ST. LOUIS, June 30, 2023—While scriptwriting in Hollywood may have been stricken to a halt, fantasy book creators aren’t sitting still. This July 13–15, writers and faculty will return to the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel west of St. Louis, setting a record-breaking attendance over 500 for the Christian-led Realm Makers conference.
Readers can find great fantastical fiction at a public book festival. The free event opens 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 15 and features New York Times bestselling novelist Brent Weeks (Night Angel Nemesis, The Night Angel Trilogy, The Lightbringer Series).
At 7 p.m. Friday, July 14, attendees and faculty are invited to celebrate their favorite stories at the Realm Awards banquet. Organizers encourage guests to celebrate their favorite stories in costume. Realm Makers will announce winners in several categories for the best genre novels, audiobooks, and stories released in 2022, including the top Book of the Year. Winner names will be posted later that evening.
Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel
191 Westport Plaza
St. Louis, Mo. 63146
and livestreaming on the RealmSphere
starts Thursday, July 13
concludes Saturday, July 15
In-person attendees can meet USA Today bestseller Tricia Goyer (Beyond the Gray Mountains, Before You Meet Your Future Husband), one of the conference’s three keynote speakers. Goyer joins sci-fi and suspense novelist Steven James (Broker of Lies, Synapse) as well as literary agent and Enclave Publishing publisher Steve Laube.
Goyer said Laube helped her find a less-familiar side of Christian-made fiction—the kind that features dragons or spaceships instead of buggies and bonnets.
“I’m incredibly excited to keynote the closing address at Realm Makers this year,” Goyer said. “My talk is ‘Your Story Matters.’ This is a dual message about the stories being written and the stories of our lives. After writing over eighty books, I’ve discovered the best stories come from the cores of who we are and who God created us to be. … Realmies are writing the stories this generation needs.”
For his part, Steve Laube has followed Realm Makers since the debut conference in 2013. Laube has spent decades advocating and acquiring books based on coherent Christian worldview, including from many well-known Christian novelists.
“At Realm Makers, I hope that God will be glorified and the message God has inspired will pierce the soul, challenge the intellect, and inspire new thoughts,” Laube said. “The big vision of Realm Makers and all Christian fantastical fiction is that we can raise up storytellers who bring light into an increasingly dark world.”
One of those storytellers is Steven James, the conference’s third keynote speaker and host of The Story Blender podcast. “I was so thrilled to learn about this sort of event, because science fiction and fantasy—speculative fiction—is so close to my heart,” James said. “I’m really excited to share some thoughts I’ve had recently about the importance of imagination in our writing and in our approach to storytelling—some surprising conclusions that I didn’t expect to come to.”
Laube, James, and Goyer will join other expert faculty to train upcoming writers:
- Parker J. Cole, fantasy and historical romance author
- Shannon Dittemore, young-adult fantasy author
- Kirk DouPonce, professional book cover designer
- Mary Driscoll, film critic, ghostwriter, Hollywood script analyst and judge
- Sara Ella, fantasy novelist
- Kristy S. Gilbert, designer as well as editor for three different companies
- Tara Grayce, romantic fantasy author
- Carla Hoch, Writer’s Digest author and fight-scene specialist
- Charlie N. Holmberg, fantasy and romantic fiction author
Visit RealmMakers.com for more event information, including updated lists of faculty members, conference fees, available classes, and attendance figures.
About Realm Makers: Realm Makers began in 2013, and from small origins has grown to serve thousands of Christian fiction authors online and at annual conferences. Faculty members have included bestselling novelists such as Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Tosca Lee, C. J. Redwine, James L. Rubart, Brent Weeks, and N. D. Wilson. Realm Makers exists to help creative Christians in their journeys, providing education in craft, connections with industry professionals, and strategies for finding readers who love these kinds of stories. Meanwhile, the Realm Makers Bookstore offers a curated collection of speculative fiction from Christian authors, traveling to events such as homeschool conventions and book festivals.