Realm Makers Begins Virtual Conference This Week for Hundreds of Fantasy Creators

This annual conference serves faith-based authors in fantastical genres.
on Jul 14, 2020 · No comments

POTTSTOWN, Pa., July 14, 2020—Realm Makers, the leading organization to serve faith-based writers of fantasy, science fiction and other fantastical genres, will start its first virtual conference this Thursday, July 16.1

Hundreds of writers will use a custom Discord server to enter a digital convention center, chat and lounge, and make their way to partitioned classrooms and meeting areas. In a virtual vendor hall, publishers and other creatives can mingle with other members. Using other platforms, such as Crowdcast and Zoom, conference-goers will explore and help develop the growing market of Christian-made fantastical novels—whether published independently or from traditional Christian publishers.

Authors will also gather in the simulated grand ballroom for keynote addresses.  Three authors will serve as keynote speakers: Thomas Locke, whose books have sold over 8 million copies worldwide and have been optioned for TV adaptations; C. J. Redwine, New York Times bestselling author of YA fantasy novels such as the Ravenspire series; and N. D. Wilson, bestselling author of the 100 Cupboards trilogy and Ashtown Burials series. They will be joined on the conference faculty by many imaginative and bestselling fiction authors. Our 2020 Realm Award winners will join our faculty in a public event called Author LIVE, a virtual author Q and A on Saturday, July 18 from 4–7:30 p.m. (EDT).

Attendees will choose from nearly forty classes taught by industry professionals, including agents and independent publishers, who will cover the business and creative sides of novel writing. Teen writers can also sign up for their own course taught by Bryan Davis (Dragons in Our Midst series, Let the Ghosts Speak).

At 7:30 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, July 17, anyone can join attendees and faculty to view the awards ceremony. Guests can wear costumes and enjoy dinner (from their own homes or meeting sites), while Realm Makers organizers announce nominees and winners in several categories for the best novels released in 2019.

Explore more at

Realm Award and Parable Award nominees

The Realm Award celebrates the best in 2019’s fantastical fiction in eight categories. Each title will compete for the Realm Award in its category. Meanwhile, the top five overall scores from all categories will be judged for a final Book of the Year award. The Parable Award honors the best book cover designs.

Realm Award, fantasy

  • Fire Dancer, Catherine Jones Payne, Fathom Ink Press
  • The Story Raider, Lindsay Franklin, Enclave Publishing
  • Seventh City, Emily Hayse, Hayse Publishing

Realm Award, horror/other

  • Amish Werewolves of Space, Kerry Nietz, Freeheads
  • Last Hope, Joshua C. Chadd, Blade of Truth
  • Solitary Man, Eric Landfried, Ambassador International

Realm Award, science fiction

  • A Single Light, Tosca Lee, Howard Books/Simon & Schuster
  • Brand of Light, Ronie Kendig, Enclave Publishing
  • The Line Between, Tosca Lee, Howard Books/Simon & Schuster

Realm Award, supernatural/paranormal

  • As Far Away as Possible, Barry Napier, Elk Lake Publishing
  • Mercury on Guard, Steve Rzasa, independent
  • The End of the Dream, RJ Conte, independent

Realm Award, young adult

  • Romanov, Nadine Brandes, Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins
  • To Best the Boys, Mary Weber, Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins
  • Fire Dancer, Catherine Jones Payne, Fathom Ink Press

Realm Award, middle grade

  • The Lure of the Grove: The First Hymn of the Starsinger Canticles,
    Sharon Keller Johnson, Rhino Smacker Press
  • Iggy & Oz: The Plastic Dinos of Doom, J. J. Johnson, Dark Side Geeks
  • The Clockwork Dragon, James Hannibal, Simon & Schuster

Realm Award, children’s

  • Hello Ninja, N. D. Wilson, HarperCollins
  • The Knight in Battered Armor, Brianna Tibbetts, Redemption Press
  • Willoughby Goes a Wee Bit Batty, Pam Halter, Fruitbearer Publishing

Realm Award, debut

  • Circus Phantasm, Naomi P. Cohen, independent
  • Keen: Banshee Song Series, Book One, Laura L. Zimmerman, Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing
  • Fyrian’s Fire, Emily Jeffries, Sheepgate Press

Parable Award nominees

  • Airfoil: Origins, Steve Rzasa, cover by Kirk DouPonce
  • Heart of the Curiosity, H. L. Burke, cover by Austin Lord
  • The Story Raider, Lindsay Franklin, cover by Kirk DouPonce
  • Thirst, Jill Williamson, cover by Emilie Hendryx Haney
  • To Ashes We Run, Just B. Jordan, cover by Damonza

About Realm Makers: Realm Makers began in 2013, and from small origins has grown to serve thousands of Christian fiction authors at annual conferences, whose faculties have included bestselling novelists such as Ted Dekker, Tosca Lee, Brent Weeks, and N. D. Wilson. Realm Makers exists to help creative Christians in their journeys, providing education in craft, connections with industry professionals, and strategies for finding readers who love these kinds of stories. Meanwhile, the Realm Makers Bookstore offers a curated collection of speculative fiction from Christian authors, traveling to events such as renaissance fairs and homeschool conventions.

  1. This article is taken verbatim the official press release for Realm Makers, announcing this week’s conference. Edited since the original posting.
E. Stephen Burnett explores fantastical stories for God’s glory as publisher of and its weekly Fantastical Truth podcast. He coauthored The Pop Culture Parent and creates other resources for fans and families, serving with his wife, Lacy, in their central Texas church. Stephen's first novel, a science-fiction adventure, launches in 2025 from Enclave Publishing.

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