New Article: “The best books with fantastical civic design” on Shepherd

For those looking for some new book recommendations this cozy season, I’ve written a list of my top five fantasy books that best incorporate civic & urban design into their world-building, now up on Shepherd, a new site for connecting readers to books. You can check out that article to see my recommendations, which include some of my all-time favorite books in general, to be honest.

And be sure to explore Shepherd for other book recommendation lists like mine covering all kinds of topics. Shepherd is still in beta, but there is still plenty there for readers to discover.

OryCon Schedule [UPDATED]

Hello everyone! I’m here with an update on my OryCon schedule. If you’re in the Portland, OR area on November 12th, you can catch me on the following panels:

Gender, Sex, Sexuality, and Expression: Breaking it Down for the Layperson
Fri Nov 12 2:00pm-2:50pm

Gender and Sexuality: The Divide
Fri Nov 12 6:00pm-6:50pm

I’ll also be around the convention for the rest of the weekend enjoying other panels and events, and I’ll be bringing along some new bookmarks to hand out 🙂

OryCon runs November 12-14 at the Jantzen Beach Red Lion Hotel. More details at OryCon’s website. Please take note of their COVID-19 policy listed on the front page of their website.

UPDATE: Turns out I have another panel! On Saturday, November 13th, I will also be doing a panel on writing! Details:

Panel: What Are You Writing: A Standalone or a Series?
November 13th, 5:00pm – 5:50pm

Also, you can now view the full OryCon schedule here! And you can check out the details of all of my upcoming events over here (I’ll be updating it soon with details on DisCon III).

A Small Autumn Update

It’s not the most concrete of updates, but since it’s been quiet here lately, I thought I would pop in to do a brief explanation of things that have been going on and things that are coming up.

Matters with the pandemic have certainly slowed down a lot in my writing life, including my own creativity of late. While I’ve been staying safe and physically healthy, my typical summer lethargy was exacerbated by being in Year 2 of a global pandemic. I’ve been very disengaged from the book world (both on- and offline) and very unmotivated to work on my own books. Since July, I’ve mostly been working at my editing job and sleeping, it feels like. Now that autumn–the best, most powerful season–is rolling in, I’m starting to feel a little energized and imaginative again, but I’m still working on breaking the habits I built up during this year’s Summer Depression. All that said, I don’t have anything to say right now about projects I’m working on.

However, con season is coming up for me, though the pandemic is also slowing things down on that front, meaning that I don’t have any schedules set in stone yet. What I can say is that I there are a two SFF cons I plan on attending in some capacity or another and that I have so far been invited to panel on:

First is Orycon on November 12-14. Currently, I am planning on attending in-person (I am fully vaccinated and happy to mask up and social distance!), but considering the trajectory of COVID-19 cases and limited ICU beds in my area, this may change depending on how circumstances are looking or if there are any changes with Orycon/venue policy, local pandemic mandates, or CDC guidelines that may impact my ability to attend. As always, I will update here with more info if there are any changes to my plans.

I will also be attending DisCon III (this year’s WorldCon in Washington, D.C.) virtually. I don’t know exactly what this will look like for me yet, but thanks to the remote option, I don’t foresee any situation where I will have to alter my plan to attend.

(I am also planning on attending Kumoricon in-person this year, but I will not be on any panels. Just cosplaying!)

I will update my Coming Soon page with all the details once I have them. Until then, I hope you are all continuing to stay safe and hygienic as we deal with more of all of this.

Upcoming Event – Storycrafting Sessions: Exploring Story Structure

Hello everyone! I will be once again joining Weeknight Writers for one of their Storycrafting Sessions mini-conferences. On Saturday July 3rd, you can join myself and a number of other excellent authors for this virtual and free conference on the craft of plot structure.

The full schedule is available here, and remember to sign up before the conference in order to get access to the links you’ll need to view the panels. You can catch me specifically on the Beyond the Hero’s Journey panel at 11:00 am PDT.

I’m so excited to be participating in another Storycrafting Session! If you missed the last one, you can catch recordings of some of the panels on the Weeknight Writers YouTube channel, including the panel I was on last time about creating magic systems:

Upcoming Event: Infinite Horizons Storycrafting Sessions: Worldbuilding Deep Dive Virtual Conference

Whew, that’s a mouthful. But it is also where you can find me on February 20th, talking about fantasy and sci-fi worldbuilding topics like magic systems and fictional economies.

Join myself and other writers as we discuss the various aspects of worldbuilding in speculative fiction. The conference is virtual and free but requires registration to attend panels. You can find the full schedule here with links to register for each panel, and you can check my upcoming events page for the details on the specific panels I will be participating in. Or you can continue reading here, because I’m going to post it all below, too:

Infinite Horizons Storycrafting Sessions: Worldbuilding Deep Dive Conference – Virtual

Panel: Hard vs Soft vs Hybrid: Creating Interesting and Effective Magic Systems
February 20th, 1:00 – 2:00 PM EST/10:00 – 11:00 AM PST
Register here (registration is free)

Panel: We Don’t Take Imperial Credits: Developing Economics, Currency, and Trade in Speculative Fiction
February 20th, 4:00 – 5:00 PM EST/1:00 – 2:00 PM
Register here (registration is free)

UPDATE: Registration for the conference has switched from EventBrite to Zoom Webinar Registration. I’ve updated the links accordingly, but if you already registered through EventBrite, you will need to register again through Zoom Webinar Registration. Sorry for the hassle.

Hope to see folks there!

I Am Running for SFWA Secretary

I have some exciting news today, particularly for my fellow Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America members. I am running for the office of SFWA Secretary. The SFWA Board’s Secretary is responsible for record-keeping for the Board, communicating with  potential qualifying market publishers, and compiling issues of The Forum Binary.

