Ascendio is coming!

The programming folks for Ascendio, the Harry Potter convention in Orlando this coming July, will soon begin announcing some of the chosen programs, presentations, and panels. I have a sneak peek here of a few items in the Quill Track that I will be speaking on!
Accio Books! How Digital Publishing Has Made Gatekeepers Of Us All

Panelists: Cecilia Tan, Mark Oshiro, Lev Grossman, Erin Pyne
Summary: With the advent of the e-book and the ease with which writers can self-publish to platforms such as Amazon Kindle, many authors are bypassing the traditional book publishing model in favor of self-publishing. This panel will discuss new avenues for publishing, and the pros and cons of going the traditional route, vs. self-publishing.
Schools of Magic: A Staple in Fantasy
Panelists: Lev Grossman, Cecilia Tan, Molly O’Neill
Summary: J.K Rowling was far from the first, and won’t be the last, to write a fantasy using a magical school setting. From A Wizard of Earthsea’s Roke to the Unseen University in Discworld, from Jane Yolen’s Wizard Hall to Tamora Pierce’s Carthak University, the magical school or university is a staple in fantasy literature. Why? In books intended for a young audience and featuring young protagonists, school may seem a logical setting for the age group, but there are many more reasons why an educational setting lends itself to fantasy storytelling. Lev Grossman sends his main character to Brakebills in upstate New York, while Cecilia Tan hides her Magic University inside Harvard.
And I’m not speaking on, but am looking forward to this one:
Katniss, Bella, and Hermione: Finding the Balance Between Asskicking Prowess and Emotional Realism in the Girls of YA Fiction
Panelists: Lindsay Ribar, Beth Revis, Aimee Carter, Michelle Hodkin
Summary: You’ve got Katniss, the champion fighter whose hard life has left her with little room for romantic emotions; and you’ve got Bella, who lives for love but trips over her own shadow and needs supernatural boys to save her. With literary role models like Hermione in the mix – Hermione, known for both her sensitivity and her asskicking skills – why are there still so many high-profile heroines who tend toward one extreme or the other? This panel will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of extreme portrayals of these various female protagonists, and what kind of heroines we want next from the YA market.
For more information on Ascendio, registering for the con, and other fun stuff that will be going on, check out
And note that they are still taking proposals for presentations through February 29th! (Here:

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