Program Book, Printable Grid, Mobile View and Panelist info coming soon!
We were just too excited about this lineup to make you keep waiting!
Geeky Gateway Drugs – Smith
Have a friend who “doesn’t like sci-fi”? We can help ease them in!
The Art and Music of Science Fiction – Cameron
Spaceships are cool, but so are costumes that reflect a culture, in-universe cantina music, and sprawling space-murals that tell the story of a people. But in space. Join out panel talk about those human details that make a world a home, even when it’s alien.
Plunge! Turn Your Hobby into a Career – Reynolds
Do people always compliment your work or ask, “This is great! Where can I buy it?” Have you sold a few stories or started to make a few bucks from music gigs? How to know when/if to take the plunge.
Open Filk – Crescent
Hang out and play some nerdy tunes!
Beautiful, Hot Messes: TV Movies and B Movies – Smith
Sharknado and more. Are TV movies better when they embrace the cheese or try to play it straight? B-List mini-series (looking at you, Shanara Chronicles) are also fair game.
Lost in Translation: Adapting from Books to Screen – Cameron
There is something simultaneously endearing and incredibly problematic in Disney adaptations; let’s get down to brass tacks about what works in Disney adaptations and what doesn’t
Do You Even Geek Sports and Fitness? – Reynolds
Apps, gamification, heart rate computer bands, zombie runs… There are more ways than ever to improve the health of our physical meat sacks in the nerdiest of ways!
Reading: Gail Z. Martin – Crescent
Queer Fandom: QUILTBAG of Holding – Smith
“As you know, Bob, I’m super gay.” Let’s touch base and discuss the state of QUILTBAG fandom! An annual discussion and mixer.
Genre Mashed Potatoes: Do Genres Even Matter? – Cameron
Are genres good for anything other than outdated shelving categories at book stores?
“You”-duunit: Writing Mysteries and Thrillers – Reynolds
Join novelists, comics writers, and more to talk about how to construct a good mystery that keeps your readers guessing!
Reading: Stuart Jaffe – Crescent
Conventions and Disabilities – Smith
Join Chris Shrewsbury and others for a discussion of physical, mental, and emotional disabilities in fandom and convention culture
#Hustle: Author Newsletters and More – Cameron
Platforms are great, but they aren’t always your friend. How to build your community using author newsletters, and what makes a good one
So Over It: Tropes We’re Sick of – Reynolds
What tropes and stereotypes are you just done with?
Reading: Michael G. Williams – Crescent
Open Your Own Book: Personal Interests and Storytelling – Smith
They say to “write what you know” or “write what you like,” but it can be hard to weave in your personal interests in your storytelling. Let’s get into it!
Opening Ceremonies – Cameron
Join us in welcoming the Guests of Honor, Fan Groups, and Entertainers! Features some teaser performances!
Turn Anything into an RPG! – Reynolds
Have you ever had an amazing idea for a campaign, but the setting doesn’t technically exist yet? We have you covered!
Fair Use and Fandom – Smith
Fanfic, art, and fan films are easier to make and find than ever! But what’s the difference between something “fun” and something infringeing?
Trivia for Chocolate – Cameron
Our annual “Stump the Nerds” challenge FOR CHOCOLATE!
They Blinded me with Science – Reynolds
Join Raulie, Christopher, and a panel of actual science people to dicuss the crunchy realities of the year’s hottest SF movies and books!
Reading: Fraser Sherman – Crescent
Box of Office Bombs – Smith
Sci-fi, comic, or fantasy movies aren’t niche and they’re getting some mega-budgets. Why do so many underperform?
Aliens Among Us? – Cameron
Alien life is a popular discussion both in real life and fiction. Is it that out of left field to think they’re already here?
The Witch’s Candy House: Dark Side of Fairy Tales – Reynolds
Many western fairy tales have some pretty intense roots! Pass me that gingerbread…
Reading: Ian Muneshwar – Crescent
“Ships” for the Ages: Pop Culture Pairings (18+) – Smith
Join Color of Fandom for this 18+ panel about the most titallating relationships in our fave books, tv shows, and movies!
