CONfabulation

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Convention
Name: CONfabulation
Dates: 2017-onwards
Frequency: annual
Location: various
Type: Fan-run Media Con/Fan Con
Focus: 2017-onwards (Multi-fandom).
Organization:
Founder: Cee_M
Founding Date: 2017
URL: website

CONfabulation Official Livejournal
CONfabulation Official Twitter
CONfabulation Official Tumblr
CONfabulation Official Instagram

CONfabulation Official Facebook
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Called CONfabcon or Confab for short. Twitter hashtag is #confabcon. Not to be confused with non-fandom entity Confab Events (twitter hashtag #confab).

Wincon officially ended in 2015, rebranded into CONfabulation going forward. CONfabulation will continue Wincon's goal of providing an annual multi-fandom gathering for fans and provide a safer space for women, queer people, and under-represented fans of popular media and culture in all its infinite varieties to come and meet, hang out, discuss their fandoms, the fic written about them, the fanart made for them, and have a good time.

Venues

1st Annual CONfabulation - May 25-28, 2017 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
2nd Annual CONfabulation - October 2018 - TBA

Focus and Mission

CONfabulation is a by-the-fans, for-the-fans operation. Our goal is to provide an annual multi-fandom gathering for fans and provide a safer space for women, queer people, people of color, and under-represented fans of popular media and culture in all its infinite varieties (just like us) to come and meet, hang out, discuss their fandoms, the fic written about them, the fanart made for them, and have a good time. It’s the internet come to life. It’s a place where you can be yourself and feel comfortable in all your geeky glory. No official personnel from any show or fandom is affiliated with this convention, nor will there be any appearances by any show actors, celebrities, writers, or other personnel. It’s all about us, the fans, and the way we express ourselves and our love for fandom.

Reoccurring CONfabulation Events

2017 CONfabulation Logo
  • Thursday Meet & Greet - Located in the Fandom Lounge room, free to CONfabulation attendees. Great chance for new attendees to get the lay of the land and meet new people, and for repeat attendees to reunite with old friends!
  • Plushie Workshop - Hosted by Bryn (brynspikess) and She!Sam (youngloveleroy). For the entire convention a table is laid out with a range of plushie-making supplies: felt, fabric, stuffing, needles, thread, buttons, pins, etc. The table also includes printed instructions for designing plushie clothing (pdfs of the instructions are available online). Ziplock bags are available for attendees to store their selected supplies in (and to write their name, phone, and room numbers on in case the bag goes missing). Attendees are encouraged to come and go during the weekend - Bryn and She!Sam are near the table during certain schedule slots to assist and provide sewing advice, but can also be flagged down or reached via Twitter anytime during the weekend. All supplies are free to attendees, however donations are welcome as all supplies are provided out-of-pocket by Bryn.
  • Fandom Trivia - Started in 2017, this trivia contest hosted by GirlPhenom was a hit and immediately became a staple of CONfabulation! Participants form groups, which then compete to have the most correct answers per round. Questions come in a variety of forms (Name-that-actor, complete-the-lyric, etc.) and cover a multitude of fandoms. Groups are also judged on their chosen group name, with puns earning extra points.
  • Badfic Idol - Attendees are given a chance to write and submit short fanfics that are purposefully written badly. These stories are read aloud in front of a panel of judges who take turns critiquing it.
  • Dance Party - The Dance Party typically consists of several round tables (for sitting and conversing) circling a central dance floor, the awesome Cathybites serving as DJ, and is decorated to fit the chosen theme of that year. Light snacks are included and a cash bar is usually available. There is no set dress code - attendees often will wear anything from semi-formal dresses to elaborate costumes, however attendees are also welcome to come dressed in normal street clothes or pajamas. The last song is "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey, to which the attendees will sing along. The Dance Party often ends in group hugs and crying.
  • Straggler's Dinner - Sunday night. Location to-be-determined, but anyone who is still around is welcome to join. Pay-your-own-meal, and enjoy spending a little more time with other attendees who can't bear to say goodbye just quite yet.

