Philcon Schedule

Hot on the heels of a shenanigans-filled weekend at the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, I now have me a schedule for this year’s Philcon. I’m particularly excited to get both a solo reading and a chance to geek out about Muppets.

Sat 10:00 AM in Plaza II (1 hour)
[Panelists: Suzanne Rosin (mod), Michael McAfee, Christine Norris, Barbara A. Barnett, Alyce Wilson, Matt Black]

Created in 1955, these characters have been in our lives on various TV shows and movies. Now they are back in a new “sitcom”. Chat with panelists about your favorite muppets, and their shows. Was it Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Rigel in Farscape, Dinosaurs, The Muppet Show, the movies, the YouTube videos? Bring your coffee, wear your pjs, and have a good time.

Sat 1:00 PM in Executive Suite 623 (1 hour)
Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Barbara A. Barnett, April Grey, Sally Wiener Grotta, Elektra Hammond, Anne E. Johnson, Gail Z. Martin, Christie Meierz, Roberta Rogow

A group reading by members of Broad Universe, an international organization with the primary goal of promoting science fiction, fantasy, and horror written by women.

Sat 5:30 PM in Executive Suite 623 (½ hour)

At which I will read…something. Maybe a short story, maybe an excerpt from my current novel-in-progress. I’ll make up my mind eventually!

Sun 1:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Three (1 hour)
[Panelists: Hildy Silverman (mod), Alex Shvartsman, Barbara A. Barnett, Neil Clarke, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Robert E. Waters]

So you have finally finished a story. What are the main markets? Who do you want to avoid?

Sun 2:00 PM in Plaza V (1 hour)
[Panelists: Diane Weinstein (mod), Anne E. Johnson, Barbara A. Barnett]

A panel discussing the value of scary stories and how reading about fighting monsters can prepare young minds for facing conflicts in the real world.

Fiction Writing Workshop

For anyone in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area who might be interested (or know someone interested), I’m excited to announce that I’ll be leading a four-part fiction writing workshop on Monday evenings this October. Here are the details:

Writing Tools by Pete O'SheaWhere: Unitarian Universalist Church in Cherry Hill, NJ, Hillside Building, Lower Level
Dates: October 5, 12, 19, & 26, 2015
Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
Cost: Free!

Have no clue how to turn that novel idea in your head into actual words? Have a bunch of unfinished stories wasting away in a drawer? Or do you just want to learn more about the nuts and bolts of writing fiction?

This workshop is for anyone interested in writing short stories and novels, regardless of genre. Through examples, discussion, and writing exercises, we’ll explore core fiction elements like character, dialogue, setting, description, and plot.

Registration isn’t required, but if you’re planning to attend, please let me know so I can have a rough head count. You can reach  me by clicking on the email icon in the right sidebar or via the contact form linked to in the main menu above.

And bring something to write with! Pen and paper, laptop—whatever you’re most comfortable with! Granted, if you’re most comfortable with an inkwell full of blood and parchment made from the skin of your slain enemies, you’ll probably get some weird looks. Just saying.

The 2014 Writerly Recap

Welcome to the Yearly Writerly Recap, which is sadly on the verge of becoming the annual “New Year’s seems as good a time as any for Barb to finally blow the dust off her poor, neglected blog” post.

Speaking of my neglected blog, I’m hoping to change that in the new year. For three years, I was distracted by this pesky little bugger known as grad school. Schoolwork bumped a good many things down the priority list, and blogging was one of them. But then this past May came, and I got me a shiny new master’s degree, at which point I was like:


So now I have more time for things I enjoy again. Like writing. Which brings us to the recappy stuff.

Published in 2014

Forthcoming in 2015

World Fantasy Convention

I finally had the chance to attend the World Fantasy Convention for the first time in forever, and it was amazing amounts of awesome sauce. Much to my surprise, I landed a reading spot on the programming, which was a con-going first for me. Even more surprising was not only having an audience for my reading (without resorting to bribery!), but having a couple people in the audience whom I didn’t actually know. Yay random strangers!

Writerly Progress

2014 was a rare year for me on the short story front in that I barely wrote any. In fact, I wrote only two, which is way less than I would have thought. One was a flash piece (the aforementioned “Dream Logic” that appeared in Daily Science Fiction), and the other is a 6,500-word fantasy piece that’s currently sitting in a slush pile, clamoring for the editor’s attention.

A good chunk of my writing time this year went toward reworking My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel. I had all these revision ideas I was excited about, but the project has been in my brain so long that objectivity had gone out the window, and so I was still clinging to elements that didn’t make sense in light of those changes. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to run a synopsis past some fellow writers and do some epic levels of brainstorming with them, which helped me finally notice pieces that didn’t fit in the puzzle anymore. Things like, “Do you even need this character? He doesn’t impact the plot at all. He’s just there to be awful.” Based on that, I spent a good month and a half totally retooling my outline. And there are handy-yet-insane plot diagrams now. I love my insane plot diagrams—because now when I change something, I can more easily see what other plot and character elements that change affects.

So that’s where I am as we we bid adieu to 2014. For the new year, I’ve got some short story projects I want to tackle (one is already underway), and then I’m going to dive into the novel revisions. Shiny 2015, y’all.