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.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

CapClave 2012: Where Reading Is Not Extinct

Close to 400 people (many Discworld fans among 'em) will be  gathering in Washington, D.C. this October 12 - 14th for a charming convention "Where reading is not extinct".  It is called Capclave.

The website describes Capclave as a:
 Small relaxed literary convention with a program that usually focuses on the short fiction form. Our Guests of Honor and other notable authors, editors, artists, and fans of the short fiction form will explore the creation and enjoyment of short fantasy and science fiction genre stories.

Past Capclaves have hosted discussions with authors and fans; readings by authors; a dealer's room with books, magazines, artwork, crafts, and other science fiction and fantasy related items; exhibits by artists; space science presentations from NASA; a hospitality suite; room parties; interesting conversations with other fans and professionals; and a relaxed atmosphere for visiting old friends and meeting new friends.

The Washington Science Fiction Association's Small Press Award short list is now out. The winner of this award will be announced at Capclave.

I am told Capclave has a very nice line up of stories this year.  If you live in the area and love reading, this is one convention you won't want to miss.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Registration Is Back Up for NADWCon 2013

As many of you know, registration for NADWCon 2013 closed down on July 29th.  This led to rumors at the Chicon7 World Science Fiction and Fantasy convention and elsewhere that this con was not going to happen after all. Happily, the Seamstress Guild was throwing one of their infamous (excuse me) famous Discworld Parties at Chicon7 and they were able to counter those rumors.*

Missy Hayes, the Director of the North American Seamstress Guild, as able to take con registrations at Chicon7 by using her smart phone and paper registration forms.  (Seamstress can do it any way that works, my friends, including going Old School at need).

This put Missy at some personal financial risk, so I would especially like to thank her and all of her team for throwing such a great party and supporting the con when the chips were down.  Well done, ladies and gentlemen!  I'm sure that the organizers appreciate all your efforts on their behalf. 
I received word last night from the Chair that the Baltimore ConCom has fixed the problem and their on-line registration page is now once again active. ** 

I'm sure that he would want me to thank all of the Discworld fans who've been waiting for months to buy tickets to this con for their patience and support.  You folks have been grand. 

You can register for NADWCon 2013 via the website.  The $88 price will be in effect for a short time only, so if you want the lowest price now is a good time to buy your tickets.


* I did my own, small bit here for the cause at this blog in order to keep the fans informed and the Chair posted an update on the NADWCon site in late September.

** I waited to announce this because we heard that there were still a flew glitches as of last night but the their registration page seems to be working well as of this morning.

Art: Cards with Discworld images by Peter Dennis, Ankh-Morpork Board Game, Treefrog Games

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wearing Purple for Pratchett on Alzheimer's Awareness Day

The Seamstress Guild is wearing purple today to honor Terry Pratchett 

Today is Alzhemier's Awareness Day and Terry Pratchett reminds us that People With Dementia Deserve A Hearing

Many of us are wearing purple today, putting up purple images like this one on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and posting links to news stories about Alzheimer's.

That's because many of us know someone who has Alzehimer's or who is caring for a loved one who has it. 

Pleae donate or help Walk for the cure. Support the cause any you can.

Thank you,


The Quantum Butterfly reminds us that Alzheimer's affects everyone

You can see more of the Seamstress Guild's images by going to their facebook page.

Alzehimer's research is one of the two NADWCon charities approved by Sir Terry that we support.  We hope to see you at the North American Discworld Convention in Baltimore in 2013.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Discworld Fans Celebrate Terry Pratchett On Twitter Today With #ILovePratchett Hashtag

Twitter friends

We are celebrating 
Sir Terry Pratchett today with

Use the hashtag and
collected and re-posted 
by Terry's YA editor 
at Harper Collins
Anne Hoppe
@AHedit on Twitter

Monday, September 17, 2012

Terry Pratchett coming to U.S. for release of Dodger

Updated  October 5th, 2012

Please NOTE! We're thrilled Terry is coming for events, but he is NOT signing anything on US tour. Please help us help adoring fans understand that Sir Terry cannot sign things on tour. We are anxious that no one be disappointed! - Anne Hoppe HarperCollins


Anne Hoppe at Harper Collins writes:

REJOICE! Sir Terry Pratchett comes to the States--NYC and Chicago--mid-October to celebrate the release of DODGER!
Details to follow!
You can follow Anne via her twitter page:

Doing the Happy Dance ...

Update 9/18/2012 Anne has just posted the details.

The inimitable award-winning and New York Times bestselling author, Sir Terry Pratchett, is touring three US cities for his newest novel, DODGER!
Friday, October 12th – New York, NY
New York Comic Con
Unbound Stage Appearance @ 1PM

 Meet & Green @ 5:15PM
***Note: Must have ticket to New York Comic Con to gain entrance to this event

Saturday, October 13th – New York, NY

Barnes & Noble Union Square

Tuesday, October 16th – Chicago, IL

Pfeiffer Hall Auditorium in Naperville, IL
Hosted by Anderson’s Bookshop

Order your copy of DODGER today! 


