SoonerCon 28 Event Schedule

SoonerCon Event Schedule

SoonerCon 28 is June 7-9 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Plan your SoonerCon weekend now by clicking on a guest profile to see their appearance schedule or download a PDF of the event schedule using the buttons below.

Friday, June 7, 2019 1:00 p.m. | Location: Sooner A

Creating a Short Story: Harder than You Think

There are many paths to the peak of the mountain, says an old proverb. Authors discuss what works for them, and share common stumbling blocks to avoid when crafting short stories.

Panelists: Lou Antonelli, J.H. Fleming, vickey malone kennedy, Michelle Muenzler, Sue Sinor

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Panel

Friday, June 7, 2019 2:00 p.m. | Location: Oklahoma A3

Workshop: Marketing for Writers, Level 1

This marketing session, led by best-selling author Rachel Caine, is open to all writers looking to market their work. Level one covers topics such as: Discovering and honing your marketing skills; a survey of marketing tools and approaches, marketing hooks – finding yours and how to use them; marketing (targeted) versus publicity (untargeted) and; marketing through premiums and swag, with how-tos for sourcing these items. Limit 24 participants. (2 hours)

Panelists: Rachel Caine

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Workshop

Friday, June 7, 2019 2:00 p.m. | Location: Oklahoma G

Character Building Exercises

Some characters spring forth, fully realized as Athena. Others might be throwaways, or that guy who annoyed you in high school. Panelists share tips and techniques for keeping characters real and memorable.

Panelists: Catherine Cooke Montrose, Carolyn Kay, vickey malone kennedy, Shayla Raquel, Christina Stiles, Craig Wolf

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Panel

Friday, June 7, 2019 2:00 p.m. | Location: Noble

Readings: Science Fiction

Panelists: Phillip Drayer Duncan, Adrian Simmons

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Friday, June 7, 2019 3:00 p.m. | Location: Boomer A

Writing the Epic: Voices, Layers, Landscape

Panelists discuss writing a many-layered epic, whether science fiction or fantasy. What makes a story epic? What does it mean to think outside the Tolkien box? How do you pick POV? How many characters are too many? What elements have proven most challenging or most useful? Is epic still meaningful in the modern world?

Panelists: Tex Thompson, Kevin J. Anderson, Phillip Drayer Duncan, David Carrico, Deborah Chester, Laura J. Underwood

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Panel

Friday, June 7, 2019 3:00 p.m. | Location: Noble

Readings: Alternate History

Panelists: Dara, Fogel Ph. D., Sue Sinor

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Friday, June 7, 2019 3:00 p.m. | Location: Sooner A

New Ancestral Myths

Writers, artists, and editors discuss recent works which combine characters from ancient myths with modern themes, situations, and aesthetic trends in order to create stories about today's concerns with mythical resonance. What do they actually say about ourselves in the current moment?

Panelists: Mel. White, Lou Antonelli, Carolyn Kay, Michael R. Martin, Caleb Masters

Tracks: Writing & Publication, Art, Comics

Tags: Panel

Friday, June 7, 2019 4:00 p.m. | Location: Boomer B

The Writers' Group: Band of Allies or Dysfunctional Family

A discussion of writers' groups: their dynamics and their possible value. Compare online forums versus face-to-face groups. How can you tell if you've stumbled into something dysfunctional or delightful, without a sounding board? How to network? Advice for authors at any stage of development looking to join a writing group.

Panelists: Karen Thrower, Linda L. Donahue, Julia S. Mandala, Seth Skorkowsky, B. J. Thrower, Kim Ventrella

Tracks: Writing & Publication, Business & Marketing

Tags: Panel

Friday, June 7, 2019 4:00 p.m. | Location: Noble

Readings: Science Fiction

Panelists: Jan S. Gephardt, Marguerite Reed, Brian Trent

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Friday, June 7, 2019 5:00 p.m. | Location: Boomer A

The Three F's: Friends, Family, and Foes

Behind every main character is a cast of their friends, family, and foes. How do these relationships interact to improve the story?

Panelists: Rhonda Eudaly, Jan S. Gephardt, Michael R. Martin, Bradley H. Sinor, Tommy B. Smith

Tracks: Writing & Publication, Fantasy

Tags: Panel

Friday, June 7, 2019 5:00 p.m. | Location: Noble

Readings: Horror

Panelists: Tim Frayser, Bekah June, B. J. Thrower, Craig Wolf

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Friday, June 7, 2019 5:00 p.m. | Location: Sooner A

Science: The Core of Sci-Fi's Sense of Wonder

Many readers come to sci-fi for the wonder of imagining fantastic new worlds. They want their breath taken away by the long scope of time, of evolution and geology and the stars. What is that sense of wonder in new experiences and how do people feel it differently? What science in science fiction most succeeds at getting to those feelings?

