A. F. Stewart

A. F. Stewart

Panelist

she/her/hers

A steadfast and proud sci-fi and fantasy geek, A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada and still calls it home. She writes dark and stabby fiction—her genres of choice being fantasy and horror—but she has been known to venture into the light on occasion. As an indie author she has published novels, novellas and story collections, with a few side trips into poetry.

Panels:

Location as Character, Great Fantasy Bake-Off

A.C. Cross

A.C. Cross

Reading

he/him/his

A.C. Cross is a doctor, but not the kind that you want treating you for kidney stones or pneumonia or anything. That’d likely make your situation much worse.
He (currently) lives in the Great White North of the United States as a bearded, single man.

Panels:

Reading with A.C. Cross

A.G. Marshall

A.G. Marshall

Panelist

she/her/hers

A.G. Marshall loves fairy tales and has been writing stories since she could hold a pencil. She loves traveling around the world and using her adventures to inspire her books. When she's not writing, she works as a pianist and author coach.

Panels:

Romance as a Subplot

A.M. Justice

A.M. Justice

Moderator, Panelist

she/her/hers

A.M. Justice is a Brooklyn-based author, lover of science and wit, sporadic scuba diver, and once and future tango dancer. Her characters live only her head, but they’re real, and she puts them through hell.

Panels:

Book vs Film, Book Reviewers, Underappreciated Genres

AK Faulkner

AK Faulkner

Panelist

Any

AK Faulkner is the author of the PW-starred, award-winning Inheritance series of contemporary fantasy novels, which begins with Jack of Thorns. The latest instalment, Spells of Summer, will be available in May 2022.
AK lives just outside of London, England, with a charismatic corgi. She is agender, demisexual, demiromantic, and has ADHD and lipoedema. Any pronouns will suffice, though she/they/he are preferred.

Panels:

Writing Fight Scenes, Mental Health in SFF

Abby Goldsmith

Abby Goldsmith

Panelist, Workshop Instructor

she/her/hers

Abby Goldsmith is a Wattpad Star, where her sci-fi series has garnered over 65k reads. Her short works are published in Escape Pod, Fantasy Magazine, and Writer’s Digest Books. She’s an alumni of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and the Superstars Writing Seminar. A former animator and game content writer, Abby is credited on more than a dozen Nintendo games for Nickelodeon and Disney. She co-hosts the Stories for Nerds podcast from her home in the Texas Hill Country.

Panels:

Underappreciated Genres, Epic Series Workshop

Al Hess

Al Hess

Panelist

he/him/his, xe/xem/xir

Al lives in the middle of the Nevada desert, and when not hunched before a computer screen, he can be found hunched over an art desk.
Author of the post-apocalyptic Travelers Series and the 1930s flavored dystopian series, Hep Cats of Boise, he writes cozy and uplifting stories in normally gritty genres.
Al is represented by agent Ren Balcombe at Janklow & Nesbit UK.

Panels:

Neurodiversity

Alex Dunne

Alex Dunne

Panelist

she/her/hers

Alex Dunne is an Irish author living in Canada. She spends her time thinking up magical tales for children, teens and adults and drinking far too much tea. Alex has a BA in English & History from the University of Limerick and an MA in Literature & Publishing from NUI Galway. She is a co-founder of Silver Apples Magazine, an online literary journal dedicated to showcasing the best of Irish and international writing. Her debut novel for children, The Book of Secrets, is being published by The O'Brien Press in September 2022. You can follow Alex on Twitter and Instagram @alexdunnewrites

Panels:

Mythological Creature Feature

Alex Shvartsman

Alex Shvartsman

Panelist, Reading

he/him/his

Alex Shvartsman is the author of The Middling Affliction (2022) and Eridani’s Crown (2019) fantasy novels. Over 120 of his stories have appeared in Analog, Nature, Strange Horizons, etc. He won the WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction (2014) and was a two-time finalist (2015 & 2017) for the Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Fiction.
Alex's translations from Russian have been published at Tor.com, F&SF, Clarkesworld, Asimov's, and many other venues.

Panels:

Underrepresented Mythologies

Alicia Wanstall-Burke

Alicia Wanstall-Burke

Panelist

she/her/hers

Splitting her time between Central Queensland, Australia and Lancashire, England, Alicia is a writer, a mum and a cat-herder. There are rumours she may in fact be a quokka in disguise, but these are not to be believed. Alicia’s debut, Blood of Heirs, launched in 2018, followed by Legacy of Ghosts in 2019, and the final book of The Coraidic Sagas trilogy, Empire of Shadows, in 2022. She is an accomplished editor, holds a Bachelor of Education and has studied a Post Graduate Certificate in Ancient History.

Panels:

Family in SFF

Allan Batchelder

Allan Batchelder

Reading

he/him/his

Allan is the winner of last year's Best Worst Lines contest, as well as the Immortal Treachery series of grimdark novels and This Thing of Darkness, a work of historical fiction and horror, coming on May 3.

Panels:

Reading with Allan Batchelder

Allegra Pescatore

Allegra Pescatore

Panelist, Reading

she/her/hers

Allegra grew up in a small village in northern Tuscany as the daughter of two artists who introduced her to the world of fantasy. As a disabled woman and staunch LGBTQ ally, she hopes to write engaging, diverse, and representative Fantasy and Science Fiction, where people who do not often see themselves center stage get the chance to shine.