CONfabulation Customs

  • Badges - CONfabulation badges are issued upon check-in with the attendee's swag bag. Badges hang on a lanyard around the neck, and list both the attendee's online handle and the name the attendee prefers to be called. This makes it easier for attendees to exchange their online handles to keep in touch (since they can just hold up their badge when asked how to spell their username). Attendees are encouraged to decorate their badges, but it is not required. There is also a "My Pronouns:" section with a blank for attendees to write in the pronouns they identify with. Badges are required to be worn in all convention spaces.
  • Alumni Pins - Each year a pin is handed out to the attendees of that year's con, designed uniquely for that year. It is each attendee's responsibility to hold onto their buttons from previous years - only the current year's button will be available at each convention. It is encouraged but not mandatory for repeat attendees to wear all of their buttons on their lanyard.
  • Stickers - Every year in the Fandom Lounge, there is a table full of stickers that is available for attendees to sift through. It is traditional for attendees to decorate their badges as well as the cups from their swag bags with whatever stickers they like to make them unique and easily identifiable, including using alphabet stickers to spell their names on the cups.
  • Charity Raffle - Each year the convention holds a raffle to give back to the community. A local charity is chosen and announced prior to the convention, and 100% of the proceeds from the raffle go to the charity after the convention closes. CONfabulation focuses on charities that support women, and is open to suggestions. Past charities they have donated to include: Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania. The raffle items are all donated, and range anywhere from handmade items to official merchandise, and often include items like scarves, gloves, charm bracelets, swag from other conventions, DVDs, fandom t-shirts, tea mixes, posters, books, art drawn by CONfabulation attendees, as well as other fandom-centric, female-positive, and/or LGBT-positive creations. Every convention attendee gets one ticket in their swag bag, with additional tickets available to purchase for $1 each. The items are displayed throughout the convention, and the raffle winners are drawn and announced on Saturday afternoon.
  • Overheard At CONfabcon - Traditionally, overheard snippits of weird and wacky conversations will end up on Twitter. There is no official hashtag, but most tweets contain "#confabcon" or "@confabcon". (Not to be confused with non-fandom entity Confab Events whose twitter hashtag is #confab)

First Annual CONfabulation 2017

CONfabulation Alumni pin
cover of the 2017 CONfabulation program book
CONfabulation 2017 attendee name badges. Decorated with stickers from the Fandom Lounge.
Swag bag given to attendees of the 2017 convention.
CONfabulation 2017 swag pen, included in swag bag
CONfabulation 2017 swag cup, included in swag bag, decorated with alphabet stickers

The First Annual CONfabulation was held May 25-28, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was located at Pittsburgh Marriott City Center, 112 Washington Place, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15219.

CONfabulation 2017 Con Committee

Bryn (Brynspikess): Chair of Public Relations
Clex (clex_monkie89): Chair of Attendee Affairs
Emily (scarylullabies): HR Coordinator
Jess (ofjustimagine): Social Media Coordinator
Laura (chaneen): Chair of Programming
Lina (GirlPhenom): Chair of Logistics
Lisa (lisaradgirl): Special Events Coordinator
Mary (ro_mm_ck/cee_m): Team Leader
Mel (jane_anon): Panel/Workshop Coordinator
She!Sam (youngloveleroy): Raffle Coordinator

Special Thanks:
Cathy (stupidlullabies): CONfab Hero

2017 Panels/Programming

Programming items typically run 50 minutes with 10 minute breaks in between in order to allow time for participants to chat or visit the restroom, with enough time for them to make it to the next item or panel that they’d like to see. There is also an hour-long break for lunch.

Programming items are divided into three tracks (Panels, Small Panels & Workshops, and Roundtables) with a room dedicated to each track. There was also a Quiet & Crafty room for additional workshops.

