If you haven’t heard of Realm Makers, where have you been?
In truth, Realm Makers, a conference for speculative writers with a Christian worldview, is still in its infancy. This year marks only the third annual event. But clearly, word is out. Enrollment in 2015 has doubled, an amazing accomplishment in such a short period of time.One reason for the growth, I suspect, is the quality of the faculty presenters who organizer Becky Minor has lined up. Last year, you may recall, the keynote speaker was Tosca Lee, a highly-touted novelist known for such works as Demon: A Memoir, Havah, and Iscariot along with the Book Of Mortals series she co-authored with Ted Dekker.
This year’s line-up is no less impressive, starting with keynote speaker Robert Liparulo, an author of such books as Comes a Horseman, Germ, and The 13th Tribe, as well as a number of young adult titles.
In addition, Realm Makers will take on the format which seems to work for so many other conferences: a concentrated study of one particular topic throughout the conference in addition to a variety of interspersed workshops.
This year’s Intensive Workshops are Worldbuilding, taught by the queen of Christian speculative fiction, Donita Paul and her daughter, Evangelina Denmark, a speculative author in her own right; Editing to Greatness, taught by acclaimed author and teacher David Farland; Marketing For Authors, taught by the experienced team of Suzanne and Shawn Kuhn, Julie Gwinn, and Amanda Luedeke.
The single-session workshop teachers include writers such as Jill Williamson, Robert Treskillard, and Mike Duran, and other writing professionals such as agent/publisher Steve Laube, magazine publisher Ben Wolfe, and artist Kirk DouPonce (see the entire list of faculty at the Realm Maker’s site).
Along with writing and marketing instruction, the conference offers some additional opportunities. On the first day there will be an editor/agent panel and an award’s dinner where the winner of the Clive Staples Award and of the Escape short story contest will be named. The conference closes on day two with a Fight Panel/Zombie Apocalypse/Game Tables—all sounding very speculative indeed!
All of these shenanigans and serious moments of instruction take place in St. Louis, MO, on the campus of the University of Missouri in less than two weeks. The actual conference is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, August 7-8, but there are also a few “early bird” activities Thursday afternoon and evening, most notably a workshop on the Irresistible Novel taught by Jeff Gerke.
Another factor which I believe makes Realm Makers such an attractive writers’ event is that it is so affordable. Those who signed up early received a whopping $100 discount, paying only $299 for the entire two day conference (the inexpensive, $25-a-night housing at the university not included).
Of course the other big draw is that the other conferees will be like-minded writers who love God and love speculative fiction. What’s not to like about a conference like this?
So who all is going?
Who all wants to start making plans now for next year’s Realm Makers conference? (Put me down on that list!)