Monday, September 10, 2012

Chinese Book Cover for Mort by Terry Pratchett

Isn't this striking? It is the Chinese book cover for Mort. 

Can anyone provide a translation of the writing we see here?   

I would also like to know that name of the artist so I can give them proper credit.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hugo Awards Will Be Rebroadcast on Sunday via Ustream

Chicago, Illinois, USA - Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), is pleased to announce that the 2012 Hugo Awards Ceremony will be re-broadcast in its entirety and ad-free via Ustream on Sunday, September 9, starting at 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT) at

Chicon7 Press Release on the Hugo Awards
The original live broadcast of the ceremony was interrupted on Sunday, September 2 when an automated infringement system detected content in the stream that it deemed copyright infringement. Although the material was cleared for Chicon 7 use, the feed could not be restored before the ceremony concluded, meaning that fans around the world were unable to enjoy the remainder of the show. 
 The broadcast shut down right in the middle of Neil Gaiman's speech. (1)   You could hear the cyber howls all over the internet.
The Hugo Awards are the premier award in the science fiction genre, honoring science fiction literature and media as well as the genre's fans. The Hugo Awards were first presented at the 1953 World Science Fiction Convention in Philadelphia (Philcon II), and they have continued to honor science fiction and fantasy notables annually for nearly 60 years.
More information about the Hugo Awards, including a list of the 2012 winners, is available from
This re-broadcast comes amid some controversary.  For more on that, read

 How Copyright Enforcement Killed the Hugo Awards. 

Enjoy the broadcast everyone, 


Art:  Courtesy of BBC Website which writes: 
Neil Gaiman, Suranne Jones and Matt Smith on the set of the award-winning The Doctor’s Wife.

The 2012 Hugo Awards were presented earlier this week and The Doctor’s Wife triumphed in the Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form category.

The episode was written by Neil Gaiman and directed by Richard Clark and its success at the awards makes it the sixth Hugo won by Doctor Who since its return in 2005.
Neil Gaiman collected his award and later wrote, ‘I flew back to Albany, while my Hugo was taken home without me in a TARDIS-blue car with the license plate IDRIS. Can anything be more appropriate?’

Congratulations to Neil Gaiman and everybody involved in The Doctor’s Wife. You can enjoy clips from the adventure and watch videos of Neil discussing the episode now!

(1) Those of you who were at NADWCon 2011 will remember the wonderful talk on stage with Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Our heartfelt congratulations go out to Mr. Gaiman and the Dr. Who team for this award. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Seamstress Guild Party at WorldCon This Friday

Ladies and Gentlemen

"Not A Needle Among 'Em" 
Is Hosting A Grand Party
to help promote NADWCon 2013
To Which You Are All Invited
At the 70th Annual
this Friday Evening at 9 PM
Hyatt Regency, Park Suite 3471
In Fabulous Chicago
We Hope That You Can Join Us 

The good people at Snowgum Films 
have generously allowed us to present 
the first U.S. showings of 
at this event* 

We hope you can join us. 

* Snowgums will be showing the trailer for Troll Bridge. Run, Rincewind, Run is a short.  Other short films will also be shown. 

Update 9/2/2012 

The party and the movie/TV showings at Chicon7 were a huge success.  Missy Hayes and the Guild made lots of new Discworld friends. They also sold registrations to NADWCon 2013.

Here is a photo of author David Brin sporting a Seamstress Guild Ribbon 
What a guy!  


Monday, August 20, 2012

Pillage First, Then Burn OR Baltimore, Our Kind of Town.

Baltimore has pirates?  Why was I not informed?

The Maryland Science Center is featuring a exhibit on famous shipwrecks and their treasure (1)

aaaargh!  Odyssey’s SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure,  is a new exhibit featuring the compelling stories behind some of the world's most famous shipwrecks, their treasure, historic artifacts and pirates. Multiple hands-on interactive exhibits and cutting- edge computer games engage visitors with the adventure and excitement of deep-ocean shipwreck exploration, as well as intrigue them with pirate history and legend.
Baltimore Science Fiction Society

Baltimore is also the home of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society.  (2)

Many of their members volunteer at and/or attend BaltiCon, the Maryland Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention.  This convention has been held annually since 1966.  Attendees number between 1,800 - 2,000.

A lot of these people will be attending and/or volunteering at NADWCon. Lucky us.

The link above is for their Facebook page.   Here is the link to their website. 

Here is the link to their Meet Up Page.