Thursday, May 25th

  • 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm - Meet & Greet.
  • 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm - Fandom Speed Dating - Come share a 1-minute ad for your favorite fandom or get crowdsourced recs. Big, small, books, movies, comics, celebrities, video games...anything! Panelists: goseaward

Friday, May 26th
Friday Track 1: Panels:

  • 10:30 am - 10:50 am - Opening Ceremonies
  • 11:00 am - 11:50 am - Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 20 Years Later - On March 10, 1997, a new teen drama aired on the WB. Let's discuss favorite bits and least favorite bits, and how Buffy has affected our lives. Panelists: Wick Lobo, brynspikess
  • 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm - Historically (In)accurate: Fans, fics, and history - Let's talk about researching and rewriting history! Our panelists will present on WWII and medieval history, then open for discussion of any period. Panelists: Megan Genovese, schisty
  • 02:00 pm - 02:50 pm - Ohana Means Family - Not all families are bound by blood. Let's discuss our favorite found families, tropes, origin stories, and what makes found families so compelling! Panelists: GirlPhenom, pryxis
  • 03:00 pm - 03:50 pm - A Galaxy Far, Far Away - Star Wars canon is coming thick and fast at the moment, and there's a lot to talk about! Long-time fans and brand new ones are welcome. Panelists: becka, balefully
  • 04:00 pm - 04:55 pm - First Annual CONfabulation Vid Show - An hour of new vids (some never before seen!) in a variety of fandoms.

Friday Track 2: Small Panels & Workshops:

  • 11:00 am - 11:50 am - Dress Like A Woman (With The Blood Of Your Enemies Gracing Your Lips): Part I - Makeup Q&A, techniques, trends, tutorials, and lots of reinforcing that there's no wrong way to do makeup, so long as you like the end results. Panelists: clex_monkie89
  • 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm - Baby's First Vid - Have you wanted to make a fan vid but were lost as to where to start? We're going to have a basic workshop on placing clips/songs, some editing tips, and Q&A. Panelists: RO_mm_CK
  • 02:00 pm - 02:50 pm - Forgive Me Word Count, For I Have Sinned - If you're a writer, you've met the Writer's Block. We'll discuss what it is, what causes it, and ways to cope with it and the ensuing depression. Panelists: tsukinofaerii, clex_monkie89, dimeliora
  • 03:00 pm - 03:50 pm - The Post Audiofic Archive Life - Where does podfic fandom stand after the lost backups of the Audiofic Archive? What should we be focusing on and doing? What are you working on/excited about?! Panelists: ofjustimagine

Friday Track 3: Roundtables:

  • 11:00 am - 11:50 am - NINE-NINE!!! - A Discussion (and Celebration) of the Best Comedy on TV - Come join us for an in-depth discussion of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Panelists: stupidlullabies
  • 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm - Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries - Badass ladies in 1920s Melbourne solving murders and looking impeccable whilst doing so. Let's talk about how great this show is and how much we need a S4. Panelists: chaneen, oftenadamanta
  • 02:00 pm - 02:50 pm - Slapshots and Stick Saves and Things Like Chemistry - The long summer hiatus is about to begin. How's the expansion draft looking for your team? Who's already on a great Instagram vacation? Just who is the #BestKessel? (We all know it's Amanda.) Panelists: ofjustimagine, celli
  • 03:00 pm - 03:50 pm - You Can Certianly Try - All things Critical Role! Bring your questions, your theories, and your love of Vox Machina. We'll also talk D&D, so bring your character sheets and roll for initiative! Panelists: ratherastory

Friday Track 4: Quiet & Crafty:

  • 11:00 am - 11:50 am - Open for crafts and quiet time
  • 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm - Plushie Workshop - the Plushie!Phoenix rises again! Part 1 - Learn how to make your own plushie! Bryn & She!Sam will be available to answer questions and offer advice to beginner sewers. Supplies are free! Panelists: brynspikess, youngloveleroy
  • 02:00 pm - 03:50 pm - Open for crafts and quiet time

Friday Evening Events:

  • 8:00 pm - 1:00 am - Masquerade. Join us for an evening of mystery and enchantment. Enjoy drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and dancing! From casual to formal, from festive to cosplay, all attire is welcome.

