• Please note – The program is provisional and subject to change. The final program will be available in the con magazine
  • Interested in participating?  If you would like to volunteer, please contact All panel participants need to be registered members of Conflux 14.
  • NB You must pre-register (in advance or at Conflux Registration) for some events, including WORKSHOPS, Conflux excursions and KAFFEEKLATSCHs.  Numbers are limited for these events.


Below please find the 2017 program for your viewing pleasure!

  • Conflux excursions:
    • Best Coffee in the World (and books) Saturday10:15am – 11:30am.  ONA coffee, Canberra, won best coffee in the world in 2015, and best coffee in Australia in 2016. So join us for (literally) the best coffee in the world, and peruse the shelves of Canty’s across the road at Canberra’s cheapest and best 2nd hand bookstore.Where: meet in the foyer at 10:15. Courtesy bus will ferry participants there and back.Numbers: The Vibe courtesy bus has limited seats, so RSVP at registration. If you have a car and can drive out to Fyshwick, let us know.
    • Whiskey Con. Saturday5:30pm – 8:30pm
      Join con-goers, and one or two well-known authors, for a whiskey tasting at Hippo Bar. 6 whiskies (half portions), an expert on hand to discuss each one, and fellow geeks to chat with between drinks.
      Cost: $60 er person – bring your money to the event.
      Where: meet in the foyer at 5:30pm. Courtesy bus will ferry participants there and back.
      Numbers: 6 only. RSVP at registration to reserve a place.

Friday, 29 September









9.00am Rego opens
10.00am Magic systems in SF fiction

The ingenious, the diabolical and the frankly hilarious.

Big ideas in compact packages

Writing short fiction that packs real punch

Con 101

New to Conflux? Not been to a con before? Come and get your starter packs here. (Mostly just friendly chat – no actual starter packs will be issued, but there may be tim tams.)

Workshop: Questions of culture

Cost $20

Identifying and addressing inadvertent cultural stereotypes in your writing, with Gillian Polack

11.00am Permanent storms and forests of fungi

What kind of dramatic environmental changes form the worlds in post-climate-change fiction?

Things that go bump…clank…moooaaaan…

Phantasms, spectres and revenants and all things ghostly in folk tales, gothic horror, and urban legend.

Magic school

Hogwarts, Miss West’s School for Wayward Children, Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls… What is the fascination with Magic School?

12.00pm 20 years of Harry Potter:

This panel is going to be a full-on love-fest about how our lives have been enriched by sharing the journey of The Boy Who Lived. Haters, you’ve been warned.

Once upon a silver screen

TV & Movies influenced by fairy tales

Worldcon Wrap up

What did the rest of us miss?


1.00pm Lunch
1.30pm Booklaunch: Gillian Polack
2pm Fairy tales with teeth and claws

Fairy tales and horror – a match made in heaven. OK, maybe not heaven.

Creating story for games

Whether it’s roleplaying IRL or in a computer game.

Superhero smackdown

What are the 5 best superhero films of all time? Come prepared to defend your nominations.


Odyssey Books

3pm Use and Abuse of the Tarot

Using the Tarot as a literary device.

Cryogenics and Rip Van Winkle

The ins and outs of sleeping for 100 years.

Australian cities as fictional settings

Hanging Rock? Been there. Wolf Creek? Done that. What have Australian cities got to offer spec fic?

4pm Beastly transformations

Animal bridegrooms, werewolves, shifters, selkies. What is it that holds our fascination with the human animal?


Self publishing: Doing it properly

What does it take to actually be successful at self publishing?


The Long, Long Journey to Earth2

A multi-media look at Generational Spaceships in SF, from movies, TV and fiction old and new.

5pm Meet & greet in the bar
6.30pm Opening Ceremony  – MC Kaaron Warren




Flash fiction slam:


Saturday, 30 September









9am Pitching session:

Angry Robot

10am Q&A – the road to getting published

How young people can kickstart their writing career.

Youngest sons and daughters

Youth characters in fairy tales

Remembering Terry Pratchett

“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.” – TP

Ripple on, big guy.

*We may have teared up looking for a quote for this. There are so many good ones.

Workshop: writing for games

Rik Lagarto

11am Beyond The Hunger Games

The best YA books in the last 12 month

Cosplay on a budget Not for children

The dark roots of classic tales.



Evil villains 101

Our panellists discuss the perfect recipe for a proper villain

Feral children or Where are the parents?

Orphans in peril

Who woulda thunk it?

Wassup with Dr Who and where do we think it’s all heading?

1pm Book Launch: Donna Hanson, Deathwings and Bloodstorm, Dragon Wine Books 3 & 4
1.30pm Youth for youth by youth

The young person’s guide to writing YA.

Frankenstein’s apocalypse

What if the monster from Mary Shelley’s iconic novel and his bride reproduced? Imagine the zombie apocalypse… where the zombies are strong and intelligent beings….  How would humanity deal with the threat?

Marvel & DC Wassup

Well hasn’t this been a good year for diversity? (Or has it?)

Workshop: From the inside, out

Building characters with personality, with Aiki Flintheart

2.30pm Booklaunch: Towards White by Zena Shapter, IFWG Publishing
3.00pm Vampires: what’s changed?

