the Sirens Facebook, or on our message boards.

Let us know if you’d like to take on any of these ideas and we’ll cross it out (with no guarantee that someone else won’t propose it—just as a note that someone is working on it). A few of these are old suggestions, but always mentioned as topics people would love to hear more about.

  • The Past Comes Back: Exploration of Past in the Works of X, Y, and Z
  • The Age Line?: Differences Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult Fantasy
  • Ghosts as Metaphor in…[Title]
  • Better Worldbuilding…
  • Programming on characters identified with nonbinary genders and orientations.
  • The Lady Knight
  • Cycles and patterns of particular tropes—what does it mean when our views on werewolves and vampires and fairies and witches change directions? What does it reflect?
  • Panel or roundtable: Fantasy Future (Where fantasy is going, where it can go/boundaries it can push, where it isn’t going yet…but it could and we’d like it to.)
  • Best/most useful social media, websites, and organizations for readers
  • Fantasy to read next—great reads from small presses, from outside the U.S., being self-published, out of print or hard to find, etc.
  • Ten Years of Women: Portrayals in Fantasy Film (Maybe animated? Or looking at when and where women are included?)
  • Power and Personality in [Book? Series?]
  • Women—creators and characters—in fantasy-related comics and graphic novels

You might also check out some brainstorming and topic giveaway posts from the first five years of Sirens: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Again, please feel free to look for collaborators, to add more ideas, to take ideas, and to discuss ideas in the comments.

Questions? Feel free to write to the programming team at (programming at sirensconference.org).

 


We have two chats scheduled for talking about programming ideas, books, travel, Sirens, and meeting potential travel buddies and roommates: Wednesday, April 2, from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern and Saturday, April 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. Eastern. We hope you’ll join us!

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 6, Issue 3 (February 2014)

In this issue:

 

PROGRAMMING
Yes, it’s February, which means it’s time for programming! The papers, panels, workshops, roundtable discussions, and afternoon classes for Sirens are proposed and presented by attendees. We encourage you to focus on fantasy, particularly women in fantasy, and related issues of interest. We also hope that you’ll consider the idea of hauntings—not just the idea of ghosts, but echoes of the past, visions of the future, prophecies, dreams, visions, spirits, and persistent memories. Our annual series on preparing a proposal begins in March.

Proposals are due May 14, 2014, which will come up sooner than you think, so while you’re pondering, why not reach out to possible co-presenters on the Sirens message boards, on Facebook, or in the comments of the Sirens LiveJournal or blog?

 

GUEST OF HONOR SPOTLIGHT
Within our focus on fantastic women, each year Sirens features a fantasy-related theme—and in 2014, that theme is “hauntings.” The traditional ghost story, of course, has decidedly feminist roots, but we’ll also be examining the topic more broadly: namely, what it means to be haunted. To further our discussion, we have invited three guests of honor, each of whom writes powerfully and reflectively about hauntings: Kendare Blake, Rosemary Clement-Moore, and Andrea Hairston. This month, we’d like to highlight Rosemary Clement-Moore.

TexasGothic SpiritandDust PromDatesFromHell HellWeek HighwaytoHell TheSplendorFalls

Rosemary Clement-Moore’s Texas Gothic, about the Goodnight family of witches in Texas, received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal, was included on Kirkus’ Best Teen Books of 2011, and appeared on ALA’s 2012 List of Best Books for Young Adults. Her most recently published work, Spirit and Dust, introduces readers to Daisy, another member of the Goodnight family. She is also the author of the Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil series (Prom Dates from Hell, Hell Week, and Highway to Hell), which is about a mystery-loving school newspaper reporter who inherited her grandmother’s sixth sense, and The Splendor Falls, about a ballerina who can’t dance and may be losing her mind.

For more information about Rosemary, please visit her website, which includes her blog, or her Twitter.

 

REGISTRATION PRICE INCREASE
The next price increase for Sirens will happen on March 31, 2014.

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 http://www.sirensconference.org/registration/ for more information or to register now.

 

BOOK REVIEWS
In past years, we’ve been fortunate to host fantasy book reviews as part of our newsletter. We’d love to revive this tradition and feature more readers and writers of women in fantasy. If you think you could contribute a book review of at least 250 words (and perhaps no more than 1,500, at the longest—though we could talk) sometime during the next year, please visit the volunteer system and on the third page, where you are offered different volunteer team choices, indicate that you’d like to be a book reviewer in the section that says “Please tell us of any specific position you are interested in” (or let us know in any volunteer system text box—we’ll sort you out).