Panels:

Sex & Violence

Amanda Cherry

Amanda Cherry

Moderator, Panelist

she/her/hers

Amanda Cherry (@MandaTheGinger) is a Seattle-area queer, disabled nerd who still can’t believe people pay her to write stories. She is the author of two novels, wrote for the TTRPG Acute Paranoia, is an award-winning screenwriter, and has published multiple pieces of short fiction. Her nonfiction writing has been featured on such sites as ToscheStation.net, ElevenThirtyEight.com, and StarTrek.com.
Amanda is a member of SAG-AFTRA, SFWA and Broad Universe.

Panels:

Love & Other Stuff, Swearing in SFF

Andrea Stewart

Andrea Stewart

Panelist

she/her/herss

Andrea Stewart is the Chinese American daughter of immigrants, and was raised in a number of places across the United States. Her parents always emphasized science and education, so she spent her childhood immersed in Star Trek and odd-smelling library books. When her (admittedly ambitious) dreams of becoming a dragon slayer didn't pan out, she instead turned to writing books. She now lives in sunny California, and in addition to writing, can be found herding cats, looking at birds, and falling down research rabbit holes.

Panels:

Writer's Block, Worldbuilding, Writing Fight Scenes

Andrew D Meredith

Andrew D Meredith

Panelist

he/him/his

Andrew D Meredith’s journey has taken him to many fantastical places. From selling books in the wilds of western Washington to designing and publishing board games in the midwest. He’s now committed to the quest he was called to so long ago: the telling of fantastical tales, and bringing to life underestimated characters willing to take on the responsibilities no one else will.
His debut novel, Thrice, is available now and new fantasy series, the Kallattian Legacy, begins this summer.

Panels:

Underrepresented Mythologies

Angela Boord

Angela Boord

Panelist

she/her/hers

Angela Boord lives in northwestern Mississippi with her husband and the six of their nine kids who are still under the age of eighteen, where she writes most of her books at the kitchen table.

Panels:

Grief, Healing & Hope, Sex & Violence

Anna Smith Spark

Anna Smith Spark

Moderator, Panelist

she/her/hers

Anna Smith Spark is the author of the critically acclaimed, Gemmell and British Fantasy Awards shortlisted Empires of Dust grimdark epic fantasy series The Court of Broken Knives, The Tower of Living and Dying and The House of Sacrifice, as well as short stories set in and around the series’ world. Her books have been described as ‘a masterwork’ by Nightmarish Conjurings, ‘literary Game of Thrones’ by the Sunday Times, and ‘howls like early Moorcock, converses like the best of Le Guin’ by the Daily Mail. Previous jobs include English teacher, petty bureaucrat and fetish model.

Panels:

Location as Character, Writing Fight Scenes, Great Fantasy Bake-Off

Annabel Campbell

Annabel Campbell

Reading

she/her/her

Annabel is a fantasy writer based in Lanark, Scotland. Her first book is an epic fantasy titled The Hollow Mage. When she’s not writing, Annabel works as a medical writer, with a PhD in cardiac physiology. She’s also a reader, a gamer and an inept gardener. She lives with her patient husband, lovely dog and her exceedingly grumpy feline master.

Panels:

Reading with Annabel Campbell

Arina

Arina

Panelist

she/her/hers, they/them/their

Arina is a lover of the uncommon and an avid reader turned book reviewer, nesting at Queen’s Book Asylum (https://starlitbook.com). Long entranced by the art of storytelling, she eagerly devours its every form, finding herself most at home within the vast worlds of speculative fiction. When not championing indie and inclusive SFF, Arina is a developer who enjoys gaming, playing around with 3D modeling, and conversations that go far into the night.

Panels:

Book Reviewers

Ben Galley

Ben Galley

Panelist

he/him/his

Ben Galley is a British author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Vancouver, Canada. Since publishing his debut Emaneska Series, Ben has released the award-winning weird western Scarlet Star Trilogy, The Heart of Stone, the critically-acclaimed Chasing Graves Trilogy, and the Scalussen Chronicles.
When he isn’t conjuring up strange new stories or arguing the finer points of magic and dragons, Ben enjoys exploring the Canadian wilds, sipping Scotch single malts, and snowboarding very badly. One day he hopes to live in an epic treehouse in the mountains.
Follow Ben at: www.linktr.ee/bengalley

Panels:

SPFBO 7

Benny

Benny

Panelist

he/him/his

Hi! My name is Benedict but you can call me Benny if you’d like. I’m a SFF book lover with a strong focus on fantasy and I own the SFF Oasis Book discord. I started reading Enid Blyton’s Magic of the Faraway Tree then moved onto Harry Potter before finding my way onto adult SFF. I’m also writing my own fantasy story which I hope to get published one day. My favourite series are The Last War, Rivers of London, Green Bone Saga, Mistborn… You get the idea 😄

Panels:

Book Reviewers

C.M. Caplan

C.M. Caplan

Panelist, Workshop Instructor

he/him/his

C.M. Caplan is the author of The Sword in the Street. He’s a quadruplet, mentally disabled, and he has a degree in creative writing. His debut novel was a Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off semi-finalist in 2021.

