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To guarantee your space for any of the limited audience events (Concardia, the mini-LARP, teaching games, tournaments, kaffeeklatches, etc.) please email info@chessiecon.org with your name, and the name and time of the event you want to sign up for.

Other Schedules:

**Location Changed
***Time Changed

Greenspring Ballroom


2PM-3PM The Appeal of Dystopia in Young Adult Fiction - GS1

The popularity of books such as The Hunger Games and Divergent shows that contemporary teens (and adults who read teen books) are hungry for tales of post-apocalyptic futures and oppressive societies. Outcasts, rebellions, and the horrors of stringent laws have all become common themes. This panel will explore some of the reasons why dystopian YA fiction has seen such a surge in popularity. Ackley-McPhail, Aire, Crist, Fan

**2PM-3PM New GLBTQ Books - GS2

A survey of new 2013/2014 GLBTQ books. Cipra

3PM-4PM Artists Telling a Story - GS1

Should art tell its own story or just show an image? Does this change if the art is used to illustrate a story? Alexander, Crist, C. Jones, McPhail, Mather

**3PM-4PM Reading: Tamora Pierce - GS2

4PM-5PM Diversity in Science Fiction - GS1

We will discuss why there is so little, how to improve, which works notably have it, or notably miss the mark. Aire, Cipra (M), Fan, HR Jones, Liebe

4PM-5PM Dark Fantasy - GS2

Dark fantasy has become wildly popular in both romance and erotica. What does it take for a fantasy to qualify as “dark?” It has to be more than just the use of beings such as vampires and werewolves. What is the appeal? Who are some of your favorite authors and why? Carter, Crist, Kozeniewski, McLaughlin

4PM-6PM Hula Hoop Jam - GS3-5

Come out and let your inner child play. There will be hula hoops to use or bring your own. Other toys welcome too. All levels and ages of hoopers welcome, Patches has a pretty good track record of getting people to hoop who swore they couldn’t. Music will have a space/fantasy theme. Sonya Gross

5PM-6PM The Evolving Landscape of Publishing - GS1

With the rise of small presses, e-books, self-publishing, and online platforms, publishing has changed a lot in the 21st century. Both seasoned authors and aspiring writers have more options than ever before. This panel will discuss how to navigate the evolving landscape of publishing - and avoid the pitfalls. Corrigan, Demchick, Fan, Kozeniewski

5PM-6PM What Are We Ignoring? The Tech That SF Overlooks - GS2

It seems that every speculative fiction writer eventually tackles faster-than-light travel. But what technologies are being under-served by writers? Can easily built ultralights be the end of border walls? What about small, easily hidden external drives making information more easily disseminated? Aire, HR Jones, Liebe, Olson, Sakers (M)

6PM-7PM Young Adult Fiction: Why Then? Why Now? - GS2

In 1967, The Outsiders was published. The YA genre was quickly off and running. Now, over thirty years later, YA is rapidly expanding again. Both adults and teenagers are reading it, and YA books pop up on every bestseller list. What happened then, and what’s happening now that causes YA to grow so wildly? Crist, Hammond (M), Kurtz, Liebe, Pierce

6PM-7PM Victorian Rides and Diversions - GS1

Carnivals and fairs in the late 19th century helped to bring science fiction, fantasy and new technologies to the public. This program brings together amazing images from those bygone days, featuring spectacular attractions you'd never imagine! Plus - the true tales of two incredible real steampunks! Mather, Short

**7PM-8PM Zombies and Vampires and Ghouls, Oh My. Why is Being Undead so Popular? - GS2

Is this a modern expression of the ages-old human desire for immortality? Or is the current trend towards fantasy/horror literature a fad? Is this trend crowding out other forms of horror literature? Just why is there so much current interest in this particular sub-genre anyway? Alexander, Carter, Kozeniewski, MacMillan, Woodling

