Romance Society Writing

Romance and Apocalypse

Watched Kit Rocha Dance with the Devil Virtual Event from

Tune in to our Live Stream Virtual Event with Kit Rocha to celebrate their third Mercenary Librarians novel, Dance with the Devil. They will be in conversation with Alyssa Cole and Courtney Milan to chat about all things romance!

  • Community after the apocalypse — tool libraries, community gardens
  • It’s about not waiting for permission, but seeing what is needed and doing something that will help — like these authors organized Romancing the Vote to raise money for Fair Fight in like 12 hours
  • Hope isn’t lame — why are we all so scared we’ll be made fun of for thinking something good might happen?
  • Preppers have no long-term plan — need community, can’t just stay in your commune
  • Historical fiction actually isn’t that much more research than other genres
  • A lot of dystopias never actually consider food production and logistics — food (especially tasty food) becomes leverage / power
  • Our current food systems and supply lines are not resilient — need to grow a variety of crops as a community because no one has room to grow enough of everything
  • Interesting when writing mirrors real life — writing dystopia during dystopia sucks 😂 — Alyssa was getting dx’d with ADHD at the same time (unintentionally) she was writing A Duke by Default with an ADHD lead
  • Themes arise organically during writing… maybe before you’re ready to process a problem but getting started will work their way into the book
Science Fiction Society

Flights of Foundry: Imagining Accessible Worlds in SFF

Watched Flights of Foundry from

So you want to imagine an accessible future. Or an inclusive secondary world. Or a disabled positive attentive history. What are some of the advantages, pitfalls, and things to consider when creating an accessible SFF world? How do the needs of different types of disabled characters affect that? Let’s talk about how to make rich, fascinating worlds that are accessible too.

Don’t put the accessible entrances out back / by the trash cans

SFF can sometimes use adaptive technology to avoid dealing with the societal aspects of disability

Alien species should represent individuals that have a spectrum of ability

Everything built in space is an adaptive tech because no one can live in space – what we build in space could be designed to be totally accessible

Ability is a spectrum – as people age they lose ability naturally

Disabled people are *amazing* at problem-solving

Presented by:

Aliza Greenblatt

Andi C. Buchanan

Ace Tilton Ratcliff

Katharine Duckett

Comics Writing

Flights of Foundry: Storytelling in Comics and Graphic Novels

Watched Flights of Foundry from

With the rising popularity of anime & their manga source materials, movies adapted from comics smashing box-office records, and webcomics sprouting fun animation series, memes, & podcasts; comics & graphic novels are always getting compared to other media. Sonny Liew, Sloane Leong, Devaki Neogi, and Murewa Ayodele will be discussing, not only the differences and similarities comics share with other media, but how to take advantage of the medium to tell a powerful story in ways no other media can.

Complexity & detail, density of panels, panel size, slows down reading

Panel size often linked with span of time

Use panel shape to mirror emotional intensity (e.g. angular shapes versus squares for a fight scene)

Green and blue colors are slower to read

Emotions from characters support action in readers (e.g. humor, fun)

Colors in sync with the story help the flow of the reading

Use camera angles to make action clear

Take advantage of the benefits of the medium – break the panel, use the panel borders as decorative storytelling support


Flights of Foundry: Glass Slippers for the 21st Century

Watched Flights of Foundry from

Join us for a discussion on updating fairy tales for a contemporary audience! What are the rewards and perils of wandering along this magical path? How closely should retellings follow the original tales – and how do retellings decide what to toss, and what to keep? How do writers handle the thornier aspects of the source material? And do these choices help explain why we still find fairy tales so compelling?

Fantasy Romance Science Fiction

Flights of Foundry: Romance in Speculative Fiction

Watched Flights of Foundry from

Romance has been a part of speculative fiction since its earliest days, even though SFF and romance are often viewed as polar opposites. Nowadays, SFF romance is a broad and varied field, encompassing anything from fantasy and paranormal romance via time travel romance to science fiction and post-apocalyptic romance. But even though speculative romance is popular and very successful, it is often ignored by the SFF community. This panel will give you an overview of the spectrum of SFF romance and discuss why speculative romance still doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

Q: why does a genre that’s all about imagined futures (SF) resist romance stories so much? Is it patriarchy, fear of emotions, shame about reading “trashy” stories, believing it cannot be serious if it contains romance?

