Artificial Intelligence and Writing

What AI Means for the Future of Fiction Writing and Publishing

May 15, 8 p.m. ET

Do you hear “AI” and immediately think of horrific visions of technology run amok, Skynet, Ultron, Hal 9000,and other synthetic sentients who drive humanity to the brink of destruction? Do you write crime, fantasy, horror, poetry, science fiction, and wonder how AI will alter the way we write, publish, and read? Then this panel is for you. What is artificial intelligence? How does it work? What does it mean for the future of writing and publishing? Our panelists bring a diverse mix of expertise and experience in writing, publishing, and technology for a lively discussion of the answers to these questions. With so much discussion of what increasingly powerful artificial intelligence means for creators and how it might influence publishing, it’s important to understand the facts and realities of what AI does and what it might accomplish in the future.

Join our panelists in the special, free presentation brought to you by the Horror Writers Association and Horror University Online.


Colleen Anderson is the author of two short story collections (Embers Amongst the Fallen, A Body of Work), and two poetry collections (I Dreamed a World) with the second, The Lore of Inscrutable Dreams, being released from Yuriko Publishing in June, 2023. Published in seven countries, she has performed her work before audiences in the US, UK and Canada. Some of her work has graced the pages of Amazing, Best Indie Speculative Fiction IV, the award-winning Shadow Atlas, and Water: Sirens, Selkies & Sea Monsters. Her poem, “Machine (r)Evolution” was chosen to be part of Tenebrous Press’s 2023 Brave New Weird collection. From Vancouver, BC, Colleen often contemplates mermaids and mold monsters. 

C.W. Briar is the author of the dark fantasy novel 'Whispers from the Depths.' His latest book, 'Sticks and Stones,' is a collection of short horror stories about childhood and growing up. C.W. Briar also has two decades of experience as a systems engineer. His undergraduate studies at Binghamton University included machine learning, fuzzy logic, and artificial intelligence, and yes, his engineering classmates thought he was odd for writing fiction in his spare time. Since graduating, he has worked in the aerospace and rail industries for Lockheed Martin, CAF, and BAE.

R. Leigh Hennig has been a technologist for over twenty years. As a network architect, he specialized in automation at the highest, global scale for the majority of his professional career. He spent 6+ years at Amazon Web Services and have worked as a systems engineer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and Cisco Systems, where he again focused on network systems automation that directly supported human impactful missions for NASA, JPL, and others. He is an active academic, independently collaborating with RIT (his undergrad alma mater) on network automation research with publication as recently as 2022. He is a co-founder of Rocky Linux and the Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation. Recently he founded Humanity in Fiction, an open advocacy group of authors, editors, publishers, readers, academics, and others concerned with the ethical development of AI in creative spaces. Their primary objectives at this time include outreach, education, and research on the current landscape of AI in fiction. 

Matthew Kressel is a three time Nebula Award Finalist, a World Fantasy Award Finalist, and a Eugie Award Finalist. NPR Books called his first novel King of Shards, “Majestic, resonant reality-twisting madness.” His short fiction has appeared in Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, Analog Science Fiction & Fact, io9, Nightmare, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, and The Best Science Fiction of the Year, as well as many other places. His work has been translated into French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Czech, Romanian, Polish, and Japanese. As a software developer, he created the Moksha submissions system, in use by many of the largest fiction publishers today. And he is the co-host of Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series in New York with Ellen Datlow. Matthew developed the Moksha submissions system in 2011 for John Joseph Adams, editor of Lightspeed magazine. Since then, Moksha has grown and evolved to provide manuscript management services for over five dozen publishers, and in 2022 Moksha processed over 100,000 submissions. Matthew designed the system as a kind of Swiss army knife for publishers, allowing them to choose from many different tools to make their workflows easier. Matthew develops Moksha as part of his IT business, in which he has written custom software and provided system administration for many organizations, including Columbia University, Stanford University, IEEE, Macmillan, ThinkDM2, and many schools throughout the NYC area. He graduated with high honors from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer science. You can find Matthew on Twitter at @mattkressel or at his website His IT website is at

John Edward Lawson’s novels, short fiction, and poetry have garnered nominations for many awards, including the Stoker and Wonderland Awards. In addition to being a founder of Raw Dog Screaming Press and former editor-in-chief of The Dream People he has served as vice president of Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction, and is the current president of the Horror Writers Association.

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Shimanchu-American and award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years of experience as a professional writer in nonfiction. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), producer of the Exercise Your Writes podcast, two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020, find her at

Leonard Speiser has founded and funded numerous technology ventures, including Bix (acquired by Yahoo!) and Clover (acquired by First Data). With a rich history at eBay, Intuit, CSFB, and as an AI-focused investor, Leonard is a lifelong learner who enjoys building products people love. An MIT alumnus and dedicated science fiction writer, he currently leads Horizon 3 Venture Studio, developing four new startups a year in partnership with large companies driven to transform their businesses.

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