Ghost Tours

Update:  Missy Hayes just shot me a link about Baltimore's Haunted Pub Tours
Step through the doors of some of Fell's Point's most haunted pubs for this fascinating tour of the historic maritime neighborhood. Even when it's freezing outside you'll stay toasty and warm on our Haunted Pubwalk! And if your arms break out into goosebumps, and the hair on your neck stands up, it may be because ghost sightings have happened right where you are sitting. Participants can choose to buy a drink, relax, and hear tales of that haunted tavern and ghost stories from nearby sites.
You can read about the other Ghost Walks on their webpage

Visiting Baltimore

Meanwhile, the volunteer staff at NADWCon are preparing lists of interesting places to visit and great places to eat in and around the Inner Harbor Area.  You might want to come a bit early to the con in order to take in the many wonderful sites in this town. 

We're gonna have a good time at NADWCon.  But remember folks, it's pillage first, then burn.


Related Articles

NADWCon Hotel and Memberships 

Booking A Room At The NADWCon Hotels 

The City Picked to Host NADWCon 2013 Is .... 


(1) Based on the work of Odyssey Marine Exploration 

The exhibit provides guests a close-up encounter with the artifacts recovered by Odyssey Marine Exploration.  Some of the archaeological excavation, the first of its kind ever conducted at such depths, produced more than 51,000 gold and silver coins and nearly 14,000 artifacts--a wealth of mid-19th century trade goods hidden on the ocean floor for over a century.  Coins, bottles, personal effects, on-board items, and pieces of the vessel are on display in the exhibit.

(2) More on BSFS from Wikipedia:

BSFS is an active organization which hosts many free, public events at its headquarters in the Highlandtown section of Baltimore City. Located at 3310 East Baltimore Street, it holds a business meeting on the second Saturday of each month at 7 PM that covers planning for Balticon and general BSFS organizational issues. It also hosts an anime, manga, and gaming social event on the third Saturday of the month from 2 - 6 PM. BSFS also hosts a Speculative Fiction Critique Circle for science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc. writers to receive feedback on their work: that Circle meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month, from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM. There is also a Book Discussion Circle that meets on the 4th Saturday of every month, from 6:30 to 8 PM, to discuss and analyze an assigned book; then there is a General Social Meeting which follows right after that. And on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month, the Games Club of Maryland hosts a gaming day called Alphabet Soup at BSFS headquarters from 12 - 6PM. [1] [2] Authors such as Catherine Asaro, Philippa Ballantine, Charles Shields, T.J. Perkins, and others have spoken there in recent years. [3] It maintains a large free lending library, cooperates with other science fiction organizations, runs which is a detailed website with extensive resources, and conducts other public outreach events promoting literacy. BSFS is an open, equal organization which welcomes every gender, sex, religion, and creed

Photo: Found at the Urban Pirates website 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Look at your cat. Now look back at me.

It's Black Cat Appreciation Day at the no kill cat shelter where I volunteer. We're hoping that lots of great cats and kittens get good homes today. Wish us luck.

In NADWCon and Discworld news: 

The North American Seamstress Guild is throwing one of their infamous Discworld parties. They will be at this year's WorldCon in Chicago to help promote NADWCon 2013.   

I'll post more about this on Monday.

Meanwhile, 2013 NADWCon Chair, Richard Altha-Nicholls, is getting ready to go to the (sold out) Discworld Con in the UK. 

Have fun, folks! Safe travels.




No, I'm sorry. We're all out of those. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Stephen Baxter will attend NADWCon 2013

This poster, a favorite with the Seamstress Guild, (1) comes to us from our friends at Walden Pond Books. Check out their witty and literate Facebook page.

WPB recently posted a link to an article titled The Philosophical Roots of Science Fiction.   Here is an excerpt: 
Science fiction is a genre that uses strange worlds and inventions to illuminate our reality — sort of the opposite of a lot of other writing, which uses the familiar to build a portrait that cumulatively shows how insane our world actually is. People, especially early twenty-first century people, live in a world where strangeness lurks just beyond our frame of vision — but we can't see it by looking straight at it. When we try to turn and confront the weird and unthinkable that's always in the corner of our eye, it vanishes. In a sense, science fiction is like a prosthetic sense of peripheral vision.
Steven Baxter Coming to NADWCon 2013

Among the Honored Guests coming to NADWCon 2013 is well known Science Fiction author Steven Baxter.  Our attendees had the pleasure of his company at NADWCon 2011 in Madison where he served on a number of panels and hosted a Koffee Klatch, and we're delighted that he is going to join us again in Baltimore:
Born in Liverpool, England, Stephen Baxter has degrees in mathematics and engineering, has worked as a teacher in mathematics and physics, and since 1987 has published over forty books, mostly science fiction novels, which have been published internationally and have received many awards. He is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, President of the British Science Fiction Association, and Vice-President of the HG Wells Society. He is also involved with advisory groups for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). 
Along with his current "Northland" series of solo novels, Stephen Baxter is collaborating with Sir Terry Pratchett on the "Long Earth" series.
Here is a video interview with Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter talking about their friendship and their writing collaboration on The Long Earth.




(1) The Seamstress Guild: Showing Folks How To Do It Right Since The Year of the Fruit Bat.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Keep Calm and Land on Mars

Congratulations to the NASA team at JPL.  You make us proud. 

