MediaWest*Con/MediaWest*Con 2013

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Convention
Name: MediaWest*Con 2013
Dates: May 24-27, 2013
Frequency:
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Type:
Focus: multi-fandom
Organization:
Founder:
Founding Date: 2013 Convention Page
URL:
2013 Convention theme
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Some Facts About the 2013 Convention

the program book is available as a pdf
  • The theme for the 33rd convention will be: "For All Time" (a play on Doctor Who): "In honor of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, MediaWest*Con 33 welcomes all time travelers and their companions back to the future to celebrate everything from H.G. Wells' Time Machine to Bill & Ted's phone booth, and beyond. Whether you're coming from the past, present, or future, it should be a good time for all, and for all time!"
  • On the unofficial MediaWest*Con Facebook page, fans began sharing their suggestions for improving next year's convention. The convention organizers quickly set up their own Facebook page for MediaWest*Con 2013 and asked for member input. It may have been the first time the convention allowed attendees to discuss the convention in a group setting and with one another as prior to that date, MediaWest*Con would not allow discussions to take place (the official MediaWest*Con mailing list was for announcements only. The same was the case for the MediaWest*Con Blog where comments were disabled.) Two of the main points of topic: ways to attract new members (and to entice previous members into returning) as well as way to improve the Hotel Room Lottery system.
  • The convention returned to its previous hotel, the Ramada Inn, after it reopened under new management after standing vacant for years. A significant portion of the pre-con discussions on the Facebook Event page was devoted to the hotel changing the reservations dates leaving a third of the convention stranded without a room for one night. The convention managed to secure rooms in nearby hotels.
  • Attendance was around 500.
  • There were 50 dealers tables.
  • There were interviews conducted for The Media Fandom Oral History Project.
  • There were approximately 300 pieces of art in the art show (down from the 1000s that one attendee remembered from previous years[1]
  • There were two Hobbit parties: "one of which was hosted by the most adorable 4’8” Hobbity lady who called herself Mrs Underhill. Her furry feet were quality. Much tea, cheese, baked goods, and squee was had. The second party was in the party suite and consisted of watching favorite bits of the movie, and a riddles contest."[2]
  • Two twitter hashtags were used: #MediaWest*Con and #MediaWestCon

Fan Q Awards

For specifics, see 2013 Fan Q Awards.

Skit

There appears to have been no skits.

Fan Fund

There were no nominations for the Fan Fund.

Party Suite and Other Gatherings

Friday:

  • MS7/SG-A11/H-5-0/SPN: Magnificent Seven, Stargate, Hawaii 5-0, Supernatural, and more. Come share the love!

Saturday:

  • Informal Shabbat & Post-Shavuot Ice Cream Oneg
  • Magnificent Seven Writers Luncheon (private)
  • Professionals Party
  • Avengers
  • Fandoms Assemble (multi-media)
  • Stargate Atlantis/SG-1 Party

Sunday:

  • Annual Brunch with the Strachey-Callahans
  • An Unexpected Party

Masquerade Winners

The Shoes Make The Hobbit Award

  • Hobbit Lady by Janet Ewaskicwicz

The Sometimes the Sequel is Better Than the Original Award

  • The Return of the Return of the Return of... by Peter Cooper

The Move Over Mr. Steed Award

  • Max & PenN, Turn of the Century Troubleshooters by Scott Clark & Becky Wurm Clark

The Party Like It's 1981 Award

  • Lifestyles of the Neo-Jurassic by Janice St. Clair

The OMG I'm So Glad I Talked Spencer Into This Award

  • Steampunk Silliness by Spencer Coates, Armand, Courtney, Carla & Linda

Most Humorous

  • The Worst Thing About Being a TARDIS by Gena Fisher, Kathy Kipper, Connie Olberding

Best In Show

  • One Voice In Protest by Kelly Lowrey

Judges: Mark Cogan, Sophia Kelly Schultz

Door Decoration Awards

  • BEST IN SHOW: MediaWest*Con's Most Wanted - Room 266 (multifandom)
  • FAN FAVOURITE: MediaWest*Con's Most Wanted - Room 266 (multifandom)
  • BEST HUMOUR: Fandom Scouts - Room 264 (general fannishness)
  • BEST SLASH: Stony - Room 288 (The Avengers)
  • BEST FANTASY: Do You Have a Grimm Past or Do You Anticipate A Happily Ever After? - Room 137 (Grimm, Once Upon A Time, Fairytale movies)
  • SINGLE FANDOM: 221 Believe in Sherlock - Room 130 (Sherlock Holmes)
  • MULTIFANDOM : Timeless - Room 240 (multifandom)
  • CON THEME: Time Traveller's Convention - Room 366 (multifandom)

Door Decoration Gallery

Art Show Winners

Winners were judged by popular vote at the convention.

