Still looking for an idea? Want to encourage someone else to take on an idea that you don't want? Brainstorming posts are a great place for that! The most recent one can be found here. There are lots of nifty ideas up for grabs and co-presenters.
In addition, we're pleased to give away the following titles and summaries. If you'd like one, let us know, and we'll cross it off the list (with the understanding that this doesn't mean no one else will propose the idea, or that no one out there is working on something similar). Then, you'll need to prepare an abstract or set of discussion questions and submit your proposal online at the Sirens website by May 7.
Check out our series on how to get involved with programming here.
How does the changing landscape of fantasy and interstitial works affect what fantasy fans accept as in-genre? This discussion will focus on what readers bring to books, how bookstore genres influence reading, and the role of readers and reviewers in defining what's "fantasy" and what isn't. [This could be a roundtable discussion or a panel, so maybe: Attendees are encouraged to bring examples of books that push the boundaries of "fantasy." OR: Panelists will discuss, among other books, Title X, Title Y, and Z.]
Girl v. Monster: Monster as Coming of Age Metaphor in Labyrinth
In Labyrinth, Sarah must battle the seductive, powerful Goblin King--and many other monsters--to save her little brother. On the surface, it seems like a simple quest story, but what traditionally feminine roles does Sarah have to assume for victory? Join us for a discussion of the monsters, monstrous, and more.
Make It Short
This one-hour writing workshop will focus on the short form and fantasy. What do you need to know about writing poetry, short stories, and flash fiction for a fantasy reader audience? What's new and exciting in the short form--and where's the market for it?
[Note: This could be more writing-oriented and focus on a specific format, too, with minor changes.]
"Off with Her Head": "Hysterical" Women in Fantasy
A common adjective hurled at women of all walks of life is "hysterical." We're frequently urged to stop behaving "hysterically" or to stop being "hysterical." Some of the most powerful female fantasy villains, from the Queen of Hearts to Harry Potter's Bellatrix, are depicted as hysterical, fraught, out-of control. Come discuss depictions of "hysterical" women in fantasy literature, and whether those ladies are hysterical or merely powerful.
[Could be a panel--or a roundtable!]
J. M. Barrie’s creation, who became widely popular under Disney’s watch, is depicted as emotionally mercurial; because she’s so small she can only hold one emotion in her body at once. Today, she’s been played by Julia Roberts, been turned into countless different kinds of merchandise, and is the up-and-coming princess alternative for young girls. Why is she so popular? What is it that we’re latching on to? Good marketing? Or is it because she’s been stripped of the features that can make fae more than a little bit dangerous?
Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town
The first few paragraphs of a story are crucial--so what do your first paragraphs convey? Bring the first 500-750 words of your fantasy work in progress to read to the other workshop participants. When you're not reading, you'll fill out a short survey about other readings, and at the end of the workshop, you'll receive written feedback on what the other participants gleaned from your opening lines. Space in this workshop is limited to 15 participants.
[You'd probably have to figure out a set of specific questions that the critquers could answer in 1-2 minutes, and then make as many copies as needed for each person to give 14 responses--perhaps a half or quarter page would work!]
Want to flesh one of these out? Have a summary you'd like to give away? Please--feel free!
Have a good weekend!