Be a Financial Partner–Make Awesomeness a Reality

We're not guaranteeing you'll get to swordfight a vampire, but you never know

We’re not guaranteeing you’ll get to swordfight a vampire, but you never know

As the Realm Makers conference heads into its third year, we are deeply grateful for the way we are seeing this endeavor touch the lives of writers who love both the Lord and creating fantastic fiction. Over and over, we’ve seen our conference attendees and the members of our social media communities express their excitement as they now have a place to call home, where asking “What if …” is celebrated and embraced. The Realm Makers vision has created a tight-knit community of passionate fantasy and science-fiction leaders.

Our conference goal is to expand what we offer our attendees without placing an undue registration cost burden on those who would join us in St Louis. But top-notch faculty comes at a justifiable price. In order to have the most influential names in speculative fiction at the lecterns this year, Realm Makers needs to raise significant funds outside of direct earnings from conference registrations.

The good news is, conference funding from the previous year was sufficient to carry us through the initial deposits, insurance, and background costs of getting started for 2015, but there is a growing budget on the horizon. Many of you have made contributions in previous years. Would you consider coming alongside us once again?  Read on for this year’s contribution levels… Continue reading

Realm Makers:2015-The dates are set

It’s hard to believe a couple of months have already gone by since the 2014 Realm Makers conference–and although this blog has been quiet, those of us behind the scenes have been anything but idle. Planning for the 2015 conference is well underway.

The ever-gregarious Ben Wolf has been hard at work making faculty connections for the 2015 conference so that we can have an All-Star lineup teaching. It’s too soon to start naming names, but once we have our keynote speaker determined, rest assured that announcement will go out to all of you. Tosca Lee will be a tough act to follow, but I think we have some options in the works that will equally impress.

Speaking of dates, in case you’re not a follower on our Facebook page, here’s the teaser announcement about the 2015 date and location:

Save the Date Card_Realm Makers 2015Some of you are probably wondering WHERE in St Louis? While we’ve blocked out the dates with the venue, I have not yet put down the deposit, so as soon as that’s done and the dotted lines have signatures, we’ll announce the location as well. But for the moment, block off your calendars, folks. You won’t want to miss next year’s conference.


The Splickety Pre-Party at Realm Makers: 2014

The great minds at Splickety Magazine are sponsoring a pre-conference event for Realm Makers: 2014. If you will be arriving on Thursday for the conference, please join us for the Flash Critique Party, in the dorm conference room on Thursday evening. (Exact time and room number coming in the next couple days, as soon as the University confirms the room assignment.)

What is a Flash Critique Party, you ask? Read on for a message from Ben Wolf…

balloonsWant to make sure your manuscript is in great shape before you pitch to editors at Realm Makers? Have Splickety’s team critique your story at our Flash Critique party the night before the conference! We’ll have a couple special guest critiquers: Realm Makers’ keynote speakers from 2013 and 2014, Jeff Gerke and Tosca Lee. Interested? Here are the details for how to submit:
Polish the first 10 pages of your manuscript to a high shine and email them as a Word doc or docx attachment to by Friday, May 23. We’ll select at least 5 manuscripts to critique at the party.
Come hang out at Splickety’s Flash Critique party Thursday night before the conference to see if your manuscript was selected and what our team thought of it. We’ll have games and snacks, so even if your manuscript is not selected, it’ll be a great time to gear up for the conference. If you don’t want to submit, join us anyway!
Questions? Email Lindsay at


Spotlight on Taegais Publishing

card logoThis week is our last publisher spotlight! Can you believe Realm Makers is just under 3 weeks away. Wait–calm down. I didn’t mean to freak anyone out. Breathe.

Anyway, this week, we’re highlighting Taegais Publishing. Amy Deardon, founder, will be joining us tomorrow night for the Q&A. More info at the end of the post. Read on!


Taegais Publishing LLC was founded in 2008 for self-publishing owner Amy Deardon’s two books. God blessed the company and her book sales. Taegais opened as a traditional advance-paying publisher in 2012, and has also opened a subsidiary for formatting print and e-books for those who wish to self-publish (
1. Which people from the company are attending the Realm Makers conference?

