Identifying and Developing Secondary Genre in SFF

Identifying and Developing Secondary Genre in SFF – July 3, 2021 at 12:30PM EST

Primary or ‘commercial’ genres like Sci Fi and Fantasy set important worldbuilding guidelines and expectations for writers, but secondary genres — also called ‘content’ or internal genre — are another vital tool for developing vivid and complex stories. Identifying and developing secondary genre(s) can help writers better understand how genre communicates expectations to readers.

SFF contains scores of subgenre categories, which often use secondary genre aspects to carve out specific reader niches. These subgenres are defined by expectations and obligatory tropes, secondary genre aspects that can include scenes, relationships or other aspects, that need to be addressed to satisfy and draw in readers from a particular subgenre.

Identifying and Developing Secondary Genre will be a discussion around how secondary genre can be used to enrich and enhance a story through integrating subgenre expectations, and how aligning your writing with appropriate markets along both “commercial” and “content” genre lines can increase reader impact.

Sign up today or look at the full event schedule!

The Moderator

Jade Benjamin

Jade Benjamin is a Canadian writer and editor who is fiercely in love with language, words, and magical worlds. She is currently working hard to build a freelance writing and editing career around her 9-5 expenses-paying job and loves working on projects that expand her knowledge of story and structure. Jade‘s preferred ambit is speculative secondary world fiction, and her experience with the genre runs the gamut from portal fantasy to sci-fi, with an emphasis on worldbuilding and magic systems. When she isn’t working, writing or editing, Jade can be found reading, keeping up with an inordinate number of podcasts, adopting furry family members and contributing to Weeknight Writers events.

The Guests

Celeste Harte

Celeste Harte is an African-American writer living in Spain. She loves reading and writing sci-fi and fantasy, and is obsessed with all things mermaids and dragons.

When she’s not building worlds and getting lost in her own fantasies, she’s probably dancing to random music or watching (yet another) Korean drama. In addition to her native language, she speaks Spanish and Catalan almost fluently, some French, and would love to learn Korean.

She can be found online at:

Kellie Doherty

Kellie Doherty is an author of adult science fiction and fantasy. She pens novels, short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s currently working on a five-book fantasy series The Broken Chronicles. The first book Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties won a 2019 Rainbow Award, and the second book Curling Vines & Crimson Trades is a finalist in the 2021 Imadjinn Awards.

After obtaining her master’s degree in book publishing from Portland State University, she decided to move back home to land of the midnight sun—Alaska. During the day, she’s an office assistant and freelance editor, and by night she’s crafting adventures full of magic and daggers…and maybe a few dragons, too. She can be found at:

Lex Vranick

Lex Vranick is a poet and dark fiction writer from Long Island, New York. She currently lives in Florida with her dog and an over-abundance of houseplants. Lex holds a B.A. from Excelsior College and is a J.D. candidate at Florida State University. Her work has been published by or is forthcoming with Eerie River Publishing, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, and Cagibi, among others. Lex can be found across the internet at @lexvranick. 

Katherine Forrester

Katherine Forrister is an author of speculative fiction. Her dark fantasy novel, Lodestone, is now available from GenZ Publishing. Her historical fantasy novel, The Hand-me-down Maiden, is forthcoming from GenZ Publishing in 2022, and her science fiction novel, Curio Citizen, is forthcoming from Inkshares, Inc.
She lives near Kansas City with her family, where she enjoys local festivals and conventions, playing open-world video games, and curling up on the sofa to read on cold winter days. For more information on Katherine and her books, visit

Interested in attending this panel? Sign up today or look at the full event schedule!

More about this event

Identifying and Developing Secondary Genre is a free panel happening on July 3, 2021 at 12:30PM – 1:30PM EST, and is part of the larger Exploring Story Structure event on July 3, 2021. The event is sponsored by Renaissance Press, a Canadian publisher dedicated to supporting marginalized authors.

Conference Companion

Enhance your experience and support Weeknight Writers events by grabbing the Conference Companion workbook for this event. This printable workbook will help you track important information during the Storycrafting Session: Exploring Story Structure. This includes:

  • “Notes” areas for individual panels
  • An area to record overall lessons and feelings about the conference
  • Questions to help you implement lessons from the conference in your writing practice

These worksheets will help you make the most of the Exploring Story Structure event! Proceeds from this workbook will be used to host, manage, and promote future Weeknight Writers events. Buy your copy today!


How much does this event cost?

All panels are free to attend! You won’t spend any money unless you decide to buy the Conference Companion.

How can I participate?

Panels will be run on Zoom using the Webinar function. This means only panelists will be able to share audio and video content. To participate in the Q & A portion of a panel, enter your question in the text chat.

Will there be any additional opportunities to discuss the panel?

There will be dedicated panel channels in the conference Discord. Most panelists will be in these servers for a short period of time after their panel, and attendees are welcome to keep the conversation all day.

The Moderator

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