Flying Further

Posted: 25th March 2009 by onyxhawke in Uncategorized
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I’m looking for a few cons of at least 500 people a year and outside the Northeast-Mid Atlantic to do in 2010. I’m probably only willing to do two real long distance ones since I’m told I have to be productive at least twice a year so two cons in anyone area are probably out. All i want is the aforementioned headcount, and of course a literary bent to the convention if there are writers workshops as part of the con even better.

So tell me about the cons in your neck of the woods.

  • We have three cons every year in Madison, WI.
    OddCon is a general fan/gamer con – all genre and all media. I don't know how many they bring in, but if they're over 500, they're just barely over. It's usually held in April.
    There is a new con called Geek*Kon run by University of Wisconsin students. Their first year, with no advertising and no registration fees, they brought in 800 attendees. I don't know much more than that, though. It's definitely a college-age crowd, though.
    The biggest of the three is Wiscon. This is my first year on the Concom, and I'm coordinating the Writers' Workshop. This will be the 33rd year for Wiscon. We cap membership at 1000 attendees, and have sold out before the con for the past few years.
    Wiscon is the largest feminist sci fi/fantasy con, the place where the Tiptree Award & Carl Brandon Society were founded, and tends to bring in a more serious crowd. It's still more fannish than something like World Fantasy, but it's not really a place where you have a bunch of fanboys/fangirls squee-ing all over the hallways.

  • Orycon–Portland, Oregon, and it runs around 1200/1500 attendees. Writers workshops and a nice crew of people. November con. My local con.
    Radcon–Pasco, Washington, draws a lot of folks from Seattle, Portland, Spokane, Montana and Idaho. Heavy small press crowd, writers workshops, rather fun con with Dragon Dronet showing up regularly and featuring belly dancers for Opening Ceremonies. Get there early enough as a guest and you might be able to do a tour of Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Fire dancers. Weapons demonstrations. One of my favorite cons. 1200-1500 attendees.

  • You could come to ConDFW. MWW was GoH this year. It's a pretty good sized con and, if I remember correctly, there is a writers workshop. Here's the link —
    If you make it down, I promise to show you all the good bars..yes, it's a bribe [VBG].

    • Oy, another Feb con. It looks cool, but I kinda want to do Boskone again next year and two cons i one month would kill me.

  • Let's see. There's Adventurecon in Knoxville… Liberty (In Chattanooga).. and what else? Wonderfest in May in Louisville

  • I don't think ConVersion reliably makes 500 people a year anymore. *shrug* <a href="<br />
    Runs in late August. I'll probably be going this year, just to have been at least once!

  • Did anyone mention Norwescon? Easter weekend in Seattle.

    • Nope, but that is one of the con's i _want_ to do. There's enough people out there I know to not feel alone, and enough people who haven't experienced my New England charm to make it interesting.

      • Well, I for one wouldn't mind talking with you again. I enjoyed meeting you at WorldCon.
        I'm hoping to get to Norwescon this year, at least for a day (I'm in commuting distance).

      • I've heard a lot of good things about the Seattle con, too. Wish I could go.

      • mmegaera forgot to mention: 2,000 people approx. at NWCon.
        Plus me, of course. 😀

  • LosCon – Thanksgiving weekend in Los Angeles. Gets around 1200 people. And yes, I know you need to get out of working Retail Hell first.

  • There's InConJunction in Indianapolis in July, which I've always been meaning to attend since I live in Indianapolis but have not managed to be in town.
    Here's the webpage from 2008: InConJunction 2008
    Though it does have a writing workshop, I'm not sure the focus of the Con is literary.
    There's one in the late summer in Columbus, OH, Context that has a definite literary bent (writing workshops, meetings with agents, etc.) but I've never managed to get to that one either.

  • Not my neck of the woods (I'm a mid-Atlantic resident myself) but I have to put a reccie for my favorite summer camp for wayward adults: DragonCon. Attendance is between 30-40,000, depending on whether or not the fire marshal is present. Cheers and smiles, Jean Marie

    • D*C is probably not some place I'll never go.. too many people by far.

      • It can be rough if you don't like crowds, but you never see more than a few hundred in a single space. The attendees are spread over four hotels, Peachtree Centre and the surrounding streets.
        On the flip side, it has lots of writing tracks in a variety of genres, not to mention lots of great music.
        Cheers and smiles,
        Jean Marie

  • There are two in the SF bay area that are always well-attended but not to the point of shifting the earth's center of gravity or triggering the San Andreas: World Fantasy Convention and Baycon. The dates for 2010 have not been set, but to give you an idea of when/where they are held, World Fantasy is being held in San Jose this year on Oct 29th-Nov 1st, 2009 and Baycon, in Santa Clara on May 22nd-May 25th, 2009 (

  • CONvergence is Fourth of July weekend in Minneapolis, MN. It's definitely over 500, it's … interesting on the literary bent. They've had MWW & Ms Lackey as guests in the past, but they also have a very strong media orientation. I think they do a writers workshop of some king, but it might be something that happens some years and not others.
    Minicon is Easter weekend in Minneapolis, MN. Definitely a literary convention! Unfortunately, I'm not certain what the membership is running currently – it may be 300-400 rather than 500+.