Panels:

Neurodiversity, Writing Rules, Interior Worldbuilding Workshop

Caro

Caro

Panelist

she/her/hers, they/them/their

Caro fell in love with writing at a very young age, determined to become either Sherlock's protégée or the Doctor's companion. Now she is dedicated to crafting stories that reflect the identities she shares with so many readers who are either queer, ace or autistic. As a freelance illustrator, she has been featured on SENSORY (AndrewsMcMeel, Fall 2022), an autistic comic anthology.
Born and raised in Brazil, she jumped on an adventure at 19, and now she lives in the countryside of Portugal with her family, always carrying a green umbrella.

Panels:

Neurodiversity

Carol A. Park

Carol A. Park

Panelist

she/her/hers

Carol A. Park is the author of The Heretic Gods trilogy and The Chronicles of the Lady Sar series. She lives in Western Maryland with her husband and two young and active boys–which is another way of saying, “adorable vampires.” She loves reading (duh), writing fantasy novels (double-duh), music, movies, and other perfectly normal things like parsing Hebrew verbs and teaching herself new dead languages. She has two master's degrees in the areas of ancient near eastern studies and languages.

Panels:

Mental Health in SFF, Grief, Healing & Hope

Clayton Snyder

Clayton Snyder

Panelist

he/him/his

I’m the co-author of SPFBO finalist Norylska Groans. Several of my other novels have been SPFBO semi-finalists. I currently split my time between work and writing. I have worked as a systems admin, chainsaw operator, and once did an ill-advised stint as a bodyguard because I am ‘really tall’

Panels:

Grief, Healing & Hope, Writing Fight Scenes, SPFBO 7

D. P. Woolliscroft

D. P. Woolliscroft

Moderator

he/him/his

Born in Derby in England, on the day before mid-summers day, David Peter Woolliscroft was very nearly magical. If only his dear old mum could have held on for another day. But magic called out to him over the years, with a many a book being devoured for its arcane properties. Now living in California, USA, David is one of the few crabs to escape the crab pot.
David's debut novel, Kingshold, was a SPFBO semi-finalist and he is currently taking a break from the Wildfire Cycle to write his latest novel, Exiles.

Panels:

Family in SFF

Damien Larkin

Damien Larkin

Panelist

he/him/his

Damien Larkin is an Irish science fiction author. His novels Big Red and Blood Red Sand have both been longlisted for BSFA awards. He lives in Dublin and is currently working on his next novel in the series.

Panels:

Writing Fight Scenes

Dan Fitzgerald

Dan Fitzgerald

Panelist

he/him/his

Dan Fitzgerald is the fantasy author of the Maer Cycle trilogy (character-forward low fantasy) and the Weirdwater Confluence duology (sword-free fantasy with unusual love stories), both from Shadow Spark Publishing.
He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, twin boys, and two cats. When not writing he might be found doing yoga, gardening, cooking, or listening to French music.

Panels:

Love & Other Stuff

Dan Koboldt

Dan Koboldt

Panelist

he/him/his

Dan Koboldt is the author of the Gateways to Alissia trilogy (Harper Voyager) and the Build-A-Dragon Sequence (Baen), the editor of Putting the Science in Fiction and Putting the Fact in Fantasy (Writer’s Digest), and the creator of the sci-fi adventure serial The Triangle (Realm). As a genetics researcher, he has co-authored more than 100 publications in Nature, Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, and other scientific journals. Dan is also an avid deer hunter and outdoorsman. He lives with his wife and children in Ohio, where the deer take their revenge by eating the flowers in his backyard.

Panels:

Prologues or Prolags

Daniel A Smith

Daniel A Smith

Reading

he/him/his

D. A. Smith is an independently published fantasy author whose debut is The Blood of Outcasts. If you like your fantasy samurai-inspired or a bit gritty, then his work might find its place on your TBR.
Short stories by Smith have also appeared in Black Hare Press's 'Pride: The Worst Sin of All' anthology, and read live on air by Pop-up Submissions.
When not writing, Smith works in the editorial department for a chemistry journal and is quite fond of walks with his wife and crazy spaniel.

Panels:

Reading with Daniel A Smith

Daniel Potter

Daniel Potter

Panelist

he/him/his

DANIEL POTTER writes about creatures that are generally considered highly improbable, from talking cats, flying reptiles made of living metal and people who sprout foot long talons when annoyed. As a biologist he should know better but he’s always ready to leave reality outside if he needs too, no matter how much it scratches at the door. He’s the author of three series, Freelance Familiars, a unique and proper take on urban fantasy from the familiar’s perspective, Rise of the Horned Serpent which is best described as Sky Pirates Versus Dragons, and The Full Moon Medic, where the end of the world is magic.

Panels:

Mythological Creature Feature

Daniel Stride

Daniel Stride

Panelist

he/him/his

Daniel Stride has a lifelong love of literature in general and speculative fiction in particular. He writes both short stories and poetry; his first novel, dark steampunk-flavoured fantasy, Wise Phuul, was published in November 2016 by small UK press Inspired Quill. Daniel can be found blogging about the works of J.R.R. Tolkien (among other things) at A Phuulish Fellow (https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/). He lives in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Panels:

Worldbuilding

Darby Harn

Darby Harn

Panelist

he/him/his

DARBY HARN is a novelist, freelance writer and podcaster. His novels include Ever The Hero, The Judgement of Valene, Nothing Ever Ends and A Country Of Eternal Light. His short fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Interzone, Shimmer and other venues.

