DreamCasters

What is DreamCasters?

DreamCasters is a DreamForge discussion group devoted to helping our members improve their writing and storytelling through discussion and sharing expertise. DreamCaster membership is through Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/DreamForgePress.  Supporters at $3/month and above can participate in monthly DreamCaster meetings, take part in DreamCaster writing challenges, and learn from DreamCaster guest speakers.

DreamCasters Agenda

Sunday, September 19th, 12:00 pm Eastern Time

Opening Statement

Welcome to DreamCasters, a DreamForge discussion group devoted to helping our members improve their writing and storytelling through discussion and sharing expertise.

Intro, DreamForge News –  5 min

Congratulations go out to DreamCasters

Z.T. Bright – has been awarded the 2021 Mike Resnick Memorial Award for Short Fiction at Dragon Con. https://www.ktvn.com/story/44701124/z-t-bright-wins-the-2021-mike-resnick-memorial-award-for-short-fiction

Candice Lisle – Candice’s story “Invasion” will be appearing in Daily Science Fiction.  This is Candice’s first pro sale!

Wulf Moon – Wulf’s story “Sophie’s Parisian Stationery & Parfumerie Magnifique” will appear in an anthology by Third Flatiron with the working title THINGS WITH FEATHERS: STORIES OF HOPE.

Alicia Hilton – Alicia’s story “My Heart Stopped Beating But I’m Jonesing For A Fix” won the Cemetery Gates Society Flash Fiction Award and was published by Cemetery Gates Media. It’s a weird horror story with a hopeful ending. Here is the link to the story: https://cemeterygatesmedia.com/2021/08/16/my-heart-stopped-beating-but-im-jonesing-for-a-fix/

Alicia also sold a story to The Dream Machine Publishing for the Darkness Blooms anthology, “Welcome to the Organ Extraction Emporium: Become Extraterrestrial and Embrace a Better Life.” “It’s a science fantasy story, and I will be paid 8 cents a word so it qualifies as a SFWA sale.”

Angelique Fawns – Angelique’s story “Lucy and the Cosmic Comet Ride” is going to be in The Last Girls Club
Issue no. 3 Fall Solstice 2021 (The Gay 90s Issue) releasing this October. She is also going to produce a podcasted version of the story and interview Eda Obey, the editor.

To help promote Dreamcasters and magazine, Angeliue added a link and blurb on her website: https://www.fawns.ca/links/

DreamForge Anvil # 5 is Underway

We hope to launch DreamForge Anvil # 5 on Sunday, October 17th.  Editing, illustration, and layout are under way. Stories on deck include:

“Our Kind,” by DreamCaster Crystal Crawford and “Unlinked” by DreamCaster Kelley Stead. Others include:

“Harbinie of Death” by J J Litke

“Kill Your Darlings” by Amélie Mietke

“Mermaids in the Garden” by Elaine Cunningham (Elaine is a fantasy and science fiction author especially known for her contributions to Dungeons & Dragons, Forgotten Realms campaigns.

Wulf Moon is working on another piece on the craft of writing for us.

Upper Valley Comic Expo, October 1

Jane and Scot Noel will be at the Upper Valley Comic Expo on October 1 in West Lebanon, New Hampshire. This is a one-day convention being held by Scifi Saturday Night to benefit CHaD (Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth). COVID-permitting, of course. https://www.facebook.com/UpperValleyComicExpo/

Live Story Plotting Exercise – 30 minutes

In lieu of a guest this month, and to help those DreamCasters participating in our writing challenge, we’re going to do some live story plotting using the ROBUS template as a guide.

This will be an interactive opportunity, but we won’t stress anyone by calling on you.

We should be able to plot at least one story in 30 minutes. How you might ask? Come and see!

Discussion – How Do You Know How Long a Story Should Be? – 20 minutes

This topic fit right in with the Story Plotting exercise. How do you know if you’ve just plotted a novella or a short story?

We’ll give you some clues to keeping the trilogy within under control.

Give Aways! 5 minutes

Two lucky attendees, randomly selected by a roll of the dice will receive either a 3 Issue set of Galaxy’s Edge Magazine (Issues 43, 44, and 45) or an official set of DreamForge drink coasters.

Story Prompts –  5 minutes

We’ll give out a couple story prompts that might be interesting to explore.

Meeting Ends.  Thank You All!

In October – we’re going to use our knowledge of the ROBUS template and story plotting to deconstruct an already published story. Why? If you can do that, you can analyze what a given magazine is publishing and have a better chance at meeting their requirements!

DreamCasters Discussion Group

Our goal is to form a community. We want more than other online “resources.” There are many resources out there. But we want this to be about “people as resources.”

We welcome writers of all levels that love speculative fiction or readers who are interesting in writing and storytelling. We want to improve everyone’s writing and storytelling through discussion and sharing expertise. And we want to increase everyone’s successes through awareness and sharing information about the business of writing.

ZOOM

General Structure

Generally a 1 hour session 

  • Intro, DreamForge News 5 min
  • Guest or topic 20 min
    • Breakout or Q&A 15 min
    • Follow up 5 min
  • Business of Writing 15 min
    • Short discussion on a subject/concept related to business.
  • Allow for open time before and after the meeting (half hour or so) for general conversation.

Topics

  • This would be a moderated discussion, but not necessarily a “panel of experts” kind of a discussion - More of a roundtable discussion.
  • We can use Zoom breakout groups. After a bit of a larger discussion, break into groups of 5 or 6 people to discuss the topic in depth. 
  • Once we bring the group back together, we can make any additional points.

Guests

  • Authors
  • Editors from other publications
  • Business oriented guests
  • Science/technology guests

If the Q&A keeps going, can move it to discord or bring the author back for another session.

Times

One Session/Month to start

Currently we're working with the last Sunday of the month, Noon, Eastern time.

We may determine that we need one per month in each time slot. These could be the same discussion in both groups.  Initially, I’m thinking each is unique with recordings available for those that can’t make the scheduled time slot.

Limit the Number of Attendees

  • Initially we’ll limit attendance to 50 for each meeting.
    • If we regularly have more people that plan to attend, we’ll either expand if it seems workable or have more sessions.
    • Recordings available to regular Patreon Subscribers at the $3 and up level.

DISCORD

One Discord group/channel that could help people in different time zones converse.  I think most of these would be open to anyone who participates in any of the DreamForge Webinars (not just the Dreamers Discussion Group.)

  • DreamCasters Discussion – Limited solely to the DreamCaster Group participants
  • DreamCasters Ideas & Suggestions – Limited solely to the DreamCaster Group participants
  • Business of Writing – Any DreamForge Webinar Participant
  • Critiques – Any DreamForge Webinar Participant
  • Research/expertise questions – Any DreamForge Webinar Participant
  • Keep apprised with DreamForge News – Any DreamForge Subscriber
  • TBR list – Any DreamForge Subscriber

Funding & Benefits

Funding – Membership Fee

We pledge simply that your monetary support buys stories, and occasionally illustrations. We’re volunteers helping writers, who in turn help other writers, improve their craft and achieve publication.

Benefits

  • Session recordings (unedited) will be available through Patreon (So if you’re interested in a topic, but not able to attend you can still see the video.)
  • ½ off your next year’s subscription to DreamForge.
  • Advance notice of submission periods. First in line for story reviews during submission periods.
  • Membership to the restricted Discord groups
  • Discount code for DreamForge Webinars.
  • Discount code for DreamForge merchandise.
  • Writing games and contests just for DreamCasters.
  • We’ll have a giveaway at every DreamCasters Webinar. (It could be a story review, a one-on-one with Scot, free merch, or anything else we come up with.)

Ideas

Writing Topic Ideas

  • Converting a short story to a novel (or novella)
  • Moving from short stories to novels (or novellas)
  • Optimism vs Utopia
  • World building in short fiction
  • Making your story stand out
  • Creating inclusive stories and characters
  • How do you know how long a story should be
  • Using tropes and turning them upside down
  • Researching
  • The appeal of anti-heroes
  • Tricks to avoid infodumps
  • Getting started when you’re blocked
  • Race and class in speculative fiction
  • How much science do you need in your SF?
  • Comparisons of methods like Save the Cat, Story grid, etc. Peoples thoughts and experiences.

Business of Writing Topics

  • Submissions
    • How to you keep track of your submissions
    • Where do you look for submissions
    • How do you decide what story to send to a market
  • Technology and tools
    • Websites you should know about
    • Software like Scrivner and others
  • Self publishing
  • Self promotion and marketing
  • WordPress and Websites
  • Newsletters and a mailing list
  • Networking
  • Podcasting
  • Getting an Agent – are they necessary, how do you go about it
  • Making a living
  • Understanding contracts
  • SFWA
  • Working with Editors – when to say no
  • Latest market trends in SF

Some of the business topics may be one quick concept that could fit into a quick 15 minute discussion.  Others may be a guest with a Q&A or a topic with a breakout.

Our Next Steps

Currently we’re just getting started, accepting our first signups, and planning for the months ahead. Join us today or keep an eye on our progress.

We hope to build a welcoming community of writers and those who love hopeful science fiction and fantasy.

HELP!

  • We’ll need feedback on the ideas and topics we have listed here.
  • We’ll need more ideas – especially those that relate to the business of writing.
  • We need to hear from newer writers about what you need to know.
  • From more experienced writers, what expertise you may want to share.
  • Ideas or contacts for guests you’d like to hear from.
  • If anyone is interested in helping to moderate discussions, we’d be glad for the help – in any time zone.
  • Any Discord advice or expertise would be appreciated too.
  • Anyone interested in helping moderate or welcome people to Discord.

Contact info@DreamForgeMagazine.com. That address goes to both Scot and Jane.

Join the DreamForge Adventure!

At DreamForge Magazine, we welcome readers with a passion for positive fantasy and science fiction. Here you will find stories where characters endure, overcome, and embrace that spirit of wonder and discovery through which sentient beings invest the universe with meaning and purpose.

Our DreamCasters Discussion Group is waiting for your support and engagement. Support us on Patreon Today! https://www.patreon.com/DreamForgePress