Programming Schedule

Salons and all programming and registration are located on the third floor.

Thursday

Argonne/Fermi Tour (9:00-5:00)—Meets in the Monroe Street lobby (Street level).  Pre-registered attendees only.

Self-Publishing Workshop (9:00-6:00)
Salon 12

Programming begins at 1:00 Thursday

1:00-2:00

Short Stories for Novelists–With a word limit in the thousands instead of hundreds of thousands, writing short stories is a big challenge for novelists, especially in these days of multi-book plots. How can you take the skills you use as a novelist and focus them to write short stories? This panel will show you how to narrow your stories and characters, and how to write stories that grab the readers as much as the big novels do. Panelists: Aliette de Bodard, Eric Flint,Gary Wolfe (M)
Salon 8

2:00-3:00

From Page to Theater— Artistic Director Tiffany Keane and one of the Literary Managers, Elliott Sowards  of Otherworld Theatre, a Science Fiction and Fantasy Theater Company will present a discussion of their experiences of bringing a science fiction work to the theater. The discussion will include choosing the production, staging, costuming and how to create the sf/f background on a small state. Panelists: Tiffany Keane, Elliott Sowards
Salon 8

3:00-4:00

What Editors Are Looking For—Editors see many of the same stories over and over again. If you want them to buy your work, you need to do something different. The editors on this panel will discuss what’s been done too much and what they’d like to see instead. Panelists: Jacob Weisman, Sheila Williams, Navah Wolfe
Salon  8

Making the Title Fit the Story–Titles need to fit the story, but they also need to be catchy and unique. The panelists will talk about how they find titles and what you should know about creating them. Panelists: John Joseph Adams, Usman Malik, Stanley Schmidt, Rachel Swirsky
Salon 9

4:00-5:00

Graphic Novels Overview—Graphic novels have become very popular recently,  both with readers and even libraries. It’s a far cry from “comic books,” and the panelists will describe the process of creating graphic novels. Panelists: Dan Berger (M), Valya Dudycz, Caitlin Rosberg
Salon 8

9:00-10:30

Welcome Reception—A  reception to welcome attendees to the 50th Nebula Awards, honor our newest Grand Master, Larry Niven, and launch our newest book: Ad Astra: the 50th Anniversary SFWA Cookbook.
Honoré Ballroom (Lobby level)

Friday

Baker & Taylor Tour (9:00-2:00)—Meets in the Monroe Street lobby (Street level).  Pre-registered attendees only.

9:00-9:45

Morning Walk and Architectural/History Tour of Chicago–Richard Chwedyk will lead a leisurely walk around Chicago’s Loop pointing out architecturally and historically interesting buildings, but the main point is to have a chance to get out of the hotel, and stretch your legs before the day’s activities start. Richard Chwedyk

Outside Starbucks (street level)

ISBA/SFWA Joint Program (9:00-5:00)
Salon 12

10:00-11:00

Writing Through Writers’ Block–It happens to many authors—deadlines looming and the words just won’t come. You can’t wait for writer’s block to go away but everyone knows stories of famous writers with blocks that lasted for years. Panelists will discuss some ways you can use to overcome writer’s block and not be one of the stories? Panelists: Nancy Kress, Matthew Kressel, Jack McDevitt, Sarah Pinsker, Jack Skillingstead
Salon 8

SFWA Through the Years— Presidents discuss the history of SFWA and its contribution to sf writing and writers. Panelists: Greg Bear, Michael Capobianco, Russell Davis, Steve Gould, Cat Rambo
Salon 9

Behind the Scenes Tour of the Palmer House—Authors writing a scene set in a hotel will want to take this tour and see what really goes on in the back rooms of a hotel. This tour will give you the opportunity to learn who all the players are and what they do. This is also your chance to go through all those doors marked: ”Staff Only.”
Meet in Salon foyer

11:00-noon

Filing Off the Serial Numbers—History, political and current events, and biographies can all serve as useful sources for new stories or characters. The panelists will discuss where to find the less well known histories and characters, how to use the source materials, and how to change them to make them your own. Panelists: Anatoly Belilovsky, Aliette de Bodard, Deborah Millitello, Sarah Monette
Salon 8

