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2022 Welcome!

QuaranCon Founders Virginia McClain & PS Livingstone welcome everyone to QuaranCon 2022: the convention for staying the F home, maybe, kinda, if your government hasn't completely abandoned you yet like most of ours... well, it's a fun virtual SFF convention anyway!

Thursday, April 7, 2022, 3:00:00 p.m. UTC

Strong Protagonists Who Aren’t Warriors

Most of us love an asskicker. But what about the asskickers who don't use weapons? The political geniuses who destroy their opponents without lifting a finger? The emotional rocks of the family? The healers who persevere in patching everyone back together after all seems lost? Some of the greatest heroes never lift a sword. Here's to them!

Thursday, April 7, 2022, 4:30:00 p.m. UTC

Underrepresented Mythologies

With an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide and a whole host of mythologies to choose from, why focus on such a narrow set for our fiction? Let our panelists introduce you to some lesser-known but infinitely fabulous mythologies.

Thursday, April 7, 2022, 6:00:00 p.m. UTC

Book vs Film

The book is always better. Or is it? Ready ... FIGHT!
The first rule of fight club is … not relevant, that’s what we’re here for.

Thursday, April 7, 2022, 7:30:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with A.C. Cross

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.

Thursday, April 7, 2022, 9:00:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with David Green

"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."

Thursday, April 7, 2022, 9:30:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with Joyce Hertzoff

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.

Thursday, April 7, 2022, 10:00:00 p.m. UTC

Family in SFF

Why are there so many orphans in SFF? How do we create found family in fiction? And what are some of our favorite fictional kinships?

Thursday, April 7, 2022, 11:00:00 p.m. UTC

Romance as a Subplot

Romance subplots abound in fantasy - but while most fantasy authors are pretty well-versed in worldbuilding and combat writing, fewer of us have made a serious study of romance writing. What goes into crafting a believable romance? Is there a difference between romantic tension and sexual tension? What is chemistry, and how is it evoked on page? Five authors of character-driven romantic fantasy share their best tips, gleaned over years of work, for crafting a romantic subplot to captivate the most hard-hearted reader.

Friday, April 8, 2022, 12:30:00 a.m. UTC

Making Magic Systems

Learn how to quickly create compelling magic systems by mastering the progression of Appearance, Abilities, Limits, and Costs. Based on Sanderson's four laws of magic and the 4 Cs of Worldbuilding.

Friday, April 8, 2022, 2:00:00 a.m. UTC

Interior Worldbuilding

Interior worldbuilding: constructing the interior lives of POV characters, making their interior world as big, fantastic, and lived-in as the world around them.

Friday, April 8, 2022, 1:00:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with Darran M Handshaw

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.

Friday, April 8, 2022, 3:00:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with Trudie Skies

Trudie Skies is a British indie author who has been living inside fantasy worlds ever since they discovered that reality doesn’t quite live up to the hype. Through the magic of books, they wish to share these worlds of hope and heroes with other weary souls. Their debut YA fantasy series, Sand Dancer, was published through Uproar Books. Trudie is now writing adult gaslamp fantasy with her their series, The Cruel Gods.

Friday, April 8, 2022, 3:30:00 p.m. UTC

Genre Straddling

One size doesn’t fit all (thankfully), but that doesn’t make finding your book's home easy. What if you're writing Macbeth meets Star Wars, or Mr. Men meets The Hellbound Heart? (Please tell us someone is writing that!) When a book doesn't fit neatly in a single box, what's to be done?

Friday, April 8, 2022, 4:00:00 p.m. UTC

Love and Other Stuff

Love in all its forms makes the world go round, but does it rock your SFF world? What role does it play in motivating your character? When love is your driving force, are you really writing romance? If we’re not fighting for love, what are we fighting for?

Friday, April 8, 2022, 5:00:00 p.m. UTC

Working with Book Reviewers

Some of today's top book reviewers join us to give tips and tricks on getting your books noticed, as well as what reviewers can and can't do for your book.

Friday, April 8, 2022, 6:00:00 p.m. UTC

The Great Fantasy Bake-Off

Food in SFF, complete with actual dishes inspired by SFF works. *Aprons optional *Hats essential

Friday, April 8, 2022, 7:15:00 p.m. UTC

True Villainy

Villains are people (sometimes) too, so they’re as complex and diverse as we are. Nothing ruins a good story like a baddie who falls foul of realism. Love them, hate them, or want to be them, we’re discussing how to write believable, three-dimensional antagonists.

Friday, April 8, 2022, 8:30:00 p.m. UTC

Worldbuilding

What does it take to build a universe out of nothing? Today's top SFF worldbuilders talk about what makes and breaks the fictional worlds we love and hate.

Friday, April 8, 2022, 10:00:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with Allan Batchelder

Allan is the winner of last year's Worst Opening Sentence 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.

