Capclave 2017 Schedule

October 5, 2017

This is where you find me at Capclave this year:

Schedule at Capclave website

FRIDAY

5pm – Author’s hallway table – Signing
6pm – Seneca – Care and Feeding of Writers Groups and Critique Circles
7pm – Frederick – The WSFA Small Press Award panel

SATURDAY

11am – Frederick – SF/F in Translation from Russia, Easter/Central Europe and the Baltic
2pm – Frederick – Crowdfunding Dos and Don’ts
3pm – Suite 1209 – UFO6 book launch!
6pm – Frederick – Writing for Anthologies
7:30pm – Salon A – Mass signing

SUNDAY

10am – Suite 1209 – SF/F in Translation

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Capclave 2016 Schedule

October 6, 2016

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I’ll be attending Capclave instead of the New York Comicon this weekend (why oh why do they always fall on the same weekend?!). Here’s where to find me:

Friday, 5pm-7pm – Suite 1209 – UFO5 and Humanity 2.0 anthologies launch party!
There will be refreshments served including the real Brooklyn bagels, so definitely come by this one!
Event page

Saturday, 10am-11am – Signing – Author hallway table

Saturday, 1pm-2pm – Salon A – Humor in SF&F panel

Saturday, 7:30-8:30pm – Salon A – Mass Autograph session

Sunday, 11:30am-12pm – Seneca – Reading

Sunday, 12pm-1pm – Rockville/Potomac – Cats in SF/F panel

Sunday, 1pm-2pm – Frederick – Markets for Published Stories panel

Link to my schedule at Capclave official page.

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Capclave 2015 Schedule and UFO4 Launch Party

October 8, 2015

I had three boxes of UFO4 books ship directly to the hotel so we’d have them in time for Capclave! My first time holding one of those babies will be tomorrow. You can be among the very first to get your hands on it as well as receive two free e-books: Funny Science Fiction and H. G. Wells: Secret Agent. That’s right, free. I will give those two e-books to everyone who attends the launch party.

The launch party will take place at Capclave, in the Gaighersburg Hilton Hotel Suite 1209 this Saturday 5pm-7pm. Authors Fran Wilde, Lawrence B. Schoen and Andrew Kaye will be on hand to read from their works published in UFO and Funny Science Fiction volumes. Copy editor Elektra Hammond and I will talk about the editorial side of things at UFO and, of course, answer any questions folks might have. And there will be books!

I’m doing readings, signings, MCing an award ceremony and otherwise planning to have a great time at Capclave. Here’s where you can find me this weekend:

Friday 5:00 pm: Crowdfunding & Alternative Funding for Writers (Ends at: 5:55 pm) Bethesda
Panelists:Bill Campbell, Neil Clarke, Barbara Krasnoff, Alex Shvartsman (M)
Traditionally, publishers gave authors an advance on royalties in exchange for the completed manuscript. Today, some writers are receiving alternate revenue streams including crowdfunding of anthologies and novels in advance by the public, serialization in which the author releases a chapter (or story) as long as readers continue to fund it, and electronic self-publishing. What methods have you used and what works? What new methods do you see in the future? How will this change the creation of books?
Friday 7:00 pm: Translating Speculative Fiction (Ends at: 7:55 pm) Bethesda
Panelists:Neil Clarke, Jim Freund (M), Shahid Mahmud, Alex Shvartsman
Many non-English countries get much of their science fiction in translation. And English readers are finally being given access to more Chinese, Japanese and other non-English works. Why is this happening now? What are some of the special challenges with translating genre works? How do translators cope with invented words and concepts? What about different storytelling methods and literary techniques?
Saturday 1:00 pm: Reading – Alex Shvartsman (Ends at: 1:25 pm) Frederick
Author:Alex Shvartsman
Saturday 4:00 pm: Non-Western Influences In Fantasy (Ends at: 4:55 pm) Salon B/C
Panelists:Day Al-Mohamed, Ann Chatham, Alex Shvartsman, Michael Swanwick (M)
Traditionally, most fantasy has been based on Western folklore, usually with a medieval-inspired setting. However, alternative settings and concepts are becoming more common with writers mining Asian, African, Native American, and Middle Eastern sources. What writers do this most effectively? How do you decide what traditions/concepts to adopt and how do research/use them? Is it cultural appropriation when writers incorporate themes from other traditions, and how do you so appropriately?
Saturday 5:00 pm: Book Launch – Alex Shvartsman (Ends at: 6:55 pm) Suite 1209
Author:Alex Shvartsman
Unidentified Funny Objects 4
Saturday 9:00 pm: WSFA Small Press Awards (Ends at: 9:55 pm) Salon A
Presenter:Alex Shvartsman
The WSFA Small Press Award winner will be announced. The Guest of Honor Gifts will also be presented.
Saturday 10:00 pm: Fiction With A Laugh Track (Ends at: 10:55 pm) Bethesda
Panelists:Brenda W. Clough, Andrew Fox (M), Larry Hodges, Alex Shvartsman
What are the tips and tricks in writing humorous SF and fantasy? What can an author do to avoid the obvious pitfalls, and spot the not-so-obvious ones? How do you maintain a reputation for writing humorous SF or fantasy, and what is the benefit of doing so?
Sunday 11:00 am: Is the Anthology Dead? (Ends at: 11:55 am) Bethesda
Panelists:Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Bill Campbell (M), Bernie Mojzes, Alex Shvartsman
DAW used to put out an anthology a month, now they seem much less common. What happened? Did the themes get too esoteric or were too many stories mediocre? Why are they more common among small press and Kickstarter books? Have online magazines taken their place?
Sunday 12:00 pm: What To Do After The Rejection Letter (Ends at: 12:55 pm) Bethesda
Panelists:Sunny Moraine, Alex Shvartsman, Allen Wold (M)
You’ve written the best thing ever. But the editor sent it back rejected. Now what?

Gernsback Writing Contest and Other News

September 30, 2015

 

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This is shaping up to be a rather spectacular week in terms of announcements, so here are a few more:

My story “How Gaia and the Guardian Saved the World” is one of the finalists in the Gernsback Writing Contest. It will be published on the Amazing Stories website and then collected as part of their anthology, release dates to be determined. The contest was judged via blind reading (aka judges did not know who were the authors of each story) and those are always especially satisfying to do well in as the story is only judged on its own merit. Congratulations to my fellow finalists, and especially to the winners.

 

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Today also marks my first appearance at the storied StarShipSofa podcast. Episode 404 (insert every conceivable Error 404 – Not Found joke here) and it features an interview Jeremy Szal conducted with me as well as the narration of two of my stories: “Price of Allegiance” and “Doubt.” There was also supposed to be a flash piece, “Ravages of Time” but it was accidentally left out (hey, there’s the perfect spot for the Not Found joke!) and will be included in the next week’s episode. You can listen to episode 404 here.

 

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Think I’m done? I’ve only just began to brag! “Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma” has been adapted into a short play by Matt Haynes and will be performed at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland at noon this Saturday by the Pulp Stage. If you plan on attending the festival, check it out here. Matt has made some very interesting changes to the original story (with my approval and blessing!) to adapt it to their format, and my favorite narrator Tina Connolly is going to be reading one of the parts so I am sure it will be great fun.

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Finally, the first review of Unidentified Funny Objects 4 has been published at Tangent Online and it is really positive — the sort of kind words any editor loves to hear. Check it out here.

The printer is shipping out UFO4 books on Friday and they should arrive in about a week. I’m also getting about 100 copies UPS’ed over so that I can host a launch event at Capclave next weekend!  I will post more details about this event soon, but there will be readings, and giveaways, and every single person who attends will get two free e-books, so mark your calendars for 5-7pm on Saturday, October 10!

