I’m so excited to announce I’ll be the keynote speaker at the next BDSM Writers Conference!
AUGUST 20-23, 2015 in New York City!
What’s BDSM Writers Con, you say? Organized by Dr. Charley Ferrer in New York City, “BWC” has quickly become the top place for writers, editors, and readers of BDSM fiction, romance, and erotica to meet, connect, and learn. There’s a revolution on folks: with the explosion in popularity of BDSM within fiction, we have both tons of new people entering the BDSM community through literature, and we have essentially a whole new constituency within romance readership with kinky folk who are finally finding books where they’re represented! There is so much we have to learn from each other. As someone who has been writing erotica for over 20 years and who has been a BDSM community activist for over 20 years, I’ve had one foot in each of these worlds all along. Now they’re finally merging, and BDSM Writers Con seems like the ultimate place for that to happen!
Last year’s keynote speaker was the lovely Joey W. Hill (Natural Law, Ice Queen, etc.): having just met Joey at Authors After Dark, and having heard her speak so passionately and eloquently about BDSM in fiction there, I know I’ll have a tough act to follow!
From the BDSM Writers Con Website: “The definitive conference for authors & readers of Dominance & submission. BDSM Writers Con is for writers, readers and everyone who’s interested in exploring the world of Dominance and submission. There’s no other conference where you get to hang out with your favorite BDSM authors, meet new ones, and actually have fun learning and exploring with them.”
Registration is now open: http://bdsmwriterscon.com/2015-registration — and the “early bird” $200 special price is only good until October 15th.
What will I be doing at BWC? I’ll be delivering a keynote speech on Friday night, and I’ll be teaching two workshops that I am developing exclusively for BWC:
“A Dom Is Not Just an Alpha in Leather”
There are complex and valid reasons why female readers may choose to fantasize about a range of non-consensual scenarios in romance novels, from the classic “kidnapped into a sheik’s harem” to the currently popular “fated to be an alpha werewolf’s mate” and “met a billionaire who won’t take no for an answer.” But I feel it’s very important to distinguish between fantasy scenarios and depictions of real life. While the lines that are crossed in fiction may fall in a different place than they do in real life, acknowledgement that lines and boundaries exist is the first step. These fantasy archetypes are “safe” fantasies for women to indulge precisely because they are NOT real life. Where will our kinky heroes of the future fit in the pantheon of romance archetypes? And when it comes to real life BDSM, how do those archetypes present themselves in dungeon role-playing? In the real BDSM community, doms who come across as pushy assholes or stalkers rarely last. When asked what qualities they valued in a dom, subs I surveyed used words like nurturing, competent, and loyal. We’ll discuss the many flavors of dom and the many types of romance heroes whose kinky sides can be explored.
“Doms are from Mars, Subs are from Venus”
Some of you may have participated in my BDSM couples communication workshop “Tops are from Mars, Bottoms are from Venus.” I realized that the same issues that we get at in that workshop are crucial for writers trying to understand the D/s dynamic between their characters. BDSM fiction provides a unique opportunity to look deeply into the dynamic of communication and exchange of power that takes place between a dominant and a submissive. This workshop is aimed at writers and readers who want to understand that complex dynamic and how that understanding can enrich the stories we tell. Doms and subs have different modes of communication and sometimes even vastly different interpretations of what they say or do: in both real life and fiction it’s crucial to tease apart these differences and it’s crucial to convey to readers each character’s intent. Miscommunications take place between doms and subs all the time when they misread each other’s intentions: come learn some of the common pitfalls and breakdown points that BDSM practitioners struggle with in real life and use them to expand your own understanding of the dynamic and/or discover new conflicts to put your characters through.
Plus there will be booksignings, receptions and opportunities to meet and hang out. One highlight of the convention will be an outing to a BDSM/fetish club night. Awesome, no?
Hope to see you all there!
Cecilia Tan is “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature,” according to Susie Bright. Her BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever, 2013) won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance. Her books often explores sex, sensuality, and sexuality, among them: Black Feathers (1998, HarperCollins), White Flames (2004, Running Press), and Edge Plays (2008, Circlet Press), The Prince’s Boy (Circlet Press), and The Hot Streak (2014, Riverdale Avenue Books). Her short stories have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Nerve, Best American Erotica, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and tons of other places. Tan was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame for GLBT writers in 2010, was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Leather Association in 2004.