Amy, president and owner
Emily, artistic and marketing director
2. What kind of books does your company publish?

As a new publisher, we are actively seeking new titles. So far we have published novels, children’s science, and how-to books.
3. What genres are you actively looking for at Realm Makers?

We are interested in great writing. Taegais is open to family-friendly genres, especially thoughtful fiction, speculative fiction, and how-to nonfiction.
4. What kinds of stories are you tired of seeing pitches/query letters for?

We won’t consider either heavily denominational works (eg Calvinist, fundamentalist, so-called evils of the Catholic church) or end-times topics. We’re not fans of straight romance or poetry, although will look at it.
5. What should a writer bring with them to the pitch session?

Amy says: The first question I always ask is: what is your book about? I like to hear a succinct 15-20 word description and a 3-4 sentence elevator pitch that captures the story idea so I can quickly understand it. Keep in mind that I used to work as a scientist so appreciate organized communication of information.

I’ll also want to know if your book is complete, why you wrote it, what future do you envision for it, what is your platform, and anything else you think is relevant. Bring a one page synopsis and the first 10-15 pages.

6. What are your top 3 tips for writers?

Amy says,

Here are three common problems I see in newbie fiction manuscripts and self-published books:

Tip #1: Make sure you’re writing a story and not just description or action. Every story, and every scene in a story, should have a GOAL, STAKES and OBSTACLES. Forward story motion is the key.

Tip #2: Polish your words. Cut the extra verbiage, phrase sentences in active not passive voice, state thoughts only once, and in all ways make your words shine. Join a critique group since the members will often see problems that you miss.

Tip #3: Remember that the end-point of publishing your words is not holding the book in your hands, but getting your book into others’ hands. Research and plan marketing techniques (keywords, topics), and build your platform. Most importantly, for self publishers wait until your book is ready to meet the public before you release it. I’ve met too many self-published authors who were deeply disappointed when they let their book go too soon.


Thank you, Amy, for joining us today. Amy will be with us again tomorrow (5/13) night at 8 p.m. EST on the Realm Makers’ Facebook page. See you there!

Spotlight on Pelican Book Group

Pelican logoWe are thrilled to welcome Pelican Book Group to our blog this week. Sarah Grimm will be joining us for our Q&A session TOMORROW night. 

Pelican Book Group’s primary ministry is to publish quality fiction that reflects the salvation and love offered by Jesus Christ. Our titles adhere to mainline Christianity, but are enjoyed by Christians and non-Christians, alike.
1. What kind of books does your company publish? 
All genres of Christian fiction. Of our four imprints, Harbourlight (adult fiction) and Watershed (YA fiction) accept the sci-fi and fantasy genres and all their quirky sub-genres. Of course, if you’d like to pitch some other fiction genre, we take that, too.
2. What genres are you actively looking for at Realm Makers? 
I love anything fantasy or sci-fi (especially YA). Really it’s my kind of fiction, so I’ll be looking forward to seeing some great new stories.
3. What kinds of stories are you tired of seeing pitches/query letters for? 
Honestly, I don’t like a generic pitch. Tell me something that sets your story apart. If it’s the story of a chosen one who kills a dragon to save the princess, what makes it different from all the others like that?
4. What should a writer bring with them to the pitch session? 
I’d like to see a sample of the writing, so the first five pages. A one-sheet is also nice so I can see the pitch and brief synopsis.
5. Do you have any books releasing soon that you are really excited about? 
Katie Clark’s Vanquished is coming out this year. It’s a YA dystopian, the first in its series, and it’s awesome.
6. What are your top 3 tips for writers? 
Write what you love. Find critique partners who will push you to bring your story to its full potential. And edit the way you’d pack if you could only take one small suitcase. 

Thank you, Sarah! Join us tomorrow (Tuesday, 5/6) at 8 p.m. for more questions and answers from the lovely Sarah Grimm.

Spotlight on Crosshair Press



This week, we are excited to welcome new publisher, Crosshair Press. Founders Amy Williams and Katie Morford will be joining us tomorrow for the Q&A! Without further ado, here’s their post.

