The Writer’s Symposium has a new dedicated web site up and running.  For those who have slept on GenCon (August 4-7, 2011, in Indianapolis, Indiana) in the past, dismissing it as just a “gamer’s convention”, the writers’ tracts feature 77 separate seminars, for beginning writers through areas of professional interest, covering about 85 hours worth of programming.  Plus, many of the 30+ writers and editors can be found either in Author Alley or, well, “what do you call a gathering of writers?  A bar.”

Thіѕ year’s panelists include Anton Strout, Brad Beaulieu, Daniel Myers, Dave Yυсkу, Don Bingle, Dylan Birtolo, Elizabeth Vaughan, Gregory Wilson, Jason Sizemore, Jean Rabe, Jennifer Brozek, Jerry Gordon, John Helfers, Kelly Swails, Bob Farnsworth, Kerrie Hughes, Lawrence Connolly, Linda Baker, Marc Tassin, Matt Forbeck, Maxwell Drake, Mike Stackpole, Monica Valentinelli, Pat Tomlinson, Paul Genesse, Ramsey Lundock, Richard Lee Byers, Sabrina Klein, Steve Sullivan, Steven Saus, аnd Tobias Buckell.  Wandering the halls you will find bestsellers lіkе Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, Ed Greenwood, R. A. Salvatore, James Lowder, аnd many more.

Here is my schedule for panels at the convention (though you can probably find me at the Apex Books table when I’m not running my mouth):


8:00 a.m.

Pick Our Brains: We’re early risers. If you are too, come get a jump on the Writer’s Symposium activities and have a chat about this and that. From publishing and writing to the weather in Chicago and vampires in Toledo, we’ll cover whatever strikes your and our proverbial fancy. Science fiction, fantasy, romance, thriller, and horror authors Donald J. Bingle, Maurice Broaddus, and Elizabeth Vaughan

9:00 a.m.

Writing Your First Novel: No more excuses! It’s time to write that novel you keep talking about! But what does it take to move the story from your imagination to the page? Our panelists have been over that proverbial hump and are willing to give you a nudge.  Maurice Broaddus, Donald J. Bingle, John Helfers, Elizabeth Vaughan


8:00 a.m.

The Sword is Mightier:  A rousing sword fight can get the reader churning through the pages of your book. But you better know how to make it feel real. Our master wordsmiths share their expertise in writing the good fight. Dylan Birtolo, Maurice Broaddus, Jerry Gordon, Maxwell A. Drake


1:00 p.m.

Make it Steamy—a Look at the Steampunk Genre: Some say it’s what the future would look like if it had come along earlier . . . say, in the Victorian era. Steampunk has been around for quite some time, but it’s risen in popularity over the past few years. Our panelists look at the genre and discuss how to get published in it.  Anton Strout, Lawrence Connolly, Gregory Wilson, Paul Genesse


8:00 a.m.

Care and Feeding of Your Editor: You’ve got the acceptance letter, but now what? How do you keep your editor happy and asking for future manuscripts? What can you do to make their life easier, your writing more attractive to them . . . and what can you expect from them in return? Jennifer Brozek, Gregory Wilson, Maurice Broaddus, Jean Rabe,  William Horner

9:00 a.m.

Gender-Bending–men writing women and vice-versa: We’ve brought this session back because it was so successful last year! How can a man write a female character . . . and do it well? Can a woman get in the head of a male protagonist . . . and make that character believable?  Maurice Broaddus, Donald J. Bingle, Jennifer Brozek, Paul Genesse