  • Best In Show: Don & Timmy by Lorraine Brevig
  • Best SF: Alien by Mike Cole
  • Best Fantasy: Wicked by Mike Cole
  • Best 3-D: Doctor Who: 50 Years by Laura Quiles
  • Best Critter: (tie) Rose Gold, Angel of Death by Karen River Best Fabric/Needlework: Purple Frog by Kelly Dwyer Best Glass: Vworp! Vworp! by 3Dbud
  • Best Humor/Cartoon: Broken Holmes by Leah Rosenthal Best Portrait: Steel & Black Leather by Karen River Best Jewelry: Glory by Mestiza Woman
  • Best Detective/Investigator: Epiphany by Karen River Best Horror: Lonely Assassin by Karen River
  • Best Secret Agent: Paradox by Montana
  • Best Animation: Throne of Iron by Leah Rosenthal
  • 2 Cute 2 Live: Rose Gold by Karen River Personal Favorite: Moon Passes Venus by Brian Klaus

Vid Show

From the post-con report: "Due to technical difficulties and a lack of voter participation, there were no FanVid awards"

According to one attendee, there were technical issues that prevented about 1/3 of the Gen vids and 1/3 of the Slash vids from even being shown during the Friday Night Premieres. The vid show organizer did attempt to show the missing vids later, but without posted schedules, few people knew when to show up, and fewer people attended either of the subsequent showings. The convention also did not post a playlist of the vids that were shown. Because of these issues, voting for 2013 was abandoned. "2013 vids may potentially be eligible again in 2014, if shown retrospectively, or 2013 may just simply be a wash."[3]

Programming

Events

Actors

  • BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH has been busy: Catching up with "The Batch,"
  • CHAD ALLEN & SEBASTIAN SPENCE: A closer look at the work of the "Donald Strachey Mysteries" star,
  • I'LL WATCH IT ANYWAY: Are your favorite actors appearing in dreadful flicks? If so,what's the worst you've watched to enjoy a person you like.
  • IN MEMORIUM: Remembering the actors and actors who've left us since MWC 2012 (an annual tradition),
  • MARTIN FREEMAN: "Everyman" is having a very good year.

Fandom/Fan Fiction

  • FANDOM/FAN FICTION ANIMAL RESCUE: Share your experiences!
  • COWLEY: MENTOR OR NEMESIS? George Cowley could sometimes be the father figure, but occasionally he'd throw his "best team" to the wolves on suicide missions. Was he really grooming them to succeed him in CI5? Or were they unlikely to live to collect their pensions?
  • DON'T GO THERE! What are your fan fic taboos, squicks, and themes you just won't read? (/).
  • DONALD STRACHEY MYSTERIES: Where the good stuff is canon! Explore this wonderful gay male romance/mystery series."
  • DOYLE OR BODIE: Who is the greater romantic? Flowers, poetry, dreamy dinners - which of the Lads was more likely to wine and dine his date, and did the same strategy apply to winning his man? (/)
  • ENOUGH TO MAKE A GROWN MAN CRY: how do you feel about crying men in fanfic: are they a guilty h/c pleasure, or do you prefer your male characters more stoical? (/)
  • FAN FICTION MIGRATION: Archive of Our Own, Dreamwidth, Livejournal? Where's the best fanfiction online?
  • FROM FANFICTION TO PUBLISHED FICTION: Join authors for a discussion on what it takes to go from writing fan fiction to publishing original fiction. Includes idea on revamping your fanfiction to original stories and it's a lot more than just changing names.
  • GRAYING OF FANDOM: We're getting older. The pros and cons of aging in fandom and how do you handle it.
  • HORSE FICTION: Time to discuss your favorite horse fiction,.
  • MALE PREGNANCY & CRIMINAL MINDS IN KINDERGARTEN: The appeal of extreme Alternate Universe fanfic.
  • NEIGH! Are you a horse fan, and if so, come talk about equines, and do you use your knowledge in fandom.
  • R.I.P, THE FANZINE: Fanzines were once THE way to obtain fanfic; now it's all online. Is the fanzine doomed to die?
  • RESEARCH 101: How to properly research your fan fiction-when is enough enough. Or how not to get sucked into the vast internet.
  • SCIENCE AS MAGIC: In the near future, technology will allow programmers and hackers to manipulate our perception. When that happens, what has been limited to the realm of fantasy writers and movie makers will become reality. What doors does this open for SF writers now—and what are the implications for those of us who will live in that virtual world in the future? David Copperfield and David Blaine watch out!
  • SENTINEL: Tired of big mean Jim, poor widdle Bwair? - Jim is the hero, Blair is the sidekick? Or can it be a more equal partnership?
  • SLASH FICTION: M/M pairings are becoming increasingly popular in fiction, and will probably continue to do so as LBGTQ awareness grows—but really those of us in randoms have been seeing slash pairs since Kirk/Spock. Come and join us for a discussion on where M/M might be headed in the future.
  • STARGATE ATLANTIS & SG-1 H/C RECs: The annual round table of fans to discuss their favorite SGA &
  • SG-1 fan fiction. Bring your lists and tablets!
  • STITCH & BITCH.
  • THE A-HA MOMENT: When did you discover slash, and what was your first slash pairing? (/).
  • THE PERSONAL REPLICATOR: With the introduction of 3-D printers, we're well on our way to the replicator of Star Trek. Before long we'll have access to the alchemist's dream—to be able to manipulate molecules. What are the implications for the world economy? Do we face the possibility of wiping out poverty? What about intellectual property? We will have to answer these questions and many more much, much sooner than you think.
  • THE PROFESSIONALS ARE OUT OF THIS WORLD (literally)-AU discussion: what is your favorite Pros AU story, and why?
  • THEY'RE DEAD, JIM. When injuries are fetal and somehow they survived. Let's discuss how we can still keep the hurt real so we can provide comfort Hit in the head with a boulder and goes dancing the next night Let's match the hurt with the recovery.
  • UNTOLD STORIES OF THE ER: A fantastic show of weird medical stories. How do you use this show for fan fiction?
  • WHEN WE WERE LAST HERE. It's been 23 years since we've been in this hotel. What were we talking about in 1991 and how much of it is still popular?
  • WHERE'S THE SCIENCE: Are SF writers missing—or worse yet, ignoring—current science in their fