Event:

2023 Speculative Fiction Festival

Saturday 24 June 2023
10:00am – 5:00pm
Callan Park, Lilyfield

Tickets to the Speculative Fiction Festival have now SOLD OUT. Please join the waitlist here, and you will be contacted in the case that any tickets become available.

 

The 2023 Speculative Fiction Festival will explore fantasy, science-fiction, dystopia, horror, and the myriad subgenres within the literature of imagination without borders.

Leading authors, publishers, editors, and agents will discuss craft, process, and opportunities, and offer valuable insights and tips on every aspect of publishing.

Attendees can listen to writers from the genre discuss how horror can be hopeful, hear all about hybrid authorship in the age of publishing scarcity, and sign up on the day for a ‘Kaffeeklatsch’: an intimate chat with our knowledgeable guests to ask them your burning questions. Networking drinks will be held from 5-6pm on the verandah.

The program has been curated by festival director Alan Baxter, multi-award-winning author of horror, supernatural thrillers, and dark fantasy.

Scroll down to see the program schedule or download the festival program.


More Information

Ordering Your Ticket

There are four different ticket options for you to choose from. As there are no cafes in Callan Park, attendees have the option to purchase their ticket with lunch included for an extra $16.00. Attendees who want to purchase the festival ticket only will need to bring their own lunch. Please see the lunch options here.

Ticket types:

  • Festival only
  • Festival + Lunch 1: Smoked Salmon Green Goddess Salad Bowl
  • Festival + Lunch 2: Vegan Falafel Beetroot Tahini Bowl
  • Festival + Lunch 3: Chicken Vietnamese Salad Bowl

Ticket purchases that include lunch have now closed.

Please note that attendees consent to their filming and sound recording as members of the audience. By purchasing a ticket to this event you agree to being filmed or photographed, which may be used for marketing or promotional purposes.

Members should be advised that they are limited to purchasing one ticket at their member price. If you would like to bring a friend who isn’t a member, they will need to book their own ticket and pay full price. Please contact us if you need assistance.

Please refer to the cancellation policy for Writing NSW events and courses.

Getting There

Writing NSW is located in Callan Park, Lilyfield. It’s accessible by bus and light rail, and there is parking available on-site. Writing NSW is walking distance from either Lilyfield light rail stops. We recommend you take the Wharf Rd or Glendale Dr entrance (as there are currently roadworks happening on Balmain Road opposite Cecily Street) and follow the orange signs to Writing NSW in Callan Park. On Google Maps, our location is listed as “Writing NSW”. For more information about how to get here please refer to our website here.

Bookseller

Better Read Than Dead will be selling titles from the festival speakers on the day, and there will be opportunities for book signings.

Covid Safety

If you are feeling unwell and experiencing any COVID-related symptoms on the day of the festival, you must stay at home and contact us to let us know. As an attendee, you will be required to follow all COVID safety measures in place by Writing NSW to ensure the health and wellbeing of our community. These measures are subject to change in response to the COVID situation and health advice.


More from Writing NSW

Check out our full range of in-person writing courses in Sydney, our online writing courses and our feedback programs to see how we can help you on your writing journey. Find out about our grants and prizes, as well as writing groups across NSW, and sign up to our weekly newsletter for writing events, opportunities and giveaways.

This event has already taken place.

Program

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9 am
10 am
11 am
12 pm
1 pm
2 pm
3 pm
4 pm
5 pm
Patrick White Room
Patrick White Room
Writing with Passion
10:00 am - 10:45 am

Deborah Abela talks to Belinda Murrell about the highs and lows of Deborah’s career, her passions, inspiration, writing process, and being part of a writing community.

In Conversation with Garth Nix
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Garth Nix in conversation with Alan Baxter

He’s worked in a bookshop, been a sales rep, publicist and senior editor at HarperCollins, a marketing consultant, a literary agent with Curtis Brown (Australia) and is now one of Australia’s most successful full-time authors. Is there nothing Garth Nix hasn’t done in publishing? Alan Baxter will pick Garth’s brains about all his experiences and find out Garth’s best tips for emerging and established writers alike.

There Are Other Worlds Than These
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
With Maria Lewis, TR Napper, Rochelle Fernandez and Kristyn Maslog-Levis (Chair)

Expanded Worldbuilding – lands and cultures in Sci-fi and Fantasy beyond the borders of what we’ve come to expect. With Kristyn Maslog-Levis (Chair), Maria Lewis, TR Napper, and Rochelle Fernandez.

Kaffeeklatsches
12:15 pm - 12:45 pm

Sign up on the day for an intimate chat with our knowledgeable guests and ask them your burning questions about writing practice, getting published, and the business of being a writer. With Maria Lewis, TR Napper, Garth Nix, Cat Sparks, Kaaron Warren, and Scott Wilson.

Lunch
12:45 pm - 1:45 pm

Editors, Agents and Publishers, Oh My!
1:45 pm - 2:45 pm
With Author, TR Napper (Chair); Agent, Rochelle Fernandez; Editor, Abigail Nathan; and Publisher, Anna Valdinger.

Do you need one? How do you get one? What can they do for you? Editors, agents and publishers will be interviewed by an author to discuss what they do, what they’re looking for, and their major tips for submissions. With Author, TR Napper (Chair); Agent, Rochelle Fernandez; Editor, Abigail Nathan; and Publisher, Anna Valdinger.

Hopeful Futures in Times of Plague and Change
2:45 pm - 3:45 pm
With Richard Harland, Cat Sparks, JS Breukelaar and Joanne Anderton (Chair)

Do we need more optimistic speculative fiction? Is it more necessary when the world is going through darker times than usual? With ongoing threats of climate change, pandemics and political unrest, the panel will discuss the need for more positive escapism and emboldening calls to action through fiction. With Joanne Anderton (Chair), Richard Harland, Cat Sparks, and JS Breukelaar.

Is The Future Hybrid?
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
With Mitchell Hogan, Abigail Nathan, Garth Nix, Anna Valdinger and Alan Baxter (Chair)

Is hybrid authorship the best way forward? No more putting all your eggs in one basket. With all the options of the modern age and the reality of publishing success, or lack of it, the panel will discuss the many paths of publication open to authors these days. With Alan Baxter (Chair), Mitchell Hogan, Abigail Nathan, Garth Nix, and Anna Valdinger.

Judith Wright Room
Judith Wright Room
Writing Across Media and Medium
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
With Andrew Frost, Rik Lagarto and Ally Burnham (Chair)

Cross media writing: Prose beyond the printed page. Publishing speculative fiction in other formats – screen, comics, interactive online, games and more. With Ally Burnham (Chair), Andrew Frost, and Rik Lagarto.

Kaffeeklatsches
12:15 pm - 12:45 pm

Sign up on the day for an intimate chat with our knowledgeable guests and ask them your burning questions about writing practice, getting published, and the business of being a writer. With Maria Lewis, TR Napper, Garth Nix, Cat Sparks, Kaaron Warren, and Scott Wilson.

Lunch
12:45 pm - 1:45 pm

Dark Fiction for Dark Times
1:45 pm - 2:45 pm
With JS Breukelaar, Anthony O'Connor, Kaaron Warren and J Ashley-Smith (Chair)

Horror’s great renaissance – is it because the world is so bad right now? How can horror be hopeful and inspiring, especially when life is hard? With J Ashley-Smith (Chair), JS Breukelaar, Anthony O'Connor, and Kaaron Warren.

Writing the Non-Human
2:45 pm - 3:45 pm
With Zachary Ashford, Maria Lewis, and Keith Stevenson (Chair)

Monsters and Aliens as well-developed characters, both antagonists and protagonists. With Zachary Ashford, Maria Lewis, and Keith Stevenson (Chair).

Verandah
Verandah
Registration & Coffee Opens
9:00 am - 10:00 am

Kaffeeklatsches
12:15 pm - 12:45 pm

Sign up on the day for an intimate chat with our knowledgeable guests and ask them your burning questions about writing practice, getting published, and the business of being a writer. With Maria Lewis, TR Napper, Garth Nix, Cat Sparks, Kaaron Warren, and Scott Wilson.

Lunch
12:45 pm - 1:45 pm

Speakers


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