 I would love it if parents would share the photo posted by The Mary Sue tumblr site today with their kids.  It shows the men and women scientists who made this great adventure possible and lists their names and job titles.

Gamers and science fans will know The Mary Sue website; a popular "geek site for women". Today she writes:
I also celebrate NASA/JPL for how visible women were as part of this extraordinary event. Several times on the livestream last night people made reference to kids looking at the launch of the Mars Curiosity and seeing possibilities for themselves in STEM - and thanks to a number of prominent women on the team, little girls will see a path to space for themselves too.
You said it, Sister.  To infinity and beyond!


Sign: from Facebook page for

Updates: 11:05

A photo of Curiosity During Landing has been leaked. 

Keep Calm Sign: As many of you know, I have a particular fondness for the Keep Calm ap and the history of the origional British WWII sign.    

I knew nothing of this until the fabulous Sandra Kidby shared both the saying and the story with me during a challenging day at NADWCon 2011.  Thanks, Sandra!

Update: 11:09  Geek Culture posted this Mars Meme on their Facebook page  - Are you seeing what I'm seeing?

Update: 11:27 Hat tip to Seamstress and Social Media Maven, Patty Panek, who subtitled this essay, Mars Needs Women on the Guild's FB page.  #WhyDidn'tIThinkofThat? 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Registration for NADWCon Temporarily Closed Due to Techincal Problems that I have your attention: 

The Baltimore Con Committee is experiencing technical difficulties.  As a result, registration at their website has been down since July 29th. There is no word, as yet, regarding a date when online registration will be resumed.  
They are working on this as we speak and apologize for the inconvenience.  Please be patient. 
Stay tuned to the NADWCon website, Twitter and Facebook pages (and this blog) for further announcements. 
Update 8/7/2012
The ConCom are working tirelessly to get registration back online, hopefully within the next few days. We will also be extending the $88 rate to compensate for the lost time. We'll keep you posted!

Thank you,


Update 8/5 :  As of this writing there have been roughly 250 tickets sold thus far out of a projected 1,000.  That is an excellent number for this early on in the game.  (1) The Con Treasurer tells me that the hotel staff are very impressed to see so many bookings for the con this far out (11 months) from the date of an event. (2) So no worries, folks. Unless things change radically,  I firmly believe that this con will be a sell out.

Figgins crossed that registration is open again soon.  I'm sure lots of folks still want to get in on that $88. Octarine price.  It's a very good deal.


Steampunk Corset photo from Spanky Spangler Steampunk Creations

P.S. One of our more popular panels in 2011 was on the Steampunk elements in the Discworld novels.  


(1) The last two NADWCons were capped at 1,000 attendees and both sold out (with more people wanting to buy tickets in the last weeks before the cons began and unable to do so).   Could this ConCom make more tickets available if this happens again? That is up to them. Stay tuned.  As for me, I'm not taking any chances; I've got my tickets and our hotel room is booked.

(2) Rumor has it that their comment was, "Who are you people?" ... I could not possibly comment.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lindsey Stirling at Faerieworlds

I just got back from meeting old friends at the Faerieworlds Festival where a grand time was had by all.

While I catch up on emails, I'll leave you with a Youtube video featuring the magical playing (and dancing) of Lindsey Stirling.  Enjoy,


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Think Geek and Denver ComicCon Step Up to Help Aurora

This just in:
Members of the Denver Comic Con are working with state officials to organize a candlelight vigil this Sunday, in Aurora.
"We are also working on some fundraising efforts and will be releasing specific details soon. Our thoughts are pouring out to all the people who were affected by this tragedy. We love you"
I found this note via @thinkgeek on Twitter. Think Greek posts that:
(Denver ComicCon is) working with the Mental Health America of Colorado to provide grief counseling during the vigil. They're also working on fundraising efforts, so keep an eye on their tweets for more news.  

Think Geek just donated $1,000 to the chapter of the Red Cross local to the Aurora shooting.

Their website also posted ways in which you and I and all our friends can help the people of Aurora:
If you're local to Denver and the Aurora area, you're encouraged to give blood--actually, no matter where you are, now's a good time to be reminded that blood banks could always use your donation. The Bonfils Blood Center in Colorado sounds booked for today, but you can set up an appointment.
Denver magazine and website 5280 has some helpful information for Denver locals, including a crisis counselor hotline (Aurora Mental Health Center, 303-617-2300) and community gatherings scheduled for tonight and this weekend.

7/25 update: Yet more ways to help!
As more time has passed, more ways to help have been made available. Such as Giving First which has an extensive list of charities that are doing amazing things for the Aurora shooting victims and their families.
There are also drives gathering money to help individual victims with their medical expenses, such as Caleb Medly's fundraising site and an IndieGoGo to help Petra Anderson.

Well done.


