–plus a preliminary call for Realm Makers: 2014 faculty proposals


Waiting, waiting, waiting. It’s never been a strong point for me, but life seems determined to throw a hundred things at me upon which I have to get the ball rolling and then . . . wait.

WaitingDetermining the venue for the next Realm Makers is the big waiting game on my list right now. All I know is that the the event will be in the Philadelphia area in 2014, and we’re aiming for late spring/early summer, hopefully not very close to any of the other major conferences in terms of date. I’ve put in requests for proposals from 5 different types of venues, in order to weigh them against one another in terms of price and feasibility. A couple got back to me right away. Three were clearly going to make conference costs–just for the space–astronomical. (I begin to see why some other conferences, which shall remain nameless, cost $600-$700 to attend.) One was in the right price range, the food was going to be excellent (a disproportionately important factor for me) but the use of the space was going to have to be a little bit “creative” in order to make it work. One, my first choice venue, took much longer in order to receive the proposal–but it’s a busy conference facility and I know I’m not exactly a big-ticket client that seems to leave a trail of money wherever I walk, so I can see being lower on the priority list.

But yesterday, I got the proposal from this venue, and I’m getting excited about it. As soon as I hear back from the coordinator, I should be heading over for a tour, and the goal is to have this date-and-location decision buttoned up in the next 10 days. Here’s hoping nothing outside my control puts a dent in that.

In the meantime, are you someone who would love to share your speculative fiction industry experience with attendees of Realm Makers 2014?

If you have content you teach that would be relevant to novelists, screenwriters, or folks in the comics industry, brush up that conference faculty proposal. I suspect I will be putting out a formal call for faculty/class proposals by about the 21st of October. Of course, I’ll take such things any time,  just know I won’t be able to tell you the date and location of the conference until the 14th at the earliest. We will be directly inviting some faculty, but we can’t possibly have an eye on every fabulous servant/teacher out there, so that’s where the open call comes from.

Here’s a preview of what should you include in a faculty proposal:

  • Your name
  • A list of your published works, and how they were published (self, traditional, optioned, etc.)
  • A breakdown of your industry experience that makes you an authoritative teacher on your proposed area (that’s a fancy way of saying “explain your platform”)
  • A one to two paragraph blurb about what you would teach

The blurb length is important. I need to have an in-depth enough idea about what you are passionate about to decide if it’s a good fit for our symposium, but I don’t want an essay that I don’t have time to read. If you end up looking like a great fit for the conference, then I’ll move to requesting a more detailed outline of your subject. Send you proposal to info[at]faithandfantasyalliance[dot]com with Realm Makers Faculty Proposal in the subject line.

This is one of those infamous opportunities to demonstrate thoroughness in following instructions. I wouldn’t be such a stickler about it if I wasn’t personally familiar with how we writers can suddenly go on and on about our passions when someone asked for 10 words or less. (So many times, I’ve taken a chance with brand-new novelists who’ve just gotten fired up about their first idea and asked, “So, what’s the three-sentence essence of your story?” and gotten back a 15-scroller answer! I laugh because I understand, but I sigh because I know I can’t commit to wading through it. And I’m sure I’ve done it to people in the past as well.)

I said there was a bunch of stuff in the works…so what else is on the docket for October?

  • Confirming the keynote speaker for 2014
  • Finishing design work on the Geek Girl t-shirt for pre-order and sale at the conference, as well as hunting for a cool idea for the gentlemen as well
  • Enlisting the core troops to really get Realm Makers: 2014 up an operational. (Some of you have already talked to me about this, so trust me, you’ll be hearing from me.)
  • Winning the lottery so I can do this full-time (OK, so not really. I am a firm believer in the adage that the lottery is a tax on people who don’t understand probability.)

I’m looking forward to the opportunity to see this upcoming conference take shape. If it’s anything like 2013, the transformation from idea to reality will be amazing.