What Matters? What Works? What's Next?
This blog belongs to:

Dj Connell
* Discworld Area Head, Sasquan / WorldCon 2015
More info at
* Current Project: The Great Discworld Fan Gathering at Sasquan
* Founder, Discworld Seamstress Guild of North America, Established 2003
* Co-Founder, North American Discworld Dark Clerks.
Established 2011
* Board Chair: North American Discworld Connection

Trouble Made: By Appointment


@ItBodes on Twitter

These are my opinions and mine alone.

This image of Death is by artist Paul Kidby. Mr Kidby's images are used with his permission. Copyright: Paul Kidby.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Twitterverse Reacts to NADWCon 2013 Announcement

You know what happens when Terry and Rob post a link to your little blog on their Twitter page?  44,000+ people read it.  Which explains why the post announcing which city has been chosen to host the next NADWCon has suddenly received thousands of visitors from:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, England, France, Ireland, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, and pretty much every part the U.S.
in just one hour.

I've been following the response on Twitter which is full of !!! and Yeahs! and tweets along the lines of "Now, I can finally go to NADWCon!"   Many of us felt it might well be time for an East Coast con (after holding the last two in the Southwest and Midwest) and we're very glad to hear that the fans are so happy about this choice.  (1)

Thanks, guys!

Um..Richard? I think we're gonna need a bigger boat.  


P.S. NADWCon has a twitter page: @nadwcon 

Update 12/20: Udupi, Karnataka, India just stopped by.  Nice! 

Tech Notes: Counting Visitors While Honoring Privacy: For those who have asked: I use Site Meter to track visitors to the blog.  It does not give me your name or your email address and it does not attach a cookie when you visit. It does tell me what city and country you're from (based on the location of your IP address), how long you were here and what pages you looked it.  The basic software package is free and you can get one for your own blog or website at the link above. 


(1) I wonder who we'll see bids from for 2015?  Boston? Florida? Nova Scotia? One of the Southern States? Or is California dreaming of this? Stay tuned. 

Art: Twitter feed @terryandrob. Their twitter icon shows Terry and Rob accepting the BAFTA Award

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Drumroll, please: The city picked to host NADWCon 2013 is ...

After giving this (very tough) choice a great deal of thought and discussion, we are delighted to announce that the CITY OF BALTIMORE will be the site for the next North American Discworld Convention in 2013. 

The dates are July 5th - 8th,
Hotel will be announced at a future date 

We believe that Sir Terry and the Discworld fans will be in experienced and capable hands with the Baltimore team and we look forward to working very closely with them as we support their preparations and plans. The steering committee members and our consulting team were extremely impressed with Baltimore's creative and well organized plans for 2013, plans detailed in a comprehensive bid that ultimately came in at over 30 pages.  It was clear to us that this team is a triple threat: they have have the convention, stage and real world skills needed to provide an memorable, well organized and fun convention for all concerned.

Both bidding cities have a great deal to offer visitors and that made the choice all the more difficult.

For those of you who have not been to Baltimore before, we believe that you are going to love what you find.  There is a great deal to see and do in the immediate area (and Washington D.C. is only a short train ride away). The inner harbor hotel they have chosen will fit our needs wonderfully and provide for the kind of mingling and meeting spaces for our guests that we feel is so important the success of this affair.  It is also within easy walking distance of many interesting, historical and family-friendly sites as well as a wide variety of food choices and prices.  The city itself is within easy reach for both our international and U.S. guests and the bid committee has given a great deal of thought to making our time there enjoyable. Wait till you see what they have planned!

The bid chairs were informed yesterday, as were Terry & Rob.  The Baltimore Chair writes: 

I would like to take the opportunity, on behalf of the bid committee, to thank the GoC for their hard work, effort and diligence in the selection process. Having spoken with (the Boston chair) a couple of times over the last few months I'm hoping and sure that there will be collaboration between the Boston and Baltimore bid committees in forming the convention committee at large over the next few weeks.

We look forward to working with the GoC over the next few days, weeks and nineteen months in developing and executing the North American Discworld Convention for 2013. (Our staff members) will be touch next week to discuss the corporate structure required for the convention to operate efficiently and effectively.

Yours Sincerely,
Richard Atha-Nicholls
Chair, North American Discworld Convention 2013
We would like to thank both bid committees and their chairs for their hard work in producing these bids.  Thanks also to our consultants who so generously gave us their time and advice and to the fans for their enthusiasm and patience. 

We know that our Terry, Rob and our attendees appreciate the dedication shown by both groups and we again offer our congratulations to the team in Baltimore. (1) We ask that Discworld fans the world over give them their full support.  The members of the GoC and our consulting team look  forward to working with all here to make NADWCon 2013 the best one yet.   

Update 3:55 PM Richard added this today to answer some questions from our Facebook fans: 
I'm excited to be chairing the Con for 2013 and look forward to sharing all the wonderful things we have planned in due course. Including, what we think, is a great hotel rate. Just bear with us as we get our ducks (or should that be flamingos) in a row. We'll let you know all the details in good time.

Thanks and hope to see you all in Baltimore in 2013,

See you in Baltimore ....


Vice Chair,
The Guild of Chelonavigators AKA the NADWCon Steering Committee

(1) We would also like to invite Boston - and any other interested cities - to consider bidding for 2015.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Terry Pratchett's next book or rather, books.

Terry Pratchett and Nancy Pearl, Librarian of the Year, 2011

Lately, Terry's been talking about his next book(s). Here is an excerpt from an interview he gave on 12/4:
 He’s currently working on a novel with a working title of Happy Families, set in the early Victorian period, and which he compares with the Flashman series since the lead, fictional character has a series of encounters with historical figures.

The other is a science-fiction novel, The Long Earth, co-written with Stephen Baxter and tackling the quantum universe.

There’s even another Discworld novel brewing, provisionally titled Raising Taxes, and starring conman Moist Von Lipwig. “Unless I come up with a better idea. Narrativia moves in mysterious ways. Or I might be dead.”

He has hinted in the past that Rhianna, a computer game scriptwriter, might take over the Pratchett empire when he is no longer able to write, although he says they have only discussed it in the broadest sense.

“It’s only if she wants to do it. In no way would I press her to do it but I know she could do it because I’ve seen her stuff.” In fact, Rhianna might find she will be glad of the money since her father plans to leave the bulk of his fortune to good causes.

Terry talked about Happy Families at the brunch with Book Maven Nancy Pearl following his October 11th Town Hall event in Seattle.   I can't wait to read it.

Terry and Ms. Pearl are old friends. You may know Nancy Pearl from her wonderful book blog or her insightful commentary on NPR.  She is the author of the Book Lust series and (I love this) the inspiration for the famous Librarian action figure.

Meeting Nancy Peal was a real treat. (In person, she is just as nice as one could hope.)  When these two began talking I just sat in the corner, very quiet, like a UU rat with very big ears.  They talked about books and writing and I joyfully listened while my eggs got cold.  My thanks again to Terry and Rob for graciously including Ray Friesen, Prof. Kathryn Hobbe, my guy and me in their plans on this wonderful weekend in Seattle.  The chowder at dinner was excellent - I can see why Terry raves about that. The sun was even shining.  Clearly, Narrativia, AKA She Who Smiles On Writers, was enjoying her time in Seattle.

Kudos and thanks to the charming and well organized team at the University Bookstore for hosting such a great event. 

Let me also add a shout out to animal lover, writer and photographer, Shelly Rae Clift, who was taking photos for Locus Magazine.  Anytime I get to meet someone who tells great stories and who knows American English, Old English, Middle English, British English and Spanglish, it's a good day.

Regards to all here,


Photo: Terry Pratchett & Nancy Pearl, Seattle 2011

Video: Nancy Pearl's 2010 Interview w/ Terry Pratchett at University Bookstore in Seattle

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Update on NADWCon bid process for 2013

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded 
Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies
Greetings, all
Here is an update on the bid process for NADWCon. I posted this to the North American Discworld 2013 Facebook page on Monday:
As we mentioned earlier, one of the bidding cities requested a week's grace past the deadline which stretched into 11 days. As a result, our timeline for deciding this was pushed back as well. We sincerely hope to have an announcement for everyone by Nov 30th, as we've said, but that may not happen.

Nope ... didn't happen. 
Discussion with the NADWCon Consultants Guild has ended and the Steering Committee is formulating additional questions, as needed, for the cities in question based on both their notes and ours.
Fair warning: We may not have an official announcement until Dec. 6th. We know you folks want us to do a very thorough job on this and that you'd also like an answer asap so you can make your plans. We are doing our very best to make both of those wishes come true - djc
Response to this has been positive and supportive.  Here is a sample:
Do your excellent job. We'll wait. We want the best venue for our Sir PTerry and his fans.