Art: Remember Aurora ribbon by Mark Rantal 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cruel Shoes: How the Discworld Seamstress Guild Is Rocking Facebook

Fans of the Discworld, history, fashion, art, humor and culture have found a meeting place at the Discworld Seamstress Guild page on Facebook thanks to the fabulous content provided by Patty Panek.

Great job, Patty. Thanks.

The Seamstress Guild now has a page on Twitter. Mrs Palm posts as  @DWSeamstress

Mrs Palm writes: The Seamstress Guild will attend the North American Discworld Convention with bells on (in various and interesting places).  



Photo: Skull Shoes - Black magic by digital artist Natalie Shau

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Monstrous Regiment - A Disworld Collage at Polyvore

Oh, well done!

It would nice to see some witty Discworld collages in the NADWCon Art Show.   Pass it on.

Monstrous Regiment

Great Plains red coat

Opi nail polish

Cut Throat Razor

The rest of the Discworld Collection can be found here

Hat tip to Patty Panek (She who finds so many great things for our Seamstress Guild FB page) for the link. 


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rhianna Pratchett revealed as lead writer on Tomb Raider

Warped Zone reports this news from ComicCon:
...tortoise-owning, tea-loving, goddess of game writing that is Rhianna Pratchett was revealed by Crystal Dynamics to be the lead writer of their Tomb Raider reboot. The game scribe has had a hand in crafting the stories for several well-regarded games in the past including Heavenly Sword and cult classic Mirror’s Edge.

The website Digital Spy notes that
The former video game journalist brings "a depth and credibility to Lara", according to Crystal Dynamics, helping to shape a heroine "who will really connect with today's gamers".
Terry Pratchett posted on Twitter -  @TerryandRob - that he is "a very proud Dad".

Update: 7/17

RP posted this on Twitter today:
Interesting article on my Tomb Raider role. Will be addressing these issues in the near future. Context is everything.
The article she refers to is: Thoughts on Tomb Raider and the Woman Writing It 

You can read more about Ms Pratchett by visiting her website Rhianna and you can follow her on Twitter at @rhipratchett.


Photo of Ms Pratchett via the Kona's Korner website

Monday, July 16, 2012

Booking a room at the NADWCon 2013 hotel

It's official: folks can now book their rooms at the con hotel, the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.

More hotel information and photos can be found here

See you there,


Thursday, June 7, 2012

NADWCon needs YOU! Staff Positions Open

Update 7/14/2012

NADWCon asked and the fans came forward.  These volunteer staff positions are now filled

Convention Committee (thus far) - NADWCon 2013:

Chair – Richard Atha-Nicholls

Vice-Chair – Amy Rauch

Operations Director – Nell Codner

Operations Left Hand - Maureen Shanahan

Operations Right Hand - Monica Youngman

Communications & Marketing Director - Emilie P. Bush

Programming Director - Colleen R. Cahill

Guild Coordinator - Sarah Goodman

Treasurer – Laurie Wilner

Registration Coordinator - Jeff Boucher-Zamzo

Bookkeeper - Nikki Hansen

Maskerade Director – Martin Gear

Website Manager – Alex Cohn

Staff Artist - Ray Friesen

Staff Artist - Amy Wheaton

Charity Auction Co-ordinator - Kelly S. Pierce


Positions Recently filled - bios not yet posted on the website:

At Con Bookkeeper 

Dealer Liaison 

Main Stage Manager 

Merchandise Coordinator 

Technical Director

Volunteer Coordinator 



Opportunities await!

Plans for the 2013 NADWCon are underway and we need you! We want 2013 to be the best convention yet and for that we need talented, smart, motivated, and experienced people who share a passion for Discworld and a love of organization. We are currently recruiting volunteers to fill some key positions in our committee. What are those positions? Read on! 

Productions Director
Security Coordinator
Program Operations Manager
First Aid Coordinator
Publications Coordinator
At Con Newsletter Editor
Hotel Liaison
Guest Suite Coordinator
Guest Liaisons
Ambience Coordinator
Art Show Coordinator
Pre and Post Con Tour Coordinator

If you would like to be considered for one of these positions, we ask that you please send in a short resume outlining your relevant experience. We prefer candidates with previous con experience (not necessarily Discworld cons) but if you have work experience in these areas, you may also qualify. Please submit your resumes to and include at least the following information:

Position of interest
Contact email
Contact phone number

If you have any questions about volunteering that are not answered here or on the FAQ, please feel free to drop us a line at the


13 months and counting ....

NADWCon 2013 is currently looking for both a Programming Director and a Productions Director.

You can find more info on the Volunteer section of their website.

NADWCon also needs: Igors of all kinds, as well as those who will offer to teach an arts & crafts class, serve on a convention panel or work as stage hands, as well as Dark Clerks to help with registration, and generally run things behind the scenes.  If you are willing and able please write to:

Tick .... Tick .... Tick ...


