Realm Makers: 2013

A Faith and Fantasy Alliance Event

August 2-3, 9:00 am – 10:00 pm

JC Penney Conference Center

1 University Blvd, St Louis, MO 63121-4400


Registration opens May 1st, 2013—All registration (except at-the-door) will be handled on-line through the Realm Makers page on

Registration Cost:

If you register between these dates: Your registration cost is:
May 1st -June 1st $185
June 2nd-July 25th* $235
At the door** $250

* Online registration closes July 25th

** Conferees who register at the door cannot be guaranteed availability of printed conference materials

Housing: Limited housing will be available on the UMSL campus in their dorms, Thursday through Saturday night. All rooms are single private sleeping rooms within a four room suite. Due to limited space, Conference and Event Services is unable to guarantee your requests, but all efforts will be made to honor them. Please note that all individuals wishing to stay in a suite together must provide their own written requests as well.

Housing cost per night: $20

Meals: Registration cost includes the Saturday night costume dinner. Other meals are available in the campus dining room at the following rates:

Friday and Saturday breakfast: $6.15

Friday and Saturday lunch: $7:15

Friday Dinner: $8.60

At the time of registration, conferees may elect as many or as few meals as they wish. There are a few dining establishments within a mile or two of the conference center, but meal breaks will typically only be about an hour long, so attendees should plan accordingly.

Bringing a vehicle to the conference? No problem—you’ll just need a parking permit for the UMSL campus for $1 a day, which you can request when you register after May 1st.

Questions? Please email info[at]faithandfantasyalliance[dot]com

Realm Makers: 2013

Sample Faculty Listing and Course Offerings

Please note: this is not an exhaustive list /description of courses offered or teachers who will be represented at the conference, and this list is subject to revision at the conference director’s discretion.

We will continue to post updates in the coming weeks.

Keynote Speaker: Jeff Gerke, Marcher Lord Press

We are thrilled to welcome speculative fiction pioneer Jeff Gerke to the role of keynote speaker for the first-ever Realm Makers conference. If you don’t yet know who Jeff is, you will leave with no doubt as to why Christians in speculative fiction look to him as a major trendsetter in the genre.

Faculty/Class Sessions:

Presenter: Kathy Tyers

Writing for Science Fiction Franchises: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Writing for an established science fiction/fantasy franchise is challenging and fascinating. Kathy Tyers published two licensed Star Wars novels, an original five-book science fiction series and several stand-alone novels for the general and Christian markets. She’ll discuss the experience.

Presenter: Bryan Davis

The Hero’s Journey

 In this workshop we will look at the basic structure of the Hero’s Journey story, a type that lends itself well to fantasy and science fiction tales. We will discuss how to begin such a story and how to guide it to completion without losing track of where we’re going. This workshop will be especially helpful for writers who have great ideas but don’t know how to start them as well as for those who have started stories but have not been able to finish them.

Presenter: L.B. Graham, Author of the series, The Binding of the Blade

Worldview & World-Building: Beyond Allegories & Moralism

All Christian authors face certain questions about what, precisely, their purpose is. Must our stories be overtly Christian, and what would that look like anyway – moral characters, redemptive themes, overt presentations of the gospel? Are we free to show the fallen world as it is, to tell stories that don’t end well and where the characters reject the truth? In speculative fiction, it only gets more complicated, as we often create not only the characters and their stories, but the very rules of the universe in which they operate. Come along, then, and in this session we’ll wrestle together with the role of worldview in world-building.

Presenter: Chila Woychik: Editor, Port Yonder Press

Why Christians Should Write for the Mainstream Market

Why should Christians consider writing outside their Christian bubble? More importantly, how can we do that and do it well, without compromising our beliefs? Chila will look at this and more, and hopefully convince writers of faith to reach out to those who need it most.

Presenter: Ben Erlichman, Executive Editor of Splickety Magazine

Writing Flash Fiction that Sells:

Splickety Magazine specializes in publishing flash fiction, which we define as 1000 words or less. Learn what makes a flash fiction story great (elements like plot, structure, conflict, character development, etc.) and how to condense everything so you stay within that 1,000-word range. By the end of the presentation, attendees will know what it takes to write compelling flash fiction, will know where they can submit their fiction, and will hopefully do so as one step in their journey toward publication on a grander scale

Acting Out – How to Write Believable Fight Scenes: Grappling with how to write that fight scene? Perhaps some hands-on experience will help. This course will get you off your butt and into some movement and (safe) action. Screenwriters and visual media attendees will benefit from knowing how to write actual stage combat into their screenplays, and your fiction authors will benefit from knowing what they can and can’t do in a fight scene in their novels. If you want to write better fight scenes, join us for some mayhem.

Presenter: Robert Treskillard, author of The Merlin Spiral trilogy

The THIRST method

Fiction that sells is fiction that grabs the reader. One way to do that is to use Robert Treskillard’spersonal THIRST™ method, which focuses on adding Tension, Humor, Incidents, Romance, Suspense, and Terror to your scenes to keep the reader turning pages.


Watch also for coming details on a session about the components of a great query letter, taught by OakTara author Suzanne Hartmann, A science fiction session with Splashdown Books Editor Grace Bridges, and further information on a horror session (details still developing.) The conference will also feature panels on the future of publishing in a changing marketplace, the writer’s journey, and science and magic and the Christian audience. Our evenings together will feature fun time to connect over a group book signing, a Saturday awards dinner (costumes encouraged but not required) and other speculative fiction hijinks.


Q: “Will anyone at the conference be taking appointments to look at manuscripts”

A: Yes! Which editors or agents? That’s still solidifying. We intend to have a list of attendees available for appointments when we open registration in May, and details of how to request time will accompany that list. We thank you in advance for your understanding as we align these sometimes-complicated logistics

Q: “Will I be able to register for only one day?”

A: This year, Realm Makers cannot accommodate discounted registration cost for single day attendance.

Q: Will I be able to sell my books at Realm Makers?

A: Yes. Realm Makers volunteers will handle book transactions through a central checkout system at the conference. Books authors sell will be subject to a very small fee to cover the cost of the credit card transaction (if there is one) and the administration of the book sales. Authors will also be welcome to engage in cash sales one on one. Again, more details on submitting books for sale at the conference to come.

Other Questions?

Email them to: info[at]faithandfantasyalliance[dot]com. Please allow at least one week for responses. Thanks! We look forward to hearing from you.