For those of you who have volunteered, thank you! More information will be on its way to you.

If you’re with a publisher and are interested in providing review copies or similar, please contact us at (help at sirensconference.org).

 

YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT…
We love to get news about fantasy book sales and new releases, links of interest (especially links we might have missed), interesting art, and so on. Your contributions are very much appreciated, and they help us find out about stuff we missed! Please send your news, or news that you’re excited about, to (help at sirensconference.org).

 

February and Recent Releases:

House of Sand and Secrets by Cat Hellisen (January 8)

What Makes This Book So Great: Re-Reading the Classics of Science Fiction and Fantasy by Jo Walton (January 21)

Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi (February 4)

Falling Light (Game of Shadows #2) by Thea Harrison (February 4)

Mistwalker by Saundra Mitchell (February 4)

Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier (February 4)

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer (February 4)

Teen Spirit by Francesca Lia Block (February 4)

Red Delicious (Siobhan Quinn #2) by Caitlin R. Kiernan writing as Kathleen Tierney (February 4)

Reaper’s Touch by Eleri Stone (February 10)

Fates by Lanie Bross (February 11)

Fool’s Gold by Philippa Gregory (February 11)

Lady Thief (sequel to Scarlet) by A.C. Gaughen (February 11)

Feral Curse (Feral #2) by Cynthia Leitich Smith (February 11)

The Tinker King (The Unnaturalists #2) by Tiffany Trent (February 11)

The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman (February 11)

Perfect Lies by Kiersten White (February 18)

Moth and Spark: A Novel by Anne Leonard (February 20)

Blades of the Old Empire (Majat Code #1) by Anna Kashina (February 25)

Grim, including stories by Malinda Lo, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Dia Reeves, among others (February 25)

Labyrinth of Stars by Marjorie M. Liu (February 25)

 

Links:

The Cybils Awards: The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson wins the 2013 YA speculative fiction award. Other finalists, including Robin LaFevers.

Alaya Dawn Johnson is on the Tiptree Award Honor List. See it and other honors here.

Cover reveal for The Magic Thief: Home by Sarah Prineas.

Via @Nnedi: My novel Akata Witch has been optioned (for film/tv) by producer Donna Lamar. 😀

Con or Bust’s annual auction is over, but a matching donation drive is underway until February 28.

This might spark some discussion—How Disney’s ‘Frozen’ Gets Its Bad Prince Charming Right.

Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier has a release date.

Sofia Samatar wins the 2014 Crawford Memorial Award for A Stranger in Olondria.

ALA 2014 Youth Media Awards, including plenty of genre fiction.

Cover reveal for Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers.

This might also spark some discussion—what books do you recommend to convert readers to genre fiction?

 

GIVEAWAY!
Post a comment of at least two sentences on our blog or LiveJournal by March 7, 2014, and tell us which February release you’re most excited about and why. We’ll choose one lucky winner from the participants and contact them for a mailing address, and that person will win a copy of the book they chose. (U.S. addresses only, please!) 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.

 


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

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 6, Issue 2 (January 2014)

It’s already 2014, so it’s time to start counting down the months, weeks, and days until Sirens. And it’s time to kick off…

 

PROGRAMMING
Most programming for Sirens is conceived and presented by attendees. We’re able to support presentations in a number of styles; you can see more about what those are on the presentation proposals page of the Sirens website.

As you work on a proposal idea, we encourage you to focus on fantasy, particularly women in fantasy. We’d also love to see proposals related to hauntings—and remember that ghosts are merely the tip of the iceberg! Past lives, future fears, dreams, visions, prophecy, spirits of all kinds, and persistent memories are just a few of the ideas we hope you’ll explore.

While you’re pondering, please feel free to check out the programming section of the Sirens website. We’ve also started a brainstorming thread on the message boards.

Proposals are due May 14, 2014.