Crosshair Press is a small independent publisher dedicated to quality, character-focused fiction with high action and moral or spiritual dilemmas. We are four friends who love great characters and thought-provoking stories so much that we formed a critique group and, after Jeff Gerke’s challenge at last year’s Realm Makers, we decided to start a small press together. We’re all grown or converted geeks who love spec-fiction (just not gooey green aliens) and desire to share Truth with the world through a medium people can engage with and understand.
1. Which people from the company are attending the Realm Makers conference

Amy Williams and Katie Morford (the other founders Amy Davis and Carrie Lemke aren’t able to make it) this year

2. What kind of books does your company publish?
We’ll take any genre as long as it has action and a spiritual or moral dilemma. Personally, we’re all partial to speculative fiction, but as a publisher we accept all genres.

3. What genres are you actively looking for at Realm Makers?
We’ll consider any speculative fiction genre, except horror or hard science fiction, especially stories with a lot of humor. We’ve already set the titles to release in 2015, so we’re not actively seeking manuscript submissions at this Realm Makers. However, we’re looking to build relationships with authors we may want to work with in the future.

4. What kinds of stories are you tired of seeing pitches/query letters for?
Stories with one-dimensional or cardboard characters. Bring us characters with real problems and villains who’ve made a choice.

5. What should a writer bring with them to the pitch session?
We would like to hear an “elevator” pitch and to see a first chapter, as well as a synopsis if you have one. Also come prepared to answer questions about your story and marketing ideas.

6. Do you have any books releasing soon that you are really excited about?
Funny you should ask! We have three books releasing at the end of the year and the beginning of 2015.

Nameless — the first in a science fiction time travel trilogy about a girl who lost her memory, an ex-assassin whose past catches up with him, and an eclectic crew of bounty hunters who save the day despite themselves. (Dec. 2014)

The Katiller — a high-octane mix of political thriller action and snarky one-liners, as a team of Turkish hit men goes rogue and makes unlikely allies in three American women trying to escape the Arabic Nation’s takeover of Europe. (Jan. 2015)

Romantic Comedy — Hilarity and hover-round chases ensue when a single 30-something church secretary teams up with everyone’s favorite geeky guy and the most awkward church singles group ever to save a prostitute they’ve befriended and break up a Midwest crime ring. (Feb. 2015)


Thank you, ladies, for telling us a bit about Crosshair Press!

Amy and Katie will be joining us on the Realm Makers’ Facebook page TOMORROW (Tues., 4/29) at 8 p.m. for another Q&A session. Come and get to know them better!

Wanna sell your books at the conference?

French_Quarter_Book_StoreMany of you have been waiting for information on how to sell your books at Realm Makers: 2014…and we do apologize for keeping you waiting for the details. At long last, here they are.

All published authors in attendance at this year’s conference are invited to offer their works for sale in the bookstore. This year’s bookstore will once again be coordinated by the conference operations manager, Scott Minor. If you wish to make your books available here’s what you need to do:



  1. Email us at info[at]faithandfantasyalliance[dot]com to request to be included in the book sale. The title of your email should read: Book Sales Request–[your name]
  2. We will send  a spreadsheet for you to fill out with the requested information for each book you wish to sell. Send it back to us as an attachment by May 16th.
  3. When you arrive at the conference, check your inventory in with the bookstore staff. When you leave, you will check your remaining inventory out with them as well.
  4. You will be responsible for the transport of your books to and from the conference. If you won’t be able to carry your books with you because of the nature of your travel plans, please ship your books directly to the conference venue at the following address.
  5. The mailing address should read:

Faith and Fantasy Alliance

VU Box 3640, Kennedy Mailroom

800 E. Lancaster Ave

Villanova, PA 19085


Transaction Cost:

All book sales will be subject to a 15% transaction fee (Min $1).

Sales Tax:

The Faith and Fantasy Alliance will be charging sales tax at the bookstore on all purchases and will pay the state of PA accordingly.

 Space Allotment:

The Faith and Fantasy Alliance and Realm Makers staff reserve the right to allocate bookstore space as we deem appropriate. We will do our best to make sure all of the titles you bring to sell are visible and available, but please bear in mind, our table space is limited.

If you have any additional questions that are not covered here, please reachout to Scott at We’re looking forward to seeing what awesome adventures you bring with you.