This Just In: The position of Communications and Marketing Director has now been filled.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Long Earth and World of Poo out on 6/21/12

The long wait for The Long Earth and World of Pooh is almost over:

It is now a tradition at NADWCon to read Where's My Cow at the closing ceremonies. The attendees do all the noises.  The World of Pooh offers a very different sort of challenge. I don't imagine that audience participation will be involved. 

My thanks to the Terry Pratchett Facebook page for the photo.




Where's My Cow video produced for the Living Books Festival 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Updates on NADWCon hotel and memberships

Happy Mother's Day to all our Discworld Moms!

Greetings everyone. 

It's Official: The Convention Hotel is ....

I don't know about you, but I've been doing The Happy Dance over the news that our convention hotel is the marvelous Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.  (1) Those of us who've been there know that the ConCom has made an excellent choice.  Check out the link and the photos at the hotel's website and you'll see what I mean.

Folks, you are going to love the Baltimore Harbor area, trust me.  There is lots to see and do (and eat and buy) within easy walking distance of the hotel and this area is very safe and very family-friendly.

Today's FAQs: 


Fans have been asking on Facebook when they can buy memberships.  Baltimore's Con Chair, Richard Atha-Nichols writes: 
Not yet. We're working on the technical back end to ensure it's nice a smooth. Bear with us, it should be up in a couple of weeks. - RAN

Another Facebook fan who is new to cons wondered if they could book their hotel and buy memberships from the website at the same time.  The answer from Richard is both Yes & Soon and he makes an important note about hotel rates:
When registration becomes available we'll provide a link to book the hotel at the discounted rates. Until then rooms cannot be booked at the Marriott at the discounted rates.  - RAN
It seems NADWCon already has hundreds of fans with their credit cards at the ready, all waiting to secure their spot at NADWCon 2013.  Stay tuned to the usual sources:

NADWCon website, and/or the

NADWCon 2013 Facebook page and

* The @nadwcon Twitter page

* The NADWCon Live Journal page 

for further news.

I, too, will send out an alert as soon as the website is ready to take your orders.  (2)

See you there,


(1) I didn't mention it before now because the hotel won't take our reservations for the con this far out. See Today's FAQ section re Booking Hotel Rooms.

(2) The con's web team is testing the website's order and credit card functions and being verrra careful to make sure that security is tight, privacy is protected and that there are no glitches when the time comes to open the Order Page up to the fans.  I am glad we have such a careful and professional web team on board - please give them your patience and support - djc 

Friday, May 11, 2012

North American Discworld Con's new website is LIVE

Ladies & Gentlemen,

The Baltimore ConCom has unveiled their new North American Discworld Convention website.

They'll be adding lots more pages and info over time.

We would appreciate having your honest, civil and useful feedback regarding what is there right now, how easy the site is to read and to use and what you would like to see there, in future.

Speaking for myself, I love whoever wrote "in an age of wander" in the heading, and I think their theme is delightful.  Go look, I think you'll be pleased. 

Thank you, all


Thursday, May 3, 2012

I'll Be Seeing You -

As some of you know, The Amazing Mom passed away on March 27th while in hospice care in her home.  I was with her. She died peacefully, surrounded by love. I am happy to say that she kept her dignity and her marvelous sense of humor to the very end.

Mom was 85 when she passed. She lived a rich and meaningful life; a life full of good works, adventure, beauty and joy. I am glad that she is free of her long illness which she bore with great grace and courage.

She traveled all over the world during her lifetime.  It is a passion she passed on to me. This is a photo I took of her at the Parthenon in 2006.  As long as she lived she loved animals, art, gardens, reading, learning and meeting new people. I am so very proud to be her daughter.

I imagine her, now, greeting old friends and loved ones and dancing the night away in my father's arms.

She loved to dance. So today I'm posting Dance Me To The End of Love in her honor. I made sure to include an acoustic version of this song in the video we made for her memorial last month.  It was deeply rewarding going through all those great photos with her, and then, later on, with my husband and my cousins. It reminded me what a great life looks like.  These photos were healing for her friends that day, as well, and we all left the memorial rather tearful, yes, but also laughing (a lot) and telling our favorite stories about her and Dad. Again, thanks Mom. 

I've spent the last 25 years working in wildlife and companion animal rescue and I've watched over three family members now who've died from cancer (1) so I can tell you from experience that there is such a thing as a good death because I've seen it.  I've also seen the other kind.  Because she was brave and we were lucky my mother had a great life and a very good death.

I'm grateful to her caregivers and the hospice nurses and to her friends and ours who walked this long and challenging way with us.  My thoughts today are with all those who are on the same road.  May you have the same capable and compassionate support that we have found.  As I remarked recently to Himself: The WWII generation is living much longer (far longer than their own parents did) and I'm find that my generation, like the Victorians before us, is learning a great deal about care giving, death and dying. I'm both pleased and sorry to say that I'm getting rather good at it. It won't surprise those of you who read this blog that the man who created Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg understood exactly what I meant.

