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Happy October! 🍁

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Princess Adventures: DragonCon 2018

A new episode in The Princess Adventures has been posted — READ IT HERE.

“Dragon Con 2018. Sunday. The day I didn’t win yet another award…”

So much happened on the Sunday of Dragon Con that I had to break it into two parts. This is Part One: The Dragon Awards.

By the time I’ve finished chronicling this year’s Dragon Con, I will have written around 10,000 words. But you know what? I’M GLAD. I’m glad because I am able to process and chronicle this year’s amazing convention and all the magical things that happened to me. Magical things happen every year, but until now I have never had the time (or made the time) to tackle this assignment and see it all the way to the end.

I always give myself some sort of ridiculous arbitrary time limit, but my Dragon Con Report was never going to be done the week after Dragon–I should have never expected it to be. Nor should I put such pressure on myself in the future. Because now that it’s almost done, I feel…whole again. Well, almost whole.

There are still all those storm chasing diary entries and photos…

I’ve released these Princess Adventures to all my Patrons at the $1 Level and up. I do this because it is my main source of income. Funding these adventures has to come from somewhere!

THANK YOU, PATRONS!

xox

Princess Alethea

DragonCon 2018 Sunday Part One

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The Thing About Adventures

DragonCon 2018 PrincessSo here’s the thing about adventures: They are super fun to have. They can also be incredibly difficult to keep up with when you want to write about them.

In preparation for being firmly ensconced in the Northeastern US for the next few weeks, I created a pretty intense “post-DragonCon” to-do list. Yes, I would love to jump right into a new writing project and forget everything else, but everything else includes titles that moved from Createspace to KDP while I was out, NPR reviews that need to be turned in, about half a dozen non-fiction essays and proposals, and a manuscript decent enough to send to Jane and Heidi for Picture Book Boot Camp Part Deux in November.

In addition to all this important stuff, I have: 1.) Storm Chasing Essays, 2.) DragonCon Essays, and 3.) Fall Adventures up North.

See, the adventures don’t stop happening just because I don’t have time to write them all down. I just feels progressively more and more guilty about moving on with my life, while always promising to go back and catch up.

I’ve been telling everyone I’ve seen since May: Storm Chasing really affected me, deep down, in ways I’m still realizing. I came home mentally and physically exhausted, and I did a lot of soul searching. Some of this resulted in pretty life-changing decisions…or, at least, decisions that I hope will ultimately change my life for the better.  (My close friends seem to have utter faith that it will.)

In the meantime, I have my emerald green notebook right here, ready to transcribe all my diary entries, with the proper insight.

However, between then and now, DragonCon 2018 happened. In so many ways–even though it feels like I always say this–it was the best DragonCon ever. Those adventures are still fresh in my mind, broken down by each day of the Con.

The best part is, I’ve had time to process all those, too. In the last couple of years, I’ve had to shift gears so fast after DragonCon that I wasn’t even able to write them in a journal, and some of those beautiful memories were forgotten. In 2016, I was asked to be a last-minute staff addition to a writing cruise (which came with its own family drama) and in 2017 I drove home to Irma.

Now, I will never forget the fantastic time Jane Yolen and I had tromping around wearing crowns and finishing each other’s poetry, or the ten minutes I had one-on-one with Megan Follows, and I will never forget the magical performance that was “The Little Mermaid” Fairy Tale Rant Theatre (thank Jove we got that on camera!), but I know that other precious moments slipped through the cracks.

This year–this phenomenal year of adventures, I don’t want to forget anything. And yet…

Since DragonCon I’ve flown up North and had more amazing times, discovering the Fairyland that is the Colorscape Arts Festival, working in a patisserie full of very expensive (but incredibly delicious) napoleons, and hanging out with the Adam Ezra Group again, since our paths continue to cross like the strands of Pippi Longstocking’s braids.

This is why, when every five minutes someone was shouting across DragonCon that they stalked me on social media, I breathed a sigh of relief. Whether I had time to write it up in beautiful prose or not, these folks had been there for my adventures.

But now that I do have time…where do I begin?

Every so often I’ll flip through a notebook and come across a journal-type entry, in varying degrees of doneness, chronicling one adventure or another. When I have time (ha!) I put those in the Archive folder for my Exclusive Patrons. And I thank Past Alethea for her diligence,encapsulating that memory in whatever scribbles she was able.

But we have to start somewhere, don’t we?

I think perhaps I will start with DragonCon Day One: Thursday. The night of the Stygian Launch Party and Adam Ezra Concert…and super celebrity guest cameo that shocked the heck out of all of us.

I’ll be posting these adventures for Patrons Only–all accessible for only $1. Those dollars help me attend Picture Book Boot Camp, pay for the gas to get there and the hotel stays on either side. They help me get Sarah to DragonCon and buy swag for the Sideshow and get a dedicated camera, so that we will ALWAYS have recordings of Fairy Tale Rant Theatre. And sometimes, they just help me buy a coffee, or a really expensive pastry, when I’m in the perfect place to do so.

Thank you, my friends, for tagging along with me on my adventures. (Because it’s not technically “stalking” when I actually enjoy having you around!)