**7PM-8PM Bad Math; or, How Right and Left Brains Work Together: The Function of Logic in Fiction - GS1

Most fiction writers are right-brained people, filled with creative ideas. The inventiveness of the creative mind is a remarkable and romantic thing, but a novel is a big and complex entity, and it doesn’t work on creativity alone. For many would-be authors, managing and understanding story logic is a difficult task. We’ll explore exactly why logic is so important in a field founded in the magic of creative invention. Demchick

7PM-? Time Travelers' Social - GS3-5

Show off your finery from any era, past or future, real or imagined! Come see costumes from seamonsters and Dr. Who to faeries and steampunk garb. Costumes encouraged, all are welcome! Cipra (MC)


10AM-11AM Using History and Alternate History in Your Stories - GS1

The history of our world is full of passionate and powerful, foolish and weak historic figures that have shaped who and what we are now. Our history can be used as a jumping-off point for any story, even if it is set in an unknown alien universe. Join our hosts as they discuss using our own history to start and aid a story of any genre. Ackley-McPhail, Aire, Edghill, Pinsker, Sonnier

10AM-11AM Steam Punk Flight — Not Just For Dirigibles Anymore - GS2

As much as we all love our dirigibles, they weren’t the only things flying in the Victorian era. Serious heavier-than-air flight began in the 1790’s when Sir George Cayley flew his coachman in a glider (the coachman then resigned.) Sir George was just the first of many to attempt to fly. Your host will give a run-down on many of these interesting characters, explaining what they accomplished, and speculating on what changed circumstances might have let them beat the Wright Brothers to the punch. Warner

10AM-11PM How Not to Get Published - GS3-5

A discussion of the mistakes and pitfalls common in publishing SF/F. Demchick, Fan, Kozeniewski, McLaughlin

11AM-Noon Beyond Christianity: Rituals and Religions in Speculative Fiction - GS3-5

Some novels integrate non-Eurocentric belief systems into the world of their characters.How does the integration of a non-Western value system affect the formation of a fictional speculative world? Does it affect plot? Who has written this well? How does the inclusion of different belief systems serve to bring more diverse sensibilities to the genre? Friedman, Harmon, Kurtz, MacLeod, Whiteley (M)

11AM-Noon Turkey Awards Panel - GS2

Writers were asked to write the best terrible paragraph they could write, as the beginning of the best terrible science fiction novel you (n)ever read. Finalist entries will be presented, and judged with humor and harshness . A good time is sure to be had by all. Demchick, Kozeniewski, Liebe, Sakers (M)

11AM-Noon Artist GoH Slideshow - GS1

Noon-1PM Accessibility Issues in Fandom - GS1

Accessibility issues in fandom. What are the obvious things that irritate fans with disabilities, and things that work well for them? Why might your disabled fellow-fen not tell you that you’re not meeting their accessibility needs? How do you convince hotels to meet accessibility needs? Beattie, Olson, MacLeod, Whiteley(M)


Noon-1PM History of the Clams - GS2

The Group, Not the Soup! Some former Clams get together to talk about their origins, their journey, their fans, and their retirement. K. Sobansky, B. Esty, Huff, Stallone

Noon-1PM Where are Your Gods? - GS3-5

Do you choose to publicize your beliefs or do you keep them private? Do you choose to risk alienating more traditional readers by an alternative spiritual path or do you stand up as an example? Do you feel ostracized for holding more traditional or conservative beliefs? Does your spirituality inform your writing? Can you be a monotheist but build a world of many gods? Join us for a discussion of the role of personal religious beliefs in your writing. Aire, Cipra (M), Friedman, Harmon, Liebe, Pierce

1PM-2PM Traditional Art Materials vs New - GS1

Do materials make a difference in creating great speculative art? Alexander, Crist, Mather