My thanks to all those among our acquaintances who walked this way before I did, and who shared what it was like so we didn't have to travel the whole way in the dark.  (2)

We will miss her, always.  That's as it should be.  Thanks, Mom.  We love you. 

Regards to all here,


(1) As the saying goes, "Once is chance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action."

(2) I hope that I can now pay some of that kindness and experience forward when the time is right. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Logo for NADWCon 2013

Behold...the logo for NADWCon 2013.

This was created for the Baltimore convention by our good friend, Ray Friesen.  Ray has been active at the last two NADWCons where he taught art classes, served on panels and was a lot of fun at parties. 

You can read an interview with Ray at the Comics Career website.  It notes that:

Ray is a California-based cartoonist who has created some self-published comics — which he says he don’t count anymore. What he does count are his graphic novels, which include YARG!, Another Dirt Sandwich, and A Cheese Related Mishap, which was named one of the American Library Association’s Top Ten Graphic Novels of the Year for Kids.
His brand new graphic novel, Cupcakes of DOOM!, has just been released. In addition to all that graphic noveling, he also does a daily strip, The Rambunctious Ramblings of Tbyrd Fearlessness, on his website
A Youtube interview done with Ray by news channel KERO can be found here.  (The sound quality isn't great but Ray is charming, as always.)

Regards to all here,


Sunday, February 5, 2012

NADWCon 2013 Guidelines

In order to insure a well organized and enjoyable experience for our attendees, the Guild of Chelonavigators (GoC) has established a set of guidelines for the convention committee.  These guidelines were provided to cities interested in bidding to host the next convention and our board of consultants.

As you know, we now have a winning bid. These guidelines (1) will provide the basic framework for the GoC and the Baltimore team as we move forward to plan the next North American Discworld Convention.

NADWCon Guidelines

  • The Guild of Chelonavigators (GoC) will provide a website for the convention to maintain, and a mailing list of email addresses of previous attendees.
  • We would like to be an interactive, personal resource for you, and we will be available for help or advice. We can also provide applicable suggestions from attendees and previous committee members for your review.
  • We’ll provide a list of program items and presenters from previous NADWCons with notes and contact information.
  • We’ll provide a Liaison to help with certain Honored Guests, and will give you a detailed report on the needs and desires of our Honored Guests to the Guest Liaison.  
  • As per the GoC's instuctions from Sir Terry Pratchett: In the event of any outstanding profits (after expenses have been paid) the convention will endow these proceeds to the next convention (as seed money) as well as the two charities supported by NADWCon, these being Alzheimer's Research Fund and the Orangutang Foundation. The percentage of funds going to each will be determined by an agreement between the GoC and the 2013 ConCom.   

Other Recommended Committee Positions -

Committee positions that should be filled at least 12 months prior to the NADWCon:
  • Program Director
  • Guest Liaison(s)
  • Ambience Coordinator
  • Art Show Director
  • Security Coordinator
  • Tech Wrangler
  • PR & Social Media Director
  • Banquet Coordinator
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Communications Coordinator
Committee positions that should be filled at least 8 months prior to the NADWCon:
  • Registration Coordinator
  • ConSuite Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Charity Auction Coordinator
  • Maskerade Director
  • Gaming Coordinator
  • Merchandise Coordinator
  • Publications Coordinator
  • At-Con Newsletter Editor
  • Program Operations Manager
  • Stage Manager(s)
  • Staff Lounge Coordinator
  • Guild Liaison
If a committee member is unable to perform their duties we’d ask that they be replaced by the Chair as quickly as possible. If convention management is unable to perform their duties, please expect the GoC to step in and take whatever steps are necessary for the good of the convention and our attendees. This would only be done to honor our promise to Sir Terry that this convention would be well-organized for the good of the fans. We will not interfere either lightly or casually, and we are committed to working with the 2013 ConCom in order to avoid taking such a radical step.

  • Within easy driving distance of a major, international airport
  • Hotel must have a quantity of affordable restaurants within walking distance
  • Preferably, the hotel would have a large lobby, courtyard or other gathering space for attendees.
  • Hotel should have a good blend of large (seating 1000), medium (200 - 300) and small (seating 50) function rooms; should also have a large suite to serve as ConSuite (where corkage is waived).
  • The benefits of a horizontal hotel vs. a vertical one should be considered.
  • Ideally, you would get a hotel contract quote with sliding scale of function space costs, based on room nights booked (preferably down to free); Catering spending should be preferably kept to $2k or less, over proposed Banquet costs.
  • Ideally, hotel would have experience tending to fan and/or costuming conventions, would offer adequate internet access to convention and guests for free, and would have a large bar area
  • Ideally, there would be a second hotel nearby that could be contracted to serve for overflow needs, if original hotel has insufficient rooms available.
  • The ConCom will have regular meetings, preferably bi-monthly, starting at least 14 months out from the convention, and monthly meetings starting at about eight months out. (We recommend scheduling more frequent staff meetings as the date for the convention approaches).
  • Ideally, a majority of Committee members are present for each Committee meeting (online attendance is encouraged via Skype or similar). If a Committee member misses a large number of meetings to the extent that it interferes with their job or communication with the other staff then the Chair should consider replacing that Committee member.
  • The ConCom should hold at least two web meetings to which the Steering Committee will be invited, at 6 months and 3 months out from the con.
  • Budget - An up-to-date convention budget spreadsheet would ideally be kept online as a Google Doc, giving the Steering Committee viewing privileges. Alternately, an updated copy of the budget can be emailed to the GoC as it changes. This budget is understood to be a working planning document and should be kept up to date. 
  • Progress Reports - Beginning 12 months out, each ConCom member will submit a periodic departmental progress report to the GoC. The Chair would also note overall progress, and note what remains to be done. The GoC will ask questions as needed.
Discworld Con Traditions

