A white cis woman of Ashkenazi descent in her mid forties, with mid-length blond hair.




Rebecca Bratten Weiss is a journalist, editor, and freelance academic residing in rural Ohio. Her creative work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Two Hawks Quarterly, Presence, Connecticut River Review, Sandy River Review, Shooter, New Ohio Review, Gyroscope Review, The Seventh Wave, and Westerly. Her collaborative chapbook Mud Woman, with Joanna Penn Cooper, was published in 2018, and her collection Talking to Snakes by Ethel Zine and press in 2020. She has published extensively as a religion reporter, and is employed as a journalist at her local newspaper.

Learn more at Rebecca's website.

SESSION: When Science Is Your Main Character

In an increasingly science-suspicious world, many writers want to incorporate scientific material into their fiction. But doing so presents some unique challenges.

In this session, we'll discuss approaches to writing fiction about science. How—in a fictional world—might we adhere to scientific fact? How can we make science central to our novels' conditions and conflict? How can we make the science work in the plot, without seeming like dull exposition? We'll examine excerpts from writers like Delia Owens, Andrea Barrett, Ted Chiang, and N.K. Jemisin to discover the choices they've made in diction, exposition, and science-as-plot-point. Considering the nation’s recent experience, we'll discuss the widespread resistance to vaccination, as well as the resistance of some in the dominant culture to the experience of LGBTQ+ people, in light of what science reveals about human sexuality. We will explore how these might be developed as a challenge or obstacle to be considered in narrative. Climate change is also a greater factor in the everyday lives of people and cannot be ignored without consequence. This session will be especially useful for anyone writing about characters who are scientists or researchers—or characters fighting resistance to facts that pose a threat to their lives or those of their loved ones.

CO-PRESENTER: John Farrell