YAY!!!! To be honest I don't mind when you decide, it means you are making a well thought-out and rational decision. That being said, I check every time I am near my computer just so I know as soon as you do decide. Thank you for all your hard work, time, and effort.

Our thanks to Sir Terry's many fans for their patience and support and to the bidding committees in both Boston and Baltimore for their help in answering all our questions.

Update to the Update 12/10/2011

Info posted to LJ, Facebook, Twitter and the Seamstress Guild group today: 
The GoC has just been informed that one bid committee's proposed hotel contract expires on the 15th. We might be able to push the vote up but a lot will depend on whether or not they get back to us with the answers to our questions in good time. - djc

Update 12/11/2011 A. Stewart, a fan and an expert in hotel contracts wrote us to say,

An expiring hotel contract (actually it's typically an option date) only means something if the property has a similar or better prospect in the pipeline. Hotel sales staff are under a lot of pressure to get deals closed before year end but that shouldn't force you to make a decision that may or may not be right for the convention....

Hotels can put out second option contracts to other parties that if signed would obligate you to execute your option or lose your date.

It always delights me to find out how varied and knowledgeable Terry's fan base it.  Thanks, Tony!


Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Hogswatch

Susan: I don't remember them asking for anything that makes a noise.
Death: Oh, there has to be something in the stocking that makes a noise. Otherwise, what is 4:30AM for? 

Happy Hogswatch to all here


Art: Hogswatch image by Paul Kidby

Links: You can follow the celebrations in Wincanton hosted by the Discworld Emporium at the Hogswatch Facebook page.   

I received a hogswatch stocking as a surprise gift last week. It now hangs in a place of pride in my office. (Let 'em wonder) - Thanks, Hon!

PJSM Prints has lovely Hogswatch cards by Paul Kidby. 

The Discworld Emporium writes:

This year the Discworld Emporium celebrates it’s tenth year, and with that in mind it’s carnival/mardis gras time! So rummage in the dressing up box and go Gogol with a Genuan get up, or don your most mysterious mask for an elegant Brindisian flavour. Think sequins, feathers, pox doctors and voodoo!
Those of a theatrical persuasion can take to the stage for the traditional maskerade, with appropriate party pieces to entertain, mesmerize, bewitch or confound. All manner of fevered lunacy accepted.

The traditional Sausage Supper will be served from the cauldrons of various hostelries around town on Saturday evening - NOW FULLY SUBSCRIBED SUBJECT TO CANCELLATIONS

There’ll be talks, entertainments, cake, games room, dealers room and of course the Grand Charity auction in aid of Alzheimer’s research on Sunday. The Emporium will be open all weekend for moral support and retail therapy.
Here is the full Program. 

Have fun, folks! I wish I could be there with you.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pratchett Documentary - Choosing To Die - Wins at Scottish BAFTAs

This just in from @TerryandRob.

The documentary, Choosing To Die, has just won the BAFTA Award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Scotland.

Some photos from the event are here

Choosing To Die was shown at a special screening in the U.S. for attendees of NADWCon 2011. It was followed by a talk with Terry and Rob.

If you have not seen this moving film, you can find watch it in full here.

In Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die, He explores the realities of medically assisted death. Having been diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's disease in 2008, Terry considers how he might choose to end his life as his condition progresses. In a moving documentary he meets those who, like him, would like to control the way they die including a men suffering from degenerative conditions and he is with a British motor neurone sufferer as he carries out an assisted death at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.
I was privileged to introduce this film at the NADWCon. As a rule, I prefer to work behind the scenes at events. This premier was the only con event (besides the Black Ribboner meetings) that I insisted on doing myself.  I also made sure our attendees had somewhere to go and someone to talk to after it was over  because it is not an easy film to watch.  I felt both saddened and inspired by the deep love and bravery shown by the two men who choose to end their lives and their loved ones.  That night in Madison 600+  attendees saw Choosing To Die and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.  It is a beautiful and well made film about a very important  and universal subject. It deserves recognition and I'm glad it got some. 

Here's to all the good people out there faced with this terrible choice.  May you find the ending that is right for you.

My thoughts tonight are with Terry and Rob and the families we meet in the film.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NADWCon 2013 on Facebook

To all our friends on Facebook:

We put up a NADWCon 2013 Facebook page a while back and it now has a poll up on the wall that lets you root for your favorite city to win the bid to host the next Discworld convention in North America.

Should it be Baltimore or Boston? We look forward to hearing your views.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween and Day of the Dead

On behalf of the Seamstress Guild, I would like to wish all who celebrate the holidays this time of year a happy Halloween, a memorable Day of the Dead, a lovely All Saints Day, a blessed Samhain and a joyful Diwali.

Did I forget anything?

For our friends in Australia and other places where it is spring, please tailor these good wishes to include bunnies, scrumble and suchlike.  

All good things,


Photo: Costume found here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

NADWCon 2013: It Comes Down To Boston or Baltimore

Greetings all. Here is the latest
on NADWCon Bids:  

It comes down to Baltimore or Boston for NADWCon 2013.
Boston has requested another week to finish hotel negotiations.  The rest of their paperwork is due in today.   Baltimore submitted their bid paperwork but they have been granted an extra week, as well, to make additions and changes, if needed.

The GoC voted to add an additional week on to our deliberations to compensate for the delay and give us time to discuss this amongst ourselves and with our consulting body and allow us to hear from the fans. Therefore, the final decision will be announced on November 30th.  (1)

More info to come.


Photo: Terry Pratchett, Mrs Palm and Foul O' Ron at the Seamstress Guild Party, San Jose Worldcon, 2002, where Terry was Guest of Honor.  Oh, what a night that was ...

(1) Guild of Chelonavagators (a name given to us by Dr. Pat Harkin, one of our founding members) AKA the NADWCon Steering Committee. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Terry Pratchett on the BBC, talking about writing and SNUFF

Lovely video interview with Terry on the BBC. Enjoy. 
"Being diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer's in 2007 has not stopped author Terry Pratchett from writing and releasing his 50th novel, Snuff.

He spoke to BBC Breakfast about the book and how his illness has changed his method of writing."

Update: Drumknott can file this under, Congrats and No Surprise: Snuff is now on the U.S. Bestseller List

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

So you wanna host a NADWCon?

Updated 10/26/2011: Bidding is now closed 

Congratulations to Baltimore and Boston for making it to the finals to host NADWCon 2013! 

As of today, organizations/coalitions/groups in the following cities have expressed an interest* in hosting NADWCon 2013: 

* Atlanta, GA

Update: 10/25 Atlanta has pulled out of the bidding, citing difficulties in finding an available and experienced core staff and an appropriate hotel.   The organizer plans to do more networking and research and hopes to offer a bid in 2015.
* Baltimore/DC area
Updated 10/25: Baltimore has turned in their bid!  Since we gave Boston another week, Baltimore has that same grace period to make additions or changes, if needed.
* Boston, MA
Updated 10/25: Our Boston contact informs us that the bidding committee is trying to decide on a hotel.We have given them an extra week to finalize negotiations.  All other paperwork is due in on schedule.
* Charlotte, NC 
Updated 10/24: This just came in from the organizer in N.C.: "Unfortunately, Charlotte is going to have to drop out of the bidding for the 2013 NADWC. We were not able to get together the human resources necessary to pull off the type of event this convention deserves. While I am very disappointed in this turn of events, I am looking forward to putting my support behind the winning city"
* Halifax, Nova Scotia 
Update 10/23: Nova Scotia has pulled out of bidding on the next NADWCon. The organizers there already host a yearly Sci-Fi convention and had wished to combine this with a Discworld Convention.  Reluctantly, the Steering Committee had to say "No" to this proposal as Discworld is a unique, stand alone con in it's own right.
* Phoenix, AZ  
Update 10/25 Phoenix pulled out of the race this evening.  They may make a bid in 2015. 
* Seattle, WA   
Update: 9/17 The folks who requested the NADWCon Bid Submission form for Seattle have recently pulled out of the bidding for personal reasons.  If you know of another well organized group in Seattle (where Terry has a huge fan base) who wish to place a bid, we would love to hear from them. 
We will continue to send out the Bid Submission paperwork to interested groups in various cities in North America right up until the deadline.
Bidding is open from August 25th - October 25th, 2011
Other cites in North America are very welcome to apply. 
If your group wishes to receive a copy of the Bid Submission Form & NADWCon 2013 Guidelines, write to Yours Truly (Vice Chair, Steering Committee) at
* Please note:  Expressing an interest and placing an official bid are two very different things. Groups will have two months (beginning on Friday) to fill out the bid submission paperwork and place their bids into the hat for consideration by the NADWCon Steering Committee and our consultants.
Can more than one group per city apply? Yes, they can.  In that case the Steering Committee would:
a) choose the best organized group with the relevant experience and a strong volunteer base and  
b) strongly encourage the hosts to work with the other group's members as they build their con staff and volunteer teams. 
The key to hosting a good con is hard work, organization, communication, setting realistic goals, having high standards, behaving in ways that are fiscally and ethically responsible, and treating volunteers with respect. Remember: our attendees come first!
Bon chance! 
Art: Greebo AKA Mr Fluffy by Paul Kidby

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Note From Our Chair

How are you? I have the Oh, Gods of Con Hangovers. Since I don't drink,  I'll chalk this up to coming down off a lot of stress and happy times and whatever that nice but very sick lady in the nearest plane seat was coughing up as we headed home.

