Storming The Castle

Friday1:00 PMErieThe Business of Episodic Storytelling Serialized fiction has experienced a renaissance in the age of the internet. Our panelists discuss the business side of episodic storytelling-- What are the trade-offs between self-publishing and going with a publisher like Serial Box? If going through a publisher, how do you pitch serialized projects? If self-publishing, which platform is best for your work and audience? Pablo Defendini (M), Michael R. Underwood, Mackenzie Flohr, E.D.E. Bell (Emily), Christian Klaver
Friday2:00 PMErieAn Author's Guide To Newsletters Keeping up with the shifting landscape of social media can me a tall order for busy writers. E-mail newsletters are a simple, effective way to let your most engaged fans know where to find you and your work. Our panelists have tips on how to set up and maintain an effective newsletter. Angus Watson (M), Lawrence M. Schoen, Marissa Lingen, Patrick S. Tomlinson, Natalie Luhrs
Friday3:00 PMErieA Pro Writer's Guide To Consultants There are a wealth of consulting services available to professional writers these days, including paid editing, sensitivity reading, marketing and social media consulting, and career coaching. What can these consulting services offer to trad and indie authors? When are they a good investment, and how do you vet and choose providers? Cat Rambo (M), Richard Shealy, Dan Stout, Michael R. Underwood, Dan Wells, Theresa Nielsen Hayden
Friday4:00 PMErieCultivating a Fanbase as a Publisher Just as fans follow specific authors or magazines, with the proliferation of small presses, we're increasingly seeing publishing houses develop followings of their own. Apex Publishing, Subterranean Press, World Weaver Press, Small Beer Press and many others have distinct voices and aesthetics which distinguish them in the marketplace. Some, such as Ugly Duckling Presse and Restless Books, offer annual subscriptions to their catalogs. Are readers following publishers as they follow authors, and what are publishers doing to cultivate fan bases? A. Carina Spears (M), Pablo Defendini, Yanni Kuznia, Michael J. DeLuca, Joe R. Lansdale
Friday5:00 PMErieWriting Tie-In Fiction Tie-in fiction can help writers expand their fanbase, put money in the bank, and occasionally even propel writers onto bestseller lists--but working in a world over which you have limited creative control comes with its own set of challenges. Panelists who've written tie-ins will talk about the differences between tie-in and original work, how to navigate in someone else's sandbox, and what they wish they'd known when they started. A. Carina Spears (M), James L. Sutter, Mur Lafferty, Nathan Rockwood, Delilah Dawson
Friday6:00 PMErieOutlining Methods For Short and Long Fiction Outlines are a popular and powerful tool for planning out fiction, but the persuasive non-fiction outlining methods that many of us learned in school aren't particularly well-suited to storytelling. Many writers have developed their own methods for outlining, and many have tips you can adapt for your own use. Come learn about the outlining methods that work for our panel of writers, and where to find additional resources on how to make outlines work for you. Annalee Flower Horne (M), A. Merc Rustad, Cherie Priest, Mark Oshiro, Ada Palmer
Friday8:00 PMErieFood, Flavor, and Culture In Secondary Worlds We live in a world where food and flavor profiles are closely linked with culture and family--be it handed-down recipes or the smells and tastes of particular ingredients viscerally signalling “home.” How can we incorporate distinct foods and food aesthetics into our secondary worlds to create a sense of place and culture? When is it the right choice to incorporate real-world foods that will be familiar to readers, and when is it better to invent new dishes? Dave Klecha (M), Jessi Cole Jackson, Dan Stout, Ken Schrader
Saturday10:00 AMErieSo This Is Your First ConFusion (Sat) First time at ConFusion, or science fiction conventions in general? Join us to hear about the history of the convention and even a little tour of the con. We'll answer any questions you have (about the con; quantum physics questions are handled elsewhere).  
