Programming

Convention Programming

We have a lot of exciting content planned for the inaugural SFFCon!

Programming is divided into three categories:

  • Creative Track: Content focused on creators, mostly geared toward indie writing and film.

  • Genre Fan Track: Panels dedicated to SF&F fandom, with discussions related to sub-genres.

  • Additional Programming: Targeted content with a deeper dive into specific subject areas and smaller group interactions, such as readings and kaffeeklatsches.

*Please note: All times are PDT (U.S. Pacific, GMT -7)*


Quick Navigation:


Creative Track

COVER ART

Friday, June 11, 8:00am PDT

What makes a great book cover? In this panel, professional cover artists will talk about design, marketability, and how you can work successfully with you cover artist to create the perfect cover for your story.

Panelists: Andrew Dobell (moderator), Rebekah Haskell, Tom Edwards

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfwYhjhgbOk

AUDIOBOOKS

Friday, June 11, 9:00am PDT

The audiobook industry continues to grow. What are some of the latest trends in audiobooks, such as multiple narrators, and what helps make an audiobook stand out in this ever more competitive market?

Panelists: Kevin McLaughlin (moderator), Jeffrey Kafer, Victoria Gerken, Heather Costa, Christopher Hopper

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7nEYrq9TN4

PODCASTS

Friday, June 11, 10:00am PDT

Podcasts are a great way to connect with fans and/or other members of the creative community. How do you go about picking a topic, connecting with your audience, and structuring content?

Panelists: Josh Hayes (moderator), Cisca Small, Wendy Van Camp, Jason Hunt

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3kbI9d0zB4

PLOTTING VS. PANTSING

Friday, June 11, 10:00am PDT

Every author has their preferred strategy for writing, either planning out the details of the book in advance, writing "by the seat of their pants", or a combination of the two. This panel will discuss the different approaches and offer tools and strategies to support the creative process.

Panelists: Kristina L. Gruell (moderator), Andrew Dobell, Rick Partlow, A.K. DuBoff, Jeffery Haskell

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY96kfq9SW8

CREATING AN ALIEN CIVILIZATION

Friday, June 11, 11:00am PDT

From language, to culture, to biology, this panel will explore considerations related to creating interesting and unique aliens. What are some key things to keep in mind when designing an alien race?

Panelists: CW Lamb (moderator), SJ Schauer, Lawrence M. Schoen, Shelina Valmond, Allen Stroud

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM7tW6-64HM

HOW TO KEEP A SERIES FRESH

Friday, June 11, 1:00pm PDT

Long series can be great from a marketing perspective, but how do you keep the series interesting to both readers and you as an author?

Panelists: Kevin McLaughlin (moderator), Martha Carr, C.C. Ekeke, Rick Partlow, John Wilker

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGF4lP5Vvf8

FANTASY WORLDBUILDING

Friday, June 11, 3:00pm PDT

There are endless possibilities in fantasy. How do you go about creating a rich fantasy world?

Panelists: Kristina L. Gruell (moderator), Jeffrey L. Kohanek, Martha Carr, Allen Stroud

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flR403T1ttk

SERIAL STORYTELLING

Friday, June 11, 4:00pm PDT

Serial storytelling is growing in popularity, allowing authors to share their work one chapter at a time on various platforms. From Wattpad, Vella, and others, what are some key considerations related to this unique format?

Panelists: Rachel Aukes (moderator), Kevin McLaughlin, Anthea Sharp, Terry Mixon

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JBS2GrKLj4

SCREEN ADAPTATIONS

Friday, June 11, 5:00pm PDT

Translating a story from a book page into a film or TV show is a challenging endeavor. This panel will discuss some of the key considerations to determine if a story is a good fit for the screen, how to think about the story in a different medium, and some approaches for the adaptation process.

Panelists: James Fox (moderator), Geoffrey Calhoun, John Robert Marlow, Darrell Gabonia

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjsMdWC6YHk

CLOSE QUARTERS COMBAT

Saturday, June 12, 9:00am PDT

Fight scenes are a common feature in SF&F media. How do you do about writing a good close-quarters fight scene that will jump off the page?

Panelists: Steaphen Fick (moderator), SJ Schauer, Kevin McLaughlin, Jeffery Haskell

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq4I0ckTIxA

CROWDFUNDING AND ALTERNATIVE REVENUE STREAMS

Saturday, June 12, 10:00am PDT

This panel will discuss tips and best practices for using Patreon, Kickstarter, etc. to augment your income or fund specific projects.

Panelists: Andrea Fornero (moderator), Lawrence M. Schoen, Kevin McLaughlin, Catherine Asaro

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12EHj6y8wdk

REALISTIC DESIGN

Saturday, June 12, 11:00am PDT

SF&F lets imaginations run wild, but there still needs to be a measure of internal consistency and plausibility to ships, weapons, and equipment. This panel will talk about how to create realistic designs that will enhance your stories.