Some of us landed and went right back to work cleaning up after the last con (Margie would like me to remind you all to get those receipts in, now!) and preparing for the next one. (More on that later).  In the meantime, many, many thanks are due.  Most of our Department Chairs have been making those calls and sending those emails all week but here to start things off officially is a letter from The Big Cheese, herself, Emily Whitten:

Hello, wonderful and hardworking NADWCon2011 Committee!
I hope that people are home now, and getting in a bit of rest and recovery! I know that it take a while to regain one's equilibrium after a con, not to mention one's sanity and health - so please, all, make sure you are getting plenty of rest and taking care of yourselves! You deserve it!!
I wanted to say a really, truly heartfelt and giant THANK YOU to everyone on this list (and any committee members I may have inadvertently left off the list - I think I have everyone's emails on here, but if I've missed someone, please forward this along to them as well!) for all of your hard work, commitment, enthusiasm, good humor, extreme dedication, and more in the face of putting on a giant, complex event like a Discworld Con. Truly you were all amazing, and did a fantastic job of working together to run the con!  I hope to see you all again at future Discworld Cons, and that you feel free to keep in touch! And now, please indulge me while I go into personal thanks and recognition for a bit.
In no particular order at all (other than the order in which my Gmail address book collated your names) because all of you are wonderful:
Missy: Thank you so much for your incredible work organizing and decorating and running the Seamstresses' Guild Parties, which were amazing and magical and fun; and for coordinating your team to help run them with such efficiency and panache. What a treat to have such a place to go each night! And thank you for jumping in to help co-run the Auction, which raised a lot of money for great causes. And for acquiring and safeguarding my wings for me, even in the face of your cat's clear desire to rip them to shreds!
Viv: You are my Queen of Communications, and I am glad to have had you to help us Get the Word Out about everything, both before and during the con. No matter what new idea or request I threw at you, you came up with a way to get it done and stay on top of things, so thank you so much for that! And for becoming a clearinghouse for all packages Discworldian.  And for the Neil Gaiman newsletter headline, which makes me laugh every time I see it. :P *luffs you* *and your cute kid*
Art Ray: :) You did superb work on the Program Book, the Pocket Program, and all the art and ambience we desired from you; and a great job of getting the posters done, and working with us to get the plushies and t-shirts rolling.  Your art on the buttons and more was excellently fun! Thanks for your patience and good cheer, and for the falling tortoises sign, which never failed to make me smile. And for the comic book, which I shall definitely read.
Greg:  Hilariously, we got to meet for all of 5 minutes during this con, since we were both so busy. But from the short amount of time I did get to spend in the Dealers Room, I could see that it had been well-organized and was being well-looked after; so thank you for that, and for being so efficient that I wasn't even needed to help! :) I hope to meet you again at another con where we might actually have a chance to chat!
Fae: You ran a wonderful Costumers Dungeon; and though I personally was not there much, my costumes certainly were! I know Erica made use of the room several times over the course of the weekend while helping me with all of my myriad costume things, and I am sure she was not the only one who was grateful for a place to go for steamers and hot glue guns and other costumey things. Thanks for being there for people in need of a few stitches or more desperate costume help!
John K: Being At-Con Programming Director is no easy thing, but you almost made it look like it was! Excellent job of keeping things clicking along and working out glitches on the fly, and doing it all with a great sense of humor and a level head. It was a pleasure solving little problems with you and making them disappear like they'd never even been.  And thanks for not playing your banjo at me. *ducks* Just kidding! Actually I'd really like to hear your work. Send me links!!
Henry: Terry and all attending were very pleased with the well-run and fun Maskerade, and when Terry says he's pleased, it truly means you've done a fantastic job! I know everyone involved had fun.  Thanks for your hard work and great success in all of that, and for working out with us how to ensure everyone was as safe as possible as they participated.
Jon L:  What can I say? Thanks for being everywhere at once and sometimes in two places at once at the con, and making sure that things got where they needed to be, :) and for all of your hard work EVERYwhere
Erin: Thank you for stepping in and making the art show into something wonderful and well-run in a relatively short period of time! I wish I had had more time to look around the show, but I heard great reports and really appreciate all of the work you did, both on that and as a program participant. And I loved your tiny steampunk hat. :) P.S. Please don't faint if you see Neil Gaiman again. Or at least be standing near a couch when you do. Hee.
Matthew G: Thanks for setting up/running the movie room, and for your work as part of the Seamstresses' Guild Party team!  AND for making an excellent glass of absinthe!! I am glad things worked out with Ian Sharples being able to introduce the Mob movies, and am sure lots of attendees were happy to have a place to take a load off, relax, and watch a movie now and again.
Jon M: My right hand co-guest liaison man! It was excellent working with you all weekend, and I really appreciate your stepping in to be there whenever I had to take more time away from the guests than originally expected due to Chairing the con (or due to getting a costume on!).  Thanks for all of your work on the ground gathering things for the gift baskets and setting those up, and chaperoning guests on outings, and getting together some reliable local folks to Guest Liaise with us.  Please send them my thanks as well, because they were awesome! (And/or send me along their email addresses). I'm really glad to have met you and worked with you to take care of our guests! And thanks for the photos!
z!: Hooray, tech man! :) Thanks for your expertise in the realms of tech and staging, and for going through the trouble of pricing out options for us (the budget thanks you too) and ensuring that everything *worked* during the weekend! I was really glad to have someone who I knew I could rely on to know what was going on and to ensure that things that were supposed to have tech did, and to be able to fix any snags that came up.  And thank you for your co-work on the Charity Auction as well! And for having a good sense of humor, and very easily describable hair, so that I could send people who needed tech help your way with a simple, "the guy with the half purplish-blue hair can totally help you!" :)
Nelly:  I don't think I ever saw you doing anything other than working and running errands for ops, etc.  Thanks for helping with ops and never stopping to take a breath. You can relax a bit now. :) (And sorry I called on you to come find me somewhere random at least twice and then realized when you arrived that I didn't need help. Heh.)
Katie:  I'm sorry you couldn't make it to the con, but thanks for working on the registration needs pre-con, and making sure everything was in good order when Jeff needed to take over! I appreciate your pre-con work and hope you can make it another time!
Barry: It's nice to have people you know you can 100% rely on to take care of their responsibilities AND take the initiative when they see something else that needs doing, and you are always one of those people in my book! Thanks for stepping in last-minute-ish to do the at-con treasurer job, which was a lot of work to take on in the 11th hour, and for organizing our equipment and supplies list and putting in orders so we'd have what we needed at the con. You're awesome! See you at the next WSFA meeting (no, really! I'll be there this time!) :)
Denise:  Thanks for your good advice, sharp eye towards potential issues, and excellent work in coordinating and organizing/gridding the program pre-con, which I know from experience is a major, major task; and for working with both Missy on Seamstress Parties, and John K at the con, to ensure that the parties and the programming had the support they needed from you (among the many other things I saw you helping with at-con!).  I'm glad you were able to make it to the con after all, and very grateful for all of your hard work! *waves bloomers* Here's to you, my fellow Dame!
Dave L: I know running a ConSuite was a new experience for you, and that it was a process figuring out how to best approach it, but thanks for working with me and Margie through several iterations of the ConSuite Plan to ensure that we'd be offering what attendees and volunteers needed and wanted during the con, and for adjusting plans on the fly to meet people's expectations. And thanks for your excellent setup in the VIP Lounge when we were hosting Neil, and for making sure I ate something on Sunday, even if it was very mean of you to steal my wings until I ate. :P I will keep a sharper eye on them next time!
Sarah: Thanks for your excellent assistance of John K and programming and with signs and all those little things that always need doing at the last minute, and in general in ConOps etc.,; as well as in helping me with my costuming! The Ikebana stuff you got for me was great and really made the costume! Big thanks!
Michelle:  Many thanks for conscientiously dealing with/handing out/selling ridiculously large amounts of merchandise (the bags of plushies were bigger than you!) and managing your volunteers so well as they tried to sell sell sell for our con! :)  Every time I saw you you were super-busy, and I appreciate the time and attention you gave to managing this area, which always looked like it was being handled very smoothly..
Margie: My right-and-left-hand woman! Thanks so much for agreeing to Vice Chair in the last month, and for working with me to take point on certain areas so that I could attend to others and we could together ensure that everything that needed oversight received it.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate your level head, sharp eye for detail, and can-do attitude, as well as your unwavering good spirits and abilities to help or come up with solutions to issues that needed to be solved as the con approached.  And on top of all of that, you managed a huge group of volunteers, scheduled them, oversaw them and a numerous other things during the con, and, and, and...*whew* :) I wish you all the best as the new Chair of the Chelos, and am looking forward with anticipation to NADWon2013. *big hugs*
David B: David, David, David! I am so very glad that you came forward to run Ops, again at a time when the con was approaching like a runaway train and we desperately needed a steady and experienced person to help with this key position. Ops is a huge and complex area, and you did such a stellar job managing it that if I didn't know better I'd have thought it was a piece of cake! Well done, you! So many hugs and thanks. And thanks also for putting up with my random leaving-of-things-in-Ops, and my occasional silliness on the radios. :)
Game Ray: While I did not get a ton of time to stop in the Game Room, the couple of times I checked in I could see that at least 3 or more tables were full of people having fun! Goal reached! Achievement unlocked!  :)  And my friend Kevin reported that his GURPS game went great, as well. Thanks for providing a nice relaxed area for gamers to have some fun, and for maintaining it all weekend long.
Jeff: Our impressively tall Registration man! In a top hat! Which made you super-easy to find whenever I had a registration question. :) Thank you so much for coming in at the 11.5th hour to take over and run registration so efficiently, and for doing absolutely every single thing I asked of you in record time.  From ensuring all was ready for/in the bags and envelopes beforehand, to bringing me Guest member bags in person when I needed them, I truly appreciate everything you did and the ease with which you did it. You're a star! (And high-five to Missy for Jeff into this role.)
Matt C: Thanks for taking over the hotel communications as the con approached and at the con, and ensuring that all went smoothly there, as well as for helping with non-hotel things, as I know you were running errands and helping Ops a lot as well (I heard you on that-there radio!). And thanks for keeping Terry good company at the banquet. :)
Marilyn:  Much appreciation for your aid to Denise and John K on the programming pre-and at-con, and for your participating in the programming by doing things like the jewelry workshop (I so want some of those adorable beads!). Denise told me many a time how helpful your spreadsheet and scheduling skills were in getting the program done, and it's truly appreciated, as were your abilities to easily shuffle programming things around as needed as the con got closer. Many thanks!
Bryan S:  Thanks for managing our message board, and for your help in Ops at the con - I know you were busily working away in there almost any time I came through, and provided me with help a number of times, too! Much appreciation for your help in one of the busiest areas of the con.
Brandon (please pass this along to him, someone, as I do not have his email?): Excellent work in ensuring that Our Con Was Secure. :) Though Discworld fans are very nice people, big crowds are still big crowds, and we definitely needed people to oversee keeping areas clear and traffic moving, ensuring programs that needed security guidance had it, etc. Thanks for being in charge of all of that!
Pat: My Discworld Hero! Thanks for being super-you, Pat, and for Mastering the hell out of our Ceremonies! No, seriously though - you are a stellar MC and front-man and I am so glad we can always call on you for these things. And thank you for the little ducky covered in hearts.  He is now the center of my shrine to Ordpor. :P See you at the UK Con (I hope)!
And...big props to anyone I've inadvertently left off the list, and to all of y'alls staff and volunteers. Please convey my thanks to them if you haven't yet!
If you can't tell already, I truly feel it's been a privilege to work with each and every one of you, and that you all worked your butts off to make this thing great.
And now, as some of you may have already seen, it saddens me slightly to say (even though it's the best choice for me) that after six years of work on the NADWCons, I have decided to take a hiatus from convention organizing, due to health considerations and other obligations.  There are many others eager to take on leadership roles for future NADWCons, and that is a very good thing. :)  If you are interested in my further thoughts on this, I have posted about it here:
I am by no means stepping back from the Discworld fandom, which I do love dearly; but am instead looking forward with great anticipation to attending the next NADWCon and getting to see it from "the other side." I hope I will also get to see you all there.
Until then, please don't hesitate to stay in touch!
All my best, 
:) Emily