I treasure you all more than you will ever know.

xox

~Alethea

 

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The Harmswood Academy Trilogy: Nocturne Falls Universe

The Harmswood Academy Trilogy:

Nocturne Falls Universe

Reading Order

Harmswood Academy Trilogy

Book 1: The Truth About Cats & Wolves

Book 2: When Tinker Met Bell

Novelette: “The Meddlesome Misadventures of Merri and Bright” (from Merry and Bright)

Book 3: Besphinxed

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Interested in Essays, Sneak Peeks and Exclusive Content?  Become a Patron of the Princess today for as little as $1 a month!

Even better: Click over and FOLLOW for free!

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[New Release] The Unicorn Hunter–TODAY!

THE UNICORN HUNTER, book two in the Fairy Tales of Arilland chapbook series, is out today — with another gorgeous cover by Bianca Roman-Stumpff!

unicornhunter
Amazon Paperback
Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks

Once upon a time, a princess was born with hair as black as ebony, lips as red as blood, and skin as white as snow. After the huntsman and before the dwarfs—while she was all alone in that great forest—the princess met a demon.
He was hunting unicorns.
And what bait could better snare his prey than the fairest of them all?
This is the secret tale that the princess never shared with the world.
This is the true story.

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Don’t forget — the Swag Shop still has a few copies of  THE GLASS MOUNTAIN left, signed by Alethea Kontis AND cover artist Bianca Roman-Stumpff!


On the way to her wedding, brave and clever Princess Sabine falls into a Glass Mountain, where she is trapped with a crotchety, smelly man she calls “Old Rinkrank.” The two form a unique, unlikely friendship while working to escape.

Purchase your copy HERE!

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AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER–The Unicorn Hunter: A Tale of Arilland

So I tied Bianca to a chair and forced her to listen to “The Unicorn Hunter” on audio…okay so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but not much. It *is* still one of my favorite stories. That night, Bianca went to work her shift at Cafe Tu Tu Tango and she started the painting that would become the cover for the second chapbook in the Fairy Tales of Arilland series!

I present to you the AMAZINGLY GORGEOUS The Unicorn Hunter...now available for preorder!

unicornhunter

Release Date: April 24, 2018

Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Paperback (forthcoming)

Once upon a time, a princess was born with hair as black as ebony, lips as red as blood, and skin as white as snow.

After the huntsman and before the dwarfs—while she was all alone in that great forest—the princess met a demon. He was hunting unicorns. And what bait could better snare his prey than the fairest of them all?

This is the secret tale that the princess never shared with the world.
This is the true story.

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You can own your very own print of Bianca’s The Unicorn Hunter cover art–order here: http://biancaart.storenvy.com/products/23186775-the-unicorn-hunter-8×10-print

Support Alethea Kontis on Patreon–even a $1 pledge gets you access to exclusive content! https://www.patreon.com/princessalethea

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Part of Your World–Essays, Podcasts, and Awards

Hugo_Logo_1_200pxThe finalists for the 2018 Hugo Awards were recently announced. No surprise, I wasn’t among them.

And yet…I kind of was.

This year, Neil Clarke–of Clarkesworld Magazine–was shortlisted for Best Editor, Short Form, and Escape Pod finaled under Best Semiprozine.

How do I factor into these two things, do you ask?

The answer is here, in my latest essay for Clarkesworld“Another Word: Breathing Life Into Characters.”

I am honored to have been a contributing writer at Clarkesworld and a podcast narrator for Escape Pod over the past few years. I hope to continue this work for many years to come!

Congratulations to all the Hugo finalists!

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For a full list of all my Escape Pod (and other) story narrations, CLICK HERE.

For a list of all my Clarkesworld essays, CLICK HERE.

Support Princess Alethea on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/princessalethea

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WORKSHOP ANNOUNCEMENT: Steal Like a Pro

I’m excited about the new intensive online workshop I’m offering on April 14th–please share with any writers you know who might be interested!

Steal Like a Pro

Description

The path to writing great original fiction sometimes winds through other people’s fictional worlds before ending up in your own. Writing fanfiction is a great way to hone your writing skills, and using works in the public domain as a foundation for creating new stories is a tradition that goes back to Shakespeare and beyond.

But can you really take a story that utilizes an existing fictional universe and turn it into publishable fiction? YES! It is possible, and author Alethea Kontis can tell you how.

In the one-day online seminar Steal Like A Pro: Writing Fiction Inspired By Other People’s Worlds (And How To Make It Your Own), Alethea will guide you through how to:

  • Use fairy tales, folklore, and mythology as a foundation for your own fiction (sans cultural appropriation)
  • Use and retool public domain fiction to craft new stories
  • File the serial numbers off your fanfiction
  • Write in other people’s worlds (when you’re allowed to do so)

using lectures, exercises, and discussion of published examples.

The seminar will be taught via Zoom video conference software on April 14 from 12PM – 7PM Eastern. There will be frequent breaks.

Class requirements: You need an interest in writing fiction, but you do not need to have written or published anything yet. Writers can join using their computer (recommended), tablet, or phone. For the specific technical requirements for your device, please see this page on the Zoom website. You do not need a webcam to participate. You do need a working microphone in order to participate in discussions and ask questions.

Class texts: We’ll analyze multiple examples of published fiction in this seminar. Most of it is available for free and will be provided to you ahead of class. In addition, please purchase and/or read the following works:

 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND TO SIGN UP!

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BOOK DEAL ALERT: Tales of Arilland 99 cents!

Tales of Arilland - Gelett Burgess AwardIf you haven’t snapped up this fairy tale classic for your Kindle yet, do it now while it’s only 99 cents! Share with your friends!

2015 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award Winner

In the fairy tale realm of Arilland, stories are told at children’s bedsides–and not the stories you think you know. Tales of Arilland is a collection of fairy tales, presented in the magical topsy-turvy way that only Alethea Kontis can do. Discover the story of Bluebeard’s first wife (“Blood From Stone”), what really happened to Snow White in those dark woods (“The Unicorn Hunter”), how dangerous the Little Mermaid might have been (“Blood and Water”), and just how far Little Red Riding Hood was willing to go (“Hero Worship”). Included in this collection is “Sunday,” the original novelette that inspired the award-winning novel Enchanted, as well as “The Cursed Prince,” the previously untold history of Prince Rumbold of Arilland…and more.

Woodcutter enthusiasts will rejoice at this opportunity to delve into the secret worlds beyond Kontis’s intricately woven fantasy novels. And if you are not a fan yet, you will be!

“Alethea Kontis IS fairy tales.” –Jim C. Hines, author of Libriomancer

“A veritable badass fairy princess.” –Jim Butcher

“Alethea Kontis: Awesome, racks up award nominations, wears tiaras.” –SF author Ferrett Steinmetz

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Support Alethea Kontis on Patreon–even a $1 pledge gets you access to exclusive content! https://www.patreon.com/princessalethea

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SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE! April Short Story Workshop for Teens

alethea-class-640x320I am honored to be surrounded by the most amazing people.

Of all the jobs I’ve had in my life–and there have been some amazing ones–I miss my tenure at YAS (the Youth After School program in Northern Virginia) the most. (Yes, I really did work for Parks and Rec. I still have all my polos!)

“I miss working with those kids so much,” I lamented to Tempest.

“Then why don’t you teach an online short story workshop for teens?” she asked.

Almost as soon as the words left her mouth, the announcement existed on Eventbrite. The event got shared a bazillion times. And donations for scholarships came rolling in! We now have over a dozen scholarships available for students: including students of color, black students, and LGBTQ students! (Interested students, apply here!)

The craziest part? I now have enough scholarships to stretch across three or four workshops. The prospect of continuing this venture brings me so much joy! But more importantly: I need students.

If you are or know of a young writer aged 13-19, please share this post with them! The first class technically starts on April 1st, but that’s just when the short stories are due. We’ll start talking in an online group the following Sunday, and each Sunday after that. Since it’s an intimate class this first time around (so far), we’ll pick a time on Sundays that works for everyone.

It has been suggested that I hold the next Teen Short Story workshop in June, when school is over for most teens…so keep your eyes peeled for announcements!

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Description

This writing workshop for young adults aged 13 to 19 will give students the opportunity for in-depth critiques on short fiction from YA, middle grade, and picture book author Alethea Kontis. Participants will learn how to critique and how to incorporate feedback from critiques for revision in a respectful and serious environment that prioritizes craft, community, and commitment to writing.

The workshop begins April 1 and goes through April 29, 2018.

In addition to giving and receiving critique, writers will take part in discussions about publishing, character development, structure, narrative voice, and other elements of short fiction.

Students may workshop original fiction or fanfiction from any genre: fantasy, science fiction, horror, romance, mystery, or literary.

Critique Sessions and Live Q&A will take place on Sunday April 8, 15, 22, and 29. There is no live session on April 1 (Easter). If you cannot make all of the live sessions you can still participate in this class. Writers must be present for their own critique and scheduling for the live sessions will take your availability into account. All peer critiques are due on Sundays.

This class is for any person aged 13 to 19 who has an interest in writing fiction and has at least one complete story to workshop. Stories should be 500 to 8,000 words. It doesn’t have to be polished (that’s what we’re here to help you do!) but it must have a beginning, middle, and end. All stories must be ready to turn in by March 31st.

All members of this workshop will have the opportunity to attend the “Steal Like A Pro – Writing Fiction Inspired By Other People’s Worlds (And How To Make It Your Own)” seminar with Alethea on April 14 for free (optional).

Scholarships

There is finaicial aid available for stuents who cannot afford the class. We will award up to six scholarships for this class.

Technical Requiements

Live Critique and Q&A sessions will take place over Zoom Video Conference software, which is free to download. To participate, students must have a microphone. A webcam is helpful, but not necessary.

Students must have or have access to a Google account/Gmail. Stories will be uploaded to a private Google Drive folder for critique. Discussion will take place on a private Google Groups mailing list.

COME JOIN THE FUN!

CLICK HERE TO ENROLL, OR JUST FIND OUT MORE!

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