Female Body in Fantasy Fiction – Cameron
Like visual art, the female body has a long tradition of being celebrated (or objectified) in fantasy and genre fiction; what does it all mean?
Your Protag is Problematic – Reynolds
Messy, broken, disorganized, or just delightfully awful protagonists can be a lot of fun to read and write! Panelists discuss their faves from their own works and others
Reading: Richard Dansky – Crescent
Sex in Other Worlds (18+) – Smith
How do aliens… do it?
Victorian Monsters Made Modern – Cameron
Our panel lets their imaginations fly in updating your fave Victorian scaries for the new millenium
The Clayton Wick Memorial Dumpster Fire Clip Show – Reynolds
This is not for anyone with taste. The Chris Ross Memorial Eye of Argon reading to directly follow
The Rogue 105th – Crescent
Join the 105th Engineers for a table read of something fun TBD!
Anthologies: How they Pick ‘Em and How to Get In – Smith
Anthologies can be a great way to break in or sell a story
Body Positive Cosplay – Cameron
Join members of our Fan Groups and more to discuss the ways in which cosplay is for every body!
Brush Up on Grammar and Self-Editing – Reynolds
Get back to basics with some tips and tricks to help you polish your writing!
Reading: Clay and Susan Griffith – Crescent
Team Up! Writing Collaboratively – Smith
Lots of authors work as a team! Is it “write” for you? Advantages and pitfalls of having a writing partner.
SWORDS AND STUFF: Basics of Stage Choreography for Improving Cosplay – Cameron
A workshop for cosplayers or anyone interested in combat arts
Self Mythology in a World of Authenticity – Reynolds
Social media, marketing… “Authenticity” is a huge buzzword right now, but how do we balance being authentic when we curate so much of our online and real-life presence?
Reading: Michele Tracy Berger – Crescent
Anti-WorldBuilding – Smith
When what you don’t say says more than what you do. Sometimes too much detail in your world-building can be immersion breaking
Suit up! Basic Armor Pattering – Cameron
Armor can be an eye-catching, high-impact skill to add to your costume toolbox! Join Matthew of Ribbons and Rivets to learn how to get started
Baen Traveling Roadshow – Reynolds (12:30-2pm)
Baen Books wants you to know what’s coming up in their pipeline! Drop in for info, a meet’n’greet, and some sweet Baen swag!
Reading: Broad Universe Rapid Fire – Crescent
Don’t miss the women of the Broad Universe Association in this whirlwind sampler of work!
Making Magic Real – Smith
Gritty, believeble magic systems are tough but can add so much to a story when done well!
Low Cost-Play: Cosplay on a Budget – Cameron
Don’t let a light wallet or lack of tools get you down when it comes to cosplay! There are more resources available than ever to do a lot with a little
Reading: Natania Barron – Crescent
Stranger Than Fiction: Flora and Fauna to Inspire Your Next Fantasy World – Smith
The porgs of Last Jedi were famously inspired by the real-world puffins that lived on the Irish island of Skellig Michael, where parts of the movie was filmed. Join us for a tour of real-world critters and plants that might inspire you!
“Cosplay Photography Tips and Tricks
“ – Cameron
Technical, safety, and photog tips for photogs, models, and anyone just looking to step up their game!
MFAs, Workshops, and Writers’ Groups: Which One is For You? – Reynolds
Do you need them and are they right for you?
Guest of Honor Reading: Alyssa Wong – Crescent
Things That Go “Bump” in Real Life – Smith
Spooky, real-life ghost strories from films, theatre, and more
True Tales of Minority Cosplayers – Cameron
Cosplay is not consent. We join Charlie Rocket and others for a discussion about some issues unique to cosplayers of color and ways for non-minority congoers to be better allies
We Open in a Tavern… Pitch Your Campaign! – Reynolds
Pitch your idea for a DnD or other role-playing game campaign to our panel of GMs for advice!
Reading: Misty Massey – Crescent
Science Clickbait! – Smith
“Ugh, science is so unreliable! One minute they say butter is bad, and now they say I should eat sticks of butter in my coffee every morning!” How headlines misinterpret and mislead the public on what science is and what it says
CosPlay for Charity – Cameron
Join Fan Group CausePlay Carolinas for how-tos and stories of bringing characters to life for good causes!