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mrs Palm's Favorite John OR Meet John Kentner, Director of Programming

As my Dear Readers know, the Amazing Mom has some health issues and I was never sure if I could come to the convention or not.  As a result, I obtained (never you mind how)  a co-Director of Programing who I've been working with these last few months.  His name is John Kentner.

I say this as a happily married woman: I heart John Kentner.   He is experienced (I understate the case wildly by saying that), funny, calm, an excellent leader and a great guy to have in the trenches.  * He is, officially, Mrs Palm's favorite John. **

Where was I? Oh, yes.  I am happy to say that I will now be able to come after all but please note: 
 John Kentner will take the lead when he arrives on Thursday.  He will be acting Program Director and Show Runner for NADWCon during the convention. 
I will be assisting John and wearing my other hats, as well. 

I know that you are going to enjoy working with John as much as we have.  Please give him your full cooperation and support. 

Thank you, all, for helping us to make NADWCon so great.

Best regards,


* Get your minds out of gutter, people, my husband reads this blog. FYI: John's married to a beautiful redhead. Mrs. Palm knows better than to cross a ginger.

** Another favorite John of Mrs Palms is a 6'5" viking named John Allen.  You will meet him at the Skype talk and the Science panel.  Fair warning: You will also meet Marilyn, con scheduler, craft artist and John Allen's lovely wife. 

Photo: Bliss, our foster Momcat.  She is the supermodel of cats and, yes, her eyes really are that Granny Weatherwax blue.  Mom and kittens are doing very well.

Do you see that look? Be Warned: That is the look that I will give anyone who messes with Mrs Palm's favorite John. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Terry Pratchett talks about cheeseheads, blue urine and how trolls are people, too.

A lovely interview with Terry just appeared in a Madison, WI paper prior to NADWCon.

Novelist Terry Pratchett enjoys colossal fame in his home country as one of Britain's most prolific and best-selling authors. And there's no doubt that Sir Terry (he was knighted in 2009) and his fantastical Discworld novels have caught on across the pond.
Next weekend, the Madison Concourse will host the North American Discworld Convention 2011, an event that should attract nearly 1,000 fans of Pratchett's satirical fantasies. Many of his books are set on Discworld, which is, essentially, a disc that rests on the backs of four elephants. And the elephants happen to be standing on the back of a giant turtle.

Update: Today

Program Participant Schedules went out this morning to all concerned.  If you are volunteering on a panel, teaching a workshop, etc., and did not receive this, or if you have questions about your schedule,  write to me at

I am working on a number of con fronts and I catch a flight out at 4 am on Wednesday but I will answer all emails ASAP.

On another note: I posted this to the NADWCon Facebook page today after reading some humorous "suggestions":  
Mrs Palm was amazed to hear a story claiming that she had recently threatened to tear the arm off of anyone who tried to make yet another last minute change to the Program. She is, as you know, the very soul of courtesy. Who could *possibly* think that a lady of her standing might actually beat someone to death with their own appendage? She can't imagine how these rumors get started.*

Ankh Morpork or Bust!

See you there,


* Mrs Palm knows that the very thought that she would ever engage in violence is abhorrent to her Dear Readers, who, she is sure, see this terrific calumny as patently false. ** 

** She has people for that.

Photo: Detritus the Troll by Clarecraft found here

Sunday, July 3, 2011

NADWCon on Twitter

As June's newsletter notes, some staff members will be sending "official" tweets from the con. I will be one of them. The subject hashtage is #nadwcon.

If you've been reading this blog, you know I can't just leave it at that.  So I'll throw in some hashtags just for Discworld fans.  I will sign them as dj.

I have a few # in mind already. Any suggestions? 


* You don't need to have a Twitter account to read the NADWCon Twitter site.   It is just like any other webpage.

Here is the Twitter feed for Terry & Rob

* A Twitter account is free. 

* You can read tweets from your smart phone or your computer or any other device that can access the web. 

* Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) recommended Tweet Deck some years back and I've used it on my laptop ever since. If you want to follow multiple accounts or subjects, or post to several sites at the same time, I recommend using a TweetDeck. 

* Here are some Twitter Basics including notes on courtesy. 

Remember the 1st Rule of Twitter:  Thou Shalt Not Bore.   That includes whining, ranting and complaining.  Railing in a witty way, al la Dorothy Parker, is permitted. 

This is like any other party; happy, involved people are far more interesting that those obsessed with Self. Insightful commentary and "slice of life" observations are much preferred.  When in doubt, quote.

See you there,

on Twitter as @ItBodes 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

General Program Descriptions for NADWCon 2011

Confirmed Programming for NADWCon 2011

Confirmed Honored Guests:  Stephen Baxter; Jennifer Brehl; Esther Friesner; Anne Hoppe; Sandra Kidby; Ian Mitchell; Bernard Pearson; Stephen Player; Sir Terry Pratchett; Colin Smythe; Reb Voyce; Rob Wilkins

Other Authors of Note in Attendance: Kristine Smith, Patrick Rothfus

Please Note: Our Honored Guests and volunteer presenters appear on panels and workshops all over this convention. A full list of participants for each program item will appear in your convention program. You will receive both your large and pocket programs when you arrive. 

If you are on a panel or workshop as a Presenter, Instructor and/or or Key Player, you will receive a confirmation email with your schedule from me on Monday.   

Presenters, Instructors & Key Players: JoAnn Abbott, Raven Albrecht, Brianna Allen, Gweneth Allen, John Allen, Poppa Balloon, Marilyn Bunzo, Denise Connell, Jim Dietrich, Ray Friesen, Bobbee Gerson, Revelle Gerson, Dave Godwin, Sarah Goodman, Pam Gower, Matthew Gress, Eileen Hendriksen, Megan Hillary, Kathryn Hoppe, Jennifer Kelly, Brad Knight, Jon Lemerond, Dave Luecht, Ilyana Mansfield, Michael Mansfield, Rozalynd Mansfield, Caitlin Mills-Groninger, Patricia Leslie, Billy Medley, Brian Nesbit, Kevin O’Shea, Eric Peak, Dennis Pelton, Erin Prindiville, Patrick Rothfuss, Kris Russell, Kristine Smith, Marti Sterin, John Stott, Ryan Sutter, Jean Tillson, Fae Townsend, Martin Wallace, Chris Ward, Dave Ward,  John Wardale, Diane Young, Dr. Chad Yukus, Carl Zwanzig


Some Workshops will have a small materials fee in order to cover costs. 
Please read Cutting Me Own Throat OR Arts & Crafts at NADWCon 

Balloon Art for All Ages
Prepare to be amazed at the things you can do with balloons!* Watch the great Poppa Balloon twist balloons into shapes you never imagined possible. Get a free balloon creature (or other item). Fun for everyone!
*This program is suitable for all ages, so just stop with that right now.

Build Your Own Igor
Color, cut out and sew/glue together your own Igor! Arms, legs and brains can be traded with friends. For kids and adults alike.

Coloring the Discworld
Want to take a few minutes to sit down, relax, and commune with your inner child (or do an activity with your actual child)? Stop by the Arts & Crafts Room whenever it is not being used for programming, and you can add color to a variety of Discworldian coloring pages just waiting for you to exercise your creative flair.  Crayons will be provided.

Creature Making Workshop
Learn how to make your own Swamp Dragon, Feegle or other Discworld creature.

Size is limited. $5 for materials fee.  Sign up sheet is at the front desk. First come, first served.

Discworld Creature Masks & Armor Class
Using aluminum foil shaped into a mask that is then covered with layers of paper towels and brown paper, you can make troll masks, dwarf masks, and dragon masks as well as costume armor.

Size is limited. $5 for materials fee.  Sign up sheet is at the front desk. First come, first served.

Drawing Class
Staff Artist Ray Friesen teaches young and old alike how to draw using his unique, cartoony style.

Hedgehog Bead Jewelry Class.
Come and make a pair of adorable Hedgehog earrings or a Hedgehog necklace with the help of our beading instructor.  All materials will be supplied. No previous beading experience necessary.  

Size is limited. $5 for materials fee.  Sign up sheet is at the front desk. First come, first served.

Heraldry Class - Make Your Own Discworld Crest
Come fracture some Latin with us as we make our own Discworld family crests.
No drawing experience is necessary. All ages.  Hippos are extra.  

Size is limited. $5 for materials fee.  Sign up sheet is at the front desk. First come, first served.

Shamble Making Class
A shamble is a handmade device used by Discworld witch can assemble a shamble in a matter of seconds using stuff like strings, twigs, leaves, feathers, beads, coloured paper, an egg or even a beetle. The whole thing looks like a "cat's cradle", or some sort of nest made of rubbish.

We will have materials and tokens available to add to your shamble but you are welcome to bring some items of your own to add if you wish. 

Size is limited. $5 for materials fee.  Sign up sheet is at the front desk. First come, first served.

 ✔Renaissance, Fancy and Exotic Hair Braids.
Our instructor will teach attendees how to make ropes, 4-strand "round" braids, classic (3-strand) French and (3-strand) Dutch (or inverted-French or underhand) as well as a Crown braid (technically a horizontal modified (3-strand) French braid) and other advanced ideas like 5 and 7-strand fingering techniques; as well as shapes like hearts, spirals and a pullup-weave.  Tailored to the desires and abilities of the audience. BYOB or Bring Your Own Brush.

Size is limited. $5 for materials fee.  Sign up sheet is at the front desk. First come, first served.

Sock Mac Feegle

“Crivens! Whut aboot us, ye daftie?"

A crafty Discworld fan will lead a hands-on workshop for attendees who want to make their very own Nac Mac Feegle sock puppets. She will provide the decorative materials & the con will provide the blue socks so that you can just show up and make your Feegle.

Size is limited. $5 for materials fee.  Sign up sheet is at the front desk. First come, first served.

"Nac Mac Feegle wha hae!"  

 ✔Woad is Me: Face Painting for All Ages
Would you like to be a dragon like Errol? A dog like Gaspode (well, ok, much nicer-looking than Gaspode)? Why not walk the halls as blue as a Feegle? Or maybe you'd just like a Feegle on your cheek!  Come sit for the magnificent artistry of our talented face painters.  Designs will include Discworld animals; Wizzardly and occult-ish symbols; Celtic and Nordic designs; Discworld Guild symbols and Nac Mac Feegle clan markings, to name a few

Size is limited. $3 for materials fee.  Sign up sheet is at the front desk. First come, first served.


Author Readings
 We are fortunate in our friends. Among these are noted authors like Stephen Baxter, Esther Friesner, Kristine Smith, and Patrick Rothfuss; writers who have graciously accepted our request that they read from their latest or favorite works during the convention.   

Author and Artist Signings
The same folks will also be available to sign their books, along with Stephen Player, Discworld artist and creator of our Program Book cover.

Rob Wilkins and Terry will also offer our guests a reading from Terry's latest work, Snuff.

We may also have a surprise in store - tell no one.


Discworld Banquet hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Quirm
The great city of Quirm is undoubtedly the jewel of the Sto Plains.* We are the number-one vacation and retirement spot for the Ankh Morpork elite. Our beautiful city is home to one of the finest educational institutions on the Disc, and our breathtaking floral clock is one of the wonders of the modern age, but the true glory of Quirm comes, of course, from our world famous cheeses.

The Duke and Duchess of Quirm do hereby open their city to the travelers attending the North American Discworld Convention, and invite you to join them for an evening of dining and entertainment.

Terry Pratchett and other Honored Guests will be in attendance.

*According to those who live in Quirm anyway


Charity Auction
This is a live auction. Beneficiaries are the UK Orangutan Foundation and Alzheimer’s Research UK. This auction will include a variety of items: books, Pratchett collectibles, movie props, and stuff you just won’t find anywhere else on the Disc. We have happy to Pat Harkin again as our Auctioneer.


Our Discworld Costuming Dungeon will staffed by “real” Seamstresses, so don’t look for Mrs. Palm here, but you can fix, press or otherwise alter your Maskerade and hall costumes during the hours it is open.


Ankh-Morpork, the Game
Have you ever wanted to run Ankh-Morpork? Well, now’s your chance. We are delighted to announce that a prototype of the exciting new Discworld game, Ankh-Morpork, will be available from Treefrog Games for preview and demonstration at NADWCon2011.

