Joint Campbell and SFRA Conference
and Awards Ceremony
July 10-13, 2008

Information Map
2008 Conference
Special Guests for 2008
"Teaching Science Fiction: A Portable Workshop"
Schedule of Events
Maps of KU and Lawrence
Reports from Previous Campbell Conferences

Campbell Award winners and James Gunn at 2007 Heinlein Centennial Gala
Campbell and Sturgeon winners from 2007
James Gunn, Campbell Award winner Ben Bova, and Sturgeon Award winner Robert Charles Wilson.
Photo courtesy Keith Stokes.

In 2008, SFRA held their Conference Meeting as a joint event with the Campbell Conference on July 10 - 13, 2008 in Lawrence, Kansas. This year's Campbell Conference topic was "Teaching Science Fiction." Check the SFRA website for details about their Conference.

The annual SFRA meeting brings science fiction and fantasy writers, scholars, critics, enthusiasts, and a guest of honor together for four thought-provoking days. Whether as members or guests, attendees are encouraged to present papers, discuss common interests, and share knowledge and perspectives in a relaxed, informal environment. Last year's topic was, "Robert A. Heinlein, Jack Williamson, and 21st Century Science Fiction," and we held the event in Kansas City in conjunction with the Heinlein Centennial event and the SFRA Conference. Check back for updates. Note that you will need to present your Conference identification for most events.

This year we offered a special seminar, "Teaching Science Fiction," led by distinguished SF teachers and authors, including James Van Pelt. Because we collaborated with SFRA for this event, SF teachers had the opportunity to learn about methods and pedagogy by attending presentations and talking with other attendees.

The Campbell Conference is the concluding event of the Writers Workshop in Science Fiction, the Novel Writers Workshop in Science Fiction, and the beginning of the Intensive English Institute on the Teaching of Science Fiction. Held regularly at the University of Kansas since 1973 (except for the special joint event in 2007 with SFRA and the Heinlein Centennial), the Conference provides a setting for the presentation of three science-fiction honors:

Winners of both awards receive lucite trophies to take home and have their names engraved on the permanent trophies that remain on display at the Center's office.

The Kansas Union Oread Bookstore also usually holds a signing and readings with the attending authors on the Saturday of the Conference. See the full schedule of events for more information. All Conference attendees were able to pick up a copy of the Sturgeon Award-winning short story at the Bookstore during the signing by presenting their badge.

Campbell and Sturgeon awards

Be sure to register early for savings!

Special Guests for 2008

We were honored this year to co-host a joint Conference with the Science Fiction Research Association. The Campbell Conference usually brings to Lawrence the winners of the Campbell and Sturgeon Awards as special guests. CSSF Director James Gunn is our permanent special guest. Check back soon for updates about guests and events!

Guests for the joint 2008 Campbell and SFRA Conference included the following luminaries:

  • Robin Wayne Bailey is a fantasy and science fiction author and recent president of SFWA. Mr. Bailey was a key player in the 1996 creation of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Hall of Fame, and is on the advisory board of the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle. Mr. Bailey was the Master of Ceremonies for last year's Heinlein Centennial.
  • Karen Joy Fowler has authored eight books and many shorter works, and was honored with the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Ms. Fowler, with Pat Murphy, created the James Tiptree Jr. Memorial Award. She regularly teaches writing at workshops around the country.
  • Kathleen Ann Goonan has written six novels and many short works. Goonan's novels have been finalists for many awards, including the British Science Fiction Award for Queen City Jazz; the Arthur C. Clarke Award for The Bones of Time; and the Nebula Award for Crescent City Rhapsody and Light Music. Her current novel, In War Times (author's back-story here), was honored as the best SF novel of 2007 by the ALA and is a finalist for this year's John Campbell Memorial Award. Goonan's father (Thomas E. Goonan), whose journals served as the basis for the main character's journals in In War Times, also attended. Father and daughter gave a joint reading during the Conference.
  • James Gunn is a science fiction author and historian, KU professor emeritus of English, director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, and SFWA Grand Master. He is a past president of SFWA and is chair of the Campbell Award jury to select the best science-fiction novel of the year. Dr. Gunn is on the advisory board of the SF Museum and Hall of Fame.
  • Elizabeth Anne Hull is an author, politician, past president of the Science Fiction Research Association, and noted scholar in the field.
  • Kij Johnson is an author of several fantasy and SF novels and short stories. She is a documentation manager for Real Networks, teaches writing, is a Sturgeon Award juror (and 1994 winner), Nebula Award finalist, and teaches the Center's Science Fiction & Fantasy Novel Writing Workshop.
  • Paul Kincaid has written and edited six books on science fiction, a number of essays and short works of fiction, and regularly writes reviews for SF journals. Mr. Kincaid lives in England, where he administrates the Arthur C. Clarke Award.
  • Christopher McKitterick is an author, editor, technical writer, and teacher at the University of Kansas, where he also serves as CSSF Associate Director and co-teaches the Writers Workshop in Science Fiction.
  • David R. Moles is an editor, scholar, and short-fiction author whose work has appeared in many publications. Mr. Moles was a finalist for the 2004 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and is a finalist for this year's Sturgeon Award.
  • Frederik Pohl has been involved in science fiction since the 1930s as a fan, magazine editor, and author. He is a SFWA Grand Master, was inducted into the Science Fiction & Fantasy Hall of Fame in 1998, and is a Sturgeon Award juror. Mr. Pohl is a long-time friend of the Center, attending almost every Conference since its inception.
  • Lane Robins is a Lawrence novelist currently working on her third book of fantasy.
  • Joan Slonczewski is an author and professor of Biology at Kenyon College. She has authored six novels, a biology textbook, and a number of short works of science fiction. Ms. Slonczewski won the John Campbell Memorial Award for her novel, A Door into Ocean.
  • Maureen Kincaid Speller is a reviewer, author, editor, and former librarian, and writes for Writers Services.
  • James Van Pelt is a writer and teaches English at the high-school and college levels. His publications include two story collections, a novel, many works of short fiction, as well as poetry and nonfiction. Mr. Van Pelt is this year's keynote speaker for the Teaching Science Fiction workshop.
  • The year's Campbell and Sturgeon Award winners.
  • More guests TBA!

