Ann Cecil

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Name: Ann Cecil
Alias(es): Anne Cecil, R. Ann Cecil
Type: fan poet, fan writer, filker and convention organizer.
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Ann Cecil was a fan poet, fan writer, filker and convention organizer. Among the conventions she organized were Confluence and AlterCon. According to Fancyclopedia : "She was the Listener Guest at OVFF 12 and Fan Guest of Honor at Off-Key Contraption in 1994."[1]


"R. Ann Cecil, an information technology staffer at the Katz Graduate School of Business, died Jan. 11, 2011. She was 70. She was well known in science fiction fan circles and was instrumental in the founding of PARSEC, the Pittsburgh SF club. Together with PARSEC, the Pitt club organized a SF convention that in 1988 spawned Confluence, Pittsburgh’s annual SF con.

Cecil’s personal collection of science fiction books was among the largest in the area, her daughter said. She had a habit of reviewing each book inside the front cover, rating them with stars. Word of her practice got out to authors, some of whom would try to catch a glimpse of her critique when she sought their autographs.

At Cecil’s request, there was no viewing or funeral service. Friends and family gathered Jan. 15 for a celebration of her life. A memorial is planned at Confluence in July."[2]
"It's surprising how unknown she is given the scope of her accomplishments.

It's not an exaggeration to say that Ann can even be credited for the fact that Julia Ecklar has any studio recordings in print.

As a starting point, the story of how Ann Cecil worked to make Julia's first "serious" studio project possible can be found at:

in the "Julia Ecklar on Divine Intervention" portion."[3]
"....Ann Cecil mentioned that the father of a friend of Ann’s friend’s daughter owned a recording studio. “You don’t go out to California to record anymore,” she said, “but maybe you can record something here....But Ann Cecil came to the rescue again, suggesting that I solicit “investors” to put up the money to rent the studio time and hire the people necessary to record the album.[4]
"She was a unique person – not “very” unique or “most” unique, just unmodifiably unique. She also was versatile to the nth degree."[5]
"Ann not only took me to my first con, she also took me to my first play and was the first independent woman with her own career I ever met.

She taught my mom a lot about being in fandom and filk, and by proxy me.

That community that she showed me when I was a little girl was part of the push that got me to push to make Conflikt [a filking convention] happen.

I am saddened more than I thought I could be given the long time since I saw her."[6]
"We happily listened to her in filk rooms past, sometimes sang with her, and enjoyed her gentle irony."[7]
"Ann Cecil, an amazing woman and staff at all but the most recent Alpha [a science fiction writers workshop], died this morning. She will be very much missed. Ann was active in fandom and helped found PARSEC and Confluence. More than that, she committed part of each year to helping pass on her knowledge of science fiction and fantasy to the next generation of writers. Ann was known at Alpha for her cookies, as she spent a great deal of Alpha each year baking and watching twenty students and most of the staff thunder upstairs to get them. Her insights on story, though, made her invaluable. She not only read every single story at the workshop, her critiques were thorough and always helpful. The workshop will not be the same without her."[8]
"Ann was one of our regular staffers at the Alpha young writers workshop, where she took great delight in baking platefuls of cookies for the students. She was also extremely diligent about reading student’s work and providing comprehensive notes, and was always saying stuff like, “It wasn’t until I read it the fourth time that I noticed that…” She was well-practiced at evaluating writing, as she owned a massive science fiction library and would write notes in each book analyzing its strengths and weaknesses. A lot of author friends knew this, and when they visited her home they would have to decide whether they dared take a peek at their own books and learn what she thought of them. There was about a two-year run at Alpha where Ann and I were in all the same critique groups, and I would give my critique and then she’d correct me and point out all these things I missed. It got to be kind of a running joke. Finally with one story I went first and gave my critique, having completely missed the fact that the piece was a retelling of a Bible story, and when the next person started talking I just groaned, and Ann laughed. She was always laughing, always smiling. She took great delight in reading and writing, in helping other people, and in fandom, which she was heavily involved with for many years. We’ll really miss her."[9]
"Whenever I thought of fandom, I thought of Ann. Bless her for her big smile and even bigger heart."[10]
"Ann, Will miss seeing you at Eastern Stars, MARCON, and many other places."[11]


  1. ^ Source: Fancyclopedia entry (accessed May 7, 32014.
  2. ^ In memoriam Mediawest blog post dated Feb 23, 2011. See also The University of Pittsburgh Obituary R. Ann Cecil.
  3. ^ comment in mrgoodwraith memorial post dated Jan 11, 2011.
  4. ^ Divine Intervention Liner Notes (accessed May 7, 2014).
  5. ^ comment in the SF Site news Obituary dated Jan 11, 2011.
  6. ^ comment in In Memoriam: Ann Cecil, 1940-2011 dated Jan 11, 2011.
  7. ^ comment in [ Ann Cecil Passes Away] dated Jan 11, 2011.
  8. ^ Ann Cecil memorial post at Alpha dated Jan 11, 2011.
  9. ^ Ann Cecil blog post by David Barr Kirtley (accessed May 7, 2014.
  10. ^ comment left in the Guestbook.
  11. ^ comment left in the Guestbook.