Panels:

Neurodiversity

Darian Smith

Darian Smith

Panelist

he/him/his

Darian Smith is the author of The Psychology Workbook for Writers and the Agents of Kalanon series, among other things. He has won the Koru Award, the Sir Julius Vogel Award, and was a finalist for SPFBO. He's a member of the NZ Association of Counsellors and is oddly pleased with his surgically enhanced belly-button.

Panels:

True Villainy

Darran M Handshaw

Darran M Handshaw

Reading

he/him/his

Darran M. Handshaw is a science fiction and fantasy author of The Chronicles of Actaeon. In addition to writing, Darran works as an R&D Engineer at a technology company. There he designs and invents new products; he holds more than 40 patents in data capture and emergency services. Darran also volunteers as a firefighter and EMT with his local fire department, where he serves as the Chief of Department. Darran hails from Long Island, NY, where he lives with his wife, Stefanie, and son, Corwin, who fill his life with love, wisdom, and endless adventures.

Panels:

Reading with Darran M Handshaw

David Green

David Green

Moderator

he/him/his

David Green is a writer of the epic and the urban, the fantastical and the mysterious.
With his character-driven dark fantasy series empire of ruin, or urban fantasy noir nick Holleran, David takes readers on emotional, action-packed thrill rides.
Hailing from the north-west of England, David now lives in County Galway on the west coast of Ireland with his wife and train-obsessed son.
When not writing, David can be found wondering why he chooses to live in places where it constantly rains.

Panels:

Worldbuilding, Writing Fight Scenes

Davinia Evans

Davinia Evans

Panelist

she/her/hers

Davinia Evans was born in the tropics, raised on British comedy, and now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She enjoys reading fantasy of all kinds, and writing stories full of society shenanigans and sneaky ratbags tangling with magic. Her first novel, NOTORIOUS SORCERER, is forthcoming from Orbit US and UK in September 2022.

Panels:

Family in SFF

Dawn Vogel

Dawn Vogel

Moderator

she/her/hers

Dawn Vogel has written for children, teens, and adults, spanning genres, places, and time periods. She is a member of Broad Universe, SFWA, and Codex Writers. She lives in Seattle with her awesome husband (and fellow author), Jeremy Zimmerman, and their herd of cats. Visit her: historythatneverwas.com or Twitter @historyneverwas.

Panels:

Underrepresented Mythologies

Debbie Iancu-Haddad

Debbie Iancu-Haddad

Panelist

she/her/hers

Debbie Iancu-Haddad is a Jewish Israeli SFF author living in Meitar in the Negev Desert. Her debut Speechless in Achten Tan came out Feb 2022.
She spends her time taking part in Anthologies (seven to date with two more on the way), writing VSS on Twitter, and buying way too much stuff online. Her goal is to promote body positive characters and include characters dealing with physical challenges. #ownvoices
For her day job, she gives lectures on humor, laughter yoga workshops, and chocolate workshops, and sees how often she can make her two teenagers roll their eyes.

Panels:

True Villainy

Desiree Middleton

Desiree Middleton

Panelist

she/her/hers

Desiree is an award winning screenwriter and author of SciFi and horror novels. She holds an MFA from Hamline University.

Panels:

Prologues or Prolags

Dianna Gunn

Dianna Gunn

Panelist, Reading

she/her/hers

Dianna Gunn is a speculative fiction author, conference organizer, podcast host, and 1800 other things. Her first fantasy horror novel, Moonshadow's Guardian, is currently available through all major ebook retailers. The sequel, Moonshadow's Champion, is set to release in fall 2022.

Panels:

Neurodiversity

Dom Watson

Dom Watson

Panelist

he/him/his

Dom Watson lives in the deep green of Suffolk, England. When he isn't writing uber weird fiction he's wrestling with mental health and crisps. He is the author of The Boy Who Walked Too Far and the soon to be released Smoker on the Porch. Be kind.

Panels:

Underappreciated Genres

E.M. Faulds

E.M. Faulds

Moderator

she/her/they

E.M. Faulds is an Australian-born writer who now lives in Scotland. She wrote a novel, Ada King, and her short fiction can be found in Shoreline of Infinity and Strange Horizons magazines. She also hosts a British Fantasy Award shortlisted podcast, Speculative Spaces. She has a collection of short stories coming out imminently.

Panels:

Mythological Creature Feature

Elisa A. Bonnin

Elisa A. Bonnin

Panelist

she/her/hers

Elisa A. Bonnin was born and raised in the Philippines, after which she moved to the United States to study chemistry and later oceanography. After completing her doctorate, she moved to Germany to work as a postdoctoral scientist. Publishing a book has been her dream since she was eight years old, and she is thrilled to finally be able to share her stories. She is the author of Dauntless and Stolen City.