“All romance in a way is about learning to love the other” — Jeffe Kennedy

3 story arcs: outside struggle, internal struggle, and romance — Elle Ire

Grace Draven: 50/50 worldbuilding/romance


Flights of Foundry: Sensitivity Reading as Developmental Editing

Watched Flights of Foundry from

A panel of experienced sensitivity readers comes together to discuss the evolving popular perceptions of sensitivity reading, what drew them to and keeps them doing this work, their methods and best practices, and the ways in which sensitivity reading, with its emphasis on character and structural issues, can and should be viewed as developmental editing.

Consider incorporating sensitivity reading at early stages (outlining) if it’s essential to the plot / story

Mental Health Science Fiction

Flights of Foundry: Neurodiversity in SFF

Watched Flights of Foundry from

Science fiction, fantasy, and neurodiversity are interwoven in myriad ways. In this panel, four authors speak on writing with, about, and for neuroatypical brains.

SFF is well-suited to neurodiverse characters because people are already suspending disbelief and opening their minds to “weirdness” and difference. Also an opportunity to dig into the “scarier” types of neurodiversity like schizophrenia or multiple personality disorders, rather than the “more palatable” issues like autism and ADHD.

I love this panel because everyone is raising their hands to indicate they want to say something, so it’s easier to switch for the moderator between speakers and they don’t have to guess when it’s their turn.


Flights of Foundry: Where to Start and How to Navigate Developmental Editing

Watched Flights of Foundry from

Writing is rarely a one-and-done process; most of us instead look forward to multiple rewrites and file names like “Final_FINAL-seriouslyFINAL.doc”. How do writers and editors navigate this process? How do you translate feedback to the page? What do you do with criticism that misses its mark? And how do you know when you’re really done?

“What could this be, and what do you want it to be?”

Use criticism as a sign that you haven’t clearly conveyed what you intended


Flights of Foundry: Alternatives to Big Publishing in Comics and Illustration

Watched Flights of Foundry from

Have you ever wanted to self-publish your own comic, in print? How about pursuing publication with an independent publisher? Or using crowdfunding to get your project off the ground?

Science Fiction Society

Flights of Foundry: Optimism and Utopia in Science Fiction

Watched Flights of Foundry from

Between climate change, rising authoritarianism, and a pandemic, there’s no shortage of material for dystopian fiction. But as Ursula K. Le Guin reminds us, “Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society…to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope.” Where do we find optimism in SF? What are the benefits of imagining utopian futures, and how do we maintain hope while acknowledging the scope of the challenges we face?

We tend to critique utopia harder than dystopia, as if dystopia is somehow more inherently believable

Utopia as ongoing process

Utopia = dystopia in disguise (often)

Utopian projects often splinter as people can’t agree on what utopia looks like

Optimism: tomorrow has the potential to be better than today

Idealism more prescriptive than optimism – optimism more a state of being

Social media feeds into your idealistic vision of what you want the world to look like

When people look to “science” to solve all our problems they are refusing change and sacrifice in their own lives

Think about which route to take your tech — many technologies can be spun for optimistic or cynical ends (e.g. biotech could lead to engineered viruses but also better cures for viruses)

Optimism isn’t necessarily unrealistic – e.g. New Zealand was able to lock down in the pandemic and now is basically free of COVID

We forget that people are mostly decent, and that mostly people come together to help in times of crisis

Pessimism and nihilism often serve the status quo

Optimism is a tool of resistance

People’s individual challenges do not detract from a utopian / optimistic world – can explore everyday problems, smaller scopes

Plotwise, could find aspects of utopia that are unsettling – or use outsiders as the perspective to explore the utopia

In SFF we often expect “the single solution” to problems – when there are multiple non-exclusive solutions to real-world problems – your solution doesn’t have to fix everything, solutions can work together

Utopia is not disconnected from the present — it’s a project that we are capable of contributing to now

Q: can you write optimistic if you are a pessimist?

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