1PM-2PM GoH speech - GS3-5

2PM-3PM Isambard Kingdom Brunel - Victorian Engineer - GS1

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, by virtue of the fact that he had an awesome-sounding name, became an awesome civil engineer during the Victorian era. He designed several bridges, tunnels, and other structures that had never been attempted, or had been attempted and failed. Many of his designs still stand today, being part of the British landscape. Not all of his designs were successful; The Great Eastern, after laying the first successful transatlantic telegraph cable, ended her otherwise accident-prone career as a floating billboard on the Thames. Blonder

2PM-3PM The Psychology of Horror - GS2

As The Doctor recently said, “fear is a superpower.” Yet for most of society, being afraid is viewed as a weakness, a response for children. So why do some people seek to be scared by boarding rollercoasters, watching scary movies, or reading horror novels? This panel will delve into the complex paradox of what makes the horror genre simultaneously so repellent and so appealing to creators and consumers alike. Cipra (M), Demchick, C.Jones, Kozeniewski, Sonnier

2PM-3PM What's New In The Prehistoric Past? - GS3-5

Dinosaurs! And other things...Tom Holtz talks about the latest discoveries, developments, and news in the field of Paleontology. Holtz

3PM-4PM Join the Mod Squad: Enhance Your Moderation Skills - GS1

Ever go to a panel and spend your time thinking, “With a moderator, this would be a much better panel?” We will review several ways to be that good moderator, offer tips and tricks, and generally work on improving panel moderation. It's a great experience if you think you might ever be a panel moderator anywhere, or if you just like to know how moderators do their thing. Cipra (M), Hammond, Sakers, Whiteley

3PM-4PM Fashions in the Future - GS2

Would there be humans in space without zippers and Velcro? Captain Picard wore a spandex corset under his Enterprise uniform because Gene Roddenberry decreed there should be no unseemly bulges in space. How do SF clothes reflect contemporary fashions and social prejudices? Let's explore how gender/race/status/exoticism are shown through the clothes and uniforms of SF past and present, from 19th century images of ""deep-sea diver"" spacewear to NASA-inspired outfits Is there still a routine overt sexualisation of female spacewear? How might emerging textile technologies affect future human space travel and off-Earth colonisation? Beattie, Friedman (M), Kurtz, Liebe

3PM-4PM Why Do Adults Love Young Adult Fiction - GS3-5

Everyone holds close YA stories they read when they were young. But some of those stories garner fans who first find them well over the age range they're marketed for. Is this a result of selective nostalgia for the “good old days” of their own teen years? Or is there something timeless about YA fiction that appeals to a wider age range? Ackley-McPhail, Corrigan, Edghill, Fan, Pierce

4PM-5PM Reading: Katherine Kurtz - GS2

Katherine will read from her latest book, The King's Deryni.

4PM-6PM Medieval Dancing - GS3-5

Come and learn some wonderful dances from the Renaissance and Medieval periods. Partners and fancy garb not required! All dances will be taught. In addition, there will be an open band lead by Maugorn - the more musicians the merrier. Dances covered will depend on audience interest but will include some English Country (Gathering Peasecods, New Bo Peep, Rufty Tufty, along with others) and possibly other types of dances such as dances from the Inns of the Court (Black Alman), Bransles, and 15th century Italian dances. Again, don’t worry if this list is meaningless; all dances will be taught. Patches

5PM-6PM The Powerless Heroine - GS2

YA fantasy is filled with kick-ass competent heroines. But what about the girl who can’t wield a weapon or use magic? Can she be a heroine? What kind of power can she have? In other words, does a writer always need to bestow powers that are unlikely in the real world on a girl, in order to have her be powerful and important in a fantasy landscape? Or are there other metaphors for power? Crist, Fox, Hird, C. Jones, Pierce

7:30PM-10PM Tom Smith - GS2-5

Fandom's Fastest Filker will entertain you with song and story. Turkey awards will be awarded at intermission. Bonus: if we collect enough money for our charity, Tom will write a song based on audience suggestion! See the "Chairity" auction in the art show for details on how to donate, and also to place a bid for comfy front row seating!