Panels:

Strong Protagonists Who Aren’t Warriors, Prologues or Prolags

Esther MacCallum-Stewart

Esther MacCallum-Stewart

Panelist

she/her/hers

Esther MacCallum-Stewart is a Professor of Games Studies at Staffordshire University, UK and the Chair of the Worldcon Bid for Glasgow in 2024. Her work examines the ways in which players understand the games that they play. She has written widely on gender and representation, as well as examining players and games beyond the digital in boardgames, larp and tabletop roleplaying. She first volunteered at the 2014 Worldcon (Loncon) and has held a variety of convention running roles ever since, from moving tables to wrangling Chairs.

Panels:

Convention Roundtable

G. D. Penman

G. D. Penman

Panelist

he/him/his, they/them/their

G. D. Penman is the author of beloved and bestselling series like Savage Dominion, Deepest Dungeon and Witch of Empire.
Once upon a time, they were a small press magazine editor, a literary critic, a tabletop game designer and the ghost-writer of over one hundred books of non-fiction.
Nowadays, they can mostly be found writing fantasy novels and smoking a pipe in the sunshine.

Panels:

Prologues or Prolags, Writer's Block

Gabriela Houston

Gabriela Houston

Panelist

she/her/hers

Gabriela Houston is a traditionally-published Polish author of Slavic-folklore-inspired fantasy novels for adults (The Second Bell, out from Angry Robot Books) and children (The Wind Child, out from UCLAN Publishing).

Panels:

Underrepresented Mythologies, Location as Character

Gareth Hanrahan

Gareth Hanrahan

Panelist

he/him/his

Gareth Hanrahan's three-month break from computer programming to concentrate on writing has now lasted fifteen years and counting. He's written more gaming books than he can readily recall, by virtue of the alchemical transmutation of tea and guilt into words. He lives in Ireland.. Follow him on Twitter @mytholder.

Panels:

Worldbuilding, Mythological Creature Feature

Gemma Creffield

Gemma Creffield

Panelist

she/her/hers

Gemma has worked in the publishing industry for six years, in various roles, always with the aim of being an editor. Now commissioning for Angry Robot, Gemma loves to champion new voices and bring out the very best in an author’s potential.

Panels:

Writing Rules

Ginger Smith

Ginger Smith

Panelist

she/her/hers

Ginger Smith has worked various jobs as a record store employee, freelance writer, bookstore assistant manager and high school teacher of English. She holds a Master’s degree in English from Troy University. She collects vintage 1970’s toys, 50’s and 60’s sci-fi novels and comic books, as well as mid-century furniture. The Rush’s Edge was her first novel, which was published by Angry Robot in 2020. Currently, she lives in the southern USA with her husband and two cats.

Panels:

Mental Health in SFF

Graham Austin-King

Graham Austin-King

Reading

he/him/his

Graham Austin-King was born in the south of England and weaned on broken swords and half-forgotten spells. He experimented with writing at the beginning of an education that meandered through journalism, international relations, and law. To this day he is committed to never allowing those first efforts to reach public eyes.

After spending a decade in Canada learning what 'cold' really means, and being horrified by poutine, he settled once again in the UK with a seemingly endless horde of children. To date he is the author of five novels, and the winner of the Book Blogger's Novel of the Year Award 2020.

Panels:

Reading with Graham Austin-King

Gray Williams

Gray Williams

Panelist

he/him/his

Gray Williams is the author of supernatural thrillers The End of the Line and Strange Ways published in ebook by Canelo and audio by Bolinda Audio.
Born in Glasgow and raised in Southampton, he studied Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and has had short stories published in Abyss and Apex, Electric Spec and the Something Wicked 2013 anthology. He devours both crime thrillers and fantasy, so naturally wanted to combine the two in his writing.
He now lives in East London with his wife (who fell in love with him after reading an early draft of one of his short stories), where he writes, works (very different) and paces in slipper socks when he's thinking.

Panels:

Book vs Film

HL Tinsley

HL Tinsley

Panelist

she/her/hers

HL Tinsley is a UK writer of grimdark, gas lamp fantasy. Her debut novel, We Men of Ash and Shadow is an SPFBO7 finalist. She is also a full time writer and blogger.

Panels:

SPFBO 7

Holly Ash

Holly Ash

Panelist

she/her/hers

Holly Ash is the author of The Journey Missions series and Cleansing Rain duology. She prides herself on writing smart, sassy female characters that she wished she could have found in books while growing up. She has worked for the last fifteen years as an Environmental Engineer after receiving degrees in Environmental Science and English Literature from Central Michigan University. Holly lives in the metro Detroit area with her husband and two tiny people who constantly want her to do things for them.

Panels:

Mature Women & Mothers

Intisar Khanani

Intisar Khanani

Panelist

she/her/hers

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah, on the coast of the Red Sea. Intisar used to write grants and develop projects to address community health and infant mortality with the Cincinnati Health Department. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing YA fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles, Thorn, and The Theft of Sunlight.

Panels:

Romance as a Subplot, Grief & Healing, Writer’s Block

J E Hannaford

J E Hannaford

Moderator, Panelist

she/her/hers

J E Hannaford is powered by coffee, dragons and whisky. She teaches Biology in the real world and invents fantasy beasts to populate her own.
She lives in Suffolk, UK, and pines for the coast and mountains of Wales.
A love of nature and the ocean washes through the pages of J E Hannaford's stories and pours out of the characters who live in it.
Her debut series is The Black Hind's Wake Duology.

