4th Street Fantasy…
continues June 21-23, 2013 in Minneapolis, MN

Thursday, June 20, 2013
4:00 PM – 6:00 PMJewelry with Elise
Our very talented and generous Elise Matthesen has offered to teach a jewelry making class for any registered 4th Streeter at no cost.
8:00 PM –Storytelling
For this year's welcoming party we are going to hear stories. And we'll be the ones telling them. Each person will be able to ask someone in the circle to tell a story, pass the turn on to the next person, or tell a story. To kick off the theme for this year, bring a story / song / poem / thought regarding Journeys / Paths / Change / Growth to share.
Friday, June 21, 2013
9:00 AM – 3:00 PMWriter's Seminar
The Writer's Seminar schedule can be found over here.
4:00 PM – 4:30 PMWelcome!
... to 4th Street 2013. Join us for a few opening remarks, after which the party really starts.
4:30 PM – 5:30 PMIdiom, Character, and World Building

Cathy Hindersinn
(Moderating)

Steven Brust

Tim Cooper

Scott Lynch

Kelly McCullough

The language and idioms a character uses can provide important clues about them or their culture of origin. These can range from the difference between "See what I mean?", "Hear what I'm saying?", and "Feel me?" to the Mandarin versions of "You're welcome" literally meaning "You haven't incurred an obligation" or "Don't put on airs". What are some techniques for using real or invented idioms to communicate nuances of personality or culture to readers? What sorts of challenges do authors who are trying to convey information to readers via idioms have to confront?
5:30 PM – 6:30 PMShort Fiction

Michael Merriam
(Moderating)

David Levine

Marissa Lingen

Michael D. Thomas

It can be challenging to bring worlds to life at novel length, much less in a handful of pages. What are the specific challenges of writing fantastic fiction at short lengths, and what are some ways in which short fiction's effects and goals differ from those of novels? What strategies can be used to overcome these challenges, and how much grounding in genre protocols does a reader need to be able to unpack short- form fantasies?
7 PM – 8 PMDinner
Dinner time! Since so many are attending 4th Street for the first time this year, to help avoid the awkwardness of barging in on a group outing or being left stranded, we've brought in food (pizza and bbq). Of course, revisiting old favorite restaurants is always an option.
8 PM –Reception
Converge on the ConSuite and munch on an assortment of hors d'œuvres.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
9:30 AM – 10:30 AMIntertextuality and Originality

Lynne Thomas
(Moderating)

Chris Gerwel

Tappan King

Catherine Lundoff

Abra Staffin-Wiebe

No book exists independent of the literary conversation, no matter how much its author may want it to. Elizabethan faeries are inevitably going to be compared to each other, just like dark lords, destined heroes, and vampire- werewolf-mortal love triangles will. Given that very little authors can do will seem novel to experienced readers, how should they approach topics that many readers have been conditioned to read in a certain light? How can works that aim to deconstruct clichés avoid being read as "just X from Y's perspective"?
11:00 AM – 12:00 PMBuilding the Spear

Patricia Wrede
(Moderating)

Tim Cooper

Pete Hautman

Scott Lynch

Beth Meacham

Jo Walton has described works which lean on prior events for their emotional impact as being full of "very sharp spear points on some very long spears". How much work do we have to do for the big moments in stories to have the emotional weight they need to hit home? How much can this be planned for, especially in long series?
12:00 PM – 2:00 PMLunch
Grab some new and old friends and engage in some hunting and gathering.
2:00 PM – 3:00 PMThe Heroine's Journey, Revisited

Elizabeth Bear
(Moderating)

Dana Baird

Lois McMaster Bujold

Pamela Dean

Fade Manley

Lynne Thomas

What sorts of differences tend to crop up between heroic narratives based on the protagonist's gender? What sorts of consequences, in terms of tropes invoked and shifts in reader responses, tend to follow when we gender-swap characters, or put women into traditionally "male" roles (e.g. Nyx in Kameron Hurley's Bel Dame Apocrypha) and vice-versa?
3:30 PM – 4:30 PMNarrative Conventions

Chris Gerwel
(Moderating)

Alec Austin

Emma Bull

Kit Gordon

...and how their pressures shape narrative into certain forms. Are we narrowing the stories we can tell by leaning on familiar story forms and Aristotelian notions of rising action, drama, conflict, and the like? To what extent are western narrative conventions culturally specific, and how much of our media (and media- influenced fiction) is being made to fit time-blocks and act structures in ways that aren't necessarily healthy to export into other forms?
5:00 PM – 6:00 PMFantasy of Discovery

Ellen Klages
(Moderating)

Pamela Dean

Tappan King

Caroline Stevermer

Patricia C. Wrede

Some fantasies (e.g. Pamela Dean's work, and Patricia C. Wrede's Thirteenth Child trilogy) focus less on traditional forms of conflict than on solving mysteries or uncovering how some part of the world works. What are this form's unique challenges and strengths, and why is it less common than more traditionally conflict-focused forms of fantasy? Obviously mystery plays a part in such works, but are genre mysteries really fantasies of discovery in the same sense as The Dubious Hills and other works in that vein?
6:00 PM – 7:30 PMDinner
Brain full. Time to fill our tummies.
8:00 PM – 9:00 PMTell, Don't Show

Emma Bull
(Moderating)

Steven Brust

David Levine

Marissa Lingen

Skyler White

Let's talk about exposition! Authors like James Michener, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Francis Spufford have written novels that break all the "rules" about people hating exposition, and sometimes it's better to just come out and tell readers things (c.f. Douglas Adams). What's going on here, and what techniques and insights can we glean from it?
Evening...Tea, Music, and Conversation...
The rest of the evening, as usual, is fairly unstructured. We have the rooms all night to use as we will.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
10:00 AM – 11:00 AMSyncretism, Real and Fantastic

Alec Austin
(Moderating)

Elizabeth Bear

Stella Evans

Ginger Weil

Skyler White

Lots of modern fantasies contain elements from different cultures' myths and religions interacting with each other. What are some real-world examples of syncretism, and what kinds of challenges crop up with this kind of world building? How can we sensitively depict worlds in which multiple belief systems coexist or intermingle, especially when one or both can be shown to be literally true?
11:30 AM – 12:30 PMJourney's End

Beth Meacham
(Moderating)

Doug Hulick

Theresa Mecklenborg

Will Shetterly

When our heroes settle down, what do they bring home with them from their journeys? The Emperors of Byzantium were defended by Vikings, many of whom lived out their lives in the Varangian Guard, and some argue that Marco Polo and other silk road traders brought pizza and pasta to Italy from China. What examples of religious, cultural, and technological transfer can we think of in fantasy, and what would we like to see?
12:30 PM – 2:30 PMLunch
Brain full. Time to fill our tummies.
2:30 PM – 3:30 PMBut that's a different panel...

To be decided
on the fly

Yup, you guessed it... the time slot left open for one of those topics that would otherwise derail or consume another panel that we deferred for another time.
3:30 PM – 4:30 PMThanks and What about 2014?
Closing words, thoughts, etc. Also, we'll talk a little about what we're thinking for 2014.
Evening...Dead Dog Party
We've got the rooms, so use 'em!