 

GUEST OF HONOR SPOTLIGHT
Within our focus on fantastic women, each year Sirens features a fantasy-related theme—and in 2014, that theme is “hauntings.” The traditional ghost story, of course, has decidedly feminist roots, but we’ll also be examining the topic more broadly: namely, what it means to be haunted. To further our discussion, we have invited three guests of honor, each of whom writes powerfully and reflectively about hauntings: Kendare Blake, Rosemary Clement-Moore, and Andrea Hairston. This month, we’d like to highlight Kendare Blake.

AnnaDressedinBlood GirlofNightmares Antigoddess SleepwalkSociety

Kendare Blake’s most recent work, Antigoddess, is the first in a trilogy about Greek gods and reincarnated heroes and received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous markets, including the Momaya Press Annual Review and Mirror Dance. Kendare’s debut novel, Sleepwalk Society, deals with four friends coming of age post 9/11. Both Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares are young adult horror chronicling the life of Cas Lowood, a teenage ghost hunter who falls in love with the dead girl he was supposed to kill. Girl of Nightmares made the Kirkus Best of Teen 2012 list. Kendare is a graduate of Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, and received an MA in creative writing from Middlesex University in London, England.

For more information about Kendare, please visit her website, her blog, or her Twitter.

 

BOOK REVIEWS
In past years, we’ve been fortunate to host fantasy book reviews as part of our newsletter. We’d love to revive this tradition and feature more readers and writers of women in fantasy. If you think you could contribute a book review of at least 250 words (and perhaps no more than 1,500, at the longest—though we could talk) sometime during the next year, please visit the volunteer system and on the third page, where you are offered different volunteer team choices, indicate that you’d like to be a book reviewer in the section that says “Please tell us of any specific position you are interested in” (or let us know in any volunteer system text box—we’ll sort you out).

For those of you who have volunteered, thank you! More information will be on its way to you later this month.

If you’re with a publisher and are interested in providing review copies or similar, please contact us at (help at sirensconference.org).

 

YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT…
We love to get news about fantasy book sales and new releases, links of interest (especially links we might have missed), interesting art, and so on. Your contributions are very much appreciated! Please send your news, or news that you’re excited about, to (help at sirensconference.org).

 

January and Recent Releases:

Cold Fire by Kate Elliott is out in audiobook, joining Cold Magic.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge is out January 28, and there is an excerpt here.

Dreams of the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn

Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells

Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker

The Vanishing by Wendy Webb

Touch (sequel to Silence) by Michelle Sagara

Shadowplay (Pantomime #2) by Laura Lam

The Freedom Maze (paperback edition) by Delia Sherman

 

Links:

An excerpt from Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan, out March 4.

Nnedi Okorafor: African Science Fiction Is Still Alien.

SF Signal: Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2014.

Nominations are open for the Carl Brandon Awards (works must have been published in 2013) – see here for more information.

Andrea Hairston received the 2011 Carl Brandon Kindred Award for her novel Redwood and Wildfire. See here for this and more awards.

Haunted Holidays: Scary Lady Writers.

Andrea K Höst’s Keeper Bookshelf/Women Write SFF.

io9: All the Essential Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Coming in 2014.

“Apotheosis” by Rosamund Hodge.

Inscription Magazine publishes short-form diverse YA SFF.

Director named for film version of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Letters by Mary Shelley found in archive.

Cybils Awards: Finalists in elementary/middle grade and young adult speculative fiction.

Rocks fall, nobody dies on the Benson Bridge at Multnomah Falls.

 


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

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 6, Issue 1 (November/December 2013)

This is the season when we take a little time for rest and rejuvenation, so this year, we’re combining the November and December newsletters into a single edition. In other words, you didn’t miss one!

 

Thanks Again
Thank you again to everyone who made our reunion year so special. There’s something undeniable about the chance to speak and listen, to be in the company of like-minded folks, and to celebrate women in fantasy, but that could never happen without your support. Thank you for presenting. Thank you for attending. Thank you, especially, to Alaya Dawn Johnson, Ellen Kushner, Robin LaFevers, and Guadalupe Garcia McCall for being our guests of honor. We hope you enjoyed Sirens in 2013 as much as we did!

 

2013 Deadlines: Compendium
If you presented in 2013, you received a reminder that compendium submissions were due December 1, 2013; if you thought you had a few more days, and require a short extension to prepare the written version of your paper, talk, roundtable, panel, or workshop, please write to us at (programming at sirensconference.org). Participation in the compendium is entirely optional! The current plan is for presentations from 2012, 2013, and 2014 to be published as one volume sometime in 2015. Please see emails from our programming team for more information.