Panelists: Adrian Simmons, Tyrell Gephardt, William Leaf, Dr. Laura-Isobel McCall, Joey "Okie Space Queen" Rodman

Tracks: Writing & Publication, Science Fiction, STEM

Tags: Panel

Friday, June 7, 2019 8:00 p.m. | Location: Oklahoma G

Yard Dog Roadshow

Join the crew from Yard Dog Press as they offer their usual brand of comedy.

Panelists: Selina Rosen, Tim Chessmore, Sherri Dean, Linda L. Donahue, Phillip Drayer Duncan, Rhonda Eudaly, Tim Frayser, James Hollaman, vickey malone kennedy, Lee Killough, Julia S. Mandala, Ethan Nahté, Bradley H. Sinor, Sue Sinor, Laura J. Underwood, Mel. White

Tracks: Writing & Publication, Performing Arts

Tags: Performance

Friday, June 7, 2019 9:30 p.m. | Location: Embassy Hotel: Interior Courtyard - Atrium

SoonerCon @ Midnight: Worst Book Ever

Join us in the hotel bar as intrepid writers lay on their best purple prose to create titles and openings for the Worst Book Ever, hosted by Larry "Dr. Trek" Nemecek! (Supplies provided.)

Panelists: Larry Nemecek, Phillip Drayer Duncan, Dan Erickson, vickey malone kennedy, Ted Pennella, Rook Riley, Kim Ventrella

Tracks: Writing & Publication, Gaming

Tags: Panel

Saturday, June 8, 2019 10:00 a.m. | Location: Oklahoma G

Vampires Across the Ages

Long a staple of Urban Fantasy, vampires first appear in folklore, and were markedly different from Stoker's Count; even more so from Yarbro's noble St. Germain, or the sparkles from Twilight. We discuss the influences of those early roots, and look at the many changes.

Panelists: Wm. Mark Simmons, Rachel Caine, Sherri Dean, Trakena Prevost, Tommy B. Smith, Mel. White

Tracks: Writing & Publication, Fantasy

Tags: Panel

Saturday, June 8, 2019 10:00 a.m. | Location: Oklahoma A2

Tabletop RPG Writing

Got a great idea for a tabletop role playing game, but not sure where to begin? D20 game writer Christina Stiles talks creating around gameplay mechanics, collective worldbuilding, establishing lore, play testing, publishing and more in this game writer's workshop. Limit 11 participants.

Panelists: Christina Stiles

Tracks: Gaming, Writing & Publication

Tags: Workshop

Saturday, June 8, 2019 11:00 a.m. | Location: Noble

Readings: SF: Past, Present, Future

Panelists: Dr. Marc DiPaolo, Tim Morgan

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Saturday, June 8, 2019 11:00 a.m. | Location: Sooner A

Words Are Hard: Writing Believable Dialogue

We all have trouble elucidating our thoughts at times. So how can writers do it for two or three (or more!) main characters and dozens of supporting characters? How can you encourage the reader to hear the voices in your head the same way you do? How do you write for a political view with which you may disagree, or a gender with which you don’t identify?

Panelists: Catherine Cooke Montrose, David Carrico, Deborah Chester, Lee Killough, Laura J. Underwood, Adam J. Whitlatch

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Panel

Saturday, June 8, 2019 Noon | Location: Sooner A

Reading: A. Lee Martinez & Rachel Caine

Panelists: Rachel Caine, A. Lee Martinez

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Saturday, June 8, 2019 Noon | Location: Boomer A

And the Killer Is…

From Psycho, to Citizen Kane, to TZ's "To Serve Man," what are your favorite "Gotcha!" moments in storytelling? Don't forget literature. Is a written twist harder than in the visual arts?

Panelists: Brian Trent, Mark Alfred, Michael R. Martin, Sue Sinor, Steven E. Wedel

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Panel

Saturday, June 8, 2019 Noon | Location: Boomer B

In Defense of Difficult Women

Maleficent, Elphaba, Ursula, and other witchy women who won't stay where we put them. Panelists dissect the characterizations of complex women in SF storytelling, how they are written well or written poorly. How do these characterizations of women compare to real-life portrayals of women in media?

Panelists: Shai Fenwick, Dr. Marc DiPaolo, J. H. Fleming, Marguerite Reed, Sissy Space, Caroline Spector

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Panel

Saturday, June 8, 2019 Noon | Location: Noble

Readings: SF/F

Panelists: Maureen McHugh, Shayla Raquel, Scott Zrubek

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Saturday, June 8, 2019 Noon | Location: Oklahoma G

Building My First Lightsaber

How bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson went from small-town fanboy to international bestselling author, with work for Lucasfilm, Star Wars, Batman, X-Files, and the band Rush.