Panels:

Book Reviewers, Underappreciated Genres

J. D. Evans

J. D. Evans

Panelist

she/her/hers

J. D. Evans writes fantasy and science fiction romance. After earning her degree in linguistics, J. D. served a decade as an army officer. She once spent her hours putting together briefings for helicopter pilots and generals. Now she writes stories, tends to two unreasonable tiny humans, knits, sews badly, gardens, and cultivates Pinterest Fails. After a stint in Beirut, J. D. fell in love with the Levant, which inspired the setting for her debut series, Mages of the Wheel.

Panels:

SPFBO 7, True Villainy

J. Rushing

J. Rushing

Reading

he/him/his

J. Rushing is an American writer whose work blends elements of adventure, fantasy, science fiction, and horror to create worlds that feel as familiar as they do foreign.
He is a musician, amateur luthier, and former teacher who first traded the microbreweries and Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest for the bustle and beauty of Paris. After nearly three years in the City of Light he and his wife settled near Zürich, Switzerland where they spend much of their time traveling and immersing themselves in the outdoors.

Panels:

Reading with J. Rushing

J.R.H. Lawless

J.R.H. Lawless

Moderator

they/him/his

J.R.H. Lawless is a Hugo Best Novel and Astounding longlist nominated author from Atlantic Canada who blends comedy with political themes . Their two 2020 debut novels, Always Greener and The Rude Eye of Rebellion, are part of the General Buzz series. They are represented by Marisa Corvisiero at the Corvisiero Literary Agency, and would love to hear from you on Twitter, over at @SpaceLawyerSF!

Panels:

Writer's Block

Jeramy Goble

Jeramy Goble

Reading

he/him/his

Jeramy Goble is a refreshing fantasy and science fiction author, originally from Morganton, North Carolina. While traveling with his sister, mother, and military father, Jeramy accumulated passions for the wonders of world faiths, and the excitement of science and technology. In addition to being an author, Jeramy is an IT professional, composer and avid gamer. After studying music, Jeramy received his bachelor's degree in 2004. He and his wife, Julia, were married in 2010.

Panels:

Reading with Jeramy Goble

Jessa Forest

Jessa Forest

Moderator, Reading

she/her/hers

Jessa Forest writes poetry and speculative fiction. She is the author of The Slaughter Chronicles, a cosmic horror/contemporary fantasy about werewolves, and Speculative E-Shorts, an on-going collection of standalone, bite sized short stories for when you need to escape reality for an hour. Her writing explores the definable borders of reality and indulges the gritty, visceral aspects of fantasy and science fiction. She was born in Arkansas, USA.

Panels:

Genre Straddling

Jon Auerbach

Jon Auerbach

Panelist

he/him/his

Jon Auerbach’s love of fantasy began at the tender age of six, when his parents bought him a copy of the classic 1977 animated version of The Hobbit.
Jon is the author of the epic urban fantasy series, NYC Questing Guild. He hopes to pass on his stories to the next generation, including his kids, who have their own copy of The Hobbit that they lovingly call “the Bilbo book.”

Panels:

Book vs Film

Joyce Hertzoff

Joyce Hertzoff

Panelist, Reading

she/her/hers

Joyce Hertzoff retired in 2008 after forty-five years in the scientific literature publishing business.
She self-published her four volume YA science fantasy Crystal Odyssey. Her short fiction appears in four anthologies. Her 2016 YA science fantasy novella A Bite of the Apple won first place in the New Mexico Press Women's fiction contest for 2016 in the young adult category. In 2018, she published So You Want to be a Dragon, a middle grade book. A remembrance nonfiction piece appears in the multi-award-winning New Mexico Remembers 9/11 published last year.
Joyce acts as a mentor and facilitator at Writers Village University. She's also a member of Southwest Writers and SCBWI.

Panels:

What does fantasy get away with that sci-fi doesn’t?

Joyce Reynolds-Ward

Joyce Reynolds-Ward

Moderator

she/her/hers

Joyce Reynolds-Ward has been called "the best writer I've never heard of" by one reviewer. Her work includes themes of high-stakes family and political conflict, physical and digital sentience, personal agency and control, realistic strong women, and (whenever possible) horses. She is the author of The Netwalk Sequence series, the Goddess's Honor series, and the recently released The Martiniere Legacy series as well as standalones Klone's Stronghold and Alien Savvy. Joyce is a Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off Semifinalist, a Writers of the Future SemiFinalist, and an Anthology Builder Finalist. She is the Secretary of the Northwest Independent Writers Association and a member of Soroptimists International.

Panels:

Underappreciated Genres

Justin Lee Anderson

Justin Lee Anderson

Moderator, Panelist

he/him/his

Justin is the author of award-winning fantasy novels Carpet Diem and The Lost War. After winning SPFBO 6, The Lost War will be rereleased by Orbit as the first of the four-book Eidyn series.

Panels:

Mature Women & Mothers, SPFBO 7

K.L. Bone

K.L. Bone

Panelist

she/her/hers

K.L. Bone is a USA Today bestselling author of dark fantasy and paranormal romance. Her works include the bestselling Black Rose Guard dark fantasy series and the bestselling Flames of Kalleen epic fantasy romance series.
Bone has a master’s degree in modern literary cultures and is working toward her PhD in creative writing. She wrote her first short story at fifteen and grew up with an equally great love of both classical literature and speculative fiction. Bone has spent the last few years as a bit of a world traveller, living in California, London, and most recently, Belfast.

