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Fantasy book series – How long should they be?

We all know the power of three and many series fall into the trilogy category. But should it be a duology, a tetralogy or more?
What’s the benefit of series vs standalone books?

Scientifically plausible worlds

SFF is all about the greater possibilities of life, the what ifs and the what could bes. Incorporating the real with the fantastical, how do you create scientifically plausible worlds? What is it that makes us believe?

Contests – What can they do for you? 

This year’s SFPBO finalists come together to discuss what contests can (and can’t) do for your writing career.

Pantsers vs Plotters

Organised, methodical and precise? Or more like a cat chasing a laser? Or are you somewhere in-between? How is a story brought together and what works for you?

Marketing your book

So, you’ve written a book. How do you get everyone else to know or care? Hear our panellists talk about the different ways to draw an audience.


Everyone needs an editor, no matter if it’s your first book or your twentieth. What exactly does an editor do? What different levels of editing are there? Professional editors explain the value they add to your MS and why they’re better than software.

Diversity in creative worlds

Our world is multicultural, filled with humans of all shapes, sizes, colours, creeds, abilities and orientations. Is this reflected in SFF today? How has the face of inclusion changed? And how do we achieve worlds that reflect the true nature of ours?

Handling death & romance

Love and loss are driving forces in life and literature. Who should fall head over heels and when is the right time to kill your darlings? Listen as our authors discuss how they make every first kiss and last gasp count in their storytelling.

Own voices vs Cultural adaptation

Every writer has a voice – theirs, their characters and the worlds they create. But that do these voices say to the reader? When writing about other cultures or incorporating pieces of them, how do you remain sensitive to the history and feelings of others while holding true to your vision?

What is genre & where do you sit?

Epic, military, urban, paranormal, high, low, grimdark, noble bright, steampunk, gaslamp, sword & sorcery, sci-fi, YA … you get the idea. How is genre determined and how important is it?

Gender in SFF

The last few years have seen a more rounded understanding of the role of gender in our society. SFF looks at different worlds and different times, where gender isn’t bound by our traditional notions. Our panellists discuss how an exploration of these issues in SFF helps us re-examine our own world.

Illustrations – Book covers, maps & art

A picture is worth a thousand words. Illustrators discuss what artwork brings to writing and the steps they take to bring stories to life.

Magical systems in fantasy

Should there be rules to magic? How do you go about defining the guidelines of a magical system? How are these explained to the reader?

Curiosity as a narrative tool

Where do stories come from? An estimated 3k thoughts go through our brains every hour. Our authors discuss how our natural curiosity turns into stories that make readers think.

Writing fight sequences

Fight sequences make for exciting reading but writing a realistic one can be a tumultuous experience. Hear from experts on how to turn your scuffles into epic battles.

Superhero stories

Who doesn’t love a superhero? The panel discusses the different types of superhero out there and what goes into creating one.

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