Panelists: CW Lamb (moderator), Rick Partlow, SJ Schauer, Lisa Richman, Gerald Kilby, Allen Stroud

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-fVX6-Zsek

JUGGLING MULTIPLE PROJECTS

Saturday, June 12, 12:00pm PDT

Many creators work on more than one project at the same time, whether it be novels, short stories, art, or films. What are some strategies for structuring your time to meet deadlines, prevent burnout, and keep the creative process fun even when there’s a lot going on?

Panelists: Anthea Sharp (moderator), Lawrence M. Schoen, Martha Carr, Wendy Van Camp

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2DdX4CkR6k

HOW TO ORGANIZE AND PUBLISH AN ANTHOLOGY

Saturday, June 12, 2:00pm PDT

Multi-author anthologies can be a great way to get exposure to new readers. This panel will provide an overview of how to organize and publish a multi-author anthology and offer tips for how to make it a smooth process for everyone involved.

Panelists: Chris Kennedy (moderator), Anthea Sharp, Wendy Van Camp, A.K. DuBoff

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUUF8X1CpMU

ALTERNATE FIGHTING STYLES

Sunday, June 13, 9:00am PDT

When it comes to aliens or fantastical creatures, not all species will fight light humans. This panel will discuss how to think about different combat styles for creatures of various anatomies based on their unique physical features.

Panelists: Steaphen Fick (moderator), SJ Schauer, Jonathan Brazee, Jeffery Haskell

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqMj7gzZ_P4

SPACE/FLIGHT COMBAT

Sunday, June 13, 10:00am PDT

Sci-fi movies often feature ships engaged in broadside battles with fighters darting around… but is that really how it would work?

Panelists: Lisa Richman (moderator), SJ Schauer, Rachel Aukes, Robert Shores, Jonathan Brazee

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRCy7Yx2-18

SCIENCE IN SCI-FI

Sunday, June 13, 3:00pm PDT

How can science inspire speculative fiction? This panel will discuss ways that science can provide the basis for sci-fi stories with a “what if?” premise and how scientific principles can inform worldbuilding and other aspects of story.

Panelists: Lisa Richman (moderator), A.G. Riddle, Jeffery Haskell, M.A. Rothman, Catherine Asaro

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERAhKSe_s28


Genre Fan Track

BEYOND EARTH: SCI-FI SPACE ADVENTURE

Friday, June 11, 12:00pm PDT

Space adventures are a fan favorite on both the page and screen. What makes this genre so engaging? What are some favorites and which maybe missed the mark?

Panelists: A.K. DuBoff (moderator), Lisa Richman, Rachel Aukes, Rick Partlow, Josh Hayes

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLUpWH0Z-oA

NEW SPINS ON TRADITIONAL FANTASY ELEMENTS

Friday, June 11, 2:00pm PDT

Fantasy has many subgenres, each with their own tropes. This panel will discuss examples of fantasy breaking into new ground with fresh approaches in this ever-evolving genre.

Panelists: Cisca Small (moderator), Kristina L. Gruell, Jeffrey L. Kohanek, Anthea Sharp

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piIx2nf_tew

FAVORITE CREWS

Friday, June 11, 3:00pm PDT

From the page to screen, characters often feel like an extended family as we experience the story world through their eyes. What makes a ship crew/team memorable, and what are some all-time favorites?

Panelists: Shelina (T.S.) Valmond (moderator), SJ Schauer, Lisa Richman, James Fox, Terry Mixon

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN_PQnH1XoI

SF&F POETRY READING

Saturday, June 12, 10:00am PDT

Speculative poetry allows a unique exploration of this world and beyond. Join poets as they read some of their work and discuss some of their creative process.

Poets: Wendy Van Camp (moderator), Akua Lezli Hope, Deborah P Kolodji, DA Xiaolin Spires, Angela Yuriko Smith

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ_8xZMNZAU

SUPERHERO FICTION

Saturday, June 12, 1:00pm PDT

Superheroes have been a fixture in cinema in recent years, and there’s a long history of comics and other media. This panel will delve into the genre and discuss what makes this genre so engaging.

Panelists: Rachel Aukes (moderator), C.C. Ekeke, Kevin McLaughlin, Jeffrey Kafer, Jeffery Haskell

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_pTovBUJBs

HOW WOULD WE COLONIZE SOL AND BEYOND?

Saturday, June 12, 3:00pm PDT

As landing a human on Mars becomes a more and more attainable goal, we look at the possibility of human life beyond Earth with new eyes. How would humanity realistically go about taking those initial steps of colonization beyond our home planet? Where do we go from there?

Panelists: James Fox (moderator), Lisa Richman, Rick Partlow, Jeff Haskell, Catherine Asaro

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO6nVhObkE4

LITRPG: FANTASY OR SCIENCE FICTION?

Saturday, June 12, 4:00pm PDT

LitRPG blurs the lines between genre, bringing together elements from both fantasy and sci-fi. This panel will discuss the genre and what makes it unique.

