About the Conference
We invite winners of the Campbell and Sturgeon awards (and often their
editors) to the event. These Guests of Honor take home
names are also engraved on the permanent
that remain on display at the Center's office.
The Conference unofficially begins on either Thursday evening with a guest
talk, or Friday afternoon (see this year's schedule) with an informal discussion about
the profession of SF
writing as the concluding event of the Writing Workshops.
After a break, we gather for the Awards Ceremony and Banquet on Friday evening,
followed by a reception to congratulate the winners.
Saturday morning is devoted to a discussion (often round-table) centered on our
theme. The afternoon often offers more discussion, readings, presentations, or other
events, a group book-signing event, and is followed by an evening
reception to gather and talk more intimately about what was said (or left
unsaid) in the large groups. Sunday events open with a morning discussion
Campbell Award and Sturgeon Award
winners and the other special guests, and then we often wrap up with an informal afternoon get-together.
Final Schedule (pdf)
Campbell Conference book signing from 2008
Kij Johnson, James Gunn, Chris McKitterick, and Frederik Pohl.
Speakers and Special Guests for 2017
In addition to area authors and other guest authors and editors, the Campbell Conference usually brings to Lawrence the winners of the
Campbell Award and Sturgeon
Award as Guests of Honor. CSSF Founding Director
James Gunn is our permanent Special Guest of Honor.
autograph session on Saturday, the bookstore will have available many works from
these fine folks for you to purchase and get signed. This year's guests:
Pat Cadigan has won the Arthur C. Clarke Award twice, the Locus
Award three times, the Hugo Award, and the Seiun Award. She calls her
job "Professional Bad Influence," and is "currently kicking terminal
cancer's arse." Learn more about Cadigan on
M.C. Chambers writes science fiction and fantasy. Her first novel, Shapers' Veil,
was published by Hadley Rille
Books. Her short work includes "Silk and Velvet" in the anthology
Renaissance Festival Tales and an award-winning science fiction story,
"Visual Silence," in the anthology
Return to Luna.
She has been a member of the Noble Fusion writers group since 1998. She is also a flute player, a mother of five, and a variable print programmer.
is the author of a number of short works and collections, plus three
novels: Laughin' Boy, Blackburn, and Buddy Holly Is Alive and Well on Ganymede. Buddy Holly won the
John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 1992, and his two-volume story collection The Calvin Coolidge Home for Dead Comedians / A Conflagration Artist won the World Fantasy Award in 1995.
His novella "Sergeant Chip" won the
Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. In 2011,
Brad teaches the second week of the SF Writers Workshop as this
year's visiting author.
is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the
Seriously Wicked series from Tor Teen. Her
novels have been finalists for the Nebula and Norton awards. Her stories have appeared in
Women Destroy SF, Lightspeed, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies,
and more. Her
have appeared in Podcastle,
Pseudopod, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, The End is Nigh, and more. She co-hosts Escape
Pod, and runs the Parsec-winning flash-fiction podcast
Toasted Cake. Connolly
is a graduate of Clarion West and the Gunn Center's
Workshop with Kij Johnson, and has
taught at the
One-Day Workshop, the Cascade
Writers Workshop, and the
Conference. She recommends all those. She teaches the
Center's Young-Adult Novel Writing Workshop after the Conference.
She grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, but now lives with her family in
Portland, Oregon. Find her at tinaconnolly.com.
Finch is the author of seven science fiction novels and numerous short stories that have appeared in
Amazing, Asimov's, Fantasy Book, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and many anthologies. Sheila taught creative writing at El Camino College
for thirty years and at workshops around California. She also writes non-fiction
about teaching creative writing and science fiction, including a series on the
SFWA website. Her work has won several awards,
including the Nebula Award for Best Novella, the San Diego Book Award for Juvenile Fiction, and the Compton-Crook
Award for Best First Novel. She also serves on the John
W. Campbell Memorial
James Gunn is a science
fiction author and historian, KU professor emeritus of English, Founding
Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, and
SFWA Grand Master. He is a past president of
both SFRA and
chairs the Campbell Award jury to select the best science-fiction novel of
the year. Dr. Gunn served on the advisory board of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Hall of Fame
for a number of years. See
his page on this website for his bibliography and a fuller bio.
earned her PhD in English from the University of Kansas, where she studied
science fiction literature with Gunn. She has authored two books and a
number of articles and co-edited three books. Most of her
work is service within the fan and SF scholarly communities, usually
focusing on project management and book or journal production. Her academic CV.
Elizabeth Anne Hull is an
SF author, editor, politician, past president of the
Science Fiction Research Association, and noted scholar in the field
who has long served on the
Her most recent project was editing the anthology Gateways, an expression of respect and affection from 17 of Frederik Pohl's peers.
Hull is Professor Emerita of William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois.