Friday, April 8, 2022, 11:30:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with Rachel Rener

Rachel Rener is a contemporary fantasy author who loves to blur the lines between science and magic. She graduated from the University of Colorado after focusing on Psychology and Neuroscience. Since then, she has lived on three continents and has traveled to more than 40 countries.

When she's not engrossed in writing, Rachel enjoys painting, reading, rock shows (musical and mineralogical), Vulcanology (both the lava kind as well as the pointy-eared kind), and playing BOTW. She lives in Colorado along with her husband, a stellar mineral collection, and a feisty umbrella cockatoo (""Jungle Chicken"") who hangs out on her shoulder as she writes.

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 12:00:00 a.m. UTC

A Reading with Alex Shvartsman

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.

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 12:30:00 a.m. UTC

Nesting Plot Threads

Nesting plot threads: brainstorming to resolve conflicts in the opposite order

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 1:00:00 a.m. UTC

Marketing for Indie Authors: making the intangible tangible

**This wonderful Workshop is going to be rescheduled for QuaranCon^3 (our year long continuing content series), so please look for it soon!

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 11:00:00 a.m. UTC

Mature Women & Mothers in SFF

Mothers in SFF rarely live past the first few pages – dead mamas score big on the motivator scale. In truth, it's an easy trope to fall into, because what mother is willing to let their child go off to fight the big bad? But what about the moms who fight the big bad themselves? What about the ones who ARE the big bad? What about older women who have no offspring but are still the main characters of their own stories? Mothers and mature women everywhere, UNITE!

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 1:00:00 p.m. UTC

Location as Character

How many books have you read where a house, a ship, or even a forest, take on their very own character?
From abnormally sentient places, to the settings that are so vivid the story within them could be told nowhere else, join our panelists as they discuss location as a character.

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 2:30:00 p.m. UTC

Prologues or Prolags?

One of the most divisive topics of the SFF world! Are prologues wonderful additions that delight readers, or dreadful dead weights that drag a story down? Or, as with anything in writing, does it depend on execution?

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 4:00:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with P.L. Stuart

P.L. Stuart lives in Chatham, Ontario, with his wife, Debbie. The Last of the Atalanteans is the second novel in The Drowned Kingdom saga, and the sequel to the FriesenPress number-one bestseller: A Drowned Kingdom.

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 5:00:00 p.m. UTC

Positive Representation of Mental Health in SFF

Tired of seeing the one character who struggles with depression turn evil? Wish that trauma had a more realistic representation amongst all the SFF war veterans? We’re with you! Let's talk about our favorite positive mental health reps and ways authors can do a better job of highlighting mental health in SFF.

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 6:00:00 p.m. UTC

Grief, Healing, & Hope in SFF

The Alchemy of Sorrow is an SFF anthology of grief and hope. Our stories delve into the experience of grief and loss–of loved ones, of relationships, of a sense of self, of health–and find hope as our characters grow and change and fight their way forward. Here be dragons and magic, time travel and sorrow.

In these difficult times, an anthology of voices speaking to the universal experience of grief, and the power of the human spirit to find hope and to heal, seems vitally important. In this panel, we'll hear from some of the authors, artists, and editors who are bringing this project to life.

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 7:30:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with Annabel Campbell

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.

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 9:00:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with J · Rushing

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.

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 9:30:00 p.m. UTC

Sex & Violence

Whether you're writing a fun romance with a dash of fantasy, or an epic grimdark with a touch of romance, your sex and violence should be equally well thought out. Some top SFF authors discuss the way our society reacts to sex and violence on the page, and what we can do as authors and readers to respectfully address both.

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 10:00:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with Dianna Gunn

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.

Saturday, April 9, 2022, 11:30:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with Quenby Olson

Quenby Olson lives in Central Pennsylvania where she writes, homeschools, and glares at baskets of unfolded laundry. After training to be a ballet dancer, she turned towards her love of fiction, penning everything from romance to fantasy, historical to mystery. She spends her days with her husband and children, who do nothing to dampen her love of the outdoors, immersing herself in historical minutiae, and staying up late to watch old episodes of Doctor Who.

Sunday, April 10, 2022, 12:00:00 a.m. UTC

A Reading with Tyrean Martinson

Tyrean Martinson is a word hunter. She forages for words both sweet and tart in the South Sound of Washington State in the US. An eclectic writer, she writes speculative fiction, contemporary and historical fiction, short scripts, devotions, writing books, song lyrics, and poetry. Since childhood, her imagination has been swept away by fairy tales, science fiction, tales of overcoming the odds, and redemption arcs.

Sunday, April 10, 2022, 12:30:00 a.m. UTC

A Reading with Allegra Pescatore

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.

Sunday, April 10, 2022, 1:00:00 a.m. UTC

Epic Series

How to prepare, structure, outline, and stay motivated throughout the process of ultra-long-form storytelling

Sunday, April 10, 2022, 2:00:00 a.m. UTC

Counseling Theory and Character Creation

Counseling and mental health theory that can provide the basis for character backstory, behaviors and feelings – this will be the live Q&A follow up to Lucy's pre-recorded presentation.

