Where I’ll be, what I’ll be doing

Below is a list of conventions, festivals and other events I’ll be attending. Come say hi – even better, come say hi and buy me a drink!


Eastercon, Birmingham Hilton Metropole, 8-10 April 

  • Friday, 12-1pm – reading from The Jaguar Path
  • Saturday, 9-10pm – writing intimate scenes… Grab a drink for this one!
  • Sunday, 10.30-11.30am – writing believable characters (moderating)

Sci-Fi Weekender, Vauxhall Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth – 17-19 March

  • I’ll be here from the Friday afternoon until it finishes Saturday night. I haven’t been to this before, so I’m really looking forward to this one.


Writer’s cafe at Williamson’s Tavern in Bank, London – 17 May, 6.45pm

  • A workshop on writing combat in fiction – from duels to battles, brawls to martial arts rumbles, we’ll look at how to research and write fight scenes, and how violence can both further plot and deepen characterisation. 

Cymera Festival, Edinburgh – 4-5 June

  • Details to follow, but it looks like I’ll be moderating a panel on Saturday and taking part in a panel on Sunday

Bristolcon, Bristol – 29 October

  • Just bar-conning for the day this year, but come and say hi anyway! I’ll have flyers for my worldbuilding course to hand out!


See 2020 – so far, at least.


Staying at home and spending too much time on social media while over-committing to projects and then panicking.

Also watching all the foreign language dramas.


Elfia fantasy fair, Netherlands – 13-14 April

Cymera SFF convention, Edinburgh – 8 June – 10am: Anna Stephens and Cameron Johnston interviewed by Pete Sutton

Edge-Lit, Derby – 13 July

  • 11am – Has The Magic Gone? As Fantasy Gets Darker, What Role Does
    Magic Have To Play?
  • 1pm – Developing ‘real’ characters (Workshop)
  • 3pm – Beyond the Darkness: Where Does Fantasy Fiction Go After Grimdark? (Panel) I am moderating this one!!!!
  • 4pm – Reading alongside Jan Edwards

SRFC, London – 13 August, 7-9pm – Star of Kings, Kings X

Worldcon, Dublin – 15-18 August

  1. Autographing
    17 Aug 2019, Saturday 14:00 – 14:50, Level 4 Foyer (CCD) – along with Ruth Frances Long, Emma Newman, Fred Gambino, Sarah Gailey, Alec Nevala-Lee
  2. Orville vs Discovery – 18 Aug 2019, Sunday 11:00 – 11:50, Liffey Room-2 (CCD)
    • One is seen as the next version of True Trek. The other is canonical Trek, by definition, since it has the imprimatur of being a Trek production. Fans usually love one or the other, but rarely both. We delve into the mystery of what sets the two apart and whether it is possible to love them both. Panellists: Me, Gillian Clinton, Lise Andreasen, Prof. Kenneth Schneyer (M), Kelvin Jackson
  3. An army marches on its stomach, an empire on its gold – 18 Aug 2019, Sunday 15:00 – 15:50, Wicklow Hall-1 (CCD)
    • We often see armies marching across the world without needing feeding, or empires that appear to have no trading relationships with their counterparts – but real world dramas have turned on a lack of purple dye or an army who disbanded to harvest their crops. The panel will discuss how economics and societal structures can influence stories, and how the use of believable social worldbuilding can enhance fantasy or science fictional settings. Panellists include me, Jesper Stage (Luleå University of Technology), Dr Stewart Hotston (M), Kelly Robson (SFWA)

Bloodchild launch event, Waterstones Birmingham – 5 September

  • In conversation with Stephen Aryan and G X Todd

SwanseastonesCon – Waterstones, Swansea – 27 September

  • Panel event with some cool people still TBC

London Writers’ Cafe – 7 October, 7-9pm

  • Anna will explore the elements that go into creating a coherent, believable and three-dimensional fantasy world, including magic, myth, economics and politics. She’ll identify some of the key characteristics that make a world feel ‘real’ and with a sense of depth and history. From there, she’ll discuss how to actively weave story into your world building, how world affects character and conversely, how much impact characters have on the world, environment and society you have created. Although this will be mainly about fantasy writing, many elements will be relevant to those writing science-fiction as well.

Bristolcon, Bristol – 25-27 October

  • 12pm – Broader horizons: despite some sterling work in recent years, big commercial fantasy is still in thrall to the tropes of medieval Europe. How do we break out of that setting? (Moderator)
  • 2.50pm – Reading from Bloodchild
  • 3pm – Can there be only one?: Are chosen ones divine miracles or just a nasty case of eugenics? (Panellist)
  • 5pm – worldbuilding workshop: how not to info-dump the necessary elements of your world.
  • Before, during and after – THE BAR!