 

2014 Theme and Guests of Honor
While we’ve been quiet, we’ve been updating the Sirens website at http://www.sirensconference.org. Here’s a bit on the theme for 2014 from the home page:

Within our focus on fantastic women, each year Sirens features a fantasy-related theme—and in 2014, that theme is “hauntings.” The traditional ghost story, of course, has decidedly feminist roots, but we’ll also be examining the topic more broadly: namely, what it means to be haunted. To further our discussion, we have invited three guests of honor, each of whom writes powerfully and reflectively about hauntings: Kendare Blake, Rosemary Clement-Moore, and Andrea Hairston.

In other words, we think that ghosts are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to thinking about hauntings. Past lives, future fears, dreams, visions, prophecy, spirits of all kinds, and persistent memories are just a few of the ideas we hope you’ll explore next year.

And while you’re pondering, please feel free to check out the programming section of the Sirens website. Proposals are due May 14, 2014.

 

Gift Certificates and Registrations
If you’d like a friend to attend with you October 16–19, 2014, you might consider purchasing a gift certificate. They can be given to friends, family, and even strangers so that they can attend Sirens. Gift certificates may be purchased in any amount, and may be given anonymously if the benefactor chooses. Gift certificates may be used only for Sirens registrations, and for Sirens Shuttle and Sirens Supper tickets.

As a reminder, the registration price increases on January 1, 2014. Sirens registrations include access to all of our conference programming and events, including the keynote presentations by our guests of honor and a conference T-shirt available only to attendees, as well as four meals or receptions. Neither our Sirens Shuttle nor our pre-conference Sirens Supper, however, is included in a conference registration; these must be purchased separately.

 

Volunteering and Reading
As we mentioned, this is a quiet time of year for us, but in the coming year, we’d love to have your help for Sirens. For example, in the lead up to Sirens, we have occasional research projects that can be completed online, and during the conference, we always, always appreciate having short-term help for setup, teardown, and room monitoring. (Helping out on-site is also a great way to get an idea of whether you’d like to become more involved year-round.) Please visit the volunteers page to sign up.

In past years, we’ve been fortunate to host fantasy book reviews as part of our newsletter. We’d love to revive this tradition and feature more readers and writers of women in fantasy. If you think you could contribute a book review of at least 250 words (and perhaps no more than 1,500, at the longest—though we could talk) sometime during the next year, please visit the volunteer system and on the third page, where you are offered different volunteer team choices, indicate that you’d like to be a book reviewer in the section that says “Please tell us of any specific position you are interested in” (or let us know in any volunteer system text box—we’ll sort you out).

If you’re with a publisher and are interested in providing review copies or similar, please contact us at (help at sirensconference.org).

 

What We’re Excited About

Here’s a peek at how books get from final manuscript to final printed copy.

And on book covers.

And on maps for books.

“Before they got watered down, [fairy tales] were women’s stories…” – Terri Windling interview. (Also of interest: a blog post on birds and the mythical.)

Newest Marvel superhero, Kamala Khan.

Trailer for Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge on USA Today.

New science fiction and fantasy imprint at Simon & Schuster.

Signups open for World Book Night 2014.

Strange Horizons focuses on Indian speculative fiction in a September edition.

Art by Erin/Bluefooted.

Honors

Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells is on the Kirkus Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2013 list.

Cold Steel by Kate Elliott is nominated for best fantasy novel of 2013 in Romantic Times Book Reviews Magazine.

Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall is on the 2014 Texas Lone Star reading list.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, Inheritance by Malinda Lo, and Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce are part of the 2014 Rainbow List nominees.

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown are on Amazon’s 2013 best books for teens and young adults.

The 2013 World Fantasy Awards.

Recent Releases

Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor

Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow

“Freeze Warning” by Susan Kinard

Crown Duel (Audible edition) by Sherwood Smith

The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell

The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales edited by Paula Guran

Blythewood by Carol Goodman

Copperhead by Tina Connolly

A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway

 

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

Website updated!

The website for Sirens has been updated with information for 2014. Please feel free to take a look around, and keep an eye out for our November newsletter next week.

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