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World Fantasy 2019 & Writing Fantasy for Television

November 9th, 2019

Following close on the heels of Sustefest X, this year’s World Fantasy Convention provided a marked change of scenery – from Valle de Santiago’s old-world streets and dormant volcanoes to LA’s multi-lane highways and active wildfires. Fortunately, skies around the Marriott Airport Hotel (the site of this year’s convention) were clear despite the proximity of the Saddleridge fire fewer than 20 miles north. Nevertheless, some attendees commented on fire-related road closures and long detours.

One of the major gatherings centering on fantastic literature (the others being science fiction’s WorldCon and horror’s StokerCon) World Fantasy offers the solitary writer a chance to check-in on the state of the genre, do a panel or two, and (most of all) kick back at the bar with friends and colleagues.

This time around, programming kicked off at noon on Thursday with a panel on Writing Fantasy for Television, where I got to join fellow panelists Eldon Thompson and Gillian Horvath in a discussion moderated by Craig Miller. After an initial discussion of the current boom in original fantasy programming (thanks to Netflix, Amazon, Disney Plus, Apple TV, Shudder, et al), the discussion turned to the craft of scriptwriting and the best ways for new writers to enter the field. Specifically, one member of the audience asked what books new writers might read to learn the craft. Among the panel’s recommendations were Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting by William Goldman and On Directing Film by David Mamet (which, despite its title, offers some excellent insight into the screenwriting process). Beyond such titles, the panelists agreed that the best way to learn to write scripts is to read them. That’s easy to do these days, since many screenplays are currently available through sites such as The Internet Movie Script DatabaseThe Black List, and Screenplay.com. Indeed, the website Script Reader Pro recently advised apprentice screenwriters to carefully study their favorite films through a process of re-reading and re-viewing. It remains some of the best advice out there.

As always, the convention culminated with the awards banquet and the naming of this year’s best works of fantasy. A complete list of awards appears below.

Next year’s WFC 2020 will be held over Halloween weekend in Salt Lake City. I’ll hope to see you there.

  • Lifetime Achievement: Hayao Miyazaki and Jack Zipes
  • Novel: Witchmark by C. L. Polk (Tor.com)
  • Novella: “The Privilege of the Happy Ending” by Kij Johnson (Clarkesworld, Aug. 2018)
  • Short Fiction (tie): “Ten Deals with the Indigo Snake” by Mel Kassel (Lightspeed, October 2018) and “Like a River Loves the Sky” by Emma Törzs (Uncanny Magazine, March-April 2018)
  • Anthology: Worlds Seen in Passing: Ten Years of Tor.com Short Fiction, edited by Irene Gallo (Tor.com)
  • Collection: The Tangled Lands, by Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias S. Buckell (Saga Press/Head of Zeus UK)
  • Artist: Rovina Cai
  • Special Award – Professional: Huw Lewis-Jones for The Writer’s Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands (University of Chicago Press)
  • Special Award – Non-Professional: Scott H. Andrews, for Beneath Ceaseless Skies: Literary Adventure Fantasy

 

  1. This entry was posted on Saturday, November 9th, 2019 at 3:23 pm and is filed under 21st-Century Scop. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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