Panels:

Sex & Violence

Karen Diem

Karen Diem

Panelist

she/her/hers

Karen Diem is an independent fantasy/sci-fi author and voracious reader who loves RPGs, animals (especially big dogs and fat cats), music, and superheroes. She's married and lives tucked away with a family, where they subsist on peanut butter sandwiches far more often than may be healthy. Politically, she sensibly votes for the Oxford comma.

Panels:

Love & Other Stuff

Kerstin Espinosa Rosero

Kerstin Espinosa Rosero

Panelist

she/her/hers

Kerstin Espinosa Rosero is the author of SPFBO7 finalist Burn Red Skies. Her quest to be a translator has led her to live all over the world, including the US, Germany, Taiwan, and the Philippines. When she is not writing or working, she is traveling, sketching, or kickboxing. It is her goal to turn her sketches into stories. (Twitter: @ke_rosero // Instagram: @k.e.rosero)

Panels:

Grief, Healing & Hope, SPFBO 7

Kevin Potter

Kevin Potter

Panelist

he/him/his

Despite being continually discouraged since elementary school, Kevin always knew he’d be an author.
Spurred on by a love of Dragonlance and the worlds of C.S. Friedman, he’s developed a fondness for portraying dragons, trolls, and other “monsters” that don’t often get the spotlight in fiction.
Kevin lives in Oklahoma with his wife, two daughters, and a continually growing assortment of animals.

Panels:

Mythological Creature Feature

Khan Wong

Khan Wong

Panelist

he/him/his

In past chapters of life, Khan has published poetry and played cello in an earnest folk-rock duo. As an internationally known hula hoop teacher and performer, he’s toured with a circus, taught workshops all over the world, and produced circus arts shows in San Francisco. He loves genre mash-ups. THE CIRCUS INFINITE is his debut novel.

Panels:

Genre Straddling, What does fantasy get away with that sci-fi doesn’t?

Kritika H. Rao

Kritika H. Rao

Panelist, Workshop Instructor

she/her/hers

Kritika H. Rao is a science-fiction and fantasy writer, who has lived in India, Australia, Canada, and The Sultanate of Oman. Kritika’s stories are influenced by her lived experiences, and often explore themes of consciousness, self vs. the world, and identity. When she is not writing, she is probably making lists. You might catch her on Twitter or Instagram @KritikaHRao or visit her online at www.kritikahrao.com.

Panels:

Strong Protagonists Who Aren’t Warriors, Genre Straddling, Plotting Tools Workshop

Krystle Matar

Krystle Matar

Moderator, Panelist

she/her/hers

Krystle Matar has been writing for a long time, but things got serious when Tashué Blackwood walked into her life, an amber-eyed whirlwind.
When she isn’t arguing with him or any of his friends, she parents and farms. She has a lot of children and even more animals and one very excellent husband.
She is currently working on lots of stories set in the Dominion. She expects to exist in this universe for a while.

Panels:

True Villainy, Grief, Healing & Hope, Sex & Violence, SPFBO 7

L. D. Lewis

L. D. Lewis

Panelist

she/her/hers

L.D. Lewis is an award-winning SF/F writer and editor. She serves as a founding creator/Project Manager for the award-winning FIYAH Literary Magazine, founding Director of FIYAHCON, sits on the board for Diverse Voices, Inc., and pays the bills as the Awards Manager for the Lambda Literary Foundation. She is also Researcher for the LeVar Burton Reads podcast. Her published short fiction and poetry includes appearances in FIYAH, PodCastle, Strange Horizons, Anathema: Spec from the Margins, Lightspeed, and Neon Hemlock, among others. She lives in Georgia, on perpetual deadline, with her coffee habit, two photogenic kittens, and an impressive Funko Pop! collection. Tweet her @ellethevillain.

Panels:

Convention Roundtable

L. Diane Wolfe, Dancing Lemur Press LLC

L. Diane Wolfe, Dancing Lemur Press LLC

Moderator

she/her/hers

Owner of Dancing Lemur Press LLC, professional speaker, & author, Wolfe also conducts seminars, offers book formatting, and author consultation. She’s the senior editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.

Panels:

Writing Rules

L.L. MacRae

L.L. MacRae

Panelist

she/her/hers

Lauren is a fantasy author of character-driven stories and epic adventure. Her books usually contain dragons, bucket-loads of magic, and are typically fun and hopeful.
She live in a tiny village in the English countryside, has a degree in Psychology, and was a professional copywriter before going full-time as an author—swapping corporate copy for magic and dragons!
She has previously published under the name L.L. McNeil.

Panels:

SPFBO 7

Levi Jacobs

Levi Jacobs

Moderator, Panelist, Workshop Instructor, Reading

he/him/his

Levi Jacobs was born in North Dakota and grew up in Japan and Uganda, so he was bound to have a speculative take on modern life. Currently writing his bite-size-but-epic-fantasy Tidecaller Chronicles, plus three side projects, he runs a small fruit company to pay the bills.

