In June 2018, the eighth annual Current Research in Speculative Fiction conference took place, welcoming approximately 40 delegates and attendees to our new base in the School of Arts Library at the University of Liverpool.
The team decided to kick off CRSF 2018 with an eye to our creative aspirations. Following the success of the PGR workshop, "The Role of the Fantastic", that began CRSF 2017, on the 28th June we held a science fiction creative writing workshop, gathering together 13 aspiring writers and two fantastic authors for lively discussion. The session was led by our two visiting experts, Justina Robson and Tricia Sullivan. Our enthusiastic attendees, representing diverse forms of speculative fiction and unique voices, formed into groups led by Tricia and Justina, and indulged in wide ranging debate, from creative processes and writing styles, to self-confidence and writer’s block. Specific questions concerning individual stumbling blocks were fielded by Tricia and Justina, generously offering person to person guidance with detailed responses and personalised advice.
On 29th June the conference proper began. By 9 am CRSF 2018 was well underway welcoming delegates and attendees from all over the globe to our new base in the School of Arts library. We witnessed a truly exciting variety of first time presenters and returning speakers, delivering exciting papers on topics from gaming and the environment to young adult fiction and horror. The team would like to thank everyone who took part in the conference for their time and hard work, and for their inspiring presentations which continue to equally amaze, motivate and provoke some mild PhD envy in us. CRSF is made possible and truly enjoyable by you and it continues to be a great privilege for us to be host to such an outstandingly friendly and open-minded research community.
Special thanks also to our keynote speakers: Tricia Sullivan, "On Starting Over" and Dr Mark Bould (UWE Bristol) "Science Fiction and the Anthropocene Unconscious", who both gave provoking, insightful and entertaining keynote lectures, as well as attending numerous panels, offering perceptive and enlightening discussion, and entering fully into the spirit of the day. We are also grateful to the participants of the “How to Get Published” panel which was an experimental endeavour, new to CRSF 2018, to support PGRs with useful information and advice as they look into publishing their work: Dr Mark Bould, Dr Chris Pak, Dr Emily Cox, Kerry Dodd and Dr Will Slocombe, we are indebted to you all for your insight and generosity with your time.
Last but not least, we are, as always, deeply appreciative of the University of Liverpool staff who made sure that the process of organising and hosting the conference ran so smoothly. Our gratitude to Andy Sawyer, Foundation collection librarian, for the previous issues of Foundation enriching our conference packs and the wonderful selection of books presented at the event, and Blackwell’s Phillip Larner for joining us again, providing us a great selection of fiction and non-fiction.
As always we welcome your feedback on CRSF 2018, all comments are useful and appreciated. Please leave a comment on this post, or e-mail them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please stand by for our next post on CRSF 2019!