June 25-26: WD’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy Online Conference

Publish date:

Don't miss your chance to attend WD's one-of-a-kind Science Fiction & Fantasy Online Writing Conference! On June 25 and 26, Writer's Digest University will provide expert insights from SEVEN award-winning and best-selling authors on the finer points of how to write within the science fiction and fantasy genres. Spend the weekend learning techniques for honing your craft from seven different published authors, then (if you choose) pitch your novel via query letter to a literary agent specifically looking for material in these genres. The agent will provide you with a personalized critique of your query – and maybe ask to see more.

Experience the education, camaraderie, and opportunities provided by a live writing conference without ever having to leave your home!

All Participants Will Benefit From:

  • SEVEN all-new, one-hour webinar presentations provided by award-winning and best-selling science fiction and fantasy authors, all examining different aspects of writing novels in these genres. Each session will include an opportunity for live Q&A with the authors!
  • A critique (with written feedback) of your query letter from an agent with experience in the science fiction and fantasy genres.
  • A bonus 90-minute On Demand webinar covering how to write a query letter so you’re prepared when pitching your novel to agents. (A $79.99 value!)
  • The ability to network with fellow science fiction and fantasy writers via discussion boards that will be open throughout the weekend. Share ideas, and even your work if you choose.
  • Unlimited OnDemand viewing! All conference sessions will be made available for download in the week following the live presentations. Even if you can’t attend every session live, you will be able to view each lecture on your own whenever you choose.

Learn Valuable Techniques to Hone Your Craft

Our craft-focused conference schedule is designed to provide the kind of education that all science fiction and fantasy writers can use to take their work to the next level. The following sessions are confirmed for the event.

Small Press, Big Five, or Self-Publishing: Choosing the Best Path for Your Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel by Michael J. Sullivan

In this session, Michael J. Sullivan, veteran of all three publishing paths, will discuss the pros and cons of each, and how to determine which is the best for you. He'll cover everything from traditional publishing contract clauses to look out for, and what it takes to successfully self-publish.

Microworldbuilding: Advanced Techniques for Science Fiction & Fantasy Writing by N. K. Jemisin

You've got your planet, technology, and magic systems down pat, but how do you populate your world with plausible societies and individuals? Join award-winning fantasy author N. K. Jemisin for a deep-dive discussion on social science, power dynamics, and how identity is not the same thing as personality.

The Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction by K.M. Weiland

The best way to get your speculative novel right is to first know how to avoid getting it wrong. In this 60-minute session, award-winning fantasy author K.M. Weiland shares the top five mistakes authors make in creating their speculative worlds and building their stories.

Raising the Stakes: How to Keep Readers Hooked on a Series by Jeff Wheeler

This class will discuss how to increase the sense of jeopardy and conflict in a story that will make your characters more interesting, the plot more riveting, your villains more menacing, and the setting more intense—while influencing your readers to delay putting the book down in order to read just "one more chapter!"

The Secrets to Steampunk: Getting Published in Today's Most Unique Science Fiction & Fantasy Genre by Tee Morris

Learn from recent works what steampunk has become, find out what makes steampunk different from other science fiction, and finally look at the commercial value and publishing options of the genre.

Crafting Compelling, Three-Dimensional Female Characters in Science Fiction & Fantasy by Pip Ballantine

The days of cardboard cut-out women in genre are long gone. Learn how to give your readers the kind of female characters that will keep them turning those pages, wanting to share in their journey.

First, the Dragon Attacks: Writing Gripping Opening Scenes in Science Fiction and Fantasy by Philip Athans

You have one chance to make a first impression, so learn how to make that opening paragraph count! In this session, you’ll learn the qualities of a gripping first sentence and paragraph, the principal of in media res, and how to keep your readers engaged by recognizing what they need to know in the moment.

Pitch Your Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel to a Literary Agent

Join us for the live event and have a chance to get written feedback on your query letter from a literary agent who works with science fiction and fantasy authors. Participating agents include Kurestin Armada (P.S. Literary), Moe Ferrara (BookEnds Literary Agency), Jennie Goloboy (Red Sofa Literary), and Lane Heymont (The Seymour Agency).

Register now to join us for this unique online event!

Poetic Forms

Mistress Bradstreet Stanza: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the Mistress Bradstreet stanza, an invented form of John Berryman.


Capital vs. Capitol (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use capital vs. capitol with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.


On Writing to Give Grief Meaning and Write Out of Challenging Situations

Author Lily Dulan explains why writers have to be willing to go to difficult places inside themselves for their writing to make a positive impact on ourselves, others, and the world.


Gerald Brandt: Toeing the Line Between Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Science fiction author Gerald Brandt explains how this new series explores the genre boundary and how he came to find his newest book's focus.


Plot Twist Story Prompts: Moment of Doubt

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character experience a moment of doubt.


Caitlin O'Connell: Finding Connection and Community in Animal Rituals

In this post, Dr. Caitlin O'Connell shares what prompted her to write a book about finding connection and community in animal rituals, what surprised her in the writing process, and much more!


New Agent Alert: Zeynep Sen of WordLink Literary Agency

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Zeynep Sen of WordLink Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.


Mark Henick: On Memory, Healing, and Languishing Projects

Author Mark Henick shares how he was able to turn a successful TEDx talk into a memoir, even when the project didn't come as quickly as he expected.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 553

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a do-over poem.