Hidden Gems: Classics You May Have Missed – Reynolds
Color of Fandom hosts a roundtable on some of their favorite works by authors of color that you may have missed
Reading: Mur Lafferty – Crescent
Hold on to The Light: A Discussion of Mental Illness – Smith
A discussion of creativity and mental health hosted by the Hold on to the Light initiative
Costume Contest Awards and Promenade – Cameron
Come show off your work! More details on the costume contest available here.
Fanfiction: Fun and Fundamentals – Reynolds
Fanfic! What it is, why we love it, and how to navigate terms and tags to find *exactly* what you’re looking for
Reading: Bill Ferris – Crescent
Geeky Rants – Smith
It’s a like a real-life TWEETSTORM full of only the ANGRIEST NERDS. What petty hill would you like to die on today?
Reading: Gray Rinehart – Crescent
Charity Auction and Cookie Break – Smith
Reading: Suzanne Adair – Crescent
Splintered Reality – Cameron/Reyonolds (8-8:45pm)
Existential Nerd Metal band Splintered Reality kicks off a night of performances!
Reading: Julie Steinbacher – Crescent
League of Extraordinary Bellydancers – Cameron/Reyonolds (9:15-10:15pm)
Nerd-Vana Burlesque – Cameron/Reyonolds (10:30-11:45pm)
Start a Podcast on the Cheap – Smith
It seems like everyone has a podcast, and there’s a good reason! Podcasting is fun and more accessible than ever. Here are tips on how to get started
Non-European World-Building – Cameron
Creating non-European fantasy worlds of wonder and mindfulness of cultural interpretation
How What We Read for Fun Sculpts Us – Reynolds
“But it’s just a story!” Well, yes and no. How what we consume can shape our ideas–for better or worse
Reading: Darin Kennedy – Crescent
Social Media for the Socially Awkward – Smith
Are you shy? Awkward? A lizard person in a human suit? We got you. How to navigate social media in healthy ways
Afrofuturist Fiction and Trends – Cameron
Modern black SF-discussions of Afrofturism/Black pessimism, aesthetics, art, culture
Moving Past the “Tragic Gay” in Storytelling – Reynolds
It wasn’t that long ago that having a queer character in a story at all was a “Dangerous Vision,” let alone a queer character that got to be happy (still weeping for you, Tara). What does the future hold?
Reading: James Maxey – Crescent
Mothers and Daughters – Smith
Women’s relationships to each other are simultaneously universal and unique. Let’s explore femininte familial relationships in genre fiction!
Music for the Road: Gray Rinehart and David Tyberg – Cameron
Join nerdy singer-songwriters Gray and David for a few acoustic tunes on guitar and rock banjo!
Steampunk’d! – Reynolds
Finally awake? Panelists “steampunk books” and movies based on audience suggestions!
Reading: Jim McDonald – Crescent
Crowdfunding: Is It Right for Your Project? – Smith
Kickstarter and other crowd funding sites can be huge, but is it right for your project?
Casting Castigations – Cameron
White washed casting is still a thing. Is it getting better? Worse? What does “better” even mean when actrs of color aren’t given credit for having “mainstream appeal”?
Discover Star Trek Discovery – Reynolds
Delightful people gush over Star Trek and maybe rant
Reading: Tera Fulbright – Crescent
Living the Dream and Getting Paid – Smith
So you’re ready to turn that hobby into a career (or a least a decent side hustle)? We gotta talk shop on financial planning and the business side of creativity.
What Should We Be Reading? – Cameron
You’ve read the “classics,” but what’s next? New stuff comes out every year and some awesome old stuff (particularly by women and authors of color) resurfaces to start getting the visibiliity it deserves! Panelists and audience alike will be recommending books to read.
Greatness Past 50 – Reynolds
Characters “of a certain age” still have a lot of offer–a discussion of ageism, aging characters, and older characters
Reading: Nicole Givens Kurtz – Crescent
Closing Ceremonies – Cameron