10PM-11PM Sex and the Believable Alien - GS1

When reading or writing SF erotica or romance, how alien can the aliens get before the story stops working for the reader? Do they have to be humanoid to make the story work? Why or why not? Carter, Harmon, Liebe, Sakers (M)


10AM-Noon Boffer Swords! - GS2-5

Have fun, hang out, hit people with padded sticks. Whether you are a master of the padded sword or have never even considered the possibilities of percussion therapy, stop by to just watch, or to engage us in boffer combat. Time will include open practice, melee free -for- all, one-on-one and team battles.

11AM-Noon Military SF - GS1

While we dream of peace, it seems war is an ongoing state for too much of humanity. What is believable about the future worlds propounded by authors such as Elizabeth Moon, David Weber, Eric Flint, and William H. Keith? What do you like in their stories? What do you dislike? Aire, Cipra (M), Kozeniewski, Liebe

Noon-? Tammy Talks to Her Fans GS2-5

Tamora Pierce answers questions and chats with the audience. Open to the public. Pierce. Open Participation

1PM-2PM S/he and Other Inadequate Solutions: Solving Gender Neutrality - GS1

We still don't have a gender-neutral pronoun in English. How do we work around that in writing and conversation? More broadly, how do we effect change in our language? Can we? Which comes first, change to language or change to culture, or do they travel together? Let's talk about the theory and seek practical solutions. Arthur, Cipra (M), Friedman, HR Jones, Whiteley

2PM-3PM Designing a Magic System - GS1

Fantasy authors often create new worlds (or slightly bend this one) to include magic. What counts as magic? What are the things that can go wrong when including magic in your work? How much do you have to explain how the magic works? How do you keep it consistent and satisfying? Crist, Fan, Friedman, Hammond (M), Pierce

Chesapeake 6


8AM-6PM: Theatrical Makeup Design Hands-On Workshop

This is an all-day professional-level special effects makup class. Come learn from someone in the movie makeup business, and wear the results of your work to the Time Travelers' Social! Spectators welcome to listen and watch for free; materials fee and pre-registration required for the hands-on class. Raven Stormbringer


11AM-Noon Workshop: Gearheads Unite!

Unite to discover the intricate and marvelous mechanics of gears and how they interact. Create and use a range of gears and mechanical motions. This is a group activity for kids of all ages. No previous mechanical experience is needed. Bowen

Noon-1PM Workshop: Learn the Basics of Needle Felting - Make a Small Critter

This is an introductory workshop aimed at familiarizing beginners with the tools and techniques used to create just about anything out of wool fiber. Participants will receive 2 felting needles, fiber sufficient to make one or two smallish items, a piece of foam to use as a protective pad, and a written handout with illustrations. Animals, food, winter holiday ornaments, and many other objects are possible as a beginner. The class touches just the tip of the iceberg. Here is the disclaimer: the felting needles are very, very sharp and the teacher sets an arbitrary age restriction of 12 years unless a parent is present to supervise their child moment-to-moment. Band-aids will be provided free of charge, but class cost is $12.00. Class size limit is 6. Fielder

2PM-3PM The Emperor's New Clothes

Often a minor element in a plot line becomes the mover of the entire story as we write. This panel talks about how costumes, fabric, and thread can suddenly take over the story. Brenna has written a retelling of the Emperor's New Clothes. Beattie, Butler

3PM-4PM Workshop: The Ups and Downs of String Motion

Create your own Steampunk box containing the wonderful mechnical motions of string. Move items with amazing movements. Multiply your own strength and effort several times above the everyday ordinary. Build and do it all in this interesting, hands-on workshop. Bowen

4PM-5PM Workshop: Knot Jewelry

Come learn how to make a bracelet by knotting string. Kids encouraged, all are welcome. Damewood

5PM-6PM World Creation: Tips, Techniques, and Pitfalls

The process of world creating can seem like work - hard work at that. It's a task that can be annoying and difficult, but it does not need to be. Learn how to make it interesting and fun instead! Join our hosts as they discuss methods for making world creation fun and pain-free. Edghill, Rogow, White

*7PM-8PM The Subtle Magic of Flat Cloth

Kirsten Houseknecht shows you how to make clothes, head wraps, and stuff from a scarf.