Here is my official candidate platform:

Hello! I am Jasmine Gower, and I am running for the role of SFWA Secretary.

I have been an Active Member with SFWA since 2018, following the sale of my debut novel Moonshine, published by Angry Robot. Beyond SFWA, I am involved in local SFF writer communities in the Portland, OR metro area, as well as queer and disabled writer communities online and locally. I also have a Master of Arts in Book Publishing from Portland State University, where I did over two years of publisher-side work at the university’s graduate press, Ooligan Press.

Beyond my publishing experience, I have a robust work history in documentation and record-keeping within various fields ranging from health insurance to academia. From taking meeting notes to accounting monthly expenses to fully rewriting department-wide workflows, I’ve done just about every type of record-keeping an organization could need.

I hope to serve as Secretary in order to give back to the SFWA community that has supported me in my early writing career. As SFWA Secretary, my goal is to ensure that SFWA documentation is kept running smoothly and accurately so that SFWA members can continue to get the most out of their experience with the organization. Additionally, I aim to work within the role to ensure that SFWA record-keeping is maintained as efficiently and accessibly as possible.

For all of the Secretary candidate platforms, see this thread on the SFWA forums (only accessible to SFWA members). Voting will take place beginning in March, and you can check the SFWA Elections page for more details. I’m so excited for the opportunity to run for a position that will allow me to become more involved in and give back to the SFWA community!

New Year, New Site

Happy 2021, folks! My website upgrade is complete. Along with a fresh new look, I’ve also made my Content Warnings page easier to access in the site menu and finally added some SSL (whatever that is) to my site to make it secure for your browsing safety. I may still be tweaking some things to add and alter some functions on the admin end, which, in my past experience with WordPress, may very well result in some site downtime, but everything on the user end is all new and shiny for everyone to enjoy otherwise.

I’m also setting for myself a goal to get more engaged in this space for both your edification and for SEO reasons. I know I say that every time my site needs an update, but we’re still locked in the pandemic and I currently have an abundance of time and a restless energy to do something. I’m thinking along the lines of essays, because I’ve been playing a lot of video games and have THOUGHTS about them. If that sounds interesting to you, of course, I already do my video game podcast Grumble Pak with my friend and roommate Eli Wennstrom, and we’ve got a number of episodes available already for your listening enjoyment. Another thing that resulted from Pandemic Gotta Do Something Syndrome.

Regardless of how well I stick to this New Year’s Resolution, of course, this will continue to be the landing page for news and information regarding my writing career, including book links, publication news, upcoming events, and whatever else is relevant to my published works. My freelance editor site is still up, as well, with all the details and rates for the editorial services I provide: consultation, developmental editing, copyediting, proofreading, and now also sensitivity reading for portrayals of genderfluid, aromantic, and asexual characters.

Anyway, that’s all I have now for the sexy new Jasmine Gower Dot Com. As usual, keep eyes on this space (or my Twitter, which is really the only social media site I use with any amount of regularity anymore) for more updates and content in this new year.

Website Update for 2021

Hi all. To celebrate the sending off of 2020, I’m going to be updating this site for the new year. More or less, all of the same information should still be here, but there will be a fresh new look.

Also, apologies to anyone who might have tried to contact me via the site contact form here lately. Managing spam bots through that has been a pain and half, so I’ve more of less abandoned it to the wolves. With the updated layout, I’m hoping to adjust my contact methods to ensure that only non-robots are able to reach out to me.

Anyway, things may be a little up-and-down here as I do some virtual construction. Thanks in advance for the patience, and I can still be contacted readily over on Twitter in the meantime.

Happy New Year!

Upcoming Event: Weeknight Writers Virtual Conference (Updated 9/23)

a cup of tea sitting on a book in the foreground of autumn leaves
Photo: Autumn background with a book, a Cup of tea and leaves on the background of blurred autumn trees (Flip 2019) by Marco Verch under Creative Commons 2.0

UPDATE: the Exploring Romance through SFF panel has been canceled, but I’ll still be on the panels for Writing with Anxiety and Writing with Depression. Please be sure to register (for free!) on the Weeknight Writers Virtual Conference site ahead of time if you plan on attending.

 

Another virtual event is on the horizon! While I’m staying safe inside during this very smoky time in Oregon, I’m preparing to join the Weeknight Writers Virtual Conference as a panelist. The conference is free to participate in and will take place on Saturday September 26th and Sunday September 27th. If you are interested in joining, please be sure to register for the virtual calls on the Weeknight Writers Virtual Conference website.

I’ll be on the panels Writing with Anxiety, Exploring Romance through SFF, and Writing with Depression. Exact dates and times are listed on the conference website, as well as my Upcoming Events page. Be sure to keep an eye on timezone differences, as the conference site lists panels in Eastern Time.

I hope you can join to chat with me and other authors about romance in sci-fi/fantasy and navigating mental health while writing. Until then, if you’re physically on the Pacific coast like me, stay safe among all the fires and smoke.

2020 Nebula Conference Online Reading Series

Jasmine Gower speaking at the University Bookstore in Seattle

My SFWA reading that was originally scheduled for April is back on! Sort of!

For those who have 2020 Nebula Conference membership, on Wednesday, August 26th at 5:00 PM PDT, Corry L. Lee and I will be digitally joining the Reading Series for the 2020 Nebula Conference Online, where we will be reading from our works and doing a Q&A afterward. I’m planning on reading a few scenes from Moonshine, as well as a scene from my new (not yet sold) dark fantasy project.

Details about the reading can be found on the Nebula Conference site.