The Pegasus Awards

Beth Kinderman



Pegasus Nominations

Year Category Sample
2023 Best Writer/Composer mp3


Beth Kinderman began her long and circuitous journey into filk when a friend suggested that fandom might provide a more receptive audience for her weird folky songs about Star Wars than the increasingly perplexed and dismissive bar and coffeehouse crowds she'd been unsuccessfully courting. At her first convention (MarsCon 2007 in Bloomington, Minnesota), she met her future musical collaborator and producer Dave Stagner and discovered a thriving universe of other nerdy creative people waiting to welcome her. She poked around the edges of the filk community until Eric Coleman finally dragged her along to OVFF in 2015 ("it took me too many years to come, but I'm where I wanted to be..."). Ever since, she's been proud to call filk her musical home. To be nominated for a Pegasus Award by her peers is an immense honor for which she is profoundly grateful.

In the years since that fateful con, Beth has released six albums full of her prog-influenced folk-rock original compositions, covers of found filk, and the occasional song parody. (A seventh album, Sisyphus: ten songs about hope, is on its way Real Soon Now.) Several of her works have won or placed in the songwriting competitions at OVFF and FK-NO. Her songs draw their themes and imagery from SF and fantasy literature, genre TV and film, video games, anime, mythology, philosophy, pagan spirituality, the trials and tribulations of her RPG characters, and her own life. No matter the topic, she aims to write thought-provoking music that connects emotionally with any audience while also containing enough clever references to delight those listeners who happen to be as geeky about a song's source material as she is.

Beth regularly performs at conventions around the Midwest with her band, the Player Characters (consisting of Elizabeth Greenberg on violin and vocals, Justin Hartley on percussion, Dennis Maddix on bass, and Dave Stagner on guitar). She also maintains close ties with the comedy music scene and contributes humorous songs to the Funny Music Project, one of which was nominated for a Logan Award for excellence in comedy music in 2019.

Beth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband (game designer Eric Zawadzki) and their two awesome kids. By day, she works as a data analyst in the health insurance industry. When she isn't nitpicking SQL code, parenting, or filking, she heads the music tracks at two of her local conventions (CONvergence and Minicon), runs RPG campaigns for her friends, and spends much less time playing board games and video games than she would ideally prefer.


Representative Work for the 2023 Pegasus Awards

Sisyphus (mp3)

Copyright © by Beth Kinderman
All Rights Reserved -
Used by Permission

when it all came tumbling
I was still there in the valley
chalk it up as futile
add my failure to the tally
& I hold my children up above
the waters as they're rising
isn't one thing got me here
but none of it's surprising

thought that I was smart enough
to go & cheat the reaper
now I envy ignorance
& just-awakened sleepers
but I know their curse is not my curse
no faith left to be ruptured
though my heart knows better
I'll continue ever upward

cause it's hope that brings the energy
hope that is the enemy
hope at the bottom of every climb
hope that broke my soul
hope that came & pressed my shoulder
once again against this boulder
hope that gets up one more time
& sets the rock to roll

carrying a burden
is the only job worth doing
justifying journeys
toward the paths that I'm pursuing
as the world below me withers
at the mercy of my crawling
into just my footsteps
& the hillside & the falling


"I think next year there will be flowers
because this year, I'm planting flowers"
said every ancestor, as they worked
for times they would never see
the fruit of the tree I didn't grow
was watered by the well I didn't dig
& if these things believed in me
then I guess I still believe

I've been trudging up this mountain
since I was a kid
makes no difference that it's done
but I'll know that I did
& I'll hold my children up above
the water that I'm treading
don't know where it's going yet
but I know where I'm heading

(chorus x2)



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