Top Three Joys We Expect At Realm Makers 2017

We’ve asked conference guests: what are the top three joys we expect at Realm Makers 2017?
on Jul 6, 2017 · 2 comments

Suddenly, the Realm Makers 2017 conference is upon us, less than a month away.

This time the convention is bigger.

This time the five-year-old convention’s possibilities have grown.

This time it’s moved from college campuses to the Atlantis Resort in Reno, Nevada.

Since its first conference in St. Louis in 2013, Realm Makers has become the prime conference for Christians who create, publish, and publicize fantastical stories.

Modern Christian speculative fiction fandom isn’t very old. But it’s quickly outgrowing the so-far-limited internet circles of people who say they want more of it. Realm Makers is a big part of that. Now we can make it personal. Now we can actually go beyond the blogs.

If you make these stories, you’ll want to be there.

If you’re a fan of these stories, you’ll want to keep up either way.

Realm Makers 2017

I’ve reached out to Realm Makers guests and organizers to ask this question:

What are the top three joys I expect at Realm Makers 2017?

  1. I’m expecting a burst of inspiration (read: a kick in the pants to write more).
  2. I’m expecting to be challenged with new thoughts and practices for my craft.
  3. I’m expecting joy from being with the friends I’ve made over past conferences, and the new ones I make this year.

Josh R. Smith,

  1. Being with my tribe.
  2. Learning new things.
  3. Refreshing old ideas.

Cindy Emmet Smith,

  1. Meeting all my Internet writer kin.
  2. Geeking out.
  3. Learning new skillz!

Novelist Steve Rzasa,

  1. Meeting my online writer friends for the first time.
  2. Learning to improve my craft.
  3. Learning more about how the publishing industry works.

Heather Halverstadt

  1. Reuniting with old friends.
  2. Connecting with new friends.
  3. Finding new opportunities to help writers and other publishing professionals to #SHINEBeyond!

Ralene Burke, Realm Makers marketing director and advisory board member,

  1. Meeting new people who talk Writer-Speak.
  2. Learning new skills.
  3. Relishing the fun atmosphere of fellow geeks who like to play dress-up.

Norma Warrick,

  1. Meeting Facebook friends
  2. Meeting the presenters.
  3. Meeting the people from whom I got excerpts for my homeschool textbook, Writing Speculative Fiction: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, and then getting them to sign my copy! It’s because of Realm Makers that I wrote it.

Lelia Rose Foreman,

  1. Reuniting (or meeting for the first time!) with treasured friends
  2. Soaking up wisdom and encouragement from established authors and other publishing professionals.
  3. The adrenaline rush of the Nerf battle!

Bethany A. Jennings, author, organizer of #WIPjoy,

  1. Seeing the friends I haven’t seen since last year.
  2. Costume party!
  3. Networking and pitching manuscripts, new and old.

Avily Jerome, writer, editor of Havok Magazine,

  1. To learn during the sessions
  2. To learn from people one-on-one
  3. To have fun.

Celesta Thiessen

  1. Social connection. The #1 reason I went to my first RM was to find Christians I could relate to and maybe some new friends. The spec fic aspect was a filter to narrow the field.
  2. Creative energy. There are few highs like the high of a large group of creatives all enthusing together. I need to store it away for future need.
  3. Networking. Not the same as #1, as this is more business-oriented, though of course business is always personal too!

Laura VanArendonk Baugh,

  1. Meeting fellow authors! I love taking submissions and hearing about awesome stories. Makes me super-happy to learn about all of the possibilities.
  2. Connecting with other speculative fiction writers/professionals and discussing new possible ventures.
  3. I hear there’s supposed to be some epic gaming happening…

Janeen Ippolito, fearless leader of Uncommon Universes Press,

  1. Being with my tribe.
  2. Watching the newbies as they realise this is their tribe, too, and as they embrace what it means to let their geek out and be not only accepted, but loved for it.
  3. Representing New Zealand! (not alone this time!)

Grace Bridges,

  1. My son is attending. This will be the first time I’ve seen him in person in four years. All other joys pale by comparison.

Kristen Stieffel, Realm Makers registrar

  1. Meeting people.
  2. Learning things.
  3. Getting to get away from my everyday life for a few days.

Reneé D. Le Vine

  1. Encouragement, laughter, and memories made with friends new and old.
  2. Soaking in ideas, wisdom, and tools of the trade from those who’ve worked this path before me.
  3. Nerf. War.

Becky Metcalf, upcoming author of the Stones of Terrene series,

  1. Seeing friends and meeting new friends.
  2. Traveling with my wife, Lacy, for our first working vacation.
  3. Deo volente, surprises.

E. Stephen Burnett, editor of Speculative Faith,

Are you going to Realm Makers 2017, or plan to go another year?

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.
  1. Tracey Dyck says:

    I’ll be there for the first time this year! I’m looking forward to meeting some of my internet writing buddies, soaking in the enthusiasm of a whole group of writers in one place, learning new skills, and pitching my novel. 😀

  2. Jonathan Lovelace says:

    I first heard about Realm Makers back in 2014, only a couple of months before that year’s event, and I would have had to have skipped the last couple of sessions of a class I was taking to have gone. And Philadelphia seemed a long way to go just for a weekend, so I said to myself, “Maybe next year, if I can afford it or I have something I can show off there.”

    The next year, I think it was in St. Louis, *almost* close enough that I would consider going even though my budget didn’t really support such an excursion and my writing wasn’t ready to show off yet. But I said to myself, “Maybe next year,” and I thought about how they might even pick one of the more nearby colleges that I knew hosted events sometimes (Calvin College in Grand Rapids, my alma mater, and the even closer Concordia University in Ann Arbor).

    And then Realm Makers went out West for two years. Even if I had finished my first novel (as I hope to be at least within striking distance of doing by this time next year), I wouldn’t have been able to make that long a trip.

    But I hope to be able to attend Realm Makers some year in the future, when either it returns to somewhere within extended driving distance of Michigan, or my budget will allow for the greater expense of longer-distance travel.

What do you think?