Worldbuilding Deep Dive Panelists Round Two!

There are only ten days left until the Storycrafting Sessions: Worldbuilding Deep Dive event on February 20th!

The panels

Today we’re announcing the panelists for two of our amazing panels:

Hard vs Soft vs Hybrid: Creating Interesting and Effective Magic Systems

Elections vs Thrones: Writing Government, Class, and Power in Speculative Fiction

The panelists

Jade Benjamin

Moderator Jade Benjamin

Moderator of: Hard vs Soft vs Hybrid: Creating Interesting and Effective Magic Systems

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. 

Diana Pinguicha

Panelist Diana Pinguicha

Panelist on Hard vs Soft vs Hybrid: Creating Interesting and Effective Magic Systems

Born in the sunny lands of Portugal, Diana is a Computer Engineer graduate who currently calls Lisbon home. She can usually be found writing, painting, devouring extraordinary quantities of books and video games, or walking around with her bearded dragon, Norberta. She also has two cats, Sushi and Jubas, who would never forgive her if she didn’t mention them.  

Find Diana on her website or on Twitter @Pinguicha.

Jasmine Gower

Jasmine Gower

Panelist on Hard vs Soft vs Hybrid: Creating Interesting and Effective Magic Systems

Jasmine Gower, author of Moonshine and other queer fantasy works, hails from Portland, Oregon. Jasmine received a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Book Publishing from Portland State University.
Inspired to write by a childhood filled with fantasy novels, 90s video games, and the curious experience of growing up in the rural Willamette Valley, Jasmine has a passion for exploring themes of gender, sexuality, and disability through the conventions of speculative fiction, mythology, and fantasy world-building.


Jasmine is represented by Laura Zats at Headwater Literary Management.

Find Jasmine at Jasminegower.com or on Twitter @Jas_Gower.

SM England

Panelist SM England

Panelist on Hard vs Soft vs Hybrid: Creating Interesting and Effective Magic Systems

At thirteen, S. M. England got it into her head that she wanted to be a fantasy writer and hasn’t strayed from that path since. Having spent most of her life in Utah and now living in Washington State, England is as engaged with her writing career as she is with connecting with her peers in the discussion and evolution of the craft.

Find her at SMEngland.com.

Mato J. Steger

Panelist Mato J Steger

Panelist on Hard vs Soft vs Hybrid: Creating Interesting and Effective Magic Systems

Moderator of Elections vs Thrones: Writing Government, Class, and Power in Speculative Fiction

Mato J. Steger is an openly out and proud Queer and Anishinaabe (North American Indigenous) fantasy and sci-fi writer, who can’t resist making everything he touches a romance. He is proudly represented by Hannah VanVels of BelCastro Literary Agency.

Website: www.fantasyandcoffee.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jm_steger
Instagram: www.instagram.com/jm.steger

Whitney Hill

Panelist Whitney Hill

Panelist on Elections vs Thrones: Writing Government, Class, and Power in Speculative Fiction

Whitney Hill writes award-winning, Amazon best-selling adult fantasy with sizzle and soul from Durham, North Carolina. Her worlds feature the diversity she has lived as a biracial woman of color and former migrant to Europe. She draws on these life experiences to write characters drawing on inner strength to carve out a place for themselves.

Elemental, her award-winning urban fantasy debut and book one in the Shadows of Otherside series, is on sale wherever books are sold.

Whitney also enjoys hiking in North Carolina’s beautiful state parks and learning about world mythology. Learn more or get in touch: www.whitneyhillwrites.com

Dustin R Cummings

Panelist Dustin R Cummings

Panelist on Elections vs Thrones: Writing Government, Class and Power in Speculative Fiction

Dustin Cummings is an author who lives in New York, NY. Originally from Mid-Michigan, he is an avid fan of science fiction and fantasy. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, classical music, and long walks. He is an assistant professor of surgery in the New York Metropolitan area.

Find Dustin at DustinRCummings.com.

Steve Savage

Panelist Steve Savage

Panelist on Elections vs Thrones: Writing Government, Class and Power in Speculative Fiction

Steve Savage writes extensively on how people can leverage their creativity in a variety of ways.  He’s most well known for the Way With World series of Worldbuidling books, an ever-growing collection of guides to coach people on creating fictional settings.  The series is currently at seventeen books and counting.


He is also writes the Avenoth series, about the adventures and misadventures of people in a solar system of sorcery, super-science, internet-using gods, and interplanetary demons.  The first book, A Bridge To The Quiet Planet was released in 2018, with the sequel, A School Of Many Futures arriving this year.


Find him at Steve’s website or his press site. He also maintains the random tools site Seventh Sanctum.

Sarah Chorn

Panelist Sarah Chorn

Panelist on Elections vs Thrones: Writing Government, Class, and Power in Speculative Fiction

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.

Find Sarah at www.bookwormblues.net

Check out the full event schedule for more awesome panels!

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