Guards! Guards! Discussion of New Discworld Board Game
With the Eight Great Spells missing from the Unseen University the future of the Disc hangs in the balance. Each player is tasked to collect and return a number of the spells to the university before it is too late.
Infiltrate the guilds!
Complete the Wizards Challenges!
Charm or bribe volunteers to join you!
Can you defeat the dark and mysterious Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night?
Stephen Player joins us to discuss the creation and illustration of the game.

Guards! Guards! Live Action Role Playing Game.
This will be a con-wide game for a set number of players.


Appeal or No Appeal
A game show event hosted by Moist Von Lipwig. Swap your mystery package with other contestants or make a deal with the shadowy “Banker” to win fabulous prizes.

The Price is WHAT!?
Gameshow event hosted by C.M.O.T. Dibbler. Compete with other players to place bids on various Discworld items in order to win awesome prizes.

 ✔The Wyrdest Link
Gameshow event Hosted by Granny Weatherwax. Test your Discworld knowledge against other contestants in order to win from a selection of fabulous prizes.


Cripple Mr. Onion Tournament

Please Note: NADWCon is not responsible for losses incurred when playing against seemingly naive old ladies.

The Pointer & Pickles sponsored Thud Tournament.
Where Koom Valley happens every day... in a good way

Hone your Troll and Dwarf skills and then put them to the test against other players in our official Thud Tournament!


Daily: (Please see program schedule grid for times.)
Klatch: A desert country on a continent of the same name, known for its extremely strong coffee.
Kaffee: How Captain Carrot spells coffee in his letters home
Kaffee Klatch: A small selection of Discworld fans lucky enough to score a seat at a cozy chat with honored guests* You must sign up in advance for the Kaffee Klatches. Sign up sheets are available at the Information Desk on the day before the Klatch and will remain available until the Information Desk closes that night. If more than twelve people sign up for a Klatch, a random drawing will be used to select the lucky dozen and announcements posted on The Boards That Are White.  

Please do not try to attend if your name is not on the final list; instead, please enjoy one of our other fine program items.

*Despite the name, coffee and other beverages will not be provided–you’ll need to bring your own liquid refreshment.  

Terry Pratchett will do one, very special Klatch for Kids. 

Participants: Jennifer Brehl, Esther Friesner, Anne Hoppe, Ian Mitchell & Reb Voyce, Bernard Pearson, Stephen Player , Patrick Rothfuss, Kristine Smith, Colin Smythe, Rob Wilkins


The on-stage costume competition or "Maskerade" has been a Saturday evening tradition at Discworld conventions from the very beginning. Here at NADWCon, we seek to live up to that tradition with a lively Maskerade. Please, come and show off your finest costume work in front of our select panel of judges. The arrangement is not unlike a fashion show, with a stage and runway. Use this space to show your costume and to present a brief sketch or other performance to lend zing to your costume if you like. A receptive audience will provide itself. Your Director would appreciate advance registration of contestants, but you can wait until you get to the convention if necessary. Go to the Maskerade page of the Convention website to learn all the Maskerade details and to grab an advance sign-up form. All entrants must attend the Maskerade Technical Rehearsal.  Terry Pratchett will be one of our Honored Judges.

 ✔Maskerade Photo Call
After the judging, Maskerade entrants may celebrate their performances at this red carpet event* in which paparazzi and fans may take photographs. Work it! It is your time to sparkle like Mr. Shine (him diamond).

* Color and/or location of carpet may vary.
Maskerade Contestants and Volunteers Meeting
If you want to participate in the Maskerade this is the time to present yourself and your application. All Maskerade entrants must attend, otherise, how else will you know if your costume fits through the doors? The incredibly skilled and patient Tech Crew will go over your entry to make sure everything is perfect. The rest is up to you! This is the last chance to register if you have not had the opportunity. Stardom awaits!    

Entertainment During the Maskerade Judges’ Deliberation
The Oak Apple Morris Dancers will perform the always entertaining and slightly dangerous Stick and Bucket Dance.  Combat Morris Dancing at its finest.

The infamous Bad Ass Bromley folk dance will also be performed.


The Ankh-Morpork Stamp Swap Club
The Ankh-Morpork Stamp Swap Club (we're a bit more informal than the Ankh-Morpork & District Society of Flatalists) welcomes all flatalists to a relaxed meeting of collectors in which participants may exchange stamps, discourse on the various merits of the 50p Cabbage Green, the $1 Tower of Art, and the rest of 'em, or otherwise go on to their hearts' content about small, flat, sticky bits of paper.

Presided over by the Tyler at the Gates himself, Mr. Bernard Pearson.   

Black Ribboners Morning Meet Up
NADWCon is one big party but not everyone wants to drink copious amounts of alcohol, eat junk food or push themselves to the point of exhaustion.  This meet is for folks who are trying to stay a sane in the hustle and bustle of a busy con.  It isn’t a 12 Step meeting or Rational Recovery or Spiral Steps although all those folks are welcome. Nor is this a formal meeting of any kind. It is simply a Meet Up of Early Birds who want a quiet, peaceful beginning to the wonderful day ahead and a little support from like-minded folks in order to get through it.  Place and times to be announced on The Boards That Are White.

Discworld Changed My Life
(Back by popular demand) Pratchett fans have fascinating, funny and often moving stories to tell about how they discovered Discworld, what Terry's books have meant to them, or how the books have changed their lives. Sometimes they've met friends, (or spouses, even) because of Discworld.  Often, the book helped them get through an illness or loss. Come swap stories about how you found Terry's work and the impact these books have had.

Filk the Discworld
Have a Discworld-related filk you’d like to share? Like to learn a few new ones, or sing along to some old favorites? Join us as we celebrate the Discworld in music.

 ✔Lost in L-Space: Discworld on the Web
A meet-up for members of the many online communities, those of us perpetually (and happily) lost in great websites like L-space, and everyone interested in,, the Cunning Artificer's forum,, etc. Meet the folks you've been talking to, make new friends, or decide to take the plunge into online fandom.  This will include a discussion of Discworld MUD, the online multiplayer game.    


Due to both consideration for Sir Terry's health and well-being and the sheer number of Discworld fans who will be attending our amazing convention, it has been arranged that in place of traditional signing sessions, we will be hosting meet-and-greet sessions in which each attendee will have the opportunity to receive a special signed bookplate from The Man Himself.  The bookplate that you will receive personally from Sir Terry will be a limited edition made just for our convention, and will indicate that the plate was signed at the NADWCon2011.

Bookplate session tickets will be assigned randomly, and may be swapped between attendees at a Friday swap meet session that will be indicated on the program schedule. Please be aware that just like with a traditional signing, you will need to bring your ticket to the session to be admitted and receive your bookplate.  More details to come!

Please note: No flash photography will be permitted during these sessions, nor will photography while at the front of the line be permitted.  Non-flash photography from the sidelines that does not slow Sir Terry or the line will be allowed.  We also request that out of consideration for Sir Terry and out of fairness to all of the attendees, you do not approach Sir Terry at any time with requests for signatures. Approaching him with offers of a beer or interesting topics of conversation, or just to say hello or have a chat is fine, however!

Monday, “signing” to hand out bookplates to committee, staff, and volunteers; signing for Artefacts bought at auction; signing for 20 people who purchased a Terry signature in auction - 1 hour (Limited)

Ticket Swap -  Don’t like the time you have, you can make a change.


Discworld Pub Quiz
A Pre-Convention Welcome, Mix & Mingle
For those pre-registered folks who arrive early, we have something special planned. Come mix and mingle while chatting, hanging out, and, if you'd like, competing in a traditional test of wits and wisdom that will put your trivia skills to the test!     

Discworld Record Public Reading of “Where’s My Cow?”
This is how a legend starts ...

At Closing Ceremonies for NADWCon 2011 we will attempt the largest ever public reading of Where’s My Cow?  Mr. Pat Harkin will be our narrator and our assembled attendees will make all the noises.  Those who participate will receive a very special momento. What will it say? We’re not telling.

Having set such a record, we will then challenge other Discworld cons to beat it.  

Be there or be a square-shaped thingy

Is That A Duck On Your Head?
A local costume shop will be hosting a dress up party for about 30 of our staff, volunteers and other early arrivals. This is your opportunity to get that last minute piece for your costume, or just have a great time dressing up in all sorts of different garb from varying historical times and realities. Sign up at the front desk for this event. First come, first served.