Keep your eye out for papers, talks, and readings by and about these special guests!

Campbell Award winners and Hall of Fame inductees
Special Guests from 2004
George Zebrowski (Campbell Award 1999 winner and Sturgeon Award juror), Frederik Pohl (the only two-time Campbell winner, 1978 and 1985), Gregory Benford (Campbell 1981), Jack McDevitt (Campbell 2004), Brian Aldiss (1983 Campbell winner, SF&F Hall of Fame inductee, and First Fandom Hall of Fame inductee), and Hall of Fame inductee Harry Harrison. Aldiss and Harrison created the Campbell Award in 1972. Photo courtesy Karen Gunn.

Teaching Science Fiction: A Portable Workshop

This year, the Campbell Conference offered a special five-hour course in teaching science fiction.

Membership includes a teaching certificate for those completing the program. This is based on one of the projects created by our AboutSF Coordinators; we included a CD-ROM and other materials as part of the registration for those attending this teaching seminar (including those who register through the SFRA Conference).

Schedule of Events

What you see below is only a portion of the joint Conference schedule; the SFRA Conference included papers, presentations, and other events of interest to SF scholars and educators. Conference details below (also by clicking here to download a .pdf document).

Campbell Award, Sturgeon Award, and SFRA Pilgrim Award were given jointly during the 2007 Heinlein Centennial Gala
Campbell Award, Sturgeon Award, and SFRA Pilgrim Award together in 2007
Photo courtesy Keith Stokes

Thursday: Hotel Conference Rooms

  • Afternoon: SFRA presentations.

Location: Holiday Inn "Holidome" in Lawrence, KS.

Friday: Hotel Conference Rooms

  • All day: SFRA presentations.
  • Plan for an early dinner (perhaps in lovely downtown Lawrence!) so you can return for the Awards Ceremony.
  • 7:30pm - 9:00pm: Awards Ceremony and cash bar for the John Campbell Award for best SF novel of the year, the Theodore Sturgeon Award for best short SF of the year, and the SFRA Awards (click for details).
  • Evening: Reception to follow in the same room as the Awards Ceremony. Cash bar.

Location: Holiday Inn "Holidome" in Lawrence, KS.

Saturday: University of Kansas

  • All day: SFRA presentations (requires separate registration through SFRA).
  • All day: Guest-author readings in Oread Books in the Kansas Union (building 115 on map).
  • All day: Huge science-fiction book sale in Watson Library (building 125 on map).
  • 9:00am – noon: "Teaching Science Fiction: A Portable Workshop," first segment. Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union.
  • Noon – 12:45pm: Catered lunch in the Big 12 Room in the Kansas Union.
  • 12:45pm – 1:45pm:  Autograph session in Oread Books in the Kansas Union.
  • 2:00pm – 4:00pm: "Teaching Science Fiction" seminar, second segment. Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union.
  • 4:00pm: Visit to Spencer Research Library's special science-fiction collection in Spencer Research Library (building 99 on map).
  • 5:30pm: BBQ dinner; includes a variety of Kansas-style food as well as beer and other beverages. Big 12 Room in the Kansas Union.
  • 7:00pm: Screening of "Bunker Hill," a Kevin Willmott (KU professor) production. Willmott offers a Q&A after the film. Room 100 in Smith Hall (building 95 on map, across the street from the Kansas Union).

Transportation to the KU campus from the hotel (clicking opens a .pdf) is provided. Please let us know in advance if you need transportation and if you are willing to help transport others.

Readings in the Oread Book Store on Saturday

You can also click here to download a .pdf version of the readings schedule.

Sunday: Varied Locations

  • 9:00am – noon: Meet our special guests in an informal gathering in the Ellsworth Hall dorm main-floor lobby.
  • Morning: SFRA presentations and members' business meeting at the Holidome (requires separate SFRA registration).

