Balticon 2019 Schedule

May 23, 2019

I’ll be a guest at Balticon 53 this Memorial Day weekend. You can see the detailed schedule here.

Fri, 6pm – Room 6017 – Future SF pitch session

Sat, 11am – St. George – Reading (with Elektra Hammond and David Walton)

Sat, 3pm – Room 7029 – AMA: Editors and Publishers

Sat, 4pm – Room 6017 – Improving Your Pitch workshop

Sun, 3pm – Mt. Washington – Effective Marketing for a Self-Published Author (M)

Sun, 6pm – Watertable BC – Tales from the Slush Pile


My Balticon 2018 Schedule

May 24, 2018

I’ll be at Balticon as usual this Memorial Day weekend. I will spend much of the time in the dealers room where you can find me under the enormous UFO banner. 🙂 Here is the list of my scheduled events:

Friday, 8pm – Room 9029 – Microfiction and Micropoetry panel
Saturday, 2pm – St. George – Reading (with Cerece Rennie Murphy and John L. French)
Saturday, 3pm – Room 8029 – Kaffeeklatch
Saturday, 6pm – Mount Washington – Religion and Spirituality in SF panel
Sunday, 11am – Guilford – Jews in Space panel
Sunday, 1pm – Club Lounge – The Golem of Deneb Seven and Future SF launch event
Monday, 12pm – Room 7029 – Writing for Themed Anthologies panel


Balticon 2017 and New Story

May 26, 2017

I’m driving to Baltimore this morning and will be attending Balticon Friday through Sunday. Here’s where you can find me:

Saturday, 10am – 5th Floor, Guilford – The State of SFF Publishing panel

Saturday, 12pm – 5th Floor, Mt. Washington – Editing the Short Story panel

Saturday, 2pm – 6th Floor, St. George – Author reading (with John French and Elektra Hammond)

Saturday, 6pm – 8th Floor, Room 8006 – Contracts for Writers panel

Sunday, 9am – 8th Floor, Room 8029 – Kafeeklatsch (30 minutes)

Sunday, 10am – 6th Floor, St. George – Jews… In… Space… panel

Sunday, 12:30pm – 5th Floor, Autograph tables – Autograph session (with Starla Huchton) (30 minutes)

Sunday, 1pm – 8th Floor, Room 8029 – The Business of Short Fiction workshop


Meantime, read my latest SF flash fiction piece which came out from Daily Science Fiction this week:

Parametrization of Complex Weather Patterns for Two Variables




Balticon 50 (2016) Schedule

May 25, 2016

You can find me in Baltimore over the four-day Memorial Day weekend, attending Balticon 50 along with such luminaries as George R. R. Martin, Peter S. Beagle, John Varley and many more. I will spend most of the time in the dealer room, manning the UFO Publishing vending table. However, I’m also participating on several programming items. Here they are:

Friday, 9pm – St. George – Urban Fantasy Reading

I’ll read alongside Val Griswold-Ford, John Hartness, and S.L. Wideman. I’ll read “Dreidel of Dread: The Very Cthulhu Channukah” and maybe something else, time permitting.

Saturday, 9am – Parlor 11029 – The Business of Short Fiction

We’ll discuss researching short fiction markets, preparing manuscript for submission, cover letters, communication with editors, contract review and negotiation, reprint rights and markets, foreign rights, and other aspects of monetizing your short stories.  Advance registration is required for this seminar and attendance is limited.

Saturday, 5pm – Autograph Table 1 – Signing

Signing books with Sarah Pinsker and Michael Underwood.

Monday, 10am – Kent – Mass Signing

Lots of authors signing at the same time.

Monday, 11am – Parlor 8029 – How to Give and Get Critiques

With Sarah Pinsker (M), Scott Edelman, Connie Willis and K. M. Szpara

What goes into being a good critiquer. How to listen to others’ critiques of your work. Where to find critique partners, online and in person.

Monday, 12pm – Parlor 8029 – What’s Hot Short Fiction?