Knees Up
Country Dancing… the Ballroom dance of another era… its special appeal is undefinable – or at least, unrepeatable in general company. Don’t miss this opportunity to have actual physical contact with many attractive strangers, without Security being called. No partner necessary – everyone will have the opportunity to pick someone up during the workshop. Forms range from graceful and romantic, to almost lethally vigorous – in this workshop we will explore the two extremes! First, the elegant Waltz Country Dance. Genteel people willing to frequently swap partners (in a dancing context, mind you!), are particularly encouraged. Those who find three-four tempo a bit tame, will surely find six-eight time at least twice as challenging – so do stay for the second half of the workshop, and learn how to Strip the Willow. Anyone looking for a cheap, legal way to wind up dizzy and disoriented will very much enjoy this one. Shoes should have flexible soles, low or no heels, and laces or straps which will prevent any sudden, unplanned release from the foot

Scottish Country Dancing Class for 30 people. Sign up at main desk -  first come, first served

Meet the Librarian - A Trip to the Henry Vilas Zoo
We’ve arranged for a  special presentation for our attendees on Orangutans to be held at the Zoo.The hotel will bus 24 people to the zoo. Sign up sheets are at the desk. We encourage others who would like to go to drive there (It is 5 to 10 minute drive from the con hotel). The zoo is free.

The zoo Keeper – Mary Schmidt – will be available to speak with our group about the Orangutans here at Henry Vilas Zoo.  They will close the Orangutan facility to the public so the group will have exclusive access to the building during this time.

You Can (Morris) Dance If You Want To!
Morris Dance Lessons for 20. Observers welcome. Sign up at main desk - first come, first served.


Welcome To Holy Wood - The Discworld in Movies & Television
We will show a special selection of Discworld movies in our movie room during the convention. These will include: Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die,* Hogfather, Going Postal, Johnny and the Bomb, Johnny and the Dead, Living with Alzheimer’s (BBC documentary which includes interviews with Terry Pratchett), The Colour of Magic, Wyrd Sisters, and Soul Music.

*Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die will have it’s North American premiere at this convention. Terry and Rob will introduce the film at its first showing and then be available for a 20 minute Q & A afterwards.



Bringing Discworld to Roundworld
A discussion about the Discworld "artefacts," maps, images and collectibles  and what it takes to bring the Discworld to life. Many of the Discworld images we love are by Paul Kidby and Bernard Pearson.   On hand will be representatives of PJSM Prints, a company that represents many of Mr. Kidby's Discworld works. Also present: The Cunning Artificer himself. Bernard Pearson, and his partners at the Discworld Emporium.  Before he started the DW Emporium Mr. Pearson worked at Clarecraft, the company that made so many wonderful Discworld figurines.
Character Design with Stephen Player
Join us as illustrator Stephen Player demonstrates his technique of digital painting. 

Dress to Express:    
Identity is often defined by clothing in the Discworld novels–a strategic rolled-up sock or a washerwoman's skirt in Monstrous Regiment; a pointy hat in the witch and wizard books; or a badge, a breastplate, and cheap boots in the Watch books. Come join us for this examination of clothing choices and effects in the Discworld and elsewhere. We’ll discuss how to dress for Discworld and related events like Steampunk and fantasy conventions. Whether your character is high style or low comedy, we’ll discuss budget busting fun and cheap-but-looks-fab costuming effects.  We’ll talk about what works and what has gone deeply, badly, horribly wrong in our own attempts to get that perfect look.

Discworld Beastiary
A discussion - both serious and un - of hares, ravens, rats, orangutans, dragons and other animals, both mythic and real, on the Discworld and in the world of folklore.  

Evil Genius, Good-ish Samaritan
Dr Hix DPMC invites the audience to present for comment and judging their suggestions for evil deeds that are either (a) not very evil and would be acceptable by the Unseen University if performed by Dr Hix or (b) are evil deeds masquerading as good deeds (e.g. giving children broccoli in their Hogwatch stocking as it is better for their teeth). The ideas will be judged by Dr Hix, Lord Vetinari (for his ability to judge when someone is truly evil or when they may require an angel) and an Igor (who has experience with evil geniuses) and the applicant may be deemed an Evil Genius or a Good-ish Samaritan if their idea has merit. Or they may be ridiculed.

Extra! Extra!
Come chat with the lucky folks who were involved in the filming of The Colour of Magic and Going Postal as extras and assistants in other positions both before or behind-the-camera. You’ll hear what it was really like to put Pratchett on film, including how “False Wizards Must Die” became “All Lizards Must Fly,” how no given crowd can ever successfully count to three on camera, and other strange and amazing anecdotes. If we're lucky, Pat Harkin will also show photos taken on the set.   

 ✔Gods, the Good the Bad and the Nonexistent
Ryan Sutter, Discworld fanatic and member of the Minnesota Atheists is all set to give a presentation comparing Roundworld and Discworld Gods, and the ethics of worshiping a higher being, whether they are actually there or not.

Good Omens: The Miniseries
Come hear The Man Himself and Rob Wilkins discuss the upcoming Good Omens miniseries in all its exciting development.

 Pratchett and the Pagans
“A witch deals with things”
A large number of eco-feminists, as well as male and female Pagans of all types love the folklore, myth and characters offered by our favorite Secular Humanist.  Our panel will discuss what Terry’s witches mean to them and what “Earthwise Ethics” they cherish, emulate and strive to teach from the Discworld Books.  Panel discussion with Q & A.

Monkey Business Improv Comedy Class
The Monkey Business comedy troupe will host a “basics of improv” comedy class. The class is limited to 20 people and will last for two hours.

Nanny Sutra
Sex, Food & Discworld.
Who doesn’t love a double entendre? (Bartender, make mine a triple!) Our panel* will include some of the most scandalous minds on the Discworld.**

* Hands-on workshop available through the Seamstress Guild by appointment only.

**consisting of those who are 18 at heart, with at least 32 years of experience, n’cest passe?***

*** That’s foreign for “been there, done that”

Publishers, Agents, and Editors: What Writers Need to Know
Do you think you've got a manuscript for the next Nanny Ogg's Cookbook? Have a handful of loose pages containing chapters-worth of brilliance, but no idea what to do with them next? Join Jennifer Brehl, Anne Hoppe, and Colin Smythe as they lead this panel on what it's like to be a publisher, agent, or editor, what they expect of writers, and what advice they have for aspiring writers.

Note: This is NOT the time or place to submit manuscripts, ask panelists to read anything, or pitch your unpublished book. Violators of this restriction WILL be punished in highly inventive and excruciatingly painful ways.   

Publishing Pterry
Jennifer Brehl (Terry’s U.S. editor at William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins), Anne Hoppe (Terry’s U.S. editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books), and Colin Smythe (Terry’s UK agent) discuss what it’s like to work with our Guest of Honor. A lot of fun, we presume!   

Science of Discworld
Back by Popular Demand: A Systems Engineer who specializes in robotics, a Software Engineer who has worked for both NASA and Honeywell, a Chemist and SF author working in Biopharmacology, and a Paleobiologist will discuss the science of Discworld. Two of our panelists are men, two are women.

Knowledge = Power = Energy = Matter = Mass.
A library is just a genteel black hole that can read

The Family That Reads Together …
Join us for a discussion of the young adult and children’s books by Pterry. We’ll talk about what they mean to us, what they teach our kids, what our young people think about these books, and how we can get more of them into the hands of teachers and librarians.

 ✔The Long Earth
Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter talk about their recent collaboration.  Come hear about a brand new series from The Guy in the Black Hat and award-winning science fiction novelist Stephen Baxter!

The Victorian Internet & The Technology of the Discworld
“Imagine an almost instantaneous communication system that would allow people and governments all over the world to send and receive messages about politics, war, illness, and family events. The government has tried and failed to control it, and its revolutionary nature is trumpeted loudly by its backers. The Internet? Nope, the humble telegraph fit this bill way back in the 1800s.“ (from The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage.)

Our panelists will discuss clacks and other technology of the Discworld.

+++Out Of Cheese Error ???????+++ Redo from Start

Tools of the Trade: The Seamstress Guild’s Guide To Using...Oh, Let’s Just Call Them Props
Get your minds out of the gutter, people; this panel is about costume items we flaunt like fans, hats, jewelry and those little boots that Terry Loves, as well as the essential but unseen, a.k.a. Items of a Delicate Nature. (You, there in the back, stop sniggering.)

Join our guild members as we go beyond the dress and corset and discuss the elements of costuming that often get overlooked from the wig down to the toe ring. This is a panel brimming with information no good Seamstress should be without. Spectators are welcome, but must keep their hands to themselves! 

The Wincanton Phenomenon   
Join the Cunning Artificer and a host of his disciples as they explain how a modest, unassuming English town metamorphosed into a little slice of Ankh-Morpork. Learn about the twinning of Ankh-Morpork, Discworld events that have happened there, and more! There may even be some neat things to look at...