Panelists: Cisca Small (moderator), Troy Osgood, Kevin McLaughlin, Anthea Sharp

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5nwG5-cQxA

EXTENSIONS OF HUMANITY

Sunday, June 13, 8:00am PDT

From soldiers to everyday life, new technology is inspiring sci-fi that features cybernetics, mechs, and more. What are some ways in which the human experience will be enhanced by this evolving technological interface?

Panelists: James S. Aaron (moderator), Lawrence M. Schoen, Andrew Dobell, Gerald Kilby, C.C. Ekeke, Catherine Asaro

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbuUMV8jWWo

MAGICAL CULTURES

Sunday, June 13, 11:00am PDT

This panel will discuss how magic and culture influence each other, from different magic systems to how those with magical abilities can be either celebrated or feared.

Panelists: Cisca Small (moderator), Kristina L. Gruell, Martha Carr, Allen Stroud

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JG2wR1wGMjI

INDIE COMICS

Sunday, June 13, 11:00am PDT

The combination of visuals and writing make comics a dynamic format for storytelling. Join indie author creators as they discuss the creative process, the state of the industry, and what makes this such a compelling medium.

Panelists: Jason Hunt (moderator), Ryan Winn, Austin Osueke

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_2KSI87iqM

HISTORICAL INSPIRATIONS FOR SPEC FIC

Sunday, June 13, 12:00pm PDT

History is full of fascinating battle tactics, political feuds, and iconic aesthetic designs. This panel will discuss how those elements can be revisited in new sci-fi and fantasy.

Panelists: Kevin McLaughlin (moderator), Rachel Aukes, Jonathan Brazee, Anthea Sharp, David Weber

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v_ko-JctyU

GENRE MASHUPS

Sunday, June 13, 1:00pm PDT

Some works are difficult to classify, drawing elements from different genres. This panel will discuss some classic genre mashups. Are there some that are a natural fit? Is there a combination that wouldn’t work?

Panelists: Lisa Richman (moderator), A.G. Riddle, A.K. DuBoff, James S. Aaron, M.A. Rothman

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNgGT_jbcD0

HUMAN EVOLUTION

Sunday, June 13, 2:00pm PDT

As technology and our scientific understanding evolves, so does our ability to alter and enhance the human experience. How will people continue to evolve, and in what ways might interacting with aliens change our understanding of ourselves?

Panelists: CW Lamb (moderator), SJ Schauer, Kristina L. Gruell, Jonathan Brazee

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFwYrIYRtEA


Additional Programming

BONUS PANEL: Bestselling Author Insights

Four bestselling sci-fi and fantasy authors share insights about what it takes to write books readers will love.

Panelists: Nick Webb, A.G. Riddle, Robert Crane, Jay Allan

Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/H5VXyFjX2ZM

PRESENTATION: How to grow into success, get what you want, and remain sane and happy

Sunday, June 13, 1:00pm PDT

Presented by Martha Carr

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5y5G5GyIqc

KAFFEEKLATSCH: Jonathan Brazee

Sunday, June 13, 3:00pm PDT

Come chat with multi-award nominated and bestselling sci-fi author, retired Marine Col. Jonathan Brazee.

Join on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv_xMJD1hmg

KAFFEEKLATSCH: A.K. DuBoff

Saturday, June 12, 11:00am PDT

Come chat with Nebula-nominated space opera author and SFFCon convention founder Amy (A.K.) DuBoff.

Join on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4V_-AMUmVU

KAFFEEKLATSCH: Lawrence M. Schoen

Friday, June 11, 9:00am PDT

Come chat with award-winning sci-fi author Lawrence M. Schoen about alien languages, writing, psychology, and more!

Join on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dfkXafLP2Q

KAFFEEKLATSCH: Cisca Small

Saturday, June 12, 9:00am PDT

Come chat with genre superfan, podcaster, and convention organizer Cisca Small.

Join on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCH0NzZ010E

KAFFEEKLATSCH: Anthea Sharp

Sunday, June 13, 2:00pm PDT

Come chat with bestselling fantasy author Anthea Sharp.

Join on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmlXz50dqTM

READING: SJ Schauer

Saturday, June 12, 2:00pm PDT

Listen to an exclusive book reading by sci-fi author SJ Schauer.

Join on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnplR277Jwc

READING: Wendy Van Camp

Friday, June 11, 1:00pm PDT

Listen to an exclusive book reading by author and poet Wendy Van Camp.

Join on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9nD32oQtWw

CLOSING CEREMONY

SFFCon 2021 is coming to a close, but we aren't finished yet! Join us for a special reading by David Weber and then hear about some plans for SFFCon 2022.

Join on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnbChCkI520

Join the conversation!

In addition to streamed convention content, join the conversation with panelists and fellow fans on Discord!

Note: The Discord server is geared toward adults. Anyone under the age of 18 should have parental/guardian permission and supervision to participate.