Kij Johnson's fantasy and SF novels and short stories have
Sturgeon Award (which she now serves as juror), World Fantasy Award
(which she also serves as juror), Nebula Award
(three times), IAFA Crawford Award, and Hugo Award. Kij is
Associate Director of the Center, teaches the
& Fantasy Novel Writing Workshop as well as a number of other regular-semester writing and fantasy-related courses at KU,
where she is Assistant Professor of Fiction
Writing in the University of Kansas English Department.
Ruth Lichtwardt has worked with the Gunn Center since its earliest days, and
currently serves as Events Coordinator for the
and other Center events. As a KU student, Ruth took several of Jim Gunn's writing classes and later
initiated the tradition of the annual Campbell Conference book-signing while
working as a trade-book buyer in the KU Union bookstore. She is active in Kansas
City and Lawrence-area SF clubs and conventions, including
ConQuesT, where she
runs the benefit auction with the Gunn Center's
AboutSF as the recipient. She
has also held various positions at several WorldCons including Hugo Awards
administrator, and served as Chair of MidAmeriCon II, the 74th Worldcon,
in Kansas City. Her day job has nothing
to do with science fiction but helps feed the habit. Contact Ruth for all your
Campbell Conference needs:
Dorian Maffei graduated from the University of California-Santa Cruz with a degree in Creative Writing, and began at Kimberley Cameron & Associates as an intern in 2013. She has since become a junior agent and is now looking to build a client list of her own. While she appreciates most fiction that traverses across genres, she is especially interested in magical realism, fabulism, reimagined fairy tales, speculative fiction, literary science fiction, unique voices, and innovative storytelling that sometimes veers on the weird. She values work that provokes a deep-rooted connection after the last page and explores the peculiar within the mundane. To learn more about Kimberley and what she's looking for in a manuscript, visit
is an author, editor, and faculty at the University of Kansas,
where he teaches
fiction writing, creative writing, and
science fiction; he is the
Center's Director, and serves on the
Award jury. His short fiction, nonfiction,
and essays have been published in a number of magazines and anthologies,
and his debut novel,
was published by Hadley Rille Books.
Chris teaches the Speculative Fiction Writing Workshop
and Intensive Institute on the Study of SF,
as well as a number of other regular-semester writing and SF courses.
Michael Page co-Chairs Academic Programming for the
Campbell Conference and is a
Research Fellow working with the Center. Mike teaches science
fiction and holds an administrative position in the English
Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Mike just
Saving the World Through Science Fiction: James
Gunn, Writer, Teacher, Scholar, the first critical study of James Gunn. His
Frederik Pohl, was also released from the University of
Illinois Press in the Modern Masters of Science Fiction
series. He's the editor of a collection of stories,
The Man with the Strange Head, by Miles J. Breuer, an
early science fiction pioneer. His critical study,
The Literary Imagination from Erasmus Darwin to H.G. Wells:
Science, Evolution, and Ecology, explores the
intersections between literature and science in the nineteenth
century. His latest essay on Golden Age science fiction and
ecology appears in
Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction, edited by
Gerry Canavan and Kim Stanley Robinson.
Eric T. Reynolds is the
founder, publisher, and editor of Hadley Rille Books
and writes about science, space, and archaeology. Eric is a member of SFWA and Broad
Universe and a graduate of the Center's Speculative Fiction Writing Workshop.
Thomas Schmidt is an author and Hugo-nominated editor of adult and
children's speculative fiction. His debut novel, The Worker Prince, received
honorable mention on Barnes & Noble's Year's Best SF of 2011, and
was followed by two sequels, The Returning and The Exodus. His
first children's books, 102 More Hilarious Dinosaur Jokes For Kids and Abraham Lincoln: Dinosaur Hunter - Land Of Legends,
appeared from Delabarre in 2012. His short stories have appeared in magazines, anthologies, and online.
He's also an anthology editor, with nine more forthcoming, and a Junior Editor for Wordfire
Press, where he acquires and develops books of all kinds. Schmidt hosts
Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer's Chat on Twitter.
Catherynne M. Valente
is a New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen
volumes of fiction and poetry. Since her first novel, The Labyrinth,
was published in 2004, she has won or been nominated for every major
award in her field. Her full-length novels include Yume no Hon: The Book of Dreams, The Grass-Cutting Sword, The Orphan's Tales
(In the Night Garden and Cities of Coin and Spice), Palimpsest, The Habitation of the Blessed, Deathless, the
Fairyland series (beginning with The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making), and Radiance.
Learn more about Cat on her website.
