Program Item Descriptions

Saturday 29 October

Funding a writing career the alternate way
Authors are using a variety of ways to fund their career rather than relying on traditional book sales. The panel will look at opportunities such as Patreon and Kiskstarter, plus the use of the subscription model as a way of having continuous revenue whilst still promoting your work and giving your readers a fair deal.

Hero cliches and how to make or break them
Cliches can be a boon as well as a problem. What are the most troublesome hero clichés and how can we make them real or break them to make something even better?

Fantastic SF women in TV
With shows like the revamped Lost in Space, The Expanse and Star Trek: Discovery now hot, our panel looks at the growth of fantastic female roles in science fiction and what this says about our changing dynamics in society

Politics in genre fiction
We’re in Canberra – you knew we were going to go there! Our panel will look at the role of politics in plot and world building in genre fiction and whether there is a perfect political system.

Social and historical background to the rise of horror
Horror fiction and cinema seems to come in waves. What sociological forces drive more mainstream readers and film-goers to seek them out? Find out why the horror genre is so important.

DIY hero – is there a formula for the perfect hero?
Our panel will devise a set of rules and structures to create the perfect hero, looking at what makes a great hero!

The Unconventional Romance
Boy meets Girl, Boy and Girl fall in love, Boy and Girl live happily ever after. *yawn* What about all the other romance types and opportunities? Our panel will look at the joys and beauty of the Unconventional Romance

Mary Shelley’s Legacy
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is arguably one of the most influential novels ever written and has been in print for 200 years. Why is it so, what is its power and what does it mean? By the end of the panel, you will know.

From Deadpool to Loki to our own Imagination
A panel looking at LGBTQA+ heroes in the media, and in real life.

The Unconventional Dr – what do we think of our new feminist icon?
After all the years of wishing, we finally have our female Dr! As we gear up for the debut, the panel will discuss how important this move is and what the hopes and pitfalls for the new Dr will be.

The next generation of superheroes – the future of diversity in heroes
‘We can be heroes’ Bowie sang. So what does the next generation of superheroes look like? How well do the current mob showcase diversity and how much more should the next generation do?

Session on Pitching
Going to be pitching your work, either tomorrow at Conflux or to a publisher/editor/agent some time in the future? Join our panel for the tips and tricks of how to make a successful pitch.

Whodunnit – the Unconventional Hero.
Once a favourite holiday destination, the beautiful planet of Wheretheheckerewee was destroyed in a mysterious implosion 7 months ago. The Galactic Tribunal Inquest opens today and various witnesses / stakeholders have been invited to provide evidence. If you’d like to find out more about what happened, and ‘whodunnit’, then come and question our panel of suspects. Includes a plethera of chocolate and a special prize for the first correct drawn entry.

Real life heroes and how they inspire their fictional counterparts
We all have our own personal heroes. Some of them are major figures, some the person next to us. The panel will talk about their own real-life heroes and how they have inspired their fictional heroes.

Sunday 30 October

The Unconventional hero’s journey
We all know the beats of the hero’s journey – but how does it go if you have an unconventional hero? Our panel will discuss how an unconventional hero changes the plan and who has done it successfully.

Unconventional publishing – what are the options out there?
For a long time, traditional publishing was the only option to get your stories to readers and it is easy to think that is still the case. Our panel will look into all the options and opportunities available to writers and the pros and cons of them.

What do we do with General Leia?
With the final instalment of the new Star Wars movie now in production, the panel tackles the thorny question – how do we handle the non-appearance of General Leia Organa?

The hero’s journey – what does it mean for heroines?
Can you just transplant a woman into the male journey and go from there? Or does the hero’s journey look different for a heroine?

Writing for youth
Young Adult, Middle School, Childrens. Writing for the young is a fun and valuable thing to do, but it is far from easy. Our panel will go through the various approaches you can take to writing for the young.

Abusive alpha males and sassy Mary-Sues: when heroes go bad
There’s a fine line between being bad or good – or is there? Our panel looks at when heroes go bad – is it a bad thing and can they (or should they) come back from it?

Play to write: what tabletop and video games can teach writers of fiction
From considering every imaginable ‘what if’ to managing audience expectations, games have plenty to teach writers of linear fiction too. The panel will discuss what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to cross-pollination.

How should Infinity War really end?
It’s the question that’s causing fights to break out around the world – how should the latest two-part Avengers movie end? The panel takes on the question, and hopefully without coming to blows!

Holy Shark Repellent Batman – the gadgets and resources for the wannabe hero
Your hero is about to face the villains in the hope of victory and saving humanity – what will they need? If you can come up with something better than the Bat Shark Repellent, there many be a prize in if for you!

Guff and other fan funds – a presentation
Past fan fund recipients will present about their trips – what happened, what they saw, the things they learnt and how you could become a fan fund recipient.

Can horror be funny?
Horror books and (especially) films are supposed to be scary, aren’t they? Well, sometimes they’re also hilarious, deliberately. The panel will identify their comedic favourites, and try to explain why they’re still legitimate entries in the genre.

Ten things I wish I’d known about self publishing
Self-publishing isn’t easy, especially when you’re stepping up as a complete newbie or taking a sideways step from traditional publishing. Our panel will talk about the mistakes they made, and what they wish they’d known before they started out.

Monday 1 October

Being a hero in the apocalypse – what is involved?
It’s easy to be a hero when you are traipsing through ferdant valleys and glistening forests – but what if your environment is desert or flood and the very struggle to live? What is needed to be a successful hero in an apocalypse?

Unconventional storytelling – the theory & the practice?
Stories have a beginning, a middle and an ending and are told in that sequence. Or are they? Our panel will look at what makes a story unconvention and how you make an unconventional story work?

Gender Equal Societies in Secondary World Fantasy
It’s becoming more common to see secondary or futuristic worlds mixing up their social structures and cultures and accepted gender norms and it might be interesting to talk about novels that do this, what challenges it brings, what advantages etc?

The story behind the book
Our panel will share the inspirations, the perspirations, the bumps and bruises and the triumphs that brought their book into being.

When the dream comes true – what really happens when you get a deal with a big publisher?
It’s the dream for a lot of us – the publishing deal with the big publisher. But what is the reality of that dream? Our panel, all recently published by big publishers, talk about the ups and downs of their experience.

Unconventional writing – what is the right or wrong of being a writer?
There are so many rules out there about what being a writer means, and how you should do it. Is there a right or wrong way to right? Our panel discusses and will (hopefully) come to a conclusion.

Fanfic – how unconventional can you be?
Fanfic by its very nature comes with rules established due to its established world. How far can you push the envelope? How unconventional can you be?

Judging World Fantasy
Kaaron Warren will go through the lessons she learned from judging the 2018 World Fantasy Award nomination. Several of the books will be for sale after – pick up a bargain and raise funds for Conflux!

No really – giant monsters are real!
Godzilla and King Kong – both monstrous kings of their separate domains – are currently inspiring remakes and sequels galore, even coming together for a re-match. Then there’s others such as the giant Critters of the films Rampage and The Meg, to name but a few – with more in the pipe-line. There’s even Giant Monsters showing up in novels and story collections in unprecedented numbers. Kaiju are everywhere! Our monstrously educated experts will reveal their names and where they all come from, and explain why the impossible monsters are “real”!

The art of the short story
It takes a particular skills set, a particular art, to write a good short story. What is required, and how can you learn to develop it?


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