They never used to be cool. How did we get from Nosferatu to Sparkly Edward?

Steampunk martial arts

How does one defend oneself?

POP! – Fan stuff.

Cool swag or cynical money-making enterprise? What do you just gotta have?

Pitching session:


4.00pm Give Elsa a girlfriend

LGBTI Fairy Tales

To PhD or not to PhD?

It’s one way to fund your rockstar writer lyf. Is it for you?

Poetry Readings 2.0

Poetry for the 21st Century and beyond. An immersive experience of live poetry readings accompanied by digital art, and clips of poetry from SF and horror movies (and TV).


Vividness and Voice

With Zena Shapter


5.00pm Striking the write balance

Finding the right balance between writing, day job and family can be tough. Our panellists share their experiences and life hacks.


Grab a drink & chill out for an hour while a bunch of Conflux authors read their stuff.

A razor sharp line

What is the difference between Dark Fantasy/Sci Fi and Horror? Is there one? Does it matter?

Hippo Bar Whiskey tasting:

Meet in the foyer for travel to Hippo Bar in the city

6.00 Special Guest Meri Amber EP launch  
6.30pm Banquet setup
7.30pm Banquet – Once upon a time…

Sunday, 1 October
Daylight Savings Time (forward one hour)









9am GOH Breakfast (limited spots, additional cost) 9.30 start

Workshop: Writing interactive fiction for fun and profit

With Felicity Banks

10am Guest of Honour interview: Ellen Datlow in conversation with Kaaron Warren
11am Anthology makers

What does it take to put together a great anthology? How do you make it really sing?


Starting writing later in life


Beyond wicked witches, femme fatales and evil stepmothers

Exploring the female villain.



Booklaunch: Ecopunk, edited by Cat Sparks and Liz Grzyb, Ticonderoga
12.30 Lunch
1.00pm Deadly dance

Ghostly nymphs that will dance you to death; clever slave girls with swords in their coin belts; those terrible Red Shoes; we thought we’d talk music and dance as a means to kill…


Putting science in stories

Start with common sense and level up.

Vampire poetry

The poems, the poets and the muses.

2.00 Booklaunch: Antipodean Queen 2: Silver and Stone, Felicity Banks, Odyssey Books
2.30pm Guest of Honour interview: Angela Slatter in conversation with Liz Grzyb

Including the launch of Angela’s new collection The Tallow Wife, from Fablecroft Publishing

3.30pm Terraforming the 7 new planets

What will they be like? And what will we need to pack to survive there?

Submitting to publishers and agents

What to do. What not to do.

Canberra’s Fairy Tale Ring: the Handless Maiden

Meet the group of people who get together every couple of months to talk fairy tales. This month’s tale is the Handless Maiden.

Sunday afternoon creative indulgence session with Nicole Murphy

Take some time out of your hectic con schedule to focus on self-care and making space to nurture your creativity.

Bring: your current WIP and your choice of writing materials.

4.30pm Magical practices beyond the fairy tale

How have fairy tales borrowed from real-world magic systems?

As memorable as Le Guin

A discussion on how female creators are referred to, reviewed and remembered compared to male creators.

5.30pm Book launch: The Grief Hole illustrated: an artist’s sketchbook companion to Kaaron Warren’s supernatural thriller, by Keely Van Order; IFWG Publishing
6.00pm GUFF auction
6.30pm Set up for Trivia
7.00-9.00pm Trivia Night

Monday, 2 October









10am Reinventing the myth

Recycling the same stories? Or upcycling them? Using myths in storytelling to make new tales.

WTF is “crossover” anyway?

Crossover, genre mashup, what is it? Why do we love it? What are your favourite examples?

Tour of

Are you a bookworm seeking more fodder for your insatiable appetite? Are you an author on the lookout for ways to reach your reader audience? Bring a coffee or a cup of tea and join author and inveterate bookworm Gillian Polack and our virtual special guest Irene Radford for a tour of BookViewCafe.

Conflux Inc AGM
11am Launch: The Never Never Book Box Launch

A bi-monthly Bookish Subscription Box, focusing on awesome Australian Spec-Fic. Includes 2 books, plus 3-5 cool bookish items shipped straight to you, this is a curated box for the local bookworm.

11.30 The Hugos are a joke – discuss.

Or have they redeemed themselves? And what about the Nebulas? And how could we get better Aussie representation on the shortlists? Discuss.


Australian Gods

In the tradition of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed novel, now TV series, our panel looks at what’s likely to be rocking around Australia these days.

1001 stories

An opportunity to share your favourite traditional tales from around the world, and any beloved novels, graphic novels, films or other artwork that draws on them.

Gingerbread House-making

No, really. Actual gingerbread houses. Just in time for lunch.

12.30pm Lunch
1.30pm Beyond Bibetty Bobetty

The influence of the supernatural in fairy tales

Writing across cultures without @#!!*#@ing it up

Cultural appropriation. What is it? What are the impacts? What can we do to avoid it?

Wonderful wide weird cruel & cool

How important is setting and secondary world building? We talk worlds we love and worlds that leave us cold and what it takes to make a good one.

2.30pm Closing Ceremony and Awards

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