Sunday, April 10, 2022, 2:00:00 p.m. UTC

Awards Ceremony

PS Livingstone & A.M. Justice reveal the winners of our short fiction contest & best worst line contest!

Sunday, April 10, 2022, 3:00:00 p.m. UTC

Writing Rules. Writing Rules!

Writing rules! Are they a strict law, or made to be broken? A handful of our favorite authors and editors weigh in.

Sunday, April 10, 2022, 4:00:00 p.m. UTC

Mythological Creature Feature

Dragons on the wing or a phoenix rising from the ashes? Sure, everyone loves those, but what about griffons, basilisks, medusae, and centaurs? Let’s talk mythological creatures!

Sunday, April 10, 2022, 5:00:00 p.m. UTC

Underappreciated Genres

From weird western to sci-fantasy to nano-punk, let's talk niche subgenres and how much they rock!

Sunday, April 10, 2022, 6:15:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with D.A. Smith

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.

Sunday, April 10, 2022, 7:30:00 p.m. UTC

Swearing in SFF

Love it or hate it, swearing forms a part of the modern vernacular. Join our panel as they discuss their thoughts on swearing and how it's incorporated into SFF worlds. You might even learn some new vocabulary. *Viewer discretion is advised.

Sunday, April 10, 2022, 8:00:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with Levi Jacobs

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.

Sunday, April 10, 2022, 9:30:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with Neil Williamson

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.

Sunday, April 10, 2022, 10:00:00 p.m. UTC

Neurodiversity in SFF

We're not all wired the same way, and that is a thing of beauty, something to be celebrated. A group of neurodiverse authors and bloggers discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of neurodiversity in fiction.

Sunday, April 10, 2022, 11:00:00 p.m. UTC

A Reading with Jeramy Goble

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.

Monday, April 11, 2022, 12:30:00 a.m. UTC

A Reading with Jessa Forest

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.

Monday, April 11, 2022, 1:00:00 a.m. UTC

A Reading with Scott Coon

Scott Coon is an award-winning short story writer, author of the YA Sci-Fi Adventure LOST HELIX, and a former U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst. His work can be found in Bewildering Stories, MOBIUS: The Journal for Social Change, and The STEAM Journal at Claremont University amongst others. See his website and YouTube Channel for his advice on the art and business of writing, as well as his published works.

Monday, April 11, 2022, 1:30:00 a.m. UTC

Plotting Tools to Add to Your Toolkit to Create Sharp First Drafts

There are a million ways to plot a piece of fiction no matter its length, but some factors remain the same—all contain scenes, and most fiction requires characters to have stakes. In this workshop, writers learn a method to plot using three tools: scene-maps, real-estate maps, and stakes map. The method will help with creating solid first drafts, with an understanding of how much word count (real estate) writers need to dedicate to which parts of their story, and why.

Monday, April 11, 2022, 2:00:00 a.m. UTC

Four Sentence Stories

Four sentence stories and exercises to boost creativity and sensory descriptions.

Monday, April 11, 2022, 2:00:00 p.m. UTC

The Future of SFF Conventions

QuaranCon, Glasgowin2024 (WorldCon) and FIYAHCON discuss the future of conventions as we move on with pandemic life, focusing on best practices for diversity and inclusion in convention programming both for in-person and virtual cons.

Monday, April 11, 2022, 4:30:00 p.m. UTC

Writing Fight Scenes

A dance of blades? A chaotic brawl? Visceral descriptions of every wound? A glossy zoomed out description of blood and glory? There are lots of ways to write fight scenes and we're here to talk about all of them.

Monday, April 11, 2022, 6:00:00 p.m. UTC

SPFBO 7

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

Monday, April 11, 2022, 7:00:00 p.m. UTC

What Does Fantasy Get Away with that Sci-fi Doesn’t?

There's a (mis?)perception that fantasy can play fast and loose with natural laws because it's all made up, whereas science fiction must be grounded in the physical world as we know it. How far can SFF authors push the lines of plausibility, and how do they make the fantastical – or scientifically implausible – seem real? Join us for an exploration of the grey areas of speculative fiction.

Monday, April 11, 2022, 8:00:00 p.m. UTC

Writer’s Block: Causes and Cures

The dreaded phenomenon known as writer's block has many cures, and some mythical authors claim never to suffer from it. Let's examine this mysterious ailment. Is it caused by doubt, plot problems, external factors like stress or depression? And what are some tried and true methods to overcome its nefarious grasp on our psyche?

Monday, April 11, 2022, 9:00:00 p.m. UTC

That's a Wrap!

Virginia & Pam wrap up the con with some thank yous and final thoughts!

Monday, April 11, 2022, 10:30:00 p.m. UTC