With Sarah Pinsker (M), Mike Underwood, Jean Marie Ward, Scott Edelman



My 2015 Balticon Schedule

May 21, 2015

I’ll be attending Balticon for the next four days, as I do every year. Here’s where you can find me:


4:00 PM Retelling Fairy-Tales Across Media Garden
Alex Shvartsman (M), Sunny Moraine, Ruth Sanderson, Jo Walton, Melissa L Hayden (50 minutes)
9:00 PM Dangerous Voices Variety Hour Salon B
Sarah Pinsker (M), Michael Underwood (M), Alex Shvartsman (50 minutes)
Baltimore Science Fiction Society’s own readings series comes to Balticon once more! The Dangerous Voices Variety Hour takes its cues from such diverse inspirations as the popular 510 reading series, NPR’s quiz show: Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, and Orson Welles’s original War of the Worlds broadcast. The hour long, free event features readings, irreverent author interviews, trivia, prizes, and more.


3:00 PM Autograph – Saturday – 15:00 Autograph Table
Larry Hodges, Alex Shvartsman, Grig Larson (50 minutes)


10:00 AM Exploring Publishing Platforms Salon D
Mike Allen, Neal Levin, Mike Luoma, Alex Shvartsman (50 minutes)
Desktop publishing has come a long way. Learn the ins and outs of the various publishing platforms.
11:00 AM How to Start Writing Derby
Michael Black (M), Paula S Jordan, Hugh J O’Donnell, Don Sakers, Alex Shvartsman (50 minutes)
Workshops, writing circles, and NaNoWriMo. How do you start writing, and how do you make sure you keep at it? Younger and beginning writers are encouraged to attend.
12:00 PM Putting a Pretty Face on Small Press Parlor 1041
Scott E Pond (M), Andrew Fox, Gail Z. Martin, Alex Shvartsman, Patrick Thomas (50 minutes)
Covers, often the bane of small press publishers. How do you put out a nice looking book without breaking the bank? What do you need to know when designing those covers and selecting cover art? What pitfalls should you watch out for that could mean the difference between looking pro and not.
1:00 PM Readings: Russ Colchamiro, Adam Ruben, Alex Shvartsman Chesapeake
Russ Colchamiro, Alex Shvartsman, Adam Ruben (50 minutes)
2:00 PM Starting your own Small Press Pimlico
Dave Robison (M), Andrew Fox, Gary L Lester, Alex Shvartsman (50 minutes)
Taxes, registration, a company name… there are so many things to consider before you even start. Learn some of the things you should be aware of before you take that plunge into the publishing mogul pool.


12:00 PM What Do Short Fiction Editors Want? Salon D
Mike McPhail, Bernie Mojzes, Alex Shvartsman, Joshua Palmatier (50 minutes)
What is the behind-the-scenes process of what happens at a magazine? From Slush to Sale panel




Balticon 2014 Schedule

May 21, 2014


I’ll be attending BaltiCon again this year over the Memorial Day weekend, and here’s my schedule:


5pm, Parlor 1041 – Designing a Trading Card Game

7PM, Parlor 1026 – How to Submit A Story


10am, Maryland Foyer – Autograph Session

7:45PM, Parlor 1041 – Kickstarter 101 for Game Players and Designers


11am, Pimlico – Reading – J.R. Blackwell, Alex Shvartsman, Many Turzillo


8am, Salon C – The Short Fiction Market

11am, Derby – Games fantastic and futuristic

12am, Belmont – Beta Readers



If you are at BaltiCon, please say hello!




My 2013 BaltiCon Schedule

May 21, 2013


I am going to spend four fun and very busy days at BaltiCon this weekend. My schedule is full of fantastic events, panels, and even an author gala. Here’s where I’ll be:


W-4 Broadening Horizons
Friday, 4pm, Salon C (50 minutes)
Moderator: Joy Ward
Panelists: Alex Shvartsman, Walt Boyes
How can writers reach potential readers outside of their immediate science fiction markets?