Length of Convention - so far, the convention has been a four-day event, starting on Friday, and ending late Monday.

Gala Banquet - held on Sunday evening, it has been highly decorated around a theme, with short speeches and live entertainment.

Charity Auction - held on Sunday afternoon, Discworld-related items are auctioned with proceeds benefiting the Orangutan Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Research Trust. Our British contingent has a lot of experience with this event, and has preferred ways of handling it. We suggest coordinating with them, and we have documentation from them to pass along to you. This event has traditionally been emcee’d by Pat Harkin and Richard Artley.

Maskerade - (yes, we spell it that way) held on Saturday evening, and we have a consistent emcee, Pat Harkin, from England. Sir Terry participates as a Judge, as do some of the typical honored guests. The contestants are encouraged to perform skits, and typically need microphone access. There is need of engaging “half-time” entertainment while the judges deliberate. If requested enough in advance, it is possible that Bernard Pearson can provide a trophy or two.

Honored Guests - Sir Terry (health permitting), Rob Wilkins, Bernard Pearson, Colin Smythe, Anne Hoppe, Jennifer Brehl and Esther Freisner have been our Honored Guests at both conventions, thus far. All have indicated a strong desire to join us in 2013. 

Ambience - Discworld fans really appreciate having lots of reminders of “their world” around them during the convention. This has been given a fair amount of attention (and budget) for the two previous conventions.

Guilds - Discworld “Guild” participation is something new in the US, (with the exception of the Seamstress Guild which played a large part in 2009 and 2011). The UK conventions have relied on DW Guilds for years. Many US Guilds formed after 2011’s convention. With care and guidance these new guilds could provide a good number of helpful staff and other resources to add flavor to the convention. They are also being encouraged to consider throwing room parties, which will help add to the nighttime entertainment. The Seamstress Guild is the oldest profession and best established Guild in the US. It’s suggested to use them in, or for, some kind of major party event(s). 

Merchandise - 2009’s convention offered little in the way of merch (t-shirts, tote bags, some jewelry), but 2011’s convention did much more. Selling merchandise is a great way to bring in extra money (the fans will buy it!) but it does come with its own ‘inventory’ headache. If you want to have merchandise at your convention, and we suggest that you do, let’s have some discussions about it 

Programming - While programming may begin in advance of it, the convention officially begins with a fairly elaborate and amusing Opening Ceremonies event.

Kaffeeklatches are offered for small numbers of attendees to spend time with the guests. These are a very popular offering on the DW program, both here and abroad.

The Closing Ceremonies are traditionally held late Monday afternoon. 2011 added a new tradition -- a group reading of Sir Terry’s book “Where’s My Cow?”. This was followed by Bernard Pearson affectionately telling everyone to “Piss Off”. 

In 2011, the convention added an arts & crafts track to programming that was very popular. The con instituted a $5 entry fee for each one to offset the cost of materials.

Additionally, NADWCon has offered a Pub Quiz on Thursday night for early arrivals and both conventions have presented Discworld renditions of game shows.

Gaming Room - There are several Discworld games now, and the Gaming Room has been relatively popular.

Movie Room - (aka “The Cthinema”) Showing the UK Discworld movies was very popular.

Costume Dungeon - This is a room dedicated to at-con sewing & embellishing projects, and it was very popular in 2011. Steamers were also available for attendees to use, since so many wear costumes and have been traveling.

Kid-Friendly Event - Discworld fans have been encouraged to bring their children, so offering kid-friendly events is a very good idea. We have a new DW family-oriented guild that will be helpful in this regard. Please note: It is important to consider ‘school schedules’ when determining dates for the convention. 

These are guidelines are based on what has worked for past NADWCons and what changes we believe will best serve the next convention.  If you have other directions you wish to explore, by all means discuss them with us! We are excited to see the NADWCon tradition continue and evolve.


Excuse me, now. We have a few more ducks to get on to hats. 

Happy New Year! 



(1) Updated 1/5/2012 - djc