Hi, I'm Jo Walton, Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award winning science fiction and fantasy writer. From 2006 to 2014 I ran a small convention in Montreal called Farthing Party. It was for my friends and people who wanted to be my friends -- most people who came were people I knew, but there were a handful of new people every year. It had all the bits of running a convention I'm good at: Program, and a restaurant guide. It was great.
Scintillation will be a small literary focused SF convention on the weekend of Canadian Thanksgiving next year, that is the 5th to 7th October 2018 ETA and 11th to 13th October 2019 and 2020, dates to be decided, but probably the weekend after Thanksgiving. If it's successful, we'll carry on doing it in future years. All people of goodwill are welcome.
It'll take place in the Holiday Inn in Chinatown in Montreal -- for those who know it, that's the one with the pagoda on the top. It's a lovely hotel with a koi pool in the foyer and many excellent function rooms of different sizes. Montreal is a beautiful city with an excellent food culture, and a delightful place to visit. It's easily accessible by train from New York, Ottawa, and Toronto, and it has an airport for those who prefer to fly.
Scintillation will have a focus somewhat like Readercon, but much smaller, and somewhat like Fourth Street. Unlike Fourth Street it isn't only intended for writers. There'll be a lot for writers, but I'll try to keep things balanced between reading and writing. My philosophy of program is to look at the available panellists and put together something that plays to their strengths and interests, and to aim to have synergy between panels. One of the best things about science fiction fandom and the conventions we hold is the way it broadens and deepens the conversation. That's what we want to do with Scintillation. We want to keep the best things from Farthing Party -- like the "Good Read" panel where four people each choose a book and the other three read them and then all four discuss them, and the "Joy of Reading" Sunday morning panel where people read great bits other people's writing. But we're also open to expansion and doing new things. For 2017, we're planning to have a Sassafras concert, and we may (see stretch goals) have a readings and workshops track. We may (again, stretch goals) have gaming.
I stopped doing Farthing Party because every year I suffered agonies of anxiety that we wouldn't have enough members to break even and I'd go into debt to the hotel. It also ate a lot of my time, and in 2014 I decided to stop and concentrate on writing and organizing smaller events with friends. Scintillation is going to be different. For one thing, it's going to be funded (or not) by this Kickstarter. We'll know how much money we have. If there isn't enough interest and it doesn't fund, we'll know now and give up. For another, I have more help. I'll still be doing program, but other people are going to be doing everything else, including the dreaded badge printing. So we can all have more fun.
One of the great things about a convention like this, as opposed to a giant convention, is that everyone gets to hang out with everyone. We're not going to have a guest of honour, but some of the most exciting writers and editors in the genre will be here: some of the people already committed to coming are Ada Palmer, Marissa Lingen, Sherwood Smith, Fran Wilde, Greer Gilman, Ruthanna Emrys, Alison Sinclair, and Alter Reiss. Added post-launch: Also Max Gladstone and Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden and Lila Garrott.
At $3100, we will have a proper program book (not just one sheet) and a restaurant guide ACHIEVED.
At $3500, we will have a consuite with helium balloons -- a place for people to go when if they're not interested in a particular panel, or to hang out and talk. ACHIEVED.
At $3600, we will add coffee and water service to the consuite. ACHIEVED
At $4000, we will have a Saturday night party in the hotel. ACHIEVED
At $4100, we will have a Sunday night party in Jo & Emmet's apartment. ACHIEVED
At $4500 we will have Friday night programming ACHIEVED
At $5000 we will have Friday morning dim sum and afternoon activities, trips to the Jardin Botanique, Marche Jean Talon etc. ACHIEVED!
At $5500 we will have a reading and workshop parallel track ACHIEVED! YES!
At $6000 we will give grants to Jon Singer and other awesome people to help them come to Scintillation. ACHIEVED!
At $6500 we will expand the e-book to include stories from Alter Reiss, Max Gladstone, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, three poems from Jo, and maybe even more. ACHIEVED
At $7000 we will give $1 memberships to program participants and staff. ACHIEVED
At $8000 we will have a special games room. ACHIEVED
At $9000 we will commit to doing it again in 2019 ACHIEVED!!!
I can't believe we are 300% funded!
At $9200 we will have new reward tiers on this Kickstarter that include 2019 membership ACHIEVED
At $9500 we will have a proper program book in 2019 ACHIEVED
At $10,000 we will have a consuite in 2019 ACHIEVED
At $10,500 we will have a Saturday night party in the hotel in 2019 ACHIEVED
At $10,800 we will have a Sunday night party in 2019 ACHIEVED
At $11,000 we will have Friday night program in 2019 ACHIEVED
At $11,500 we will have Friday daytime activities in 2019 ACHIEVED
At $12,000 we will have a reading and workshop track in 2019 ACHIEVED
At $12,500 we will give money to Jon and other awesome people to get here in 2019 ACHIEVED
At $13,000 we will give $1 program participant and staff memberships in 2019 ACHIEVED
At $14,000 we will have a gamesroom in 2019 ACHIEVED
At $15,000 we will commit to doing it in 2020 ACHIEVED, OMG, WHAT?!!! INCREDIBLE
(I can't believe I'm even writing this, it's ridiculous to think we could possibly get to it.
So, if we do actually get to $15000, as it now seems we possibly might, then I will add another truly awesome goal. KEEP GOING FOR NEW GOALS, MY GOODNESS
At $16,000, we will have a new e-book for 2020, for everyone at Supporter level and above! It will be edited by Alter S. Reiss and called "False Starts". It will contain the beginnings of novels that were started and for some reason couldn't be completed, by me, Alter, and other writers, along with some commentary about them. Then there will be a panel about this from the contributors at the 2020 Scintillation. This will include Those Who Favor Fire the unfinished sequel to Tooth and Claw and the fragments of Beside Ourselves the unfinished sequel to Among Others as well as work by other people. This will be sent out in advance of the 2020 Scintillation. ACHIEVED!
At $17,000, I will share with all backers the recordings of me reading my Norse poetry from Sassafrass's Secret Album -- previously available only to backers of Sassafrass's Kickstarter. ACHIEVED!
At $18,000 we will have more great stuff for Scintillation in 2020, a readings track and a con suite and everything that at that point seems like a good idea.
At $19,000 I will make a new recording of me reading Mountain Doors my Loki poem, and Not in This Town, my Bacchae poem and share them with all backers.
And at $20,000, my new "we could never possibly reach that, but I said that before" goal we will have a new ebook for the 2019 Scintillation, called Better Dreams, for which we will pay the contributors professional rates. It will contain new work by wonderful Scintillation guests, and be edited by Alter Reiss. We'll produce it before the 2019 convention, and send it to everyone who backed at Supporter or above.
Risks and challenges
We've done this before, and we're pretty sure we can do it again, as long as we have the funding. The problem with running a convention is always "what if nobody comes?" Doing it this way, we know you're coming.
What could go wrong? The hotel could sink into a swamp and we'd have to find a hotel at the last minute, there could be a nuclear war, aliens could arrive and give us FTL and everyone would leave for the stars... but we think we're pretty likely to be able to do it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)