Saturday11:00 AMErieReading: Ada Palmer  Ada Palmer
Saturday12:00 PMErieShowing Your Work: Showcasing Research in Genre Fiction Authors are often cautioned to avoid info-dumps in our work: lengthy explanations of science and history have fallen out of fashion in favor of subtly weaving in relevant research without drawing attention to it. But William Goldman broke this rule throughout The Princess Bride; most memorably in Wesley's fight scene with Montoya, where the two spend the entire fight discussing real swordsmen who influenced the theory and practice of renaissance fencing. Panelists will discuss when it's a good idea to shine a light on your research, and recommend examples of research-dumps that manage to entertain and delight readers. A. Carina Spears (M), Lucy A. Snyder, Lawrence M. Schoen, Michael Cieslak, Nino Cipri
Saturday1:00 PMErieWhat Computer Programming Can Teach Us About Writing Writing code and writing fiction may not seem to have a lot in common at the sentence level, but writers and programmers have to manage a lot of the same challenges. Come learn how to apply tools from software development, such as agile development, technical debt management, and code review, to the fiction writing process. Annalee Flower Horne (M), Pablo Defendini, Jennifer Mace, John Chu, Cat Rambo
Saturday3:00 PMErieAutograph Session (3pm)Meet your favorite authors and get your books signed! Limit 3 items per person, please.Ada Palmer, Angus Watson, Anthony W. Eichenlaub, Cat Rambo, Diana Rowland, Dyrk Ashton, Jason Sanford, Joe R. Lansdale, Josef Matulich, Keith Hughes, Lucy A. Snyder, Mackenzie Flohr, Mark Oshiro, Michael R. Underwood, Mur Lafferty, Stacey Filak, Tracy Townsend
Saturday4:00 PMErieAutograph Session (4pm)Meet your favorite authors and get your books signed! Limit 3 items per person, please.A. Carina Spears, Cassandra Morgan, Cherie Priest, Delilah Dawson, Derek Kunsken, E. D. E Bell, Ferrett Steinmetz, James L. Sutter, John Scalzi, Lawrence M. Schoen, Michael Cieslak, Phil Tucker, Sarah Hans, T L Greylock
Saturday6:00 PMErieFandom Year in Review A lot has changed in the past year. The Doctor is back, three-time winner at the Hugos, and so much more. New books, new movies, new everything in 2018, so let's get together and talk about it! Brian Bay (M), Mackenzie Flohr, Jeannie Szarama, Derek Kunsken
Saturday7:00 PMErieSleeping In Light: A Look Back At Babylon 5 Babylon 5 has been off the air for twenty years. Come join us to reminisce about the best parts, reconsider the parts that haven't aged so well, and cook up theories of what B5 could look like for a modern audience. Annalee Flower Horne (M), Michael R. Underwood, Scott H. Andrews, Natalie Luhrs
Saturday8:00 PMErieInconceivable! Establishing Narrative Credibility in SFF The best science fiction and fantasy is often based around bizarre, alien worlds or premises, but these always need to be relatable to the reader. How do writers make the incredible credible? What effective tricks do we see our favorite authors pulling off, and which ones don't work on us as readers? Tracy Townsend (M), Angus Watson, Brandon Crilly, Marie S. Bilodeau, Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Sunday11:00 AMErieConFusion Wants You! Running ConFusion can take a lot of work, not just during the weekend, but over the course of the year leading up to it. We're always looking for new people to help, whether it's laying out this very program book, tweaking the website, or contributing programming ideas. Join us and let us know how to help, and hear from some of the people who do the work now to make it all happen! Anna Carey, Cylithria Dubois, Eric Guy
Sunday12:00 PMErieState of the Solar System What are humans and their robot pals doing out in the solar system right now? Where are we going and what's in the planning phases? Bill Higgins (M), Martin L. Shoemaker, Dr. Jennifer Piatek, Bob Trembly
Sunday1:00 PMErieThe Nature of Time SF writers from H.G. Wells to Ted Chiang have obsessed over the nature of time. But what does the science say? Time travel, messages from the future, predestination: is any of this really possible? We will explore the ways new developments in science are threatening to upend our concept of time--and the ways that they already have. Andrea Johnson, David John Baker, Mackenzie Flohr, Derek Kunsken
Sunday2:00 PMErieSorting Hat Chats By virtue of magic, the Sorting Hat is of course superior to all other methods of analyzing personality and potential, but beyond that pedigree, what recommends it to real world personality analysis? What can we learn about ourselves and others through an understanding of one's Hogwarts house? Sarah Hans (M), Mackenzie Flohr