If you haven’t have enough of me on social media yet, you can always come and see/hear me live at one of the many following events! I’m usually to be found in the bar beforehand and always afterwards…

  • Super Relaxed Fantasy Club – 27 March – venue TBC (London)
  • Panel event with Bradley Beaulieu and Stephen Aryan, 5 April – Waterstones Birmingham
  • Guest speaker for Birmingham SF Group, 13 July 8pm, The Briar Rose pub, Birmingham city centre

I’ll be discussing my road to publication, the writing process, Godblind and its sequels, and anything else anyone wants to know. Do come along!

  • Edge-Lit 7, Derby – 14 July:

12pm, participation space, ground floor – Workshop – From Battles to Brawls: the art of writin’ fightin’

1pm, Sir John Hurt cinema, 2nd floor – Panel – New worlds: is fantasy slowly becoming a broader genre?

6pm, Sir John Hurt cinema, 2nd floor – The Edge-Lit raffle/auction – hosted by Anna Stephens and RJ Barker!

  • Unsung Live! Star of Kings pub, London – 24 July:

I’ll be reading Flesh and Coin, the short story featuring in the Art of War charity anthology, which you can buy here.

  • Nine Worlds, Friday 10 August:

Panel – Know your Enemy, hosted by the excellent, and excellently-mohawked, Mike Brooks, on writing villains. 1.30pm

Panel – Racing in Fiction – this one is a bit of a tricky one, and I’ll mostly be winging it and having fun. 3.15pm

  • Darksoul launch event, Waterstones Birmingham, Thursday 23 August:

Birmingham Waterstones, 6.30-8pm-ish, followed by drinks in Bacchus Bar, below the Burlington Hotel. There will be a short reading from Darksoul and an interview, then Q&A, so any burning questions, come along and ask them! Tickets are free, book through Waterstones Birmingham’s events page online.


  • SFF-Horror panel, Waterstones Swansea, Thursday 30 August:

Join me, RJ Barker, Sci-fi’s Gareth Powell (Embers of War) and Horror’s Catriona Ward (Rawblood) for a cross-genre panel extravaganza! Tickets cost £3.00 available from Waterstones Swansea’s events page.

  • Fantasy panel, Forbidden Planet Birmingham, Wesdnesday 5 September:

I’ll be speaking alongside the epic Stephen Aryan (Mageborn trilogy) and GX Todd (Hear the Voices trilogy) on all things fantastic, dsytopic and magical. Starts at 5pm, so great for the straight out of work crowd.


  • Fantasy panel, Waterstones Edinburgh, Wednesday 19 September:

Me and new debut author Cameron Johnston (The Traitor God) will be chatting away on publishing, fantasy, approaches to writing and anything else you’d like to know at 6.30pm in Edinburgh. Sign up through the shop’s events page.

  • Fantasy panel, Waterstones Glasgow Argyle Street, Thursday 20 September:

Me and Cameron Johnston, as above, will be joined by Anna Smith Spark (The Court of Broken Knives) for even more fantasy chat – books, swords, research, influences and more.

1:15pm – Other Worlds: Creating Convincing Settings For Your Stories

5:10pm – Pushing the Boundaries: Where Does Genre Fiction End?

Tickets are £25 for the day, and there’s a vast array of talent talking about a vast array of writing/publishing/editing and everything else you might want to know.

  • Fantasycon, Chester – 19-21 October

FRIDAY – 5pm, Disraeli room, Reading from Darksoul

SATURDAY – 10am, The Albert room, Feminism and Feminist Themes in Genre Fiction

SATURDAY – 7pm, The Edward room, Writing Warfare

SATURDAY – 8pm, The Edward room, Brave New Words podcast – live!

SUNDAY – 1.30pm, The Albert room, The Fantasycon box of Plot Ideas

  • Bristolcon – 27 October

3pm, Programme room 1, How to Become a Published Author

6.50pm, Programme room 2, Reading from Darksoul

7pm, Programme room 2, The Future of War



Eastercon – Birmingham Hilton Metropole, 15 and 16 April 2017. Event review here:

Godblind book launch event- Thursday 15 June, 6.30pm-8pm. Launch day party review here.

Edge-Lit – Derby, 15 July 2017. How did it go? Find out here.

New voices in Fantasy, Waterstones Piccadilly, 20 July.

Fantasy in the Court – London, 3 August

Nine Worlds – London, 4-6 August. Event review for this, the Facebook Live, New Voices panel and Fantasy in the Court here.

Grim Gathering, Waterstones Bath, 25 September. See how it went here

Gothenburg Book Fair – 28-29 September. How did it go?

Escape to Fantasycon: Peterborough – 30 Sept-1 Oct.

Writing Fantasy Fiction, Waterstones Bristol, 27 October. Fantasycon and Bristolcon round up here

Grim Gathering Sept 2017