Leave It to the Archive— Lynne M. Thomas, Curator, Rare Books and Special Collections, will present a program on the Northern Illinois depository for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and the SF authors’ archive. As part of the Rare Books and Special Collections, NIU holds copies of the titles nominated for the Nebula Awards each year. They also have an archive of the papers of over 60 SF authors. Lynne will discuss the contents and uses of the SF materials and how authors can become a part of the Archive.
Panelist: Lynne M. Thomas
Salon 9

Noon – 1:00

Lunch: No Programming

1:00-2:00

How is YA Writing Different From Adult Fiction?—More and more authors are moving to YA fiction, some more successfully than others. What do authors who are considering writing YA need to know in order to write for that market? Panelists: Alexandra Duncan, Barry Goldblatt
Salon 8

SF Beyond North America— SF is thriving in countries outside North America, but finding it and becoming a part of it can be challenging. This panel will concentrate on the international market, both selling NA materials abroad and bring other materials to the North American audience. Panelists: Aliette de Bodard, Liz Gorinsky, Elizabeth Anne Hull, Usman Malik
Salon 9

2:00-3:00

Diversifying Your Income Stream— Given the publishing business these days, it pays to diversify your income stream. Whether you go into screen-writing or TV, game-designing or teaching, there are many avenues to explore. Panelists discuss what they did and what you need to consider before your own move. Panelists: Eric Flint, Steve Gould (M), Cat Rambo
Salon 8

What SFWA Can Do For You— Panelists discuss various programs SFWA has for authors and how you what sfwacan get the most out of your membership. Kate Baker, Lee Martindale, Sarah Pinsker, Bud Sparhawk
Salon 9

3:00-4:00

Grand Master Retrospective–This panel will feature a discussion about Grand Masters, and their works. Panelists: Joe Haldeman, Larry Niven, Connie Willis
Salon 8

Writing Your City: What the Locals Know—There are little details that people from Chicago know and expect to see in stories set in the city. Panelists will discuss the essence of Chicago and its residents. Panelists: Tina Jens, Kate Milford, Jody Lynn Nye, John O’Neill
Salon 9

4:00-5:00

Writing Gender and Sexuality–Gender is more complex than the Western cultural norm of binary gender (female and male); there are more sexual orientations than just the L and G in QUILTBAG. People who don’t fit into narrow conceptions of binary gender and monosexuality exist in our present, have existed in our past, and will exist in our futures. In this discussion panelists explore how this affects character creation, common plot pitfalls, and the use of language. Panelists: Alexandra Duncan, Catherine Lundoff, Michael Thomas (M), Alyssa Wong
Salon 8

Convention Roles and Responsibilities–Participants at a convention and the convention have responsibilities to each other. Panelists will discuss the expectations for staff, panelists, and Guests of Honor. Panelists: Esther Friesner, Bill Lawhorn, Michael Lee, Jody Lynn Nye (M), Steven Silver
Salon 9

6:30-8:00

Reception—Chicago area writers  groups, conventions, and other organizations o interest will be in attendance to let you know the opportunities there are for authors in the Chicago Area
2nd Floor Mezzanine

8:00-9:30

Mass Autographing (see attendees)

Exhibit Hall, (Fourth Floor)

Saturday

9:00-9:45

Morning Walk and Architectural/History Tour of Chicago–Richard Chwedyk will lead a leisurely walk around Chicago’s Loop pointing out architecturally and historically interesting buildings, but the main point is to have a chance to get out of the hotel, and stretch your legs before the day’s activities start. Richard Chwedyk

Outside Starbucks (street level)

10:00-Noon

Business Meeting–No Programming
Honoré Ballroom on the lobby level

Noon-1:00

Lunch: No Programming

1:00-2:00

Revitalize Your Backlist–Making a living as an author means keeping your backlist alive. Beyond reprints, what else is there? Panelists will discuss resale markets, electronic publishing and other markets for previously published works. Panelists: Joe Haldeman, Joan Spicci Saberhagen
Salon 8

