Below is a list of panel suggestions and ideas. Please read through them and at the bottom of this form indicate to us which ones you would be interested in being a panelist on! Panelists make our convention successful, we couldn't do it without you!
Behind the Curtain: Live Editing Discussion - Come get help or listen in as authors help each other through challenges with their works in progress.
Book Publishing 101 - Have you ever wondered how a manuscript turns into a published book? Here's your chance to ask your questions about both indie and traditional publishing! How do you start from scratch? How do you print and promote your books? Find out here.
Creating Neurodivergent Characters - Join us in a discussion on how to write neurodivergent characters in your fiction. Come learn a bit about neurodivergence, and talk with panelists on the importance of including neurodivergence (including invisible disabilities) for representation and diversity.
How to Reimagine Modern Technology in Historical Fiction - Some types of speculative fiction, such as Steampunk, explore advanced technology in an anachronistic setting. How do you write about modern technology existing in historical settings without it feeling out of place?
Interactive Books - The Golden Treasure of the Entente Cordiale, a puzzle book which leads its readers ultimately to a real world treasure, invites its readers to do something truly novel, have an interactive experience. Come discuss this and other ideas to get our readers to become more than just a passive participant.
Serial Story Telling - Serial Storytelling is multiple pieces of written work by the same author and share a similar thread, characters, or theme that connects them in some way. While they are connected, they are often seperate and distinct, and do not end in cliffhangers like movie trilogies often do. One famous example are the Sherlock Holmes stories, but what other serial storytelling examples are you familiar with? Have you ever created one? Come to our panel to discuss and learn more!
The Rise of Microfiction - Discussing the rise of microfiction as a short story form, and how it can be done skillfully.
The Writers' Rooms: Worldbuilding in Fantasy and Science Fiction - Join The Writers' Rooms in a discussion on how to build fantasy and science fiction worlds, dabbling in everything from flora and fauna to realms rich in lore, magic, and technology. All this information can be used in writing and game building. Come with questions!
Writing about Pandemics Now that We’ve Lived Through a Real One - How do we write about fictional pandemics now that we, and more importantly our readers, have experienced a real one? Come discuss how you have overcome this particular challenge, or ask us for help!
Writing Humor in Science Fiction and Fantasy - Humor is often one of the most difficult things to write, as what each reader finds funny varies by individual. Science Fiction and Fantasy give us several opportunities to explore absurd and hilarious situations that other genres can't. Come discuss your favorites!
Science and Technology:
Future Materials: Graphene, Iron - Air Batteries and the Rest - A new generation of materials and technologies is coming to age. Graphene and iron-air batteries are examples. What does the near future hold?
How Big Data is creating the Science Fiction Future - In the world of computing, we have always collected data, but the rate at which we collect it, and how much we store, has expanded expontentially in recent years. By 2018 it is estimated that approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of data were created every day, and we esitmate that we will create 185 times that amount daily by 2025 . All that data, combined with artificial intelligence to analyze it, are enabling the technologies that only existed in our dreams less than a decade ago to become a reality. Come learn about the data that is generated, how it is used, and what to expect next.
How will Space Tourism Change Technology Here on Earth? - Space travel has intrigued many of us for most of our lives. Today there exist industries building towards creating tourism in space. As technological developments advance and the cost of space tourisim eventually becomes less astronomical, what types of technological advancements can we expect to see improving our lives on earth as a result?
The Future of CRISPR, How Gene Editing is Now a Looming Reality -CRISPR technology has revolutionized gene therapy. One of the major concerns today isn't what can we do with it, but rather what should we do? What are the possibilities? What are the risks? What do we do now that it exists.
The Work From Home Revolution - The past year has changed the role of telecommuting for many. Many jobs that historically were described as in office only suddenly could be done remotely. This also enabled many opportunities to those with a wide variety of abilities, and created both stress and convienence for many. After a year or more working from home, what will the future hold for telecommuting?
What If? Imagining a Different World Through Alternate Histories - Philip Dick theorized that if FDR had been assassinated in 1933, the Nazis would have colonized the moon by the 1960s. Edward Morris thought that if the Beatles had broken up in 1966, Lennon would have assassinated Ronald Reagan. Discuss other alternate points in history and what would be different today as a result.
