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Trauma and Healing Through Magic in Speculative Fiction


Register Below

Wednesday, 7:30 pm EDT April 21, 2021

Online via Zoom

K.M. Szpara, Anita Kopacz, Kerstin Hall, and Lee Mandelo join us for a deep dive into speculative fiction. Each of the authors will discuss their newest works, slated for publication in 2021, and their journeys into the genre. Blending the literary and the unreal, their new books explore themes of trauma and healing in the architecture of other worlds.

K.M. Szpara’s sophomore novel First, Become Ashes is available now. Anita Kopacz’s Shallow Waters (August 3, 2021), Kerstin Hall’s Star Eater (June 22, 2021), and Lee Mandelo’s Summer Sons (September 28, 2021) are available for pre-order!

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In Conversation

  • KM Szpara Author Photo - Zach Cihlar

    K.M. Szpara

    K.M. Szpara

    K.M. Szpara (he/himme/his) is a queer and trans author who lives in Baltimore, MD, with his tiny dog and goofy cat. He is the author of speculative novels such as First, Become Ashes (2021) and Docile (2020), and a third in 2022 that follows up on his Hugo and Nebula nominated novelette, “Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time.” They’re about cults and trauma, consent and debt, and a horny trans vampire, respectively. His short fiction appears in, Uncanny, Lightspeed, and more. You can find himme on the Internet at and on Twitter and Instagram at @kmszpara.

  • AnitaKopacz - Zach Cihlar

    Anita Kopacz

    Anita Kopacz

    Anita Kopacz (she/her) is an award-winning writer and spiritual psychologist. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Heart & Soul magazine and Managing Editor of BeautyCents magazine. When she is not writing, you can find her on the dance floor or traveling the world with her children. Anita lives in New York City with her family. Shallow Waters is her first book.

  • Kerstin Hall_CREDIT Sylvia Hall - Zach Cihlar

    Kerstin Hall

    Kerstin Hall

    Kerstin Hall (she/her) is the author of the novella The Border Keeper and the novel Star Eater (publishing June 2021). Her writing has also appeared in Strange Horizons and Fireside. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

  • Lee Mandelo_CREDIT Sarah Jane Webb - Zach Cihlar

    Lee Mandelo

    Lee Mandelo

    Lee Mandelo (he/they) is the author of Summer Sons (publishing September 2021). They are a writer, critic, and occasional editor whose fields of interest include speculative and queer fiction, especially when the two coincide. They have been a past nominee for various awards including the Nebula, Lambda, and Hugo; their work can be found in magazines such as, Uncanny magazine, Clarkesworld, and Nightmare. They live in Lexington, Kentucky.