Larry Niven Retrospective— This panel will focus on the works of the most recent Grand Master, Larry Niven. Panelists will discuss themes, Larry’s legacy, and contributions to SF. Panelists: Greg Bear, Ed Lerner, Larry Niven, Joy Ward
Salon 10

2:00-3:00

YA Critics–A group of young adults discuss what they like and don’t like about modern young adult fiction. Are dystopias becoming passé for the tween/early teen crowd?  Are they looking for something beyond vampires or Greek gods?  Come and hear from the horses’ mouths what today’s young readers are looking for.
Panelists: David Darling, Owen Michuda, Melanie Silver, Karen Smith (M), Liam Smith-Becker, Anastasia Smith-Becker.
Salon  7

Connect With Life to Regenerate our Future—With 75% of humans living in the urban environment by 2050, we must understand our cities. While many images of the future cities are rather sterile—with only humans and fantastic looking buildings—it is not so clear that this is the best vision of for the future. Luke Leung will discuss facts and science related to how we can potentially connect with life itself in order to rationally generate our future. After all, there is only one thing we know of that can create negative entropy—life.
Panelist: Luke Leung of Skidmore Owings & Merrill
Salon 8

The Business of Being an Author–As an author, you are basically self-employed. If you are going to be successful in your writing career, you need to take care of the business side of things. Taxes, keeping accounts, and managing your old age are things you need to consider. While not offering legal or investment advice, this panel will address what you need to consider to run the business of Yourself profitably and avoid the minefields that might be out there. Panelists: Eric Flint, Matthew Kressel (M), Eleanor Wood
Salon 9

3:00-4:00

Diversity in Short Fiction—One of the pieces of advice writers are given for avoiding tropes is to have more than one representative in a story, This gets challenging in a small cast. The panel will look at how to create a diverse world even within the confines of a short story. Panelists: Anatoly Belilovsky (M), Catherine Lundoff, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Neil Clarke,  Alyssa Wong
Salon 12

Disability and Narrative: Disabled characters are often omitted from science fiction and fantasy. Many of those that do appear are characterized through the use of stereotypes and tropes Panelists will discuss existing representations of disability, both positive and negative, and talk about ways to accurately research and engage with disabled characters. Panelists: Walt Boyes, Russell Davis, Annalee Flower Horne, Matthew Johnson, Lynne Thomas, Lee Martindale
Salon 8

Self-Publishing Overview—Panelists will discuss the issues and decisions involved in self-publishing, including funding, selecting a platform, editing, cover art and distribution. (Requested by the Board) Panelists: Tobias Buckell, Steven Campbell, Jaym Gates, Deborah Millitello, Ursula Vernon
Salon 9

4:00-5:00

Mapping Your Novel–Maps in sf novels are either useful for the readers to keep track of where everything is in the novel and how characters move across the landscape. They can be terrific aids to world building but aren’t the easiest things to create. Panelist will discuss the advantages maps offer to an author, how to create them and make them believable, and how accurate authors need to be. Panelists: Aliette de Bodard, Steven Campbell, Charles Gannon, Bonnie Jones, Sarah Monette
Salon 12

Editing Diversity–Editors talk about the importance of a balanced table of contents, both in terms of content creators and the protagonists of the story. Panelists: John Joseph Adams, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Joe Monti (M), Michael Thomas, Sheila Williams
Salon 8

Science Writing and Research—Use cutting edge science without having to be a scientist. Panelists discuss the best sources (print, online and personal) for science research news and how to use it in your publications. Panelists: Daryl Gregory, Barbara Hill, John Moore, Lawrence Schoen, Tamara Vardomskaya

Salon 9

6:00

Reception

2nd Floor Mezzanine

Banquet

Immediately following Reception
Red Lacquer Room (Fourth Floor)

Awards Ceremony

Immediately following Banquet
Red Lacquer Room (Fourth Floor)

