There comes in every writer’s path to world domination a time for panel moderation. Our intrepid Mad Writers are fair newbies themselves in the big, bad world of conventions and none of them have ever moderated a panel, so they decided to call in some expert assistance in the form of Steven H Silver. Currently the Events Director at SFWA, Steven has also been an author, editor, Chicon 2000 programs director, and a Jeopardy contestant. The Mad Writers grill Steven on the various aspects of being a good panelist and a good moderator.

Notable notes

  • Use the microphone
  • Sharing is caring
  • Prepare
  • Do not get on a panel to say “I don’t know why I’m on this panel”
  • Seriously, be kind
  • “The Art of the Con”

You can find Steven online at: SF News and his website.

Recommended reading

Steven’s recommendation: Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay

Tim’s recommendation: Player Piano: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut











Jay’s recommendation: Downbelow Station (Alliance-Union Universe) by C.J. Cherry

Nina’s recommendation: Once Broken Faith: An October Daye Novel by Seanan McGuire










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Intro and outro music comes from “Cephalopod” by Kevin MacLeod (; licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0