When Worlds Collide: Where Steampunk Meets the Discworld
It can be argued that certain subtle elements of Steampunk can be found on the Discworld, a place that has yet to discover steam power. How does magic come into it?  What about Hex? Is this convergence centered on clothes (little boots!) or is there more to it? The intriguing mix of history, sf, tech, folklore, modern culture, and fantasy is one of the reasons why the Discworld books are so popular with a wide-ranging audience, many of whom are also Steampunk fans.  So bring your corsets and your goggles and we’ll see what’s what.

Witches, Wives, Seamstresses and Soldiers: The Women of Discworld
Our panel will discuss the lively lives of women on the Disc.

What To Read When You’re Not Reading Pratchett
What? You mean there are other books out there? Fans who share your taste will guide you gently towards other worlds and authors.


Not A Needle Among ‘Em - The Seamstress Guild Parties
This year the Seamstress Guild will host three parties, one for each night of NADWCon. The parties will be held in Genua (Title: A Genuan Night Out), Uberwald (Title: A Bite in Uberwald), and Quirm (Title: Quel Fromage).  The ladies and gentlemen of the guild will decorate the Hospitality Suite differently each night and costume accordingly. Guests may come as they are or dress to impress.

Unlike our grand event in 2009 which entertained over 500 guests and was designed for all ages, these parties will be for adults only and they will be smaller in size and thus a bit more intimate in nature (Intimate being our middle name). We will serve both alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks. Door Trolls will be carding our guests at the door.

The doors open at nine PM every night and close whenever the Watch begins making inquiries.

No special ticket purchase or registration is required to attend. Once again, our Guild is offering this party to our guests not so much gratis (which is entirely against Guild law), as Pro Bono.    
Producer: Denise Connell
Director: Missy Hayes 
Organized and Hosted by The Ladies & Gentlemen of the North American Seamstress Guild 

Guests of Honor: Stephen Baxter; Jennifer Brehl; Esther Friesner; Anne Hoppe; Sandra Kidby; Ian Mitchell & Reb Voyce; Bernard Pearson; Stephen Player; Sir Terry Pratchett; Colin Smythe; Rob Wilkins
Where: Hospitality Suite
Thursday night: All ages: 9pm to 2am
Title: Preview Party
Just beverages, no food
Friday 21+
9pm to 4am
City: Genua
Title: A Genuan Night Out
Saturday 21+  
9pm to 4am
City: Ubervald
Title: A night (slashed out) Bite Out in Ubervald
Sunday 21+
9pm to 4am
City Quirm
Title: Quel Fromage
Monday All ages
5pm till the cows come home
Title: Flogging the Dead Cow Party aka Clean Up Drinking.

These are "Official Hours", Might go even later if people are about.


Wyrd Sisters: The Play

"It's all very well calling for eye of newt but do you mean Common, Spotted or Great Crested?"

We am pleased to announce that The Cromulent Shakespeare Company will present perform Wyrd Sisters at NADWCon.

Two performances of Wyrd Sisters are currently scheduled. Expect drama, comedy, romance, and a little audience participation.

If you spy three Witches sitting in the front row, do not, I repeat, do not, ask them to remove their hats.


Reading with Rob – This Time, with Footnotes!
Rob Wilkins often acts as Terry's unofficial voice as he fields emails and inquiries from fans – now come and hear him actually voice some of Terry's work as he reads selections (published or soon-to-be published – the selection will be a surprise!) chosen by The Man Himself. Incidentally, The Man Himself will also be on hand, ready to offer on-the-spot insights into the passages being shared.   


Readings -  Other Authors    
Sir Terry isn't the only published author in our midst. Come and listen to some of our other talented and published guests read selections of their own work.   
Who: Stephen Baxter, Esther Friesner, Partick Rothfuss, Kristine Smith


Opening Ceremony
In the beginning, there were the words...of Sir Terry Pratchett! So what better way to start the convention than by welcoming The Man Himself, with proper pomp and fanfare?  Join us for the official start of NADWCon2011.

 Discworld Emporium: A Special Demonstration
Come see Ian Mitchell of The Discworld Emporium in action! Ian will be doing craft demonstrations at various times throughout the weekend at The Discworld Emporium tables in the Dealers Room.
Where: Dealers Room

Closing Ceremony:
All good things must come to an end, or at least take a break now and again. But even endings can be fun! Join us as we bid adieu to new friends and old, with a last hurrah (and perhaps a moo or a baa) before we must depart.

Tools of the Trade: The Seamstress Guild’s Guide To Using...Oh, Let’s Just Call Them Props
Get your minds out of the gutter, people; this panel is about costume items we flaunt like fans, hats, jewelry and those little boots that Terry Loves, as well as the essential but unseen, a.k.a. Items of a Delicate Nature. (You, there in the back, stop sniggering.)

Join our guild members as we go beyond the dress and corset and discuss the elements of costuming that often get overlooked from the wig down to the toe ring. This is a panel brimming with information no good Seamstress should be without.


Alzheimer's Research Trust Talk
In December of 2007, Sir Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with early-onset PCA, a rare variant of Alzheimer's disease. Since his diagnosis, he has become an influential advocate for the cause of increased funding and research in the field of Alzheimer's research, and has donated 1 million dollars toward further research. At NADWCon, Dr. Chat Yukus will discuss the latest advances in detecting and treating this disease.  

Fireside (Okay, Pipe-Smoke-side) Chat with The Cunning Artificer
Come listen to our friendly and famous (in our circles at least) raconteur, The Cunning Artificer himself, regale you with tales of, well, just about anything that comes into his head. He may talk about artistic endeavors, little bits of sticky paper, adventures with a knight, or even the shrubbery. We just can't know 'til we sit down to listen, but we can tell you it will be a jolly good time.   

 ✔Guild of Thieves Talk
The Ankh-Morpork Guild of Thieves is proud to announce, for one day only, a lecture to be given by Josiah Boggis OAM, their esteemed President and Supreme Master Thief.
Topics to include:
- The Ettiquette of Merchandise Relocation and the Importance of Leaving a Receipt
- The Proper Use of Devices to Subdue Clients
- The Importance of Proper Retail Relocation in an Economic Downslide
- How to Make and Use a Lock Pick

There will be a small fee for Certificates of Attendance*

*I.e. we would request that you make a small donation to the con charities if you want a certificate. What, you didn't think the Thieves' Guild would give you something for nothing, did you?   

Lay of the Land
“When we’re good, we’re very, very good but when we’re bad, we’re better.”  

The founder of the North American Seamstress Guild, will offer advice how to form your own group or guild, work effectively at cons and host events. She will offer dos and don’ts on costuming, decorating and working with volunteers and will discuss ways to use social media, websites and web boards to best effect.   Learn how to do some good and have fun at the same time.

Red Stars and Other Cosmic Nuisances
Cosmic disaster stories of stars and other bodies threatening Earth go back to H.G. Wells, and have continued to be written about to the present day. Steven Baxer will address how Terry’s Pratchett’s work parodies cosmic disaster stories in books such as The Light Fantastic.

Scumble OR Mostly Apples …
Home brewing Workshop: Adults, mostly

 ✔Talking with Terry: Guest of Honor Interview and Discussion   
What's the latest news on Snuff, the Good Omens miniseries and more? You never know what you will find out when Sir Terry talks, but one thing is guaranteed: it will never, ever be boring. This is an event you do not want to miss!

The Jimkin Bearhuggers Whisky Talk:
We’re starting a new NADWCon tradition with the (first ever, semi-annual) Bearhugger Whisky Talk wherein we consider the definitions for Whisky, Bourbon, and Scotch and, within Scotch, Blended, "Vatted",  Single-Malt and single-barrel types.  We will also discuss the specifics of wood/barrels, aging in general and age statements.  

We will then look at a map of Scotland and cover the styles and flavors by recognized regions and some specific distilleries across Scotland. There are Irish and Japanese (and maybe other) Single Malt Whiskeys which are "like" Scotch, but can't officially be called "Scotch" if they're not produced in Scotland.

If we have time, we can talk about "beer" and the difference between grain and malt and how a Maltster converts one into the other.

Later on, we can test what we’ve learned. Madison's best brew pub is 3 blocks away.

Wizards of Warwick Chat
Join us as we chat with two men who were made Honorary Wizards of Unseen University by Terry Himself,  The Science of Discworld co-authors, mathemetician Ian Stewart and biologist Jack Cohen. This will be a Q & A with these two gentlemen via Skype.

See you there, 


Art: Portrait of Terry Pratchett by Paul Kidby