The Storycrafting Sessions: Worldbuilding Deep Dive hosted by the Weeknight Writers is fast approaching, and it’s time to introduce more of our amazing panelists!
Today we’re announcing the full lineup for two of our panels:
Building Fictional Religions: Mythology and Ritual – Moderator: Dianna Gunn Panelists: Mary Kit Caelsto, Dan Fitzgerald, and Leigh M Lorien
Accessibility in Worldbuilding: Understanding How Disabled People Move Through Your World Moderator: Cait Gordon Panelists: Dianna Gunn, Mary Kit Caelsto, Stephen Graham King, and Sarah Chorn
Check out the panelists’ bios below!
Moderator of Building Fictional Religions: Mythology and Ritual
Dianna Gunn is a freelance SEO writer, digital marketing consultant, indie author, podcast producer, and about 18 other things. She is dedicated to helping other indie authors navigate the complex world of business and marketing. To accomplish this, she published her first workbook, Branding for Fiction Authors, in 2019.
In 2021, Gunn launched the Author Marketing Club, a 100% free educational initiative for authors overwhelmed by marketing. She is also the founder of the Weeknight Writers group and the main event organizer of the Storycrafting sessions.
Mary Kit Caelsto
Panelist on Building Fictional Religions: Mythology and Ritual and Accessibility in Worldbuilding: Understanding How Disabled People Move Through Your World
Mary Kit Caelsto never grew out of the phase of being a “horse crazy girl”. Though she’s now over 40, she’s finally fulfilling her dream of writing equestrian books for others who haven’t grown out of being “horse crazy”. She lives in the Ozarks with her four very spoiled and very opinionated horses, as well as a large flock of poultry and enough cats to qualify her as a crazy cat lady. Her husband, though not an equestrian himself, understands and supports all her equestrian dreams.
She’s convinced three of the best things in the world are the smell of a sun warmed horse, the smell of leather tack, and making sure to hug her horses every single day.
Picture of the author and “SuperDuck” taken 3/2019. Hair color varies depending on mood.
Website: http://marykitcaelsto.com (Visit and sign up for free stories!)
Patreon: https://patreon.com/marykitcaelsto (Patreons receive free stories. Support starts at $1/month.)
Dan Fitzgerald is a fantasy author living in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC with his wife, twin boys, and two cats. When he is not writing, he might be gardening, taking photographs of nature, doing yoga, cooking, or listening to French music. The Maer Cycle is his debut trilogy, with Hollow Road and The Archive on several book bloggers’ best-of lists for 2020, and The Place Below coming March 4 2021. His upcoming duology, The Weirdwater Confluence, will be published in October 2021 and January 2022. All books published by Shadow Spark Publishing.
Find out more about Dan and his books at www.danfitzwrites.com, or look him up on Twitter or Instagram, under the name danfitzwrites.
Leigh M Lorien
Leigh M. Lorien is a queer neurodivergent author who writes queer neurodivergent characters. She has a degree in Creative Writing, has published four short stories/novellas, a novel, and a piece of flash fiction, and wishes she could marry the entire genre of science fiction because she loves it so much.
Cait (pronounced like ‘cat’) Gordon is a Canadian disability advocate who writes speculative fiction that celebrates the reality of diversity. Originally from Verdun, Québec, Cait worked for over two decades as a technical writer, then channelled her love for words into storytelling.
She is the author of the humorous space adventures Life in the ’Cosm and The Stealth Lovers.
Her short stories appear in Alice Unbound Beyond Wonderland (Ed. Colleen Anderson), We Shall Be Monsters (Ed. Derek Newman-Stille), and Stargazers: Microtales from the Cosmos (Eds. Paul Jarvey and Erin MacNab). The Hilltop Gathering from We Shall Be Monsters features a disabled protagonist and was discussed at a symposium about Frankenstein at Carleton University.
In 2016, Cait founded The Spoonie Authors Network to connect with writers in the disability community. Her desire to find better disabled and autistic representation in fiction prompted Cait to co-edit Nothing Without Us with Talia C. Johnson. The multi-genre anthology features authors and protagonists who are disabled, Deaf, neurodiverse, and/or they manage mental illness. Nothing Without Us was included in the syllabus of a disability studies course at Trent University and earned a 2020 Prix Aurora Award nomination.
Stephen Graham King
Stephen Graham King (He/They) is a writer of space opera novels, re-imagining the classic genre and its high tech adventurers through an unabashedly queer lens. His stories have appeared in the anthologies North of Infinity II, Desolate Places and Ruins Metropolis. His books include Chasing Cold, and the novels in his Maverick Heart series: Soul’s Blood, Gatecrasher, A Congress of Ships, and the forthcoming Ghost Light Burn, due later this year. He is also a long term survivor of metastatic synovial sarcoma and an avid black and white street photographer. He can be found online, along with all his social media coordinates, at stephengrahamking.com.
Sarah has been a compulsive reader her whole life. At a young age, she found her reading niche in the fantastic genre of Speculative Fiction. She blames her active imagination for the hobbies that threaten to consume her life. She is a freelance writer and editor, a semi-pro nature photographer, world traveler, three-time cancer survivor with hEDS, and mom to two kids. In her ideal world, she’d do nothing but drink lots of tea and read from a never-ending pile of books. She has been running the speculative fiction review blog Bookworm Blues for over ten years and is the author of Seraphina’s Lament and Of Honey and Wildfires. Sarah has been a full-time book editor for four years.
You can find Sarah at www.bookwormblues.net
Want to know more about the Storycrafting Sessions: Worldbuilding Deep Dive event? Check out the full schedule!