Editor's Note: Jennifer supplied this one-paragraph intro for this page.
A lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy, Jennifer is the Chair of JordanCon
and the current President of the Southern Fandom Confederation, the South's oldest
regional science fiction fan club. She is the co-webmaster of www.DRAGONMOUNT.com,
the largest Wheel of Time community discussion site online. Jennifer has been a
featured presenter at WorldCon, MiniCon, LibertyCon and the North American Science
Fiction Convention and served as the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time track Director at
Dragon*Con for over a decade. She blogs about local restaurants, recipes, and
sustainable living as “Northside Food” and has had her writing featured
on Tor.com and Cracked.
Later, Jennifer wrote this longer biography for the Southern Fandom Confederation
Bulletin in Summer 2013. It gives a better idea of Jennifer's background, so it is
I Promise To Rule in a Fair and Just Manner
By Jennifer Liang
I figure since this is my first Bulletin and I'm fairly new to traditional fandom,
an introduction is in order. Hi! I'm Jennifer and I'm a fan.
While I'm not native to Georgia, I do have Southern roots. My father's family
is from Charlottesville, Virginia. My maiden name is Shifflett and if you're from
that area, you definitely recognize it. The Shifflett clan, in all its various spellings,
is well entrenched in rural Virginia. My parents were both military brats and lived all
over the world before they finally settled in Salt Lake City, Utah with each other. My
mother's family is from southern Idaho and we are descended from the original Mormon
pioneers that settled that area. My dad's work transferred him from Salt Lake to the
Atlanta office when I was fifteen and I've been here ever since.
My husband, Jimmy, is a native Texan. His parents are from Shanghai and Taiwan. We
“met” online while I was in college on a Robert Jordan fan forum that I manage,
Dragonmount.com. You've probably met him over a gaming table at some convention.
In the working world, I'm a teacher of kids with special needs. I focus mostly on
specific learning disabilities, autism spectrum, bi-polar and behavior disorders. My
job is less “The Miracle Worker” and more “Fight Club”, but I
find it very rewarding. I tend to work in private schools rather than public, because
there is less emphasis on test scores and more on real learning and development.
I got involved in fandom when I was 18 by getting to know fans online at Dragonmount.
A few years later, we wanted an annual excuse to get together in person, which became
the Wheel of Time track at Dragon*Con. After a few years, the refrain was, “This
is a lot of fun, Jennifer, but when are you going to start your own convention for
us?” After a while, I couldn't ignore them any longer, and we started up
When I listen to the old timers talk about why DeepSouthCon and the SFC were created
in the 1960's, their stories don't sound dissimilar from mine. I wanted to talk
to other Robert Jordan fans, so I looked for them online. After talking to them there,
I wanted to meet them in person. That's not much different from creating a fanzine,
carrying on a long distance conversation via letters of comment and then finally meeting
at WorldCon. The methods change, but not the message. Fans will always want to talk to
other fans and organizations like the Southern Fandom Confederation will always exist to
help them find each other.
My goals while President are:
- To bring in new members, especially younger and more diverse fans.
- To update and modernize our communications and business practices for the 21st century.
- To promote DeepSouthCon as a regional attraction.
- To continue the original spirit and ideals of the club.