Author Gala
Friday, 5pm, Con Suite (2 hours)
Meet and greet with over 20 SFWA authors, including BaltiCon guest of honor Joe Haldeman

LE-4 Editor’s Pet Peeves
Saturday, 9am, Salon C (50 minutes)
Moderator: Michael A.Ventrella
Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Alex Shvartsman, Leona Wisoker, Walt Boyes
A head’s up for writers on what editors don’t like to see or deal with from their authors. Headaches they’ve encountered in publishing.

G-5 Portable/Pocket Games
Saturday, 1pm, Parlor 1041 (50 minutes)
Moderator: Donna Dearborn;
Panelists: Eric Hymowitz, Alex Shvartsman, Krystina Lynch
All about games for entertainment anywhere!

P-11 Saturday, 10pm, Salon B (50 minutes)
Moderator: Alex Shvartsman
Panelists: Christine Norris , Eric V. Hardenbrook
A discussion about new magazine s that have come and gone, new zines that seem to have staying power, and short-lived publishing houses.

W-17 Writing, Selling and Publishing Humorous SF/F Fiction
Sunday, 9am, Salon B (50 minutes)
Moderator: Alex Shvartsman
Panelists: Stephanie Burke, Collin Earl, Phil Giunta, Sarah Pinsker
Panelist discuss how writing humor differs from “straight stuff”, both in the writing process and in the submission/marketing process.

P-10 From Slush to sale
Sunday, 1pm, Salon B (50 minutes)
Moderator: Sarah Pinsker;
Panelists: Scott H. Andrews, Damien Walters Grintalis, Alex Shvartsman, Christine Norris, Hildy Silverman
A detailed discussion on every aspect of the process of creating and publishing a professional and semi-pro magazine.

G-12. You Have Gaming in My Fiction
Sunday, 2:30 PM, Parlor 1041 (1 hour, 20 minutes)
Moderator: Neal Levin;
Panelists: Mike McPhail, Alex Shvartsman, Michael A. Ventrella, Jagi Lamplighter, Jon Sprunk
All about how to write media tie-in fiction for games

BL-2 The Dark Quest Books Mega-Launch
Sunday, 7pm, Frankie & Vinnies
Dark Quest Books launches their Spring 2013 titles with guest editors and authors:
Danielle Ackley-McPhail (“The Eternal Cycle”), Danny Birt, Jack Campbell (“The Lost Fleet series”), Myke Cole, Judi Fleming, Charles E. Gannon, Elektra Hammond, Eric V. Hardenbrook,
C.J. Henderson (“Teddy London”), Mike McPhail) , Bernie Mojzes, Christine Norris, KT Pinto, James Daniel Ross (“Radiation Angels”), Alex Shvartsman, Maria V. Snyder, Jim Stratton, Patrick Thomas (“Murphy’s Lore”, Robert E. Waters, and John C. Wright (“Chronicles of Chaos”), Jeff Young

R-47 Plotters vs Pantsers
Monday, 10am, Parlor 1041 (50 minutes)
Moderator: Michael A. Ventrella
Panelists: Jack Campbell (Hemry), Doc Coleman, Kat Otis, Jennifer Povey, Alex Shvartsman, Leona Wisoker
Do You Plan your Story or Write by the seat of your Pants? Panelists share the quirks and foibles of their working method with
readers. A Round Table discussion.

R-42 Is Science Fiction Giving Up on the Future
Monday, 11am, Salon B (50 minutes)
Moderator: Carl Cipra
Panelists: Michael D’Ambrosio, Darrell Schweitzer, Alex Shvartsmaon, Eric V. Hardenbrook
It seems ironic, in a time of such technical progress, and when we are confirming that the galaxy really does contain billions of planets, but a lot of science fiction seems to turn away from the future, as if, post-Singularity, it will be impossible to describe. Are alternate history and steampunk merely symptoms of a more general evasion of the future?

There are many other exciting panels and events at this excellent convention. You can download the complete listing here.