World Fantasy Convention 2018 Update

The World Fantasy Convention 2018 in Baltimore is a joint effort of The Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) and the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA). It will be held at the Marriott Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, Nov 1 – 4, 2018. The convention is chaired by Ann Marie Rudolph and Bill Lawhorn.

The Guests of Honor are Kaaron Warren, Scott Edelman, Tom Kidd, and Michael J. Walsh, with Special Guest Aliette de Bodard, and Toastmaster Linda D. Addison.

World Fantasy Convention 2018 has published the program for the convention — it is available here. A list of workshops and tours that are scheduled for Thursday before the con starts are posted under Workshops and Tours. The Convention Program starts November 1 at 4 p.m., and Opening Ceremonies will be held at 8:00 p.m.

WFC 2018 will take over the entire fifth floor of the Renaissance for the Mass Autograph Reception on Friday night, which begins at 8:00 p.m. The Watertable Bar and Restaurant will close to the public and only Convention members will be allowed on the fifth floor.

As part of this year’s Art Show Joe Siclari and Edie Stern are presenting a great Special Art Exhibit. Charles Vess will be exhibiting many of the illustrations from the new Earthsea volume. Vincent Villafranca is showing some of the steps that go into the creation of the World Fantasy Award trophy. See the list of exhibiting artists here The Art Show Reception will be on Saturday night, 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Award Banquet tickets are still available, however, the event is approaching capacity. As always, there will be seating available for the Awards Ceremony for members who are not attending the Banquet.

More information about the Banquet and the convention can be found on the WFC 2018 website. The Attending membership rate is currently $250. The Renaissance is sold out of hotel rooms, but the con has arranged for an overflow hotel about a block away.

The World Fantasy Convention is governed by the Board of the World Fantasy Convention.

11 thoughts on “World Fantasy Convention 2018 Update

  1. Ooh, I look forward to the Less part of that exhibit especially. He’s one of my favorites!

  2. I really like fantasy literature, but I’ve always been put off by what I see (maybe wrongly) as the World Fantasy Convention’s attitude of discouraging non-professionals from attending.

  3. @Sheila Strickland: I understand that impression! Someone (NOT part of the organization or the con committee that year) once told me it was really for pros and since membership’s capped, I shouldn’t use up a slot. I was like “uh okay whatever,” and read up on the organization and the convention to find out the actual truth, which is (my impression) that it skews towards pros, but is not pro-exclusive.

    The org web site says the convention “brings together authors, agents, editors, artists, and booksellers as well as readers and fans.” That emphasizes professionals while including non-professionals as part of the community it’s trying to build (which it claims it’s trying to build).

    In contrast, this year’s con has a more balanced description, similar to what I’ve seen in the past: “The World Fantasy Convention is an annual gathering of professionals, collectors, and others interested in the field of light and dark fantasy art and literature.” 🙂

    Anyway, just my impressions – it skews more pro but isn’t pro-only. But again, I understand and occasionally get the same impression.

    When it’s very near me (DC-Baltimore area), I try to go if I can; the panels tend to be interesting and perhaps in-depth than at other cons I’ve been to.

    Sorry if this is a bit rambly.

  4. It gets confusing because of the mixed signals. They say they are a professional convention, yet have panels that would fit right in at any SF/Fantasy fan-run con.

  5. @Sheila Strickland: …. yeah, I know what you mean. But let me tell you … on Friday evening there’s the mass autographing where authors sit behind tables with name tents in front of them and hordes of people are all over the place with armloads of to get signed. Some are booksellers, some are collectors, and many are just folks happy to meet a favorite author. It’s fun madness!

    The convention is capped as to make less of a zoo.

    Anyway, I’ve been attending since the first one, haven’t missed one. I go for the people. I think you’d enjoy it.

    Oh, there’s usually a nice bag filled with free books for each attendee.

  6. @Sheila Strickland (extending @Kendall): from the website:

    Badges. It is particularly required by the board that all members receive the same badge and that, except for the Guests and committee, no distinctions be made among classes of badges. This means particularly that there be no special badges or ribbons, etc., to distinguish “pro” from the rest. In this sense everyone at WFC is equal. There may be, however, a discrete method of denoting Art Show and Dealers Room special access.

    I don’t know how far back the website declaration goes, but I heard about this policy some time before the web site existed. What I don’t see on the website (but have seen in the past) is that WFCs are supposed to be about reading; business information and writing workshops are supposed to stay outside the formal programming. (Yes, there are some art discussions and occasional assorted other stuff — it’s not as purist IME as, say, Readercon.) It’s true that some people come loaded for business — there’s one editor I know who I think spends most of their time meeting with authors — but IME most don’t. There are certainly people with very … focused … ideas about WFC — one year I listened to a few minutes of rant from someone offended that the Dennises’ souvenir table was visible somewhere near the rest of the convention — but those are individuals’ ideas.

  7. @Chip Hitchcock: I’d forgotten about the badge thing, heh. I’m thinking there’s the stated intentions like that; individuals ideas about the con; and then just how the con has grown and changed over time.

    But yeah I do like that badge thing, which tries to keep perceptions on an even keel.

  8. @Michael J. Walsh: Heh, I was thinking about the mass signing as something that really feels (to me) aimed at fans. (A collector is just one type of fan.) But good point about booksellers being interested in autographs, too.

  9. I am a fan with neither professional credentials nor any interest in acquiring professional credentials, and I still found World Fantasy a lot of fun when I went in 2014. I’m looking forward to this year, too.

  10. The replies here are reassuring enough that I haven’t crossed WFC off my list of cons I’d like to get to. Too late for this year and next year’s theme of “fantasy noir” doesn’t really appeal, but there’s always 2020 and beyond.

  11. I’m less a pro and more a vaguely aspiring to someday be a pro, and WFC did not feel unwelcoming to me. I had fun when I went.

    Some of the recent incidents WRT the con have put me off going again personally (though so far the distances involved have put me off even more, and my decision may well change if opportunity puts it close to home), but my own experiences were generally positive.

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