Mo*Con 8: The Mind and Spirit of the Artist
Mo*Con has always been about the “intersection of art, faith, and social justice” and this year is no different. There’s no easy way to describe the Mo*Con experience, except as perhaps as a convention room party extended for a whole weekend, except held in a church. Its aim has always been to be fairly small and intimate, yet retaining the feel of a family reunion.
Part of what makes Mo*Con a different sort of convention is that it revolves around a series of conversations (and food and art). Mo*Con has a two part vision. The first, inspired by many a late night at conventions, is to provide a forum for publishing professionals to get together and discuss some of the larger issues which affect their writing and their social conscience. Discussions can be had in a spirit of respect. The second is that too often the artist is underappreciated and here they are spoiled.
This year’s theme is “The Mind and Spirit of the Artist,” revolving around a discussion on Saturday the 4th about the struggles many writers have with mental health issues and what that means for their craft, their lives, and their community. The featured writer guests of honor have all written publicly about their struggles with issues from depression to anxiety to other issues. As the countdown for Mo*Con begins, several will be posting part of their stories.
This is the first year the event will be held at Broad Ripple United Methodist Church. The convention has expanded to include a First Friday event featuring the art of Steve Gilberts and Kristin Fuller. There will also be a spoken word performance from prominent poets: DDE the Slammer, Devon Ginn, Pope Adrian, Bless, Theon Lee Jones, Dizz, Reheema McNeil, ParaLectra, and Mr. Kinetik, hosted by Ill Holiday. These events will be open to the public. The spoken word event will be a fundraiser event for the local non-profit group, Second Story.
We’ll be debuting a few projects at this year’s Mo*Con. Seventh Star Press is the featured publisher this year.
The event is expected to draw over 100 writers, artists, editors, and publishers and many networking sessions. A half dozen workshops will be offered ranging from topics like privacy issues for writers to post-apocalyptic fiction to hands on demonstrations.
Our Guests of Honor:
Photo © Denise Leigh
Jim C. Hines began writing in the early 90s, while working on a degree in psychology from Michigan State University. His first professional sale was the award-winning “Blade of the Bunny,” which took first place in the 1998 Writers of the Future competition and was published in Writers of the Future XV. After completing the goblin trilogy, Jim went on to write the princess series, four books often described as a blend of Grimm’s Fairy Tales with Charlie’s Angels. In 2010, he signed a contract with DAW Books for the Magic ex Libris series, which follows the adventure of a magic-wielding librarian from northern Michigan and a certain fire-spider… http://www.jimchines.com/
Saladin Ahmed was born in Detroit and raised in a working-class, Arab American enclave in Dearborn, MI. He holds a BA in American Culture from the University of Michigan, an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College, and an MA in English from Rutgers. His poetry has received several fellowships, and he has taught writing at universities and colleges for over ten years. His short stories have been nominated for the Nebula and Campbell awards, and have appeared in Year’s Best Fantasy and numerous other magazines, anthologies, and podcasts, as well as being translated into five foreign languages. He is represented by Jennifer Jackson of the Donald Maass Literary Agency. THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON is his first novel. www.saladinahmed.com
Gary A. Braunbeck is a prolific author who writes mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mainstream literature. He is the author of 19 books; his fiction has been translated into Japanese, French, Italian, Russian and German. Nearly 200 of his short stories have appeared in various publications. He was born in Newark, Ohio; this city that serves as the model for the fictitious Cedar Hill in many of his stories. The Cedar Hill stories are collected in Graveyard People and Home Before Dark. His fiction has received several awards, including the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction in 2003 for “Duty” and in 2005 for “We Now Pause for Station Identification”; his collection Destinations Unknown won a Stoker in 2006. His novella “Kiss of the Mudman” received the International Horror Guild Award for Long Fiction in 2005. Gary is an adjunct professor at Seton Hill University, Pennsylvania, where he teaches in an innovative Master’s degree program in Writing Popular Fiction.
Seventh Star Press is a small press publisher located in Lexington, KY. SSP specializes in speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, and horror). The company was established in October of 2008. Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker, whose literary works include the epic urban fantasy series The Rising Dawn Saga, as well as the epic medieval fantasy Fires in Eden Series. The Exodus Gate, Book One of the Rising Dawn Saga, was Stephen’s debut novel. His novel, Crown of Vengeance, received a 2010 Pluto Award for Best Novel in Small Press. Further information on Stephen Zimmer can be found at: Website:www.stephenzimmer.com
With more guests and surprises to be announced! Keep an eye on the web site!