Con Appearances in May (UPDATED)

I’ll be at several conferences in May. Three, in fact. It’s going to be a busy month, but I’m looking forward to seeing old friends, checking out a bunch of panels, and meeting more SFF fans! I’m also clearly going to be drinking LOTS of coffee with this schedule.

DePaul University Presents: A Celebration of Star Trek, May 7, 9am-6pm, Chicago, IL
DePaul University Loop Campus, 14 E. Jackson: 8th Floor


This is a FREE to attend, single day event at DePaul University’s Loop Campus in downtown Chicago. There will be panels, episode screenings, presentations, and keynotes from writers/producers of Star Trek.

  • The Cultural Impact of Star Trek. Room 803. 10:15-11:15am
    with Elizabeth Thomas (Panel Chair), Michi Trota, Caroline Siede, Kevin Yeargin, Andre Peltier
  • Generations of Trek: Film, TV, and the Evolution of Star Trek. Room 806. 11:30am-12:30pm
    with Michi Trota (Panel chair), Walter Podrazik, Jon Clarke, Danette Chavez

The Nebula Awards, May 12-15, 2016, Chicago, IL


  • Interfacing with Conventions. LaSalle 2. Thursday, May 12, 2-3pm
    For authors, conventions are both work and social events, but not all conventions are the same. Our panelists discuss the expectations, realities, and the differences between fan and media conventions. With Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas, Dave McCarty, David D. Levine, Michi Trota
  • Western Narratives: There Is No Single Voice in the West, So Why Do We Only Hear From One? LaSalle 1. Saturday, May 14, 1-2pm
    There is a tendency to think white Western narratives as *the* Western narrative. It makes it more difficult for Western writers of color & other marginalized people with other narrative traditions to break into publishing as their voices may not fit within any expected paradigm. How do we learn to read, appreciate & support those other traditions? With Jennifer Cross, Mikki Kendall, Alec Nevala-Lee, Michi Trota
  • Building an SFF Community. LaSalle 3. Saturday, May 14, 4-5pm
    From writing groups, to Nerd social clubs, to fan bases, how do you build a community?  Our panel will look at both on organizing/activism within the genre community, and organizing as a topic for fiction. With Anne Petersen, C. S. E. Cooney, Sam J. Miller, Jennifer Cross, Michi Trota
  • Fire & Flow Performance, Medium and Method. LaSalle 3. Sunday, May 15, 11am-12pm
    Fire spinning is a beautiful art form that can evoke strong visuals and themes, but how do you write about it? What tools do performers use? How are they fueled? How do fire spinners react when their clothing catches on fire? Why would performers choose to do this? We’ll cover a little bit of everything, including the essentials of fire performance safety, how performers choose tools, fire-friendly costuming, and the history of the art form. With Michi Trota

WisCon, May 27-30, 2016, Madison Concourse Hotel, Madison, WI

  • All Nerds Are Socially Awkward and Other Myths. Saturday, May 28, 10-11:15am, University C
    It may be the Age of the Geek, but shows like The Big Bang Theory demonstrate that negative stereotypes about who nerds and geeks are and what we’re like still persist in mainstream culture. This panel will explore where those misconceptions come from and how they can feed into and perpetuate many of the issues geek culture is currently struggling with, such as harassment, gatekeeping, and lack of better representation.
  • There Can Be More Than One: What Makes Strong Female Characters. Sunday, May 29, 1-2:15pm, Capitol A
    Characters like Jessica Jones, Ms. Marvel, and Supergirl have been wildly successful but the idea still exists that “there can be only one” kind of female character who will appeal to mass audiences at a time (and she’s usually cisgender, white, able-bodied, and heterosexual). Women aren’t a monolith and there are more amazing female characters in geek media beyond “tough women who kick ass.” This panel explores what it means for female characters to be “strong” how that variety of “strength” is narrowed by race, gender, disability, and other identity factors; and the importance of reflecting the diversity of women’s experiences.
    The eighth installment of this popular and amazing panel! Writers of color working in F/SF face unique challenges, it’s true. But, at the end of the day, being a “person of color” is only one aspect of what makes up our identities as writers. While it’s very flattering to be asked to be on panels, most of these panels never crack the ceiling of Race 101. With that in mind, wouldn’t it be nice for multiple writers and fans of color to sit on a panel that isn’t about race at all? Here’s our chance to do just that. So, what are we gonna talk about, instead? Practically anything! Presented in game show format, SIX SEASON SERIES BASED ON THE THREE-PART TRILOGY BASED ON THE SINGLE BOOK OF THE NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL brings together writers and fans of color to get their geek on about any number of pop culture topics—none of them race related.

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