Campbell Conference round-table discussion group from 2007 at the Heinlein Centennial Gala
Campbell Conference round-table discussion, 2007
Photo courtesy Keith Stokes


Costs to attend the "Teaching Science Fiction" seminar plus all other Campbell Conference activities:



After June 3, 2008

Campbell Conference

  • Book sale
  • "Teaching Science Fiction" seminar
  • Take-home teaching materials
  • Certificate of attendance
  • Book signing on Saturday
  • Readings on Saturday
  • Light lunch on Saturday
  • Awards ceremony on Friday
  • "Bunker Hill" screening on Saturday
  • Sunday morning gathering with guests

Registration cost: $50

SFRA Conference only

  • SFRA presentations
  • Other SFRA events
  • Awards ceremony on Friday
  • Other as described on the
    SFRA event site

Registration cost varies;
see online information

Campbell Conference
 plus SFRA Conference

  • All events listed above

Campbell Conference activities and
"Teaching Science Fiction" workshop
are included in SFRA Conference registration.

Registration cost varies;
see online information

Saturday evening BBQ
picnic on the KU campus

  • Kansas BBQ meal with sides
  • Beer or wine
  • Soft drinks and iced tea

Registration cost: $25

Housing for the 2008 Campbell Conference

For 2008, we have secured the conference-capable Holiday Inn hotel in Lawrence for most of our joint event. Hotel reservations must be made separately. Contact Lawrence Holiday Inn Holidome, 200 McDonald Dr, Lawrence, KS 66044, 1-888-HOLIDAY (888-465-4329), local phone 785-841-7077. A limited number of rooms have been reserved at the Conference rate of $69/ night plus tax, effective until June 11, 2008. Please call in your reservations to receive the special rate. Be sure to mention the Center for the Studies of Science Fiction. View a Google map showing Lawrence Holiday Inn Holidome location.

We have also secured up to 20 dorm rooms on the nearby KU campus at a special conference rate. Costs at the hotel are a bit higher than the dorm housing, but attendees will be on-site for the SFRA Conference. We will announce room rates soon. The Center also plans to provide shuttle transportation across town for planned excursions to Saturday University of Kansas events and likely a planned visit to lovely downtown Lawrence. Use this form to reserve a dorm room.

Last year, our dorm housing was a renovated residence hall located at the top of the hill. Each room in this dorm has a private bedroom and bathroom as well as a central area with sink and counter space for a microwave or other small kitchen equipment. Dormitory rooms will also likely be available to a limited number of Conference guests at the rate of $18 per night double, $36 per night single; if you want the double rate, you will need to work out a roommate in advance, because the Center is charged per room, not per occupant. Conference participants must confirm reservations as soon as possible due to the increased numbers. Please pay for your room in advance by calculating the nightly rate times how many nights you will stay in the dorm, and make this check payable to CSSF (you may combine checks for CSSF).

See this map of the University of Kansas to find your way to the dorm:

Check out for local hotel information.

Meals are available in a variety of wonderful restaurants, and Lawrence offers at least one fine micro-brewery. Check out for a list of just a few of the local eating establishments.


University of Kansas map:

Kansas Union map:

Lawrence map (a bus-route map, but very useful): 

Google Maps (just input where you wish to go and it will provide the maps).

Lawrence in the Summer

Lawrence, the location of the University of Kansas, is a pleasant college town of about 89,000 situated 40 miles from Kansas City and 20 miles from Topeka. Summers can be hot, but Conference rooms and housing are air-conditioned.

Among its many amenities, the University of Kansas has a large science-fiction collection and good reference collections; museums of natural history and art; and sports, theater, and concerts. Lawrence has excellent restaurants and shopping and recreational opportunities. Kansas City is less than an hour away.

The nearest major airport is Kansas City International, about 55 miles from Lawrence. Transportation to Lawrence from Kansas City International can be arranged through one of several airport shuttle services. By car, Lawrence is at the intersection of U.S. 59 and I-70 (Kansas Turnpike). The west interchange is closer to the campus. Lawrence can also be reached by Kansas Highway 10.

Find out all about Lawrence - its history, stores, museums, observatories, and SFnal activities - here.

Contact us for any logistical help you might need in getting settled for your stay.

Reports About Past Conferences

Click the links below to see reports about previous Campbell Conferences.

2007 Campbell Conference report

2006 Campbell Conference report

2005 Campbell Conference report

2004 Campbell Conference report

2003 Campbell Conference report

2002 Campbell Conference report

Photos from Past Conferences

Click the links below to see Keith Stokes' MidAmerican Fan photo-archives of previous years' activities.

2007 Campbell Conference photos

2006 Campbell Conference photos

2006 Campbell Conference photos (by Tracy Majkol)

2005 Campbell Conference photos

2004 Campbell Conference photos

2003 Campbell Conference photos

2002 Campbell Conference photos

2001 Campbell Conference photos

2000 Campbell Conference photos

1998 Campbell Conference photos

1997 Campbell Conference photos

1996 Campbell Conference photos

updated 10/26/2008

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