Chambanacon banana artwork by Matt Hawk

Chambanacon Writer's Track Writer's Track

Panels! Readings! Discussions! Oh, My!

Authors interested in a panel or a reading should ChamBanaCon membership for card-carrying SFWA authors is comped!

You're a writer on the very edge of getting published (or you've always wanted to be a writer). Jean Rabe has put together another amazing writer's track of programming with authors who really know the business like our GoH Seanan McGuire (aka Mira Grant), SF Grandmaster Gene Wolfe (provided he's recovered and well, petitions to deity of your choice appreciated), FGoH and GM extraordinaire Dr. Wesley Crowell, Glen Cook, Donald Mead, Nathan Carson, Clif Flynt, David Busboom, Tom Trumpinski, and others:

Here’s the current line-up. Hope to see you here!

4PM The Name Game: A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but a book title? You'd better have something with punch so the reader will pluck it off the shelf. And a title with zing can entice an editor or slush reader to give your story a look. A good name can also make your heroes and villains memorable and help define their character. We discuss the fine art of naming.

5PM Brainstorming 101: Where do ideas come from? How do you plot a piece of fiction? We’ll stir your imagination and show you where to look for short story and novel concepts.

6PM An Hour in the Wolfe’s Lair: SF Grandmaster Gene Wolfe talks about his current project, his favorite novels, and why dogs make life better in an interview with Nathan Carson.

7-9 PM Readings

10 AM Paradigm Shift: Dungeon’s and Dragons from 1973 until now. What Did They Do That Was Different? Why Did It Matter? Expert GM and designer Wesley Crowell discusses the grandfather of role-playing games.

11 AM Slaying Writer’s Block: There’s debate whether there is such a beast as writer’s block. We’ll not argue that point here. Rather, we’ll show you what you can do to knock down the barriers that are keeping you from typing away at your keyboard. Writer’s block . . . or whatever you want to label it . . . we’ve faced it and beat it to a bloody pulp.

The Crack of Noon Resourceful Writers: Writing is largely a solitary endeavor, but there’s a world of resources, organizations, and websites to keep you company. Join Nathan Carson as he discusses some of his favorite resources ... places he turns to when looking for literary guidance.

1 PM Fantasy with an Urban Flair: How do you build elements of the fantastical—witches, vampires, and magic—on top of real cityscapes? How do you make the paranormal feel real? And what is the marketplace like for a new urban fantasist?

2 PM The Business of Writing: Agents and query letters and publishing houses ... oh my! There’s more to writing a book than simply sitting down to write it. After you’ve typed: "the end," do you need an agent? If so, how do you get one? What should you put in a query letter? How important is a synopsis? What are your options if you go without an agent?

3 PM How Not to Get Published: Writers often commit errors that thwart their chances for success and send them down a dead end rather than along the road to publication. Our panelists discuss mistakes writers make and what you can do to increase your chances of catching an editor’s eye.

4 PM The Shades of Science Fiction: There are genres within genres. Our panelists take a look at them, discussing writing in the "shades," and what the future of all the sub-genres holds. Hard SF, military, robot, social, space opera, steampunk, biopunk, cyberpunk, nanopunk, and more.

5 PM Editing Demonstration: Author and software developer Clif Flynt has created a program to aid in editing. Come check it out.

10 AM Borrow an Hour of Seanan McGuire’s Life: Chambanacon’s Guest of Honor shares her worlds, words and wisdom. Bring your questions! Moderated by Brenda Sutton. (No, you won’ really have to give back the hour when you’re through using it.)

11 AM Book Talk: Gene Wolfe leads a discussion about favorite SF books—recent to decades past. Expect a lively chat about authors you should be reading. Bring your suggestions.

The Crack of Noon The "Novel" Approach to Editing: Finishing your novel isn’t enough. Now you have to edit it—polishing off the rough edges so it’s nice and shiny before you fire it off to an editor or agent. We’re "old hat" at putting the finishing touches on manuscripts, and we’re ready to dish out our sage advice.

2 PM Publishing Potpourri: Maybe you missed a topic because lunch took too long. Maybe you didn’t learn quite enough about query letters or available markets. In any event, we bet there are some questions you didn’t get answered in the other seminars. Bring your questions! We’re ready for them.