On top of traveling across the country to promote my books, my partner (Jessica Walsh) and I have a number of panels we do together. These panels focus on writing, diversity, cosplay, and body positivity. If you’re interested in having them at your event, here’s the kinds of panels we put on:
- Beyond Creation: Diversity in Writing: You know the saying. “If you want more diversity, go create it yourself.” This panel will go beyond the saying, as that’s not all it takes to get a better showing of representation in the media. We’ll cover a few examples of missed opportunities & the backlash that has happened toward marginalized groups in fiction. We’ll dissect the excuses generally used to NOT be inclusive and follow it up by showing the steps that have been taken to improve representation. After that, we’ll give tips on how to create diversity, then conclude with why creation ISN’T enough and how supporting diverse works matters.
- From Fanfiction to Professional Writing: Once upon a time, we were fanfiction writers who roleplayed with their characters (spoiler: we still do it). One day, Jessica wrote the first chapter to a novel with those characters. Together, we have turned our fanfiction and roleplaying into a book series, and this panel will go into how we managed to do that. This panel will show the audience that fanfiction is much more common than we think and is a legitimate way to flesh out your writing and move into creating your own original stories. We’ll also go into the publishing world and the things to do before you get ready to turn that idea into a full-blown story.
- Living the Freelance Life: “Oh wow you work from home? You have it easy! I wish I had your job.” Both of us work as freelance writers and are self-employed, and we’re to tell you how terribly inaccurate that “so easy” line of thinking is. This panel will go into the ups and downs of working from home, the unexpected challenges of creating your brand, and provide some tips for any future creators out there. These tips range from keeping your portfolio and social media presence updated, to remembering to eat lunch and take breaks. Now that you’re your own boss, you have to hold yourself accountable, which is one of the most challenging things a person can do.
- [COMING SOON] Collaborating with Other Creatives: A panel that goes into working with other writers/artists/ect. in various creative endeavors. The importances of paying others for their time, setting deadlines, and not losing site of your vision.
- Cosplay Positivity – The Good, The Bad, The Self Love: One day, someone called me “Princess Whale” and told me to go off and fry some chicken. So, I did just that, and posted the pictures on the Internet in response. While it’s true that nicknames like “Princess Wonderball” or lovely requests to “stop acting white” have come my way I’ve decided that it’s best to just keep living my black, queer, plus-size life. In this panel I’ll break down the kinds of bullying that tends to happen in the community, things to avoid doing in order to keep the positivity going, and, more importantly, how to overcome the negativity to cosplay the way you want.
- Frankensteining Patterns: Sometimes, the pattern you need for a costume simply doesn’t exist… or doesn’t come in the size you need. This panel by Jessica will go into how to up-size patterns, how you can take pieces of different patterns to make your cosplay work, how to alter costumes to fit your style, and how to make your costume work for your body type. No character is off-limits when it comes to cosplay.
If you’re interested in having us come to your convention, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com.