4PM-5PM Reading: Broad Universe

Ackley-McPhail, Hammond, Harmon, Pinsker, Rogow, others

5PM-6PM Writer Beware

A Writer Beware slideshow and discussion, designed primarily for unpublished or lightly published authors to help them identify good and not-so-good agents, editors, publishers, and so on. Also, the panel talks about self-publishing (pros and cons) and how to realistically decide on the best path for the individual. White

6PM-7PM Reading: D.H. Aire


2PM-3PM Reading: Michelle D. Sonnier

8PM-9PM Reading: Danielle Ackley-McPhail

9PM-10PM Reading: Esther Wheelmaker

Excerpt from Gravely Inanimated


10AM-11AM Fish, Amphibians, Birds and Mammals

A discussion of how to populate your fictional world with realistic fauna Fox, Holtz, Sakers

11AM-Noon Reading: Richard C. White


Noon-1PM Maps and Your Story - GS2

Would a map help your story? Can maps help write a story? How can you make a map when you do not know how or have the time and ability to draw one? Come join your hosts as they discuss these topics and explore solutions. McPhail, Rogow, White

2PM-3PM Reading: Heather Rose Jones

3PM-4PM Reading: Cathy Hird


SimTerra is a fast paced boffer LARP set in an unforgiving post-apocalyptic Earth that has been reshaped by magic and monsters. Five centuries after a cataclysm destroyed civilization, humanity and its descendants still struggle against the dangers lurking just past their meager barriers. You are a Cryogen, someone from our time, that has just awakened to a very different world than the one they remember. SimTerra Folks

Midnight-? Caroling with Filthy Pierre

After the Hallelujah Chorus, the Christmas season begins! Come celebrate with us by singing your favorite carols. Lyrics provided. Strauss


10AM-11AM Reaching Readers

"Whether a writer is self-publishing ebooks, serializing fiction online, or promoting traditionally published books, modern technology is rife with opportunities (and pitfalls) for connecting with readers. The old advice about writers remaining aloof is outdated--especially in marginalized communities. Aloofness is a privilege that writers can't afford, but should writers participate in ""readers only"" spaces like Goodreads? What are the do's and don'ts of serializing as part of a web presence? What do readers want from authors online and how can authors benefit from that relationship?" Corrigan, Demchick, Fan, Kozeniewski

11AM-Noon Reading: Vonnie Winslow Crist and Kelly A. Harmon

Vonnie Winslow Crist will read stories from Owl Light; Kelly Harmon will read an excerpt from Charmed City Darkness.

Noon-1PM What Do Authors and Editors Want to Know About the Fans?

Panelists pose questions and the audience answers. Aire, McLaughlin, MacLeod, Sakers, Whiteley (M)

1PM-2PM The Women of Dr. Who

Everyone knows The Doctor, but his companions have ranged from dim-bulbs to those smarter than him (and covering for him). Which are your favorites? Will we ever see a female Time Lord? C. Jones, Liebe, Sakers (M)

2PM-3PM Feedback Session

Come tell us what you liked, what went wrong, what we could do better. Help us make next year even more awesome! Aines, J. Hogan, S. Hogan, Kronengold, Swiger. Open Participation



5PM-6PM KaffeeKlatch: Katherine Kurtz

Signup REQUIRED. Room capacity is 10. Get your ticket at the conops table in the atrium. Kurtz

** ***6PM-7PM Workshop: Write a Novel in a Year in Just 15 Minutes a Day

Dreamed of writing a novel, but don't have the time? It can be done in just a few minutes a day, and you can still take time off for vacation! Discuss the things that prevent writers from producing words, and learn tips and tricks to be more productive while you're staring at the screen. Harmon

** ***7PM-8PM Workshop: Make a Unique Pouch to Hold Your Precious (Small) Possessions in Just a Few Hours

Pre-warped loom (yarn, cardboard and pins) provided, Super-cool weaving needle provided, handout provided, class limit 8, materials cost $4.00 per person. Depending on the size of your "loom" and the time you can devote to this, it may take more than three hours to weave your pouch. Weavers will start weaving in the pattern of their choice, and observe the finishing of a sample pouch so they'll know what to do when they're done.



11AM-Noon Steampunk Knit

Knit together and general discussion. Steampunk? SteamFae? Steam Fantasy? Sure, why not? Find patterns, use your stash- show off what you are working on.

Noon-1PM KaffeeKlatch: Rosemary Edghill

Signup REQUIRED. Room capacity is 10. Get your ticket at the conops table in the atrium. Edghill

3PM-4PM Diana Wynne Jones: Humorous Yet Subversive Fantasy with a Dark Undertone.

Her young wizards went to magic school and explored multiverses beginning in 1977, but of her 39-plus books, she is probably best known for ""Howl's Moving Castle"" because of the anime version. Her multiple universes are complex, often surreal, and inhabited by powerful beings who manipulate time, space, and people's lives for their own agendas." Lindsay, E. Sobansky, K. Sobansky

4PM-5PM Divining as a Plotting Device

Using Tarot or other divination forms to write a short story or outline a novel. This is an experimental class to get people started using imagery and divining tools to move along the story. Butler

*6PM-7PM Jumpstarting the Muse - Tips, Tricks, and Techniques to Keep Your Writing Muse Awake and Productive

This workshop looks at the science behind creativity and how to leverage it to keep your writing flowing. Come prepared to particpate in active exercises. Sonnier



Noon-1PM Signing: Crist


The Sim-Terra folks will demonstrate a boffer sword battle and other aspects of their 4pm mini-larp. Come watch and sign up to play!

3PM-4PM Signing: Harrison Demchick

4PM-5PM Signing: Cathy Hird

5PM-6PM Signing: Devon McLaughlin

5PM-6PM Signing: Celia Friedman

11PM-Midnight Show Tune Singalong

Filthy Pierre leads the masses in singing Show Tunes between the Tom Smith concert and the Hallelujah Chorus.

Midnight Hallelujah Chorus

We welcome a new director for this old tradition. Three cheers for Charles Butler! The chorus will be signed and sung. If you have music, please bring it, we will bring extras.


***3PM-4PM Signing: Mather

Dulaney Valley 1


9PM-? Bardic Circle

Join us for an open sharing circle of music, poetry, story and song. At other conventions, this might be called a "filk sing", but here at Chessiecon, we like to be a little different. Depending on the mood of the circle, it might be a "strict bardic" -- or it might be substantially more chaotic. Open Participation


10PM-? (with break for Hallelujah) Bardic Circle

Starts non-promptly after Tom Smith. Open Participation


1PM-2PM Art auction

*3PM-4PM Bardic Circle

Open Participation

Dulaney Valley 2


2PM-4PM Concardia Teaching Game

You've collected some cards in the scavenger hunt, now learn how to play the game. Don't have your deck yet? It's not too late! The inventor of Concardia will give a rules explanation and strategy tips, and sign up any newcomers. Whitehouse.


***10AM-2PM Concardia Tournament

Bring your deck and all the spiffy new cards you found and/or earned throughout the con. Have fun! Win prizes! Whitehouse.



6PM-? Dead Dogfish Party

Don't leave yet! There's still fun to be had. Come to the consuite for conversation, games, and general hanging out.

6PM-? Mario AfterParty

Join us in the consuite to wrap up the convention with a friendly game of Mario Party! Move around the board, play minigames and collect coins and stars in a competition to be the Superstar.

**Location Changed
***Participants Changed

Other Schedules: