Storycrafting Sessions: Science Fiction
The Science Fiction event is a virtual Storycrafting Sessions conference happening on March 19, 2022. The event will consist of five panels hosted between 11AM and 6:30PM EST. All panels will be hosted on Zoom, with a Discord server for continued conversation and interaction between panels. There will also be a short afterparty in the Discord server from 6:30-7:30PM EST.
All times are posted in EST.
Trigger Warning: Writing Sci-Fi With Emotional Awareness
Various traumatic events like wars, genocides, invasions, colonization — on an individual, global, and often galactic scale — often form important plot and theme points in Science Fiction writing. This panel will discuss how to tackle sensitive subjects and develop informed and effective story development, while avoiding harmful stereotypes and avoidable emotional triggers. We’ll also discuss where, when and how to add trigger warnings to your stories.
Civilization and Conquest: Colonial Echoes & Themes in Sci-Fi
Time slot: 12:30 – 1:30PM
Moderator: Jade Benjamin
Panelists: EK Barnes, Jonathan Nevair, Joyce Reynolds-Ward, Brandon Morehouse
Many aspects of mainstream Science Fiction involve or revolve around themes of discovery and exploration. As far as we fling our minds to encompass the vast imagined (and not-yet imagined!) corners of the universe, echoes of colonialism & conquest continue to surface within Science Fiction, as well as echoes of discovery and exploration during the peak of the colonial era. How we treat these themes in our situations, characters, and worldbuilding sends a message to our audience, and set the tone for our future.
Races, Religions, and Cultures: How to Ethically Borrow Inspiration from Existing Patterns of Human Existence
Time slot: 2:30 – 3:30PM
Moderator: Jaecyn Bone
Panelists: Kaki Olsen, Elisa Bonnin, Priya Sridhar, Moss Whelan
The vast diversity of richly-populated worlds is a common and much-loved aspect of Science Fiction. Since we haven’t met any aliens (yet…!), the diversity within a writer’s mind and work comes from what we know of history or can learn or extrapolate from our experience. This panel will discuss how to take inspiration from existing cultures without perpetuating harmful stereotypes, and distinguish the difference between cultural appropriation and appreciation (and how you can avoid the former!).
Accessibility in Science Fiction: Imagining New Tools for Disabled Folks
Time slot: 4 – 5PM
Moderator: Stephen Graham King
Panelists: Alex Jay Lore, Rebecca Gibson, Priya Sridhar, Moss Whelan
Science, in both life and fiction, is used to break barriers, solve problems, and elevate the human experience. What scientific advancements or inventions might change life for disabled folks? How might the challenges and opportunities of accessibility be faced or explored in Science Fiction? This panel explores thoughts and questions around accessibility in Science Fiction.
Magic-tech, Steampunk and other Cross/Sub-genres: Skirting the Fringes of Sci-fi
Time slot: 5:30 – 6:30PM
Moderator: Dianna Gunn
Panelists: KJ Harrowick, Ricardo Victoria, Matthew X Gomez, Varden M Frias
Why are we drawn to the liminal spaces opened by subcategories like Steampunk (Sci-fi + Historical/Fantasy), Zombie fiction (Sci-fi+Horror), and Science-Fantasy or Magi-tech (Magic as/is Science or exists separately alongside), and what is there to learn from exploring these spaces? This panel explores why some of the most interesting stories under the Science Fiction umbrella term exist on the fringes of the genre.
Bethany Baptiste grew up in Jacksonville, Florida where she thrived on southern food and stories. Now as a slightly responsible grown-up, she lives in a little brick house with her fiancé, three chaotic evil dogs, and too many books.
Bethany holds two degrees in Early Childhood Education. For the last six years she’s had the pleasure of teaching kids how easy it is to fall in love with reading and writing.
When not prying a shoe from a Schnauzer’s jaws, she writes about Black kids with big hearts and little morals. Bethany is represented by John Cusick of Folio Literary Management.
Find her online here.
Jaecyn Boné AKA Charli Boné (he/they) is a disabled, queer, Asian-American author and artist. They while away their days fantasizing about faeries, pirates, and eating the rich. He lives in Billings, Montana, USA with his spouse, his two kids, his sister, and possibly a ghost or two.
Find them online here.
Lex Vranick is an independent poet and fiction author. She is the author of three self-published titles. Lex is a member of the Long Island Writer’s Guild and a student at Gotham Writer’s Workshop. She is a ten-time participant and nine-time winner of National Novel Writing Month. Her work has appeared in the Mind Poetry Project anthology Please Hear What I’m Not Saying and the online literary journal Cagibi.
Her books are available on Amazon!
Jade Benjamin is a Canadian writer and editor who is fiercely in love with language, words, and magical worlds. After acquiring a double undergraduate degree in English (and Environmental Sciences), a Postgraduate Certificate in Book Publishing, and interning as an Editorial Assistant at Fitzhenry and Whiteside Ltd. (Markham, Ontario) she discovered that finding a permanent paid position in Canadian traditional publishing was easier said than done.
Jade now works as a freelance editor, fitting work for independent author clients around her 9-5 expenses-paying job. She has a penchant for collecting interesting names and a fondness for projects that expand her knowledge of story structure and use of evocative language.
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.
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, here.
Dianna Gunn is a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. Her sword and sorcery novel, Moonshadow’s Guardian, was released in November 2018.
When she’s not writing, Gunn can be found working to develop the indie author community. She hosts the #WeeknightWriters Twitter chat at 7PM EST and runs the Author Marketing Club.
K. J. Harrowick is a fantasy and science fiction author with a strong passion for twisted stories blending grimdark worlds and futurist technology with threads of romance and revenge. In her early years, she loved to cozy up on her library’s giant orange couches, which is where she first fell in love with SFF books.
In 2004, she began to build her own exotic worlds and create fantasy languages, toying around with ideas for characters, cultures, and magic systems. A few years later she was writing stories and stuffing them in the darkest corner under her bed where they’d never see the light of day. But her heart couldn’t stay away, and in 2014 it became a full-blown passion to write and publish her own books.
K.J. is the co-creator of Writer In Motion, Rewrite It Club, the creator of Winterviews and the 2020 Director for CampRevPit, sharing her love of community with those around her. She’s also won first prize in the #WonderPitch contest (2017), contributed to Dan Koboldt’s Science in Sci-Fi series with the article “Erroneous Code in Fiction” (November 2018), was a panelist in the Write Hive online convention (April 2020), and was a RevPit winner (May 2020).
Her debut novel Bloodflower is slotted for fall 2021 where she hopes to capture readers hearts by casting a grimdark lens on what might happen when a woman who craves peace is thrust into a world of revenge and sacrifice.
With an unhealthy obsession with dragons, tacos, cheese, and beer, K. J. also works as a freelance web developer and graphic designer on a broad range of client projects before falling down the occasional rabbit hole. K. J. has an Associates Degree in Independent Studies.
We would like to thank Renaissance Press for sponsoring the Story Structure virtual event. This conference would not be possible without their support, and we would like to express our deepest thanks.
Special thanks also goes to the Weeknight Writers sustaining members:
How much does this event cost?
All panels are free to attend!
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, you can either enter your question in the text chat or by using the Zoom Q & A function.
There will also be a Discord server for panel-related discussions. You’ll find a link to the server in your Eventbrite confirmation email.
Will these panels be recorded?