Comic Book Glass Art - Trace and paint a comic book or manga character on a piece of glass to make a cool piece of art.
Cosplay 101 - If you’ve ever wondered about the Wonderful World of Cosplay, but weren’t sure what it is, what qualifies as a cosplay, or how to get involved, then you’re in luck! Come learn some handy tips and how-to's from both veterans and novices in the world of Cosplay.
So You Want to Start a Podcast? - Are you interested in starting a podcast of your own? Come and join Tony Penticoff, host of the podcast Paper Pencil Dice, as he discusses the technical and practical hurdles of running a podcast with multiple individuals, what to expect, and how to start your first episode.
What are you making? - Regardless of whether your chosen medium is plush, hardwood or anything just as cool, discuss your latest geeky project, share ideas, and get inspired by your fellow creators.
The Future of Science Fiction - Science Fiction has been around for nearly two centuries, and has a rich history. How do we bring in new fans of science fiction without alienating the existing fan bases who have loved it for decades?
The Hybrid World - Over the past year, many of our social interactions were done virtually, to the point that many of us became accustomed to online socialization. As things begin to move towards the new normal, will the online interactions diminish or flourish? How will our year of virtual socialization change how we interact with family and friends years into the future?
The Outlook of Media - Is Streaming the Future? - Over the past year, much of our video media has been enjoyed in a streaming form. As things return back to a new normal, what will happen to traditional media entertainment? Will streaming new releases remain, will theaters return to their former glory, or will we see something entirely new?
What Podcasts Are You Listening To? - Whether you're new to the wonderful world of podcasts or looking for your next great listen, come join us to discuss your favorites. Podcasts are both a new and old form of media, evolving from radio shows into what we see today, and they can range from cooking, interviews, true crime, sharing personal stories, performing an audio play, discussing your favorite topics, live roleplaying groups, or some combination. No matter what your interest is, there is a podcast for you!
Are You Sure Batman Wouldn't Do That? - The new streaming show, Harley, introduced us to a hilarious new side of the DC universe, from the villains' perspective. However, one large controversy came about from the show's creator of certain things she wasn't able to explore, particularly about Bruce Wayne and his bedroom activities. Did you hear about this, and what did you think?
Beyond the Binary-Science Fiction and Fantasy allow us to explore worlds never before imagined. Fictional worlds with several genders, fluid genders, and no genders have been written about, and they all help us better understand gender in our own world. What books have you read that explore gender in an interesting way? How do you explore gender in your own writing? Come discuss with us and share your perspectives!
Children's Science Fiction - What books are great for early readers to help foster an interest into adulthood? Come share what worked for you or your kids!
Dungeon Master's Workshop - Want to be a Dungeon Master, could use help with your campaign, love the idea of helping others, or just curious? We will host and help with the following: Basics of being a DM; Preparing for a game; Tips and Tricks behind the screen; Building your campaign; Constructing a world; and any other questions you may have.
Gods are merely NPCs - When creating fantasy stories, whether they be in novels or while running a role-playing game, we often have to create deities. Despite being sometimes omnipotent beings, these gods still have their wants and desires, strengths and weaknesses. Come discuss how to create a divine being that still feels like an actual person.
Simultaneous History - We may not realize it, but historical events existed simultaneously that many of us don't realize. For example, the Pyramids of Egypt were being constructed prior to the extinction of the Wolly Mammoth, meanwhile the Nintendo company was being founded the same year that Jack the Ripper was on the loose. What other events of simultaneous history do you know about that happened at the same time?
When the Screen Goes Beyond the Written Word - Good Omens season 2 was recently announced, and yet a novelization for it was never fully completed. What happens when fans desire the continuation of a successful TV or Movie series, and yet there are no further written novel to adapt to the screen. Or even worse, what if the original author isn't around to ask what would have happened next? How should TV and movie studios proceed?
Who Controls the Canon? A Case Study of The Snyder Cut - Some fans of the Justice League movie were unsatisfied with the end result, and staged a social media campaign to have the director's original vision released in its full glory, despite the studio's hesitancy. In 2020, that wish became reality, but it creates a host of new questions. Which movie is the actual canonical story? If fans can reject media they disagree with and demand something different, who controls the canon? What implications will this have for other artforms? Come discuss with us and share your thoughts!