Saturday, May 27th
Saturday Track 1: Panels:

  • 10:00 am - 10:50 am - Female Characters: From Action Girl to Wrench Wench - Good and bad, heroes and villains, past, present and future - let's talk about the ladies! Panelists: Megan Genovese
  • 11:00 am - 11:50 am - Book Recs for the People - We'll exchange works by and about women, POC, queer folks, disabled folks, and more. Come share your fave titles, and leave with a diverse rec list! Panelists: GirlPhenom
  • 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm - The Marvel Cinematic Universe: The Good, The Bad, and Your Problematic Faves - Let's talk about the first almost-decade of the MCU in both movies and TV, from genuine faves to problematic faves to things we wish they'd never done. Panelists: chaneen, ratherastory, schisty, stupidlullabies
  • 02:00 pm - 02:50 pm - OT3: A Love Story - Join us to discuss our favorite OT3s, why they’re better than ship wars and love triangles, and how they can improve diversity in our fandoms! Panelists: oftenadamanta, acidquill, chaneen
  • 03:00 pm - 03:50 pm - Fandom as Genre OR Our Tropes, Ourselves - Fandom is a community, but is it also a genre? We'll talk about fandom tropes, fanfic genre expectations, and just what makes fanworks so special. Panelists: ifshehadwings

Saturday Track 2: Small Panels & Workshops:

  • 10:00 am - 10:50 am - Disability in Media - Disabled characters (and the lack thereof) in media, fic, and fandom. Panelists: clex_monkie89, Hannah Orlove
  • 11:00 am - 11:50 am - Invisible Unicorns: The Trifecta of Magical Orientations - Bisexuality, Asexuality, Pansexuality. Fandom experience and media representation of those orientations everyone likes to pretend don't exist. Panelists: ifshehadwings, tsukinofaerii, clex_monkie89
  • 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm - Classic Ships - Know your history: how have classic ships shaped fandom? What can they tell us about ourselves? How has fandom changed and stayed the same? Panelists: Megan Genovese
  • 02:00 pm - 02:50 pm - A/B/OMG - We'll discuss history, what you like about A/B/O, favorite fics, wish lists, and lots of other stuff relating to this unique fandom genre! Panelists: goseaward, ofjustimagine, RO_mm_CK
  • 03:00 pm - 03:50 pm - Screening and Production of Banner's Predicament - After screening Banner's Predicament, this session will chronicle our experience and teach valuable lessons for producing your own FanFilm! Panelists: David Banner

Saturday Track 3: Roundtables:

  • 10:00 am - 10:50 am - whatmakesyouhaha.mp3 - Do you like One Direction and suffering? But I repeat myself. A hiatus support group to discuss what the hell children have been up to lately. Panelists: ifshehadwings, goseaward
  • 11:00 am - 11:50 am - Totally 80's Toons - Let's talk the 80s! Cartoons - the ones driven by toys, and the ones making comebacks in other media. Panelists: schisty
  • 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm - Magic Comes From Pain - The Magicians is hitting its stride in S2. From Fillory Clinton to stuff touchers to Best Bitches, there's lots to talk about! Panelists: exsequar
  • 02:00 pm - 02:50 pm - Harry Styles: Past, Present, and Future - Come chat about the life and times of our favorite flower child: his solo album, Dunkirk, and whatever else his future might have in store! Panelists: GirlPhenom
  • 03:00 pm - 03:50 pm - Talents & Dragons - Anne McCaffrey - 20+ books on dragons, 8 books on parapsychic talent. Let's talk what we love about the series and how you would fan fic the stories better. Panelists: schisty

Saturday Track 4: Quiet & Crafty:

  • 10:00 am - 11:50 am - Open for crafts and quiet time
  • 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm - Plushie Workshop - the Plushie!Phoenix rises again! Part 2 - Learn how to make your own plushie! Bryn & She!Sam will be available to answer questions and offer advice to beginner sewers. Supplies are free! Panelists: brynspikess, youngloveleroy
  • 02:00 pm - 02:50 pm - Open for crafts and quiet time
  • 03:00 pm - 03:50 pm - Stitch 'n Bitch - Bring your projects and hang out while we talk about our favorite nerdy crafts, share expertise, and dish about our favorite CONfab programs! Panelists: oftenadamanta
  • 04:00 pm - 08:50 pm - Open for crafts and quiet time

Saturday Afternoon/Evening Events:

  • 04:00 pm - 04:30 pm - CONfab Annual Raffle - Come find out what wonderful things you have won!!! All of these fandom treasures have to find a home and it MAY BE YOU!!
  • 07:30 pm - 08:50 pm - Fandom Trivia - Show off your fannish brains! Star Wars, hockey, Buffy, Harry Potter... anything goes. Host: GirlPhenom
  • 09:00 pm - ?? - Badfic Idol - Get ready for dramatic readings of tentacles, magic fairy princes, and the beauty of everything being so wrong. Write a story either by yourself or with friends. It can be from any fandom/genre. Fics can't be longer than 400 words. All works due by 7:30pm on Saturday; just put your masterpiece in the box marked "Badfic Idol" in the Fandom Lounge, or email it to info@confabcon.com with the subject line "Badfic Idol Submissions". Winner enjoys an awesome/random prize!! Host: RO_mm_CK. Judges: gigglingkat, dimeliora.

Sunday, May 28th
Sunday Track 1: Panels:

  • 10:00 am - 10:50 am - The State of Fandom - Fandom is amorphous, adapting to fit changing platforms and times. From fanfiction.net to AO3, from LJ to Tumblr - what's the state of fandom today? Panelists: exsequar, celli
  • 11:00 am - 11:50 am - Hamilton: Who Tells Your Story? - We'll be talking about history, race, queerness, and politics in Hamilton, media coverage of the play, and its fandom. Panelists: Megan Genovese
  • 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm - Family Affairs: Reading and Writing Incest in Fandom - Looking for that Folgers feeling all year long? Let's talk fandom's varying attitudes towards incest fic and which incest ships are dearest to your heart. Panelists: becka, ifshehadwings, ofjustimagine
  • 01:00 pm - 01:50 pm - Closing Ceremonies

Sunday Track 2: Small Panels & Workshops:

  • 10:00 am - 10:50 am - Dress Like A Woman (With The Blood Of Your Enemies Gracing Your Lips): Part II - Makeup Q&A, techniques, trends, tutorials, and lots of reinforcing that there's no wrong way to do makeup, so long as you like the end results. Panelists: clex_monkie89
  • 11:00 am - 11:50 am - Magical Realism & Soulmate AUs - the Good, the Bad, and the Wince-Worthy - What is Magical Realism? What are the pros and cons to a Soulmate AU? Why are we so invested in seeing two (or more) idiots fated to fall in love? Panelists: brynspikess, clex_monkie89
  • 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm - Femslash - I know this may come as a shock, but sometimes fandom can be all about the (white) dudes. Let's take a break from that and talk about ladies loving ladies. Panelists: stupidlullabies

Sunday Track 3: Roundtables:

  • 10:00 am - 10:50 am - #justiceforbarb - Stranger Things - Let's discuss everything you loved in S1 (the characters! the Stephen King-esque vibe! all the 80s pop-culture references!) and what you're excited about for S2. Panelists: chaneen
  • 11:00 am - 11:50 am - Born to Make History - Can you feel ... my heart beat? Are you anime figure skating trash? Come discuss/cry over Yuri!!! on Ice and how it's ruined all our lives. Panelists: ifshehadwings
  • 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm - Watney Watch: Special Edition - Come and discuss The Martian! We'll trade tips and tricks for writing realistic science, boners in space, and Mark Watney's special brand of humor. Panelists: oftenadamanta

Sunday Evening Events:

  • 7:00 pm - 11:59 pm - Straggler's Dinner. Pizza and a movie in the Fandom Lounge (movie ended up being "The Martian").

First Annual Vid Show 2017

Click here to see the 2017 Vid Show playlist.

2017 Convention Reports

Overheard at CONfabulation 2017

Collected from Twitter.

  • "...welcome to #ConFabCon, this is not a place for shame."
  • #confabcon "No, Pissy, the heterosexual barrier is NOT knotting!"
  • "What are we doing? Cards Against Humanity?" "No, were having an orgy" "... but that's a completely different outfit" #ConFabCon
  • "Marvel has not been very good at doing the emotional work in their movies." "We do it for them" #confabcon
  • "YOU get a tragic backstory! And YOU get a tragic backstory!" #confabcon
  • "and then there's an emoji heart." #confabcon #badficidol
  • "That isn't locked shouldn't it be?" "What isn't locked?" "nothing" (Certainly not the door labeled restricted access) #ConFabCon
  • "Can't we just be best friends even though we sometimes punch each other?" "Sometimes that's just how you show that you care!" #CONfabcon
  • "Is she going to fuck the horse? I think she's going to fuck the horse!" Does it count as overheard at #ConFabCon if we're in the car home?
  • "If all of the men are off together, some of them are gonna be fucking." #CONfabcon
  • "but what kind of lipstick should you use if you want to make the penises kiss?" #confabcon
  • "He's a dumpster fire with a heart of gold." #CONfabcon
  • "There's desperation and large object body penetration and that's all I want." #CONfabcon
  • ""Body language"" there are two quotes because air quotes. #ConFabCon
  • "I generally gloss over porn. You know, it's just tab A, slot B. Or sometimes tab B, slot A. But...heh, butt." #ConFabCon
  • "How's the fic quality?" "Well it's not on AO3. Let's put it that way." #confabcon
  • "And then he goes into a murderous rage ... I know, feelings, right?" #confabcon
  • "He'll be back, and then he'll bone his sister, like he should!" #confabcon
  • "Wow, they've been here since it was black and white." #confabcon
  • "This is my budget Apple Watch." *talking about having a phone on her boobs. #CONfabcon
  • "You don't have to do anything in there. Bring your knitting!!" #CONfabcon
  • "Your tombstone is going to say 'No judgement' on it." #CONfabcon
  • "It only takes a minute to become vampires." #ConFabCon
  • raptor jesus i am being coopted into hockey fic #confabcon
  • "Batman doesn't use lipstick; it leaves evidence!" #OHatconfabcon #confabcon
  • Abracaducken: newest word born in Pittsburgh (6yos are the greatest) #confabcon
  • "How is Mark Watney eating better than us?" #ConFabCon #dinnerandaMartian
  • "I don't think fanpeople know how to lie about chocolate, really." #Confabcon
  • A scientist is always fine. #TheMartian
  • "How do we feel about Thor's new hair?" "It's okay. I think it's gonna get cut on screen." "NO, YOU TAKE THAT BACK." #ConFabCon
  • "I'm always a pretty princess" --Batman, absolutely canonically 😂😂#ficrec
  • "It's been seven days since I ran out of ketchup." Mark Watney is a man after my own heart #confabcon
  • "We are often interrupted by the cunnilingus." #confabcon
  • "That man was the worst. He was like moldy tofu in human form." Overheard @ConFabCon
  • "I may or may not be writing a fic that is several years in the making-" "Oh yeah, you should finish that." Overheard @ConFabCon
  • "Now you're just blowjob guy forever!" #confabcon
  • "Okay... the taste of poor choices in my mouth." #CONfabcon
  • "Oh, like gen fic?" "...from what I remember, it was gen..." #CONfabcon
  • "So I was raised not a dick so I think some" #confabcon
  • Robots are taking over our fanfic jobs and I do not approve!!! #ConFabCon
  • Fucking Kevin. Fucking otters. #confabcon
  • "If I'm ever that heterosexual, just shoot me." #ConFabCon
  • It's not non consensual but ... it ... look the point is he has really adorable baby now ok? #ConFabCon
  • "I can't see through time enough" #ConFabCon
  • "Coca-cola is an invisible fandom in Pittsburgh." #CONfabcon
  • "You can't do anything right, you have to just roll around in rags." #CONfabcon
  • "All of Jupiter? It's really big." #CONfabcon
  • "I gotta find someone to arm wrestle me..." #CONfabcon
  • "What if I just eat cheetos until the razors arrive?" #CONfabcon
  • "You get a tragic backstory and you get a tragic backstory.... check under your chairs." #CONfabcon
  • "Have we had the talk? The licking things talk?" #ConFabCon
  • There's incest at noon. #overheardatconfab #okaytechnicallytheconcomm
  • "Zack is like the bandom Dana!" #ConFabCon
  • "In your OTP who is the contractor and who is the real estate agent?" #seriousquestions #confabcon
  • "Fuck yeah, synergy!" #roundtable #confabcon