WRITING & PUBLISHING Panels & Workshops for ConGlomeration 2019

Star Wars - The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn

ConGlomeration’s 2019 Writing & Publishing lineup, featuring Author Guest of Honor Timothy Zahn, includes:

  • Interviews with award-winning professional authors
  • Panels and workshops that hone your writing techniques
  • Panel discussions on how to succeed as a professional writer
  • Discussions on the state of the sci-fi and fantasy book genres
  • All the excuses to talk Star Wars we can find

The programs listed below will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville, KY during Easter weekend — April 19-21 — as part of ConGlomeration 2019.

If you want to spend an entire weekend talking sci-fi & fantasy writing with both fans and professionals — ConGlomeration 2019 is the place to be.

Interested in more than just writing? You can view our full program lineup here.


Want to spend Easter weekend honing your genre writing skills? Register for ConGlomeration 2019!


Friday, April 19

Star Wars Screenplay

“Writing Compelling Dialog”
1pm | Perry
Ever wonder how writers manage that witty line or perfect turn of phrase as their characters mouth off to each other on the page? Join us to discuss the ins and outs of writing authentic and compelling dialog.

“Writing Compelling Characters”
2pm | Perry
From Doctor Who to Han Solo, to Spock, these fictional characters speak to us and move us, making their stories epic in a way that can’t be put into words. Come join us to discuss what makes a compelling character and how to write characters that will have your readers rooting for them long after they’ve put the book down.

WORKSHOP: “Short Fiction Dive Board”
3pm | Perry
Are you a short story writer? Have you wanted to submit your work online, but don’t know where to start or how? This workshop will give you a quick 101 lesson on submitting short fiction to markets — including how to find markets, submission etiquette, navigating short story contracts, and more. Once we’ve gone through the basics, we can go through the steps of submission together to submit your work to your chosen market!

Participation in the submission portion is not mandatory, but if you would like to submit a story during the latter half of the workshop, please bring an internet-capable device and a digital copy of a story you would like to submit.

“Dissecting Star Wars”
4pm | Elliott
The Star Wars franchise is a worldwide phenomenon that has captured the imaginations of millions. But what about the story has made it so successful? Why do we love the world and characters so? Join Author Guest of Honor Timothy Zahn and a panel of Star Wars enthusiasts to dissect the universe and find out what has made it what it is today.

WORKSHOP: “Worldbuilding in Sci-Fi & Fantasy”
4pm | Perry
An introductory workshop designed to get your feet wet in the ocean of worldbuilding. Structured to help inspire you to build better worlds for your books, games, etc. Includes general information, tips, resources, and a collaborative worldbuilding session to put things into practice.

“Writing Great Plot Twists”
5pm | Elliott
If you’ve ever read any of Author Guest of Honor Timothy Zahn‘s books, you’ve read a great plot twist. Zahn is a master of weaving intriguing stories with rich plots that inevitably blindside you with a brilliant twist at the end. Join us as we ply Timothy Zahn with questions and get to the bottom of how, exactly, he writes such great twists.

“Author Readings”
5pm | Perry
A collection of our Attending Authors will read from one of their published works. Looking to find your next great sci-fi or fantasy book obsession? This is the place!

“Writing Science Fiction”
7pm | Perry
From Asimov to Zahn, from Star Wars to Star Trek, science fiction has been our geek culture’s bread and butter for decades. Join experts in the writing field to talk about the important elements of writing science fiction and how to get started yourself.

“ConGlomeration 2019 Opening Ceremonies and Guests of Honor Meet & Greet”
8pm | Elliott
Join us in welcoming the 2019 Guests of Honor — including Author Timothy Zahn — for our big Fandom Family Reunion. Come see who’s here and learn what we’ve got planned for this year’s festivities!

“Writer/Artist ConGlomeration, Part 1: The Inspiration”
10pm | Oldham
Artists, bring an image to serve as a story prompt. Writers, bring a flash fiction piece of 1000 words or less to inspire an art piece. Artist or writer, leave with a piece of inspiration, and return with a completed image or flash-fiction piece Saturday night to show off the results of your unspoken collaboration.


Want to be a part of Easter author extravaganza? Register for ConGlomeration 2019!


Saturday, April 20

Star Wars - Thrawn Alliances by Timothy Zahn

“Author Readings”
8am | Perry
A collection of our Attending Authors will read from one of their published works. Looking to find your next great sci-fi or fantasy book obsession? This is the place!

“To Self-Publish, or Go Traditional?”
9am | Perry
These days, publishing options run the gambit from the do-it-yourself world of self-publishing to the high gates of traditional publishing. But which path should you choose? At this panel, hear from authors both traditionally published and self-published to learn more about which path is right for you.

“Writing Thrawn”
10am | Perry
It’s the character we all know and love (or love to hate), the brilliant admiral, the wily tactician, the chilling villain. Join us as we hear from Author Guest of Honor Timothy Zahn about what went into the creation of this iconic character and what the future holds for our very own Admiral Thrawn.

“Finding Your People: Why Writing Groups Matter”
11am | Perry
Good writing is not made in a vacuum, but lucky for us, connecting with other writers has never been easier! This panel will explore the myriad of ways you can find your people: whether that’s finding an existing group, creating your own, or turning to the internet to find your writing tribe.

“A World in an Hour”
11am | Elliott
Hosted by Brian Cooksey (Play On Target and Armor Goes Clank). An audience-participation exercise which will produce a setting suitable for gaming or fiction.

“Success as an Indie Author”
1pm | Perry
Trying to make it as an independent author can be confusing and not a little frightening. Everything depends on you, and it’s up to you to make or break yourself in the field. Join some successful indie authors as they discuss ways to set yourself up for success and build your platform so that you can write stories you love and sell them to people who will love them just as much.

“Writing As A Career”
2pm | Perry
Writing as a career is not for the faint of heart, nor for the lover of sleep, sanity, or a steady income. Yet there are those possessed with a certain passion who have forged ahead anyway. Join us to hear from several career authors — including Author Guest of Honor Timothy Zahn — on how they got to where they were and how they make the life work for them.

“SIGMA Sci-Fi Think Tank”
3pm | Perry
SIGMA is the science fiction think tank founded by Dr. Arlan Andrews, Sr., when he worked at the White House Science Office where 40 science fiction and game writers provide futurism consulting to the US government. Come listen to Dr. Andrews recount his experience with the organization.

“The Care and Feeding of Your Editor”
4pm | Perry
An author’s relationship with their editor/s is vital to the success of a story. Knowing how to self edit effectively, as well as implement the edits suggested to you by your editor, takes time and practice. Join several professional editors as they discuss the principles of editing and how to get the most from your editor so that your story becomes the best it can be.

“Don’t Quit Your Day Job”
5pm | Perry
Even some of the most well known professional authors have day jobs, and some of the most niche indie authors have made writing their full time profession. Before you decide to become a full time writer, a few seasoned professionals speak some hard truths and encouraging possibilities of life as a full-time wordsmith.

“Writing Collaboratively”
7pm | Perry
What does it take to write collaboratively? How do multiple authors logistically share one piece of work? Who writes what parts? How do you stop yourself from killing your writing partner? Authors who have written collaborative works will share their answers to these common questions and problems.

“Writing Fantasy”
8pm | Perry
Fantasy fiction has shaped our culture from ancient myths and fairy tales to current blockbusters and cult-followed classics. Join a panel of fantasy authors to discuss the elements of great fantasy writing and how to make your fantasy story the masterpiece it deserves to be.

“Author Readings”
9pm | Perry
A collection of our Attending Authors will read from one of their published works. Looking to find your next great sci-fi or fantasy book obsession? This is the place!

“Writer/Artist ConGlomeration, Part 2: The Exhibition”
10pm | Oldham
Artists, bring your completed images (or scupltures) in response to a Friday story prompt. Writers, bring a flash fiction piece of 1000 words in response to a Friday art piece. Audience, revel in the talents and of those who churned out a tiny scrap or creative awesome in just a day, whilst also conning.


Want to spend three days in the company of professional sci-fi & fantasy writers? Register for ConGlomeration 2019!


Sunday, April 21

Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus by Lydia Sherrer

“I Wrote a Book! Now What?”
10am | Perry
Are you an aspiring author, or perhaps just thinking about wanting to be an author? It can be confusing and difficult to get started, so come join a panel of self published authors to discuss tips on how to get started with such things as cover art, editing, getting your book on Amazon, and more!

“Freelancing for Game Publishers”
10am | Franklin
Hosted by Melissa Gay (Artist) and Carol Darnell (Writer/Editor). Experienced games contributors explore what it takes to freelance creative work for games, and delve into some of how the business works.

“Weird West, Steampunk, Dieselpunk: Mixing History with Sci-Fi & Fantasy”
11am | Perry
Interested in recreating the past? Action-adventure, mystery, chills, thrills and machines that never were! If you’d like to know more about Steampunk and related genres, this is the place to be.

“Querying Agents & Traditional Publishers”
12pm | Perry
Are you interested in submitting your work to a traditional publisher, but don’t know how to approach them? Join Lynn West, publisher at Dreamspinner Press, to discuss successful strategies for getting your work noticed by agents and traditional publishers.

“Guests of Honor: Last Call”
1pm | Elliott
Final chance to say farewell to the 2019 Guests of Honor as well as a sneak peak at what we have planned for 2020. Come say adieu, get that last autograph, and get the scoop on what’s ahead. (If you haven’t met Author Guest of Honor Timothy Zahn by now, this is your last chance!)


Want to overdose on writing advice over a long weekend? Register for ConGlomeration 2019!


Programming questions?
Contact our Programming Directors [programming@conglomeration.info]