“The First 500″ Scholarship Contest

Tosca Lee at Realm Makers 2014Thanks to the generous contribution of Tosca Lee, the keynote speaker for the 2014 Realm makers conference, we are excited to announce the first of several scholarship opportunities available to prospective Realm Makers:2015 attendees. Are you dying to come to the conference in August, but sure financial circumstances in your life will prevent you from affording registration and housing? Then this scholarship opportunity might just be your chance. Continue reading

The Million Dollar Question: What Does Realm Makers: 2015 COST?

RM Date and LocationThankfully, it’s substantially less than a million dollars.


Each year, I will admit, I agonize over the registration cost component of the Realm Makers conference. Finding that sweet spot between providing the best faculty anywhere, making the conference price-competitive with other events like it, and offering this great content at an affordable rate is one part calculations, three parts stepping out in faith. I am confident that this year, you won’t find a better group of teachers of topics relevant to the speculative fiction writer, and hence, a better value in any other conference.

So, down to the nitty-gritty. The pricing structure for Realm Makers: 2015

Conference registration will open May 1st, 2015

If you register… Before June 1 Between June 2nd and July 1st Between July 2nd and July 24th (late registration)
Your registration price is… $299 $349 $399



The University of Missouri St Louis offers accommodations in their dorms for a very affordable rate of just $25 per person per night. You will have a bedroom with a single bed to yourself that shares a bath with three other “suite mates.”


During the conference day, we include light snacks and beverages during the breaks, lunches in the conference center on Friday and Saturday, and dinner on Friday (the much-anticipated, costumes-encouraged awards dinner)

If you are a breakfast eater, you can elect to take advantage of the University’s meal program to purchase breakfasts at the price of $6.86 each, which includes a buffet of hot selections, as well as pastries, cereal, and other continental breakfast items

Dinner on Saturday will also be available through the University, if you so choose, and will cost $8.85

*University housing and meals not provided in the conference center can be elected when registration opens in May. These services are managed by the university housing coordinator and will involve separate paperwork and payments from your conference registration.


So there you have it. We hope this analysis helps you plan for August to join us. Keep an eye out for future news, because soon, we’ll also be posting information on how to apply for several scholarships that will be available this year to help defray the cost of registration.

See you in St. Louis!

Announcing the Keynote Speaker and Preliminary Faculty for Realm Makers: 2015

It’s been an exciting couple of months here “backstage” at Realm Makers, where our planning committee has been busy at work combing the field of possible faculty for the 2015 conference. It is with barely-contained excitement that we introduce to you a selection of faculty members we have on board.

Keynote Speaker Robert Liparulo sets the stageRobert Liparulo

We are thrilled to have Mr Liparulo opening and closing the Realm Makers conference with what we are sure will be inspiring and challenging thoughts for lovers of speculative fiction.

Former journalist Robert Liparulo is the best-selling author of the thrillers Comes a Horseman, Germ, Deadfall, Deadlock, and The 13th Tribe, as well as The Dreamhouse Kings, an action-adventure series for young adults. He is currently working on the sequel to The 13th Tribe, as well as writing an original screenplay with director Andrew Davis (The Fugitive.)

When not writing, he loves to read, watch (and analyze) movies, scuba dive, swim, hike, and travel. He lives in Monument, Colorado, with his family.

New for 2015: Continuing Sessions

In addition Evangeline Denmark and Donita Paulto our usual 50 minute elective courses that we’ve had the first two years of Realm Makers, this year we are adding three tracks of continuing sessions: one on world building, one on self-editing, and one on marketing. So there’s something for every stage of your writing journey.

In the world building track, we’re excited to offer you an opportunity to learn from a team of teachers whose names might sound familiar. Worldbuilding will be taught by award winning Christian fantasy and romance author Donita K Paul and her daughter Evangeline Denmark, who specializes in SteampunkDavid_Farland.

For the editing track, we welcome acclaimed author and teacher David Farland to the Realm Makers faculty. To date, David is the author of 50 books, and many have spent time on the New York Times Bestseller list. His authorial range includes science fiction and fantasy, in anything from picture books to novels for adults.

Some of you may know him better under the name Dave Wolverton, the byline you’ll find on his science fiction work, including the well-known Star Wars novel The Courtship of Princess Leia.

David is the coordinating judge in the Writer’s of the Future contest, the author of his Daily Kick in the Pants, a web newsletter/resource for writers, and has taught a long list of authors who have rocketed to the top of their genres, including Stephenie Meyer and Brandon Sanderson.

Elective Teachers-an awesome pile of experts:

We’ll be fleshing out the information available on each of these teachers and their classes as we develop the details, but for now, here is a brief sampling of some of the amazing talent we have joining us on elective faculty in 2015

Jill Williamson, author Subjects TBD
Kirk DouPonce, Designer,Dog Eared Design Cover art/working with an artist
Steve Laube-owner, Enclave Publishing, The Steve Laube Agency Subjects TBD
Rowena Kuo, editor at Brimstone Fiction, a speculative imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas Subjects TBD
LB Graham, author Keeping the magic in Christian Speculative Fiction
Mike Duran, author The Theology of Horror, The Christian Crossover Novelist
Morgan Busse, author Subjects TBD
Amanda Luedeke, agent, MacGregor Literary Subjects TBD

elective teacher lineup
We will also be adding a few names to this list going forward, but since the details with those teachers are still in development, we didn’t want to shout them out prematurely.

That being said, it is at this time that we must announce that Realm Makers:2015 is closed to teaching proposals. We apologize that our schedule can’t fit everyone who wants to teach each year, but time and space are still factors that limit even speculative fiction authors. We may be looking to fill a few panelist spots as we firm up the conference content, but those spaces will be populated by invitation.

We hope you’re as excited as we are about the faculty members on this list. Coming soon, look for more faculty names to be confirmed, and details on a short story contest, where the grand prize is a free registration to the conference.

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 production@splicketymagazine.com 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 production@splicketymagazine.com


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 (www.ebooklistingservices.com)
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!