mocon9I’m never sure how to re-cap Mo*Con.  It’s hard enough to believe there have been nine of them (especially when for the first 4-5 I kept swearing that year would be my last one).  Part of why it’s hard to re-cap is the same reason the “con” itself confuses some folks:  it’s more about being with awesome folks and having the space and time to really get to know them.  It’s about food and conversations.  So here’s the re-cap:  we ate, we talked, it was awesome!

Here are some highlights:


Yes, I know that Mo*Con doesn’t officially start until Friday, but as Kelli Owen and her penchant for midnight steaks can attest to, we start cooking the moment people arrive.  In this case, John Joseph Adams, Christie Yant, Monica Valentinelli, and John Hornor Jacobs came into town a day early to test this theory.  I had planned a simple spaghetti and meat sauce dinner, but I was thrown out of my own kitchen by Monica so that she could whip up an Italian feast.


We were due to partner with Second Story to have some of our guests from Mo*Con go into schools to talk about creative writing.  When we originally scheduled this, the schools were cool, but then the I-Step schedule threw everyone into testing panic.  We still had one school who wanted to host a writer.  So Wes Chu was chosen to step to the mic.  I may or may not have told Wes that he’d be speaking to a 5th grade class.  Which, I maintain, was technically true.  It as a fifth grade class … the entire fifth grade class.  And sixth.  And seventh.  And eighth.  Regardless, Wes was a pro and KILLED it.

Speaking of Second Story, they wanted to host our Friday night event.  The Friday evening of Mo*Con, we have a meal together (the “Alethea Kontis welcoming dinner”) and then some sort of entertainment event. In previous years we’ve had a Celtic rock band, poetry readings, a puppet show, and slam poets.  This year, it was Write Club.  We had four of our guests (John Hornor Jacobs, Geoffrey Girard, Lucy Snyder, and Scott Lynch) write a story on the spot which had to incorporate five items:  a broken morocco, a hammer, a plastic car, a ceramic banana, and a Hannah Montana bucket.  We then voted a story off then did another round with new items.  All the while, we bought drinks to raise money for Second Story.  Yeah, we used our powers to write and drink for a good cause.  And were treated to a battle royale which came down to Scott and Lucy with Mr. Lynch barely edging out a win.


Mo*Con functions on the “ish” schedule.  The Friday night festivities ended up with an after party at my house which ran until about 4 am. There was a direct correlation between how late people stayed at my house on Friday and when they arrived on Saturday morning.  Thus the ish.  Plenty of ish.  We did a spotlight conversation with Melissa Gay, our artist guest of honor, followed by a buffet of Indian food.  The big conversation was our “Outsiders:  Being, living, and writing the other” panel (with me, Chesya Burke, Scott Lynch, Geoffrey Girard, Elizabeth Bear, and Lucy Snyder discussing our pasts and how we approach writing).*  Followed by break out a session which included Jason Sizemore’s book launch.  Then a panel on the business of writing with Dave Mattingly, John Joseph Adams, Elizabeth Bear, Sara Hans, and THREE TIME HUGO NOMINEE, henceforth referred to as “Lord Hugo” Jason Sizemore.  All of which was followed by a buffet of Cajun food.


After an after party which I’m pretty sure ended only so that people could check out of the hotel, we simply hosted people at Casa de Broaddus until people left.  By host, I mean had a brunch plus Jamaican cuisine followed up by introducing folks to Jordan’s chicken wings (which are now the OFFICIAL snack food of Mo*Con).  There may or may not have been a Magic: the Gathering tournament in there somewhere, too.

Soooooooooo, to sum up:  plenty of great conversations with great people, all done against a backdrop of constantly eating and drinking.  Yeah, that’s Mo*Con.  Next year will be our TENTH one.  I can’t let that anniversary go without a lot of surprises…



*I’m going to do a separate follow-up blog on that topic because I have a lot of thoughts about that.


Jason Sizemore gives his own recap