I speak frequently to user groups, conventions and conferences, covering diverse topics such as writing, self-publishing, science fiction, science and Internet technologies. Some of my engagements have been videotaped. In other cases, my slides are available online via, where they’ve been viewed more than 100,000 times. Selected workshops, videos, presentations and handouts are featured below.

Check out my latest work with The Hourlings Podcast Project!


Daedalus Seven: A World-Building Workshop Daedalus Seven: A World-Building Workshop: Learn about the doomed voyage of the Daedalus Seven, a vast generation spaceship, in this world-building workshop. With the core design of the ship and its multiple habitats already established, participants will design the ecosystems of the habitats, craft the surviving civilizations after its 12-thousand-year voyage, and envision plots leveraging the world-building details.
Created: March 27, 2021
Hourlings Writing Exercises Hourlings Writing Exercises: Diverse writing exercises from the Hourlings Writing Group on subjects like ideation, creating atmosphere, crafting characters, defining interesting SF/Fantasy occupations, plotting, and more. Even better, new exercises are added all the time.
Created: June 3, 2019; Updated: Ongoing
Writing Killer Fight Scenes Writing Killer Fight Scenes: Does your story come to a screeching halt every time there’s a fight scene? Do readers think your fight scenes are…tedious…instead of exciting? How realistic should your fight be? Discover how real people react to violence, and how you can use this information to make your conflict more believable. Learn how to craft fight scenes that engage your readers, advance your plot and reveal character.
Given: Capclave 2018; Released: December 29, 2020
Build a Space Battle Building a Space Battle: So, you want to include a titanic space battle in your military SF novel or your galaxy-spanning space opera. But…who’s fighting? Why are they fighting? You’d like to make the battle realistic…but what tactics and strategies make sense? In this workshop, you’ll learn by doing as we collaboratively build an epic space battle.
Given: Capclave 2017; Released: October 7, 2017
Creating an Adaptive Setting Creating an Adaptive Setting: Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve noticed that a lot of authors are making money with series. But crafting a series is hard, and it’s a subject that’s not covered in most writing manuals. Come learn a set of steps for creating a coherent, consistent and connected background to support multiple stories leveraging the same setting, primary characters and supporting characters. Give your series the foundation it needs to become what you want it to be.
Given: Capclave 2015 & 2019, Balticon 2017; Released: October 10, 2015
Public Speaking for Writers Public Speaking for Writers: Simply writing a story isn’t enough – you also need to get up in front of an audience and promote yourself. In this workshop, you’ll learn techniques to be a dynamic speaker. You’ll learn how to apply these techniques to be an effective panelist at conventions, whether as a moderator or as a participant. You’ll also learn to describe your fiction in succinct sound bites designed to intrigue potential readers. Author Tom Doyle said, “This should be a required course for all would-be convention panelists. Very helpful for those new to pitching their novels in person as well.”
Given: Capclave 2014, Balticon 2018; Released: October 12, 2014

Videos / Podcasts

The Hourlings Podcast Project Hourlings Podcast Project: A weekly video podcast from the Hourlings Writing Group. Real writing advice from working authors on topics like finding time to write, writing on vacation, character development, worldbuilding, and more.
Launched: November 9, 2020
The Finest Legacy The Finest Legacy: I’ve been a science fiction fan for almost as long as I can remember. I’d like to share with you how I became a science fiction fan, and maybe along the way, show you a few things that I find really fascinating about this field of literature. Even if you’re not a science fiction enthusiast, I promise that you won’t think the same way about science fiction after this talk.
Released: October 13, 2012
Transcript Video
The Apple Falls Down: Perspectives on Global Warming The Apple Falls Down: Perspectives on Global Warming: Global warming is the type of problem that starts out small but becomes increasingly serious as time goes on. While there may be no “smoking gun” right now, we need to prepare for the future.
Released: July 4, 2012
Transcript Video
Creating Killer Business Models Killer Business Models: What’s your business model? How can you describe your business model and effectively communicate your vision to others? How can other people evaluate your business model and determine whether your vision and business strategies have merit? This talk provides a conceptual basis for defining, documenting and evaluating business models. It uses real-world examples to show how these concepts can be effectively applied to build actual businesses.
Released: September 25, 2011


Most of my presentations are available online at Slideshare. One of my presentations, “Creating Killer Business Models” was even a “Featured Selection” on Slideshare’s Home page.

Titanic: The Forgotten Passengers Titanic: The Forgotten Passengers: Even after 101 years, the tragedy of the Titanic still echoes in our collective memories. There are so many stories of that fateful journey – of bravery, of cowardice, of self-sacrifice, and more. But Titanic wasn’t just a human tragedy. Come back to Titanic with me, and let me tell you about…the forgotten passengers.
Released: September 10, 2013
Text Slideshare
21st Century Writer 21st Century Writer: Today is the best time ever to be a writer. Discover what being a professional writer used to be like, how the publishing industry is now changing in fundamental ways, and how you can become the writer you always wanted to be.
Released: September 17, 2013
Elevator Up, Please Elevator Up, Please: Space travel is dangerous and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Find out about an alternative way to reach orbit that is rapidly becoming feasible and may eventually change how we view our world.
Released: March 25, 2012


When I speak at conventions, I often provide handouts for the sessions I’m on. Since many of these handouts are of general interest, I also upload them to this web site. I also provide a series of writing exercises for the Hourlings Writing Group, the intermediate/advanced group to which I belong. Those writing exercises are available online, too.

Non-Superhero Comics Non-Superhero Comics: I compiled a handout of the most entertaining non-superhero comics I could find for a Balticon panel. I’ve also added additional recommendations from my fellow panelists.

Balticon, May 26, 2018

Post Apocalyptic Stories Post-Apocalyptic Stories: There are lots of post-apocalyptic stories that are worth your attention. I compiled a list of some of the most memorable books, and a few movies, for a Balticon panel.

Balticon, May 25, 2018