Full program and registration

To register to attend a panel, click on the title

For announcements, you can also follow our Facebook event, and you can join the Vendors’ room Discord!

Make sure to check out our panelists’ excellent books in the Vendors’ Room!

FRIDAY June 5th

3 PM: Authors and Illustrators

What are the What are the different considerations to keep in mind when you want to include art to your writing? How to illustrators work with authors? How can you do both at the same time? How do these things come together, and how do they come in conflict? This panel explores the relationship between author and illustrator.

Susu Leclerc, Kristen Kiomall-Evans, Brianna Tosswill, Talhi Briones

4 PM: Putting the PR in Depression: Indie publishing and mental health

Successfully self-publishing a book goes beyond good writing; you must also learn how to be a good salesperson. This involves tons of networking, clever pitching, and learning how to view what can be your most intimate creative work as a marketable product. When dealing with mental health struggles on top of an already-challenging process, this kind of work can feel nearly impossible. This panel is a place to share our struggles and offer each other strategies for seeing and sharing our valuable stories.

Avi Silver, Nicole Zelniker, Catherine Fitzsimmons, Dianna Gunn

5 PM: Readings

S. M. Carrière and Catherine Fitzsimmons

6 PM: Queer Futurisms

Our panelists discuss bringing queerness into science fiction, and the ways that authors can examine queerness and bring queer characters into narratives of the future. Why is it important to imagine ourselves in the worlds of the future?

Jennifer Lee Rossman, Stephen Graham King, SL Huang, Brian McNett, Elizabeth Hirst, Derek Newman-Stille

7 PM: Authors in Quarantine

It’s been said that Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine. Are authors being more productive now that we have to stay in our homes? Find out what these panelists are doing.

Serdar Yegulalp, Sienna Tristen, Madona Skaff, SL Huang, Kaitlin Caul, Lesley Donaldson

8 PM: Placing short fiction

Where should you send your short fiction, and what do you need to know before you send it? Our panelists, editors of anthologies and magazines, discuss.

Brian Mcnett, Ira Nayman, Laurence R Brothers

SATURDAY June 6th

10 AM: The Apocalypse wasn’t what we expected

From what we’ve seen over the last few weeks, people in apocalyptic-like times are still just people, not characters out of an exaggerated and highly individualistic vision of the future often touted in post-apocalyptic literature and video games. Our panelists discuss other visions for apocalyptic times.

Elizabeth Hirst, Madona Skaff, Shannon Barnsley, SL Huang, Kaitlin Caul

11 AM: Autobiography and Memoir Writing

How is writing a memoir different than writing fiction? Our panelists will examine the differences between fiction and memoir writing, as well as the different kinds of memoirs.

Michele Sabad, Melissa Yuan-Innes, Lesley Donaldson, Jamieson Wolf

12 PM: Bury your Tropes

What are some harmful tropes, and why do they cause harm? Our panelists will call out harmful tropes and offer a different story path.

Jennifer Lee Rossman, ‘Nathan Burgoine, Nicole Zelniker, Shannon Barnsley, Raquel Fletcher, Derek Newman-Stille

1 PM: What is Eco-Fiction and Why Should We Care?

The rise of environmental fiction, both in literature and film, has spawned several sub-genres such as climate fiction, eco-thrillers, eco-mystery, eco-punk, and eco-romance. Is eco-fiction part of science fiction?  In Barbara Kingsolver’s 2012 novel Flight Behavior, climate change plays a major role in a story about people’s beliefs and actions. Environmental catastrophe plays a major role in Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam and Ian McEwan’s Solar. Is eco-fiction simply a new fad or does it reflect a cultural awakening to current environmental issues? What role does eco-fiction play in storytelling and defining ourselves. Who are its readers and why? Should eco-fiction educate? How can an eco-fiction writer prevent it from becoming polemic?

Nina Munteanu, Avi Silver, Stephen B. Pearl, seeley quest

2 PM: Bad Writing Advice: How one size really doesn’t fit all

Is all writing advice created equal, and applicable to all equally? Our panelists discuss why sometimes writing advice isn’t universal.

Cait Gordon, Serdar Yegulalp, Dianna Gunn, Benoit Chartier, Justine Alley Dowsett, Michele Sabad, C.J. Lavigne

3 PM: Building a Mystery

What draws us in and keeps us hooked? Our experts discuss what works and what doesn’t.

Sue Taylor-Davidson, Christine J. Whitlock, Joan Donaldson-Yarmey, Madona Skaff, Kristen Kiomall-Evans, Melissa Yuan-Innes

4 PM: The book was better… or was it? The art of adaptation

Why the book was better, and why it wasn’t. Our panelists discuss the art of adaptation.

Scott Delahunt, SL Huang, Vicki Martin, Ira Nayman

5 PM: Readings

Sandra Gokop and Ellie Presner

6 PM: Online Book Launch

Readings, prizes, signed books, and fun all around.

John Haas, Madona Skaff-Koren, Éric Desmarais, Sue Taylor-Davidson

7 PM: Launching a book during a global crisis

What is it like launching a book right now, with everything going on? What has changed, and what hasn’t? Our panelists, all launching books right now, discuss.

SL Huang, CJ Lavigne, Lesley Donaldson, Catherine Fitzsimmons

8 PM: Formatting for Authors

What are some things you should know if you want to format your own book? Our expert typesetter will teach you the basics of formatting.

Éric Desmarais, Catherine Fitzsimmons

SUNDAY June 7th

10 AM: Reading

Melanie Proulx and Ashley Lanni will read from their children’s book The Bum Drum Conundrum.

10:30 AM : Literary and Genre Fiction: Can’t we all just get along?

Why is there a divide between literary and genre fiction, and between certain fiction genres? What can we do to celebrate all fiction? Is cross-genre fiction changing this?

Paula Johanson, Su J Sokol, Sienna Tristen, ‘Nathan Burgoine, C.J. Lavigne, Laurence R Brothers

11:30 AM: Sense and Sensitivity

Our panelists discuss why own-voice beta readers and editors are so important.

Cait Gordon, Su J Sokol, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Talia C. Johnson, Marie Powell

12:30 PM: Going Deep with Characterization

This panel will address questions such as writing heroes and villains, unreliable narrators, the question of “likeability,” and authenticity.

EC Ambrose, Sue Taylor-Davidson, Su J Sokol, Benoit Chartier, Kate Heartfield, Melissa Yuan-Innes

1:30 PM: Speculating on Queer Worlds

Many writers are now taking the important step of including LGBTQ+ representation in their fiction–but what does it mean to build queer worlds? This panel will include discussions on the assignment of gender, the need (or lack thereof) to include things like homophobia and transphobia in worldbuilding, “historical accuracy”, and what we imagine queer futures to look like.

Avi Silver, Kate Heartfield, MJ Lyons, SL Huang, Talhi Briones, Talia C. Johnson

2:30 PM: Writing a Novel in a Month

With Camp NaNoWriMo just behind us, and two more events coming up later this year, our panelists discuss the pros and cons, as well as the nitty gritty, of writing a novel in a month.

Patrick Logan, Bruce Gordon, Kaitlin Caul, Margaret Hanson, Kim McCarthy, Helena Verdier

3:30 PM: Disabled Literature

Disabled authors are defining their heroes, and redefining what it means to live as a disabled person. Listen to our panelists recommend their favorite reads in the genre.

Jamieson Wolf, Nicole Zelniker, Shannon Barnsley, Stephen B. Pearl, seeley quest

4:30 PM: When Humour’s Funny

Knowing when to hit that beat and when to pull back can be difficult. What makes a joke funny or not? How do humour fiction authors walk that line?

Cait Gordon, Ira Nayman, Margaret Hanson, John Haas, Talia C. Johnson, L. B. Lewis

5:30 PM: Mirror Comics Studios 5th Anniversary event

MCS founder and principal, multi-award-nominated author-artist and mental health survivor, Dominic Bercier, emerges from his 5 year hermit mystique, reading an audio-visual presentation of “The Ballad of Jimmy and Rose,” a new 24-hour comic about an empath and a jerk, and “SIGNAL Saga” with inks by C.S. Yeung (inker of “Runaways”), a new series featuring neurodivergent superheroes and songs by ‘Scat, Lead and Best!’

Dominic Bercier

6:30 PM: Lost in Translation

How does translating a book affect the way it’s perceived? What makes translation limiting, and what makes it an enriching experience?

Chih-Ying Lay, Talhi Briones, Su J Sokol

7:30 PM: The nuts and bolts of podcasting

Finding your niche when you don’t have an existing brand to lean on; the process of starting a podcast; choosing episode topics; favourite tools—quality on a budget; our biggest challenges—these are all the topics our podcaster panelists will discuss and answer your questions!

Margaret Hanson, Vicki Martin, Nina Munteanu