I will also participate on several program items at Capclave and will be the presenter at the WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction this year.

Okay. Now I’m done bragging. At least for today.

#SFWAPro

 


WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction

October 14, 2014

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I won! Eeeee!

OK, now that I got that out of my system, let’s try again:

This Saturday, at the award ceremony held at Capclave, I won the WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction. I won it for “Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma,” which also makes this a win for Intergalactic Medicine Show, its editor Edmund Schubert and his staff, because they accepted and published this story!

Small Press means everybody but the major publishers. So while Tor.com may be out, it still includes top-notch markets like Clarkesworld and Lightspeed (both of which had stories represented this year). The stories the  board considers are also read blind, so the author’s name won’t sway them–which makes it more likely the award finalists would be selected on merit rather than popularity.

I was very excited to be nominated but didn’t seriously expect to win. I mean, humorous short stories don’t win award any more often than comedies win the Oscars.  I’m incredibly thrilled and very thankful to the WSFA members who proved me wrong and voted for my story.

I was already having a great time at Capclave, which is rapidly becoming my favorite convention. It is relatively small and laser-focused on fiction (it doesn’t really have an anime track or a costuming track or much gaming, things that go hand-in-hand with science fiction conventions at most cons). Instead, you get a very distilled group of fans and professionals who love genre fiction.  Not that fiction is the only subject of merit. This past weekend I got to talk psychology with Lawrence Schoen, geopolitical implications of the Russia/Ukraine conflict with Chuck Gannon, and whether it is sin or virtue that hypothetically makes a soul more attractive to Satan with Max Gladstone (true story!). There were many other conversations like this, and seeing old friends, and making new ones. But, you can imagine, how I was having even more fun, clutching at the award!

When I got the nomination it took me about a week to come down. There’s no telling how long it will take now. That’s why I’m rambling incoherently in this blog post, instead of employing the level of snark you’re normally accustomed to. Seriously, I’m elated, and exhausted, and still a little sleep-deprived. But I wanted to post something before too long, and here it is.

I should also add that “Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma” can still be read for free at IGMS, so if you haven’t read it yet, check it out!

#SFWAPro

 


Capclave 2014 Schedule

September 29, 2014

I’m back from the Baltimore Book Festival, but Capclave is right around the corner! Here are the panels, signings and other cool things where you can find me during this wonderful convention. If you are able to attend it, you really should.

Seems like I will have a very busy Friday and Saturday followed by a very relaxed Sunday. 🙂

 

Friday, 5pm – Rockville/Potomac

Humorous SF (Ends at: 5:55 pm)
Panelists: John Ashmead (M), Norm Sherman, Alex Shvartsman, Jean Marie Ward
It’s easy to name the funny fantasy books, but what about the funny SF books and short stories? For instance, Unidentified Funny Objects was an entire anthology of funny SF.

 

Friday, 9pm – Rockville/Potomac

Ending Stories – Bang or Whimper? (Ends at: 9:55 pm)
Panelists: Scott Edelman, Pamela K. Kinney, Dina Leacock, Alex Shvartsman, Ian Randal Strock, Allen Wold (M)
So many short stories start out well but end abruptly or just trail off, leaving the reader to wonder, what’s the point. Why does this happen and how can writers avoid this fate? How do you determine your endings? Is a twist ending a cheat?

 

Saturday, 11am – Rockville/Potomac

Anthology Builder (Ends at: 11:55 am)
Panelists: Neil Clarke, Ron Garner (M), Robert Greenberger, David G. Hartwell, Mike McPhail, Alex Shvartsman
So you want to edit and publish an anthology. How do the stories get picked? How do you come up with a theme? What sells and what doesn’t? How do authors produce readable fiction in the straitjacket of an original themed anthology? How do you properly curate your anthology?

 

Saturday, 1pm – Frederick

Crowdfunding Dos and Don’ts (Ends at: 1:55 pm)
Panelists: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Bill Campbell, Neil Clarke, Jonah Knight, Alex Shvartsman (M), Lawrence Watt-Evans
So you have a fabulous idea or product and a shortage of funds – what do you do. Panelists will discuss successful and unsuccessful crowdfunding campaigns, either their own or those of other people. Topics include how to set reward levels, how to budget how much money you need and the merits of various crowd funding sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Pozible.

 

Saturday, 4pm

Author Table Maxey / Shvartsman (Ends at: 4:55 pm)
Authors: James Maxey, Alex Shvartsman

 

Saturday, 5:30pm – Frederick

Reading

 

Saturday, 7:30pm – Salon A

Mass Signing (Ends at: 8:25 pm)
Participants: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Sarah Avery, Paolo Bacigalupi, Holly Black, Marilyn “Mattie” Brahen, Neil Clarke, Tom Doyle, Andy Duncan, Scott Edelman, Jim Freund, Charles E. Gannon, Max Gladstone, David G. Hartwell, Alma Katsu, Pamela K. Kinney, Barbara Krasnoff, Dina Leacock, James Maxey, Will McIntosh, Mike McPhail, Sunny Moraine, James Morrow, Sarah Pinsker, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Lawrence M. Schoen, Darrell Schweitzer, Alex Shvartsman, Jon Skovron, Alan Smale, Bud Sparhawk, Janine Spendlove, Genevieve Valentine, Michael A. Ventrella, Lawrence Watt-Evans
The Saturday evening mass autographing session.

 

Saturday, 8:30pm – Salon A

Awards Reception and Presentation (Ends at: 9:55 pm)

The WSFA Small Press Award winner will be announced. The Guest of Honor Gifts will also be presented.

#SFWAPro

 


Capclave 2013 Schedule

October 10, 2013

I’ll be attending CapClave this weekend, having chosen it over the NY Comic Con.  I’ll be missing NYCC for yet another year, but given CapClave’s focus on short fiction, choosing to drive 4+ hours to attend it instead of a 45 minute subway ride to ComicCon makes a lot of sense to me.

My current CapClave schedule is as follows:

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Friday 4:00 pm: Editors’ Pet Peeves (Ends at: 4:55 pm)
Panelists: Mike McPhail, Norm Sherman (M), Alex Shvartsman, Hildy Silverman
The next great story has been sent to the editor. But the author did this…
Friday 5:00 pm: Author’s Table Friday 5 (Ends at: 5:55 pm)
Panelists: Alex Shvartsman
Friday 9:00 pm: Reading: Alex Shvartsman (Ends at: 9:25 pm)
Panelists: Alex Shvartsman
Saturday 9:00 am: Short Fiction Sources (Ends at: 9:55 am)
Panelists: Neil Clarke, Mike McPhail (M), Alex Shvartsman, Sean Wallace
Aside from the not so big anymore three magazines, where do you go for short fiction? What online sources have the best stories?
Saturday 4:00 pm: The Worlds of Clifford Simak (Ends at: 4:55 pm)
Panelists: Jamie Todd Rubin (M), Darrell Schweitzer, Alex Shvartsman, Michael Swanwick
50 years ago Simak won a Hugo for Way Station. He also wrote City and the Hugo and Nebula winning “Grotto of the Dancing Deer.” Yet today, few younger fans have read his work which is available only in the small press and “public domain” compilations. What happened? What makes his stories so timeless? What do you think is his best work and how can it be revived for today’s audiences?
Sunday 9:00 am: Jesus Saves, So Should Writers. Ctrl-S (Ends at: 9:55 am)
Panelists: Judi Fleming, Rahul Kanakia (M), Dina Leacock, Alex Shvartsman, Bud Sparhawk
Practical tips for writers – How do you keep track of different versions and edits? How often do you back up? How do you track where a story has already been submitted? And what do you use for outlining/note taking?

There are occasionally last minute changes and additions. You can click on this link to see the most up-to-date list of panels I’ll be participating on at the con.