Panelists: Kevin J. Anderson

Tracks: Writing & Publication, Pop Culture & Entertainment

Tags: GoH

Saturday, June 8, 2019 1:00 p.m. | Location: Boomer A

The Lore Breakers

For awhile, everyone knew how to kill a vampire or werewolf, until writers started changing things to make their critter “better.” Where is the line drawn? When is a bloodsucker or changeling no longer a vampire or wolf man?

Panelists: Phillip Drayer Duncan, Sherri Dean, Linda L. Donahue, Tim Frayser, Julia S. Mandala, B. J. Thrower

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Panel

Saturday, June 8, 2019 1:00 p.m. | Location: Noble

Readings: Fantasy

Panelists: Catherine Cooke Montrose, Kim Ventrella

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Saturday, June 8, 2019 1:00 p.m. | Location: Oklahoma A3

Hands-On Research for Cash-Strapped Writers

Yes, Google is great. Books are even better. But no amount of reading in the comfort of your own living room can substitute for the real thing: going to a new place – talking to real live human beings – smelling, touching, and even tasting the world you need your readers to believe in. In this one-hour class, we’re going to talk about how to do all that when money is tight, time is short, and you don’t already have an uncle who works for the CIA. Come discover just how much you can do right in your own backyard – and how to make your next expedition equal parts frugal, fruitful, and fun!

Panelists: Tex Thompson

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Workshop

Saturday, June 8, 2019 2:00 p.m. | Location: Oklahoma A3

Workshop: Marketing for Writers, Level 2

This marketing session, led by best-selling author Rachel Caine, is open to all writers looking to market their work. Level two covers topics such as: marketing at conventions and bookfairs; finding and utilizing cross-promotion opportunities; advantages and drawbacks of appearances, internet blogging and marketing, bookstores, libraries, or other venues; publicists or press releases: when and how to use them; and media training and interview techniques. Limit 24 participants. (2 hours)

Panelists: Rachel Caine

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Workshop

Saturday, June 8, 2019 2:00 p.m. | Location: Sooner A

Reading: Selina Rosen & Kevin J. Anderson

Panelists: Kevin J. Anderson, Selina Rosen

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Saturday, June 8, 2019 2:00 p.m. | Location: Boomer A

A Shift in Urban Fantasy

Werewolves and shifters have become ever more popular in UF. Authors describe their own werewolf or shifter characters, how they connect with their human side, and how that shapes the story.

Panelists: Steven E. Wedel, Lou Antonelli, Bekah June, Lee Killough, Michael R. Martin

Tracks: Writing & Publication, Fantasy

Tags: Panel

Saturday, June 8, 2019 2:00 p.m. | Location: Noble

Readings: Urban Fantasy

Panelists: Shai Fenwick, Wm. Mark Simmons, Karen Thrower

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Saturday, June 8, 2019 3:00 p.m. | Location: Noble

Readings: Poetry

Panelists: David Carrico, Dan Erickson, Michelle Muenzler, David "Oak" Rice

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Saturday, June 8, 2019 4:00 p.m. | Location: Noble

Readings: Fantasy

Panelists: Linda L. Donahue, Carolyn Kay, Ted Pennella

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Saturday, June 8, 2019 4:00 p.m. | Location: Oklahoma G

Noir's the Thing

The hard-boiled detective stories of the past; we love 'em. Who has successfully brought the genre to fantasy and sci-fi settings? What are some "must have" elements, and what are some favorites?

Panelists: Toni Weisskopf, Kevin J. Anderson, A. Lee Martinez, Bradley H. Sinor, Tex Thompson, Craig Wolf

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Panel

Saturday, June 8, 2019 4:30 p.m. | Location: Oklahoma A2

Legos, Creativity, Building, and Writing

This writing exercise starts by playing with Legos. Professional Development certificate available for teachers on request. Supplies provided, limit 11 participants. (90 minutes)

Panelists: Melinda LaFevers

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Workshop

Saturday, June 8, 2019 5:00 p.m. | Location: Oklahoma G

Creating Despite Depression or Anxiety

At some point, every creator will be afflicted with these issues as part of the ups and downs of life. Creating through depression and anxiety instead of walking away is sometimes the best option. Authors and artists talk about the techniques they use for working while living with a neuro-atypical brain.

Panelists: Alexandra Bohannon, Hazel Conley, Julia S. Mandala, Marguerite Reed, Adam J. Whitlatch

Tracks: Health & Wellness, Writing & Publication

Tags: Panel

Saturday, June 8, 2019 5:00 p.m. | Location: Sooner B

Libraries in the Digital Age

In a world where we can get almost anything at the touch of a button, including books, (e-books and audio books), who needs libraries? YOU do! Come learn why libraries (and librarians) are the best soldiers we have in the war against ignorance.

Panelists: Craig Wolf, Cary Osborne, Tommy B. Smith, Martha Steele, Laura J. Underwood

Tracks: Culture & World Affairs, Writing & Publication, Internet Life

Tags: Panel

Sunday, June 9, 2019 11:00 a.m. | Location: Noble

Readings: Comedy

Panelists: Rhonda Eudaly, Ethan Nahté, Allison Stein

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Sunday, June 9, 2019 11:00 a.m. | Location: Oklahoma A2

Writing Magical Realism Workshop

How can you craft powerful stories for middle-grade readers using magical realism? Learn more in this presentation by Skeleton Tree author Kim Ventrella. Limit 11 participants.

Panelists: Kim Ventrella

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Workshop

Sunday, June 9, 2019 11:00 a.m. | Location: Oklahoma A3

How Heavy is that Sword, Anyway?

Hands-on sword experience for the historical/medieval fantasy writer.

Panelists: Melinda LaFevers

Tracks: Writing & Publication, History

Tags: Workshop

Sunday, June 9, 2019 11:00 a.m. | Location: Sooner A

Body Language: How to Draw an Image in Your Fiction

More than half of our communication occurs through body language, much of which is instinctual rather than conscious. Because of this, non-verbal clues can be hard to recognize and therefore reproduce successfully. This panel discusses techniques to increase your awareness of body language and how to incorporate such descriptions into your fiction.

Panelists: Tex Thompson, Deborah Chester, Linda L. Donahue, Lee Killlough, Trakena Prevost, Tommy B. Smith

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Panel

Sunday, June 9, 2019 Noon | Location: Noble

Readings: Horror

Panelists: Cary Osborne, Rook Riley, Tommy B. Smith, Steven E. Wedel

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Sunday, June 9, 2019 Noon | Location: University C

The Baen Travelling Road Show--with Prizes!

Our survey of art, covers, upcoming works and more.

Panelists: Toni Weisskopf, David Carrico, Wm. Mark Simmons

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: GoH

Sunday, June 9, 2019 Noon | Location: Boomer B

Successful Writing Habits

Writers share their tips for success. Covering everything from how to overcome Writer's Block to what to do when real life interrupts. Let our panelists share some tips.

Panelists: Jan S. Gephardt, Kevin J. Anderson, Rachel Caine, Shayla Raquel, Seth Skorkowsky, Caroline Spector

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Panel

Sunday, June 9, 2019 1:00 p.m. | Location: Noble

Readings: Alternate History

Panelists: Lou Antonelli, David Carrico, Jeff Provine, Adam J. Whitlatch

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Sunday, June 9, 2019 2:00 p.m. | Location: Boomer A

What's in a Nom de Plume?

Why do many authors use a pen name? To hide identity, or to change genres while escaping reader expectations based on the name alone? When is it a good business decision, and how do you go about choosing that new identity?

Panelists: Melinda LaFevers, Kevin J. Anderson, Lou Antonelli, Rachel Caine, Cary Osborne, Steven E. Wedel

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Panel

Sunday, June 9, 2019 2:00 p.m. | Location: Noble

Readings: Fantasy

Panelists: Julia S. Mandala, Dennis McDonald, Laura J. Underwood

Tracks: Writing & Publication

Tags: Reading

Sunday, June 9, 2019 2:00 p.m. | Location: Oklahoma G

Evolving Military SF

Military SF is an ever-evolving genre because the tools of war and social mores change. With the rise of private military companies, and the ability of the extremely wealthy to purchase private armies, it often feels like the real world is coming closer to military SF. But military SF's core is the sense of a team, which has not changed since spears and swords. Our panelists talk about the intersection of technology, fiction, and military culture.

Panelists: Toni Weisskopf, David Carrico, William Leaf, Selina Rosen, Brian Trent

Tracks: Writing & Publication, History, Science Fiction

Tags: Panel

Sunday, June 9, 2019 3:00 p.m. | Location: Oklahoma B1

Build Your Own "Choose Your Ending" Story

Our panelists discuss the nefarious and often emotional media that is the Choose-Your-Own Adventure, while writing one!

Panelists: David "Oak" Rice, vickey malone kennedy, Julia S. Mandala, Kim Ventrella

Tracks: Writing & Publication, Gaming

Tags: Workshop

Sunday, June 9, 2019 3:00 p.m. | Location: Sooner A

Three Types of Magic in Fantasy

There are charms (magic anyone can use with the right chant); invocations (getting a demon or the like to do it for you); and innate magic (it’s part of the magician). Does all magic have the same limits or are the limits flexible? Which is the easiest to use in your story?

Panelists: Linda L. Donahue, A. Lee Martinez, Catherine Cooke Montrose, Adrian Simmons, Christina Stiles, Laura J. Underwood

Tracks: Writing & Publication, Fantasy

Tags: Panel

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