Panels:

Grief, Healing, & Hope, Prologues or Prolags, Nesting Plot Threads Workshop

Lorraine Wilson

Lorraine Wilson

Panelist

she/her/hers

Having spent many years working in remote corners of the world, Lorraine now lives by the sea in Scotland writing stories influenced by folklore and the wilderness. Her short fiction has appeared in (amongst others) Strange Horizons, Forge Lit, The Mechanics’ Institute Review and Boudicca Press. Her debut novel, This Is Our Undoing, was released in 2021 with a second, The Way The Light Bends coming out in August 2022.

Panels:

Genre Straddling

Lucy A. McLaren

Lucy A. McLaren

Panelist, Workshop Instructor

she/her/hers

Lucy A. McLaren is a fantasy author and professional counsellor with a passion for discussing how these topics overlap, especially in terms of mental health in fantasy stories. Her debut, Awakening: The Commune’s Curse Book 1, releases from SFWP on 1st May.

Panels:

Love & Other Stuff, Character Backstory: Counselling & Mental Health Theory Workshop

M. D. Presley

M. D. Presley

Panelist, Workshop Instructor

he/him/his

Never passing up the opportunity to speak about himself in the third person, M.D. Presley is not nearly as clever as he thinks he is. Born and raised in Texas, he spent several years on the East Coast and now waits for the West Coast to shake him loose. His favorite words include defenestrate, callipygian, and Algonquin. The fact that monosyllabic is such a long word keeps him up at night.

Panels:

Worldbuilding, Making Magic Systems Workshop

MV Pine

MV Pine

Moderator, Reading

they/them/their

When children never stop asking “Why?” they grow up into MV Pine: dam engineer and author extraordinaire. By day, they fix America’s largest dams, meticulously figuring out what’s going on and why it’s doing what it’s doing. Conveniently, these are the same questions they ask their rebellious characters. You can find their queer stories in The Reinvented Heart as well as Dark Cheer: Cryptids Emerging, and their engineering projects all around the Pacific Northwest. If you want to track down Pine themself, head over to Twitter @Madeline_Pine.

Panels:

Neurodiversity, Reading

Megan Haskell

Megan Haskell

Panelist

she/her/hers

Megan Haskell pens tales of myth, magic, and mayhem featuring kick-ass heroines and monsters of every shape and size. She is the award-winning author of The Sanyare Chronicles and The War of the Nine Faerie Realms. Her upcoming release, Aether Bound, is the first in a new contemporary women's fantasy adventure series and will release May 3rd, 2022. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two daughters, and one ridiculously energetic dog.

Panels:

Underrepresented Mythologies, Great Fantasy Bake-Off

Michael R. Fletcher

Michael R. Fletcher

Panelist

he/him/his

Michael R Fletcher writes a lot of books that are almost never about unicorns. He drinks Jameson whiskey, feasts on the souls of young writers, and likes to antagonize people he cares about to show his affection. Also, he plays awesome guitar and narrates his own books because he's an overachiever. To compensate for this, he makes other people fill out important forms on his behalf.

Panels:

SPFBO 7

Mihir Wanchoo

Mihir Wanchoo

Panelist

he/him/his

Born and raised in Mumbai, India. Mihir Wanchoo is a physician and a Masters graduate. He is an avid book collector and longtime reader of fantasy, thrillers and Indian mythology with additional interests in historical fiction and urban fantasy.
Mihir currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with his family, and is ever looking forward to discovering new authors and old books.

Panels:

Book vs Film, Book Reviewers

Neil Sharma/@Madaaworld12 Book Blogger/Reviewer

Neil Sharma/@Madaaworld12 Book Blogger/Reviewer

Panelist

he/him/his

Mada, the Medjay of Faiyum, is a book reviewer of fantasy and sci-fi, mostly fantasy and historical fiction, and passionate about video gaming, a fan of franchises such as Paradox, Total War, Assassin Creed.

Panels:

Strong Protagonists Who Aren’t Warriors

Neil Williamson

Neil Williamson

Moderator, Panelist, Reading

he/him/his

Neil Williamson is a writer from Glasgow, Scotland. His books include: The Moon King, The Memoirist, and his new novel, Queen of Clouds, as well as two collections of short stories, Secret Language and The Ephemera. He has been a finalist for the British Science Fiction Association, British Fantasy and World Fantasy awards.

Panels:

Location as Character, What does fantasy get away with that sci-fi doesn't?

Olivia M. Rose

Olivia M. Rose

Panelist

she/her/hers, they/them/their

Olivia M. Rose is a writer of SFF/Speculative fiction from the San Francisco Bay Area. When not writing, they’re traveling the Bay in search of hidden magic, or obsessing over all things culinary by either cooking, baking, or watching too many cooking shows. The obsession has grown to running a small food blog and food factoring into a lot of their fantasy fiction.

Panels:

Great Fantasy Bake-Off

P. L. Tavormina

P. L. Tavormina

Panelist

she/her/hers

P. L. Tavormina is a North American middle-aged mammal living during Earth’s Anthropocene. Dr. Tavormina has identified disease genes at the University of California and catalogued ecological changes in the wake of petroleum disasters at Caltech. Now she’s writing speculative fiction to make the science of climate change more broadly accessible. Learn more at https://www.pltavormina.com.

Panels:

Strong Protagonists Who Aren’t Warriors

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