Sunday

10:00-11:00

Estate Planning for Writers— Literary estates are more than property and money—they are copyrights and future sales for your heirs. Panelists will discuss how to prepare your estate, what you really need to know about copyright for your heirs and how to avoid the most common problems. Panelists: Michael Capobianco, Matthew Foster, Joan Spicci Saberhagen
Salon 7

11:00-noon

SFWA’s Next Fifty Years— A forum of SFWA members discuss the next fifty years for sf writing, including new technologies and publishing methods, and how they will affect the future of publishing and SFWA. Panelists: Steven Gould, Cat Rambo, Bud Sparhawk
Salon7

Writing Other Genres—Another way to diversify your income is to write in other genres. Mysteries seem to lend themselves to SF authors, as they share many qualities associated with sf. What other genres are good for sf authors? What do authors need to know about other genres before starting their own parallel career? Panelists: Russell Davis, Scott Edelman, Charles Gannon, Laura J. Mixon
Salon 8

12:30-3:30

From Book to Film–Korky Kessler

No additional charge – but separate registration is required.

The seminar will include:

  • The importance of copyright and chain of title in documents
  • How to best find a team and the importance of one
  • What makes a winning screenplay and a winning team
  • When do I need an attorney and what to look for in one
  • When does an accountant come into view
  • Do I need a business plan and what are the criteria for one
  • Do I need a marketing plan and for what purposes
  • Casting, casting directors and film commissioners: friends or foes?
  • Agents and managers: what works and what does not not
  • How to protect your investor dollar and what is available to do so
  • Completion bonds and insurance issues
  • How to move the project forward, funding issues, and 181 and 199 State incentives
  • Distribution

Presented by Hal (“Corky”) Kessler
Corky is an attorney with Kessler Deutsch, Levy & Engel, Chartered in Chicago and an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern Law School and John Marshall Law School, Corky teaches an entertainment, transactional and law course. He previously developed a syllabus for and taught a similar course at Columbia College’s Film Department.

Corky has extensive entertainment law, corporate and worldwide entertainment industry experience.  He is active in establishing and advising various film funds and film funding sources in North America and expanding internationally. In October 2012, Corky signed a Memorandum of Understanding with private investors from China for a $200 million co-production deal with China and U.S.  He has represented several authors and negotiated publishing deals with several major publishers, including Random House and Doubleday.

He has assembled and built teams for more than 30 entertainment and other business ventures. and developed, packaged and executive produced feature films, theatre projects and television projects, including “The Sum of Us,” starring Russell Crowe, which won the Australian Academy Award for Best Film and most currently “Certifiably Jonathan” starring Jonathan Winters, Robin Williams, Howie Mandel, Rob Reiner, Jim Carrey, Sara Silverman, and others.

Corky regularly speaks on the business and legal aspects of feature film development and tax incentives in connection with the entertainment industry, and authored a reference book covering such federal and state tax incentives.0

Salon 12

Noon-1:00

Running Workshops–Workshops are a good way to further your career and develop the talent of the future. Online or in person, workshops take a lot of time and planning. This panel will help you understand what’s involved and how you can run a successful workshop. Panelists: Brenta Blevins, Walt Boyes, Nancy Kress
Salon 8

1:00-2:00

Using Social Media to Promote Your Work— There are many types of social media, geared towards different uses and users. What are the best ones for authors to use to promote their work? Panelists discuss how to find out what’s the best to use and how to use them effectively. Panelists: Barry Goldblatt, Jaym Gates (M), Joy Ward
Salon 9

2:00-3:00

Colonialism, Cultural Appropriation and Fairy Tales–Before writing begins, a writer can find themselves already in trouble when the idea at the core of their story is problematic. This panel will discuss how to spot trouble before you even begin writing by looking at historical examples of colonialism, cultural appropriation, and fairy tales and the narrative challenges associated with them. Panelists: Matthew Johnson, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Rachel Swirsky
Salon 8

Mentoring How Tos– Paying it forward involves mentoring upcoming authors, but not everyone knows how to do it well. Our panel will show you what it takes to mentor well. Panelists: Daryl Gregory, Jack McDevitt, Cat Rambo
Salon 9