We have some great news to share today. First, the inaugural year of Sirens
was absolutely fantastic. People from all around the United States (and a few from outside of it) gathered in Vail from October 1-4 and shared their thoughts on women in fantasy. We talked about women as characters, authors, professionals, tropes, warriors (the conference theme) and more. Guests Kristin Cashore, Tamora Pierce, and Sherwood Smith shared their paths as authors. Presenters tackled everything from the Twilight series to the crone in modern fantasy to a work by C.S. Lewis to modern-day television witches. Attendees showed up to breakfast book discussions--for books they'd never read!
Sirens was a smaller event for Narrate Conferences, which allowed us to focus on some features that are very important to us. First, we were able to gather professionals, scholars, and readers in one place, and give them the opportunity to share their viewpoints. Registrations included several meals, meaning that attendees mingled several times over the weekend--and sharing a meal is one of the most basic things we can do to build relationships! Also, because we scheduled the keynotes with the meals, there were certain ideas brought up that all attendees were prompted to think about over the course of the weekend; having a few shared experiences helps spark discussions between people who have never met before.
Support from staff, attendees, and friends means that Sirens will happen again in 2010. The theme next year is "faeries," but programming proposals prompted by anything related to women in fantasy are welcome as well. The audience for presentations is smart, open-minded, and excited to be connected with people who share their interests, so let that guide you in your preparations. (sirens_con
will also host future topic brainstorming sessions, and has done so in the past, if you'd prefer to be prompted!)
In other news, the compendium for Terminus
is still in progress. The road from idea to publication is a long one for any book, and with dozens of presenters and presentations--not to mention the myriad odds and ends that are part of the publication process and that can't be rushed, as they work on the timeline of large companies--we want to ensure that every i
is dotted and every t
crossed. In the meantime, I've seen some parts of the compendium, which is starting to look like a book, and I believe it will be worth the wait!
Finally, for those of you interested in the nuts and bolts of the events produced by Narrate Conferences, we will be running a boot camp in 2010 that's meant to give future staff members the skills they need to be successful volunteers. It can be hard to learn the scope of an event while you're trying to plan and finish tasks around deadlines, so boot camp will introduce participants to an abbreviated planning process. More information can be found here
. Applications for boot camp are due by December 15, 2009.