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January 16th-19th, 2020
Sheraton Novi


Managing and Overcoming Professional Burnout:

Friday 1:00PM Charlevoix
The Mayo Clinic defines burnout as “a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.” It can affect people of all professions, but it presents particular dangers to creatives, whose work is often tied closely to personal identity. Our panel will discuss how to spot the signs of burnout, how to manage it, and how to overcome it. Marissa Lingen (m), Pablo Defendini, Ken Schrader, Kameron Hurley


Effective Training Sequences in Prose Fiction:

Saturday 1:00PM Interlochen
In movies such as How To Train Your Dragon, the sequence in which our dashing hero bumbles through training and eventually triumphs usually has a stirring score and a lot of quick transitions to back it up. In prose, conveying to the reader that a bunch of training has happened can be a trickier matter. What are some good strategies for convincing the reader that our zero is now a hero without dragging down the story’s pacing? Steve Buchheit (m), Ken Schrader, Jennifer Blackstream, Corry L. Lee

Reading: Ken Schrader, Lucy A. Snyder, Phoebe Barton

Saturday 3:00PM Saugatuck
Ken Schrader, Lucy A. Snyder, Phoebe Barton read from selected works.


Laser Guns and Gravity Canons: War in Deep Space

Sunday 1:00PM Petoskey
We’ve come a long way from Flash Gordon’s pew-pew laser effects. From Ninefox Gambit’s eldritch special attacks to The Expanse’s inventive use of real-world physics, what does warfare look like in modern space opera and scifi? How do space empires protect themselves when borders are three-dimensional and vast? What can we learn from Mass Effect’s biotics and Eve Online’s multi-player strategic webs? Jeff Beeler (m), Ken Schrader, Phoebe Barton, Patrick S Tomlinson