Nathaniel Williams teaches composition and literature at the
University of California, Davis. His research articles on speculative
fiction have appeared in American Literature, Nineteenth-Century
Contexts, Utopian Studies and elsewhere. His fiction has appeared
in Fantasy Magazine, Abyss & Apex, Perihelion, Poor Mojo's
Almanac(k), and elsewhere. Nate is a graduate of the Gunn Center's
short fiction writing workshop and the SF Institute, and is a former
Program Coordinator for AboutSF. He has recently begun co-teaching the
on Science Fiction for the Gunn Center. Before coming to KU for graduate study, Williams
worked as a tech writer by day and musician by night, serving as the singer/songwriter for a roots-rock
is the multiple Hugo-award winning editor of
Asimov's Science Fiction
magazine. She is also the editor or co-editor of twenty-six anthologies,
the most recent of which are
Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine: 30th Anniversary
Anthology (Tachyon) and
Enter A Future: Fantastic Tales from Asimov's Science
Fiction (Dell Magazines), and the forthcoming
Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine: A Decade of Hugo & Nebula Award Winning Stories (Prime Books).
Sheila writes regular essays and editorial
pieces, and she co-founded the Dell
Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing,
which is given out each year in Orlando, Florida, by the International
Association for the Fantastic in the Arts.
Gary K. Wolfe's recent work includes Evaporating Genres: Essays on Fantastic Literature
(Locus Award) and
American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s
(Library of America, 2012).
His three collections of reviews have won the British Science Fiction Award and
been nominated for the Hugo. Earlier studies include
The Known and the Unknown: The Iconography of Science Fiction
(Eaton Award) and
Harlan Ellison: The Edge of Forever (with Ellen R. Weil). Wolfe received the Science Fiction Research Association's Pilgrim Award,
International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts' Distinguished Scholarship Award,
and the World Fantasy Award for criticism and reviews. His lecture series,
How Great Science Fiction Works, was released by The Great Courses and Audible in 2016.
he co-edited with Jonathan Strahan
The Best of Joe Haldeman (Subterranean Press, 2013). Since 2010, Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan have hosted the weekly
Coode Street Podcast
on science fiction, which is again nominated for the Hugo.
The Campbell Award
and Sturgeon Award winners are always invited to be present
to receive their awards, and their editors
often attend, as well.
More guests TBA!
Keep your eye out for talks and readings by and about these special guests!
We will continue to update the guest list until shortly before the Conference
Special Guests from 2004
George Zebrowski (Campbell Award
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
Aldiss and Harrison created the Campbell Award in 1972. Photo courtesy Karen Gunn.
Registration and Costs
- All discussions, readings, and presentations.
- Friday afternoon events.
- Friday evening Awards ceremony (no dinner).
- Friday night reception and refreshments.
- Saturday book-signing.
- Saturday events.
- Sunday events.
We offer several special
- Attendees of the
workshops or SF Institute: included free with paid
registration. (Note: Gunn Center Summer SF
students - unless you plan to eat at the
Banquet, you can just email your registration info to
- Students (with proof of student status): $20.
- ConQuest convention attendees
- Regional science-fiction club members
(with proof of membership): $25.
- Registration after June 1 or at the door: $50 (non-students) or
Note: To attend the
Awards Ceremony (but not eat dinner), you must let us
know so we can provide seating.
- Friday evening meal during Awards Ceremony.
- Soft drinks and iced tea.
Banquet registration: $30.
Note: We must
have your registration by June 12 (at the latest) to ensure that we can accommodate you for dinner.
All above events.
Relevant Conference registration plus $30 banquet registration.
Saturday book signing and readings.
Open to the public - no need to register.
Lichtwardt for all your Campbell Conference questions or needs:
Campbell and Sturgeon winners from 2007
Campbell Award winner
Ben Bova, and Sturgeon Award winner Robert Charles
Feel free to drop
Ruth Lichtwardt a line with any Campbell Conference questions or needs:
Award winners at the 2009 Campbell Conference Awards Banquet
Cory Doctorow, Ian MacLeod, James Alan Gardner (James Gunn in
background). Photo by
The Campbell Conference is the central feature of the Gunn Center's summer SF
program: It concludes Chris
McKitterick's Speculative Fiction Writing Workshop and the
Kij Johnson's Novel Writing Workshop,
kicks off the
Intensive Institute on Science Fiction
Literature and the two advanced "Repeat Offenders" writing workshops
Transportation from MCI Airport
This year's Conference returns to Lawrence, a lovely college town centrally located in the US, which means you can easily get there
by plane, train, or automobile. The Kansas City International airport (MCI) is
a 50-minute drive from town.
Many transport services offer rides from the Kansas City International
(MCI - the "M" is for "Mid-Continent") airport. See this map of the University of Kansas to find your way:
KU Parking Map (opens in pdf)
Meals are available in a variety of wonderful restaurants, and Lawrence
offers at least one fine micro-brewery. Check out
Yelp for a list of just a
few of the local eating establishments.
- Reserve well in advance of your trip to confirm pricing and availability.
- KCI stands for "Kansas City International
though the official airport code changed to MCI -
"Mid-Continent International Airport" - a few years ago.
- This list is for your information only. KU
and the Gunn Center are not affiliated with these services.
Click the links below to see reports about previous Campbell Conferences.
Photos from Past Conferences
Click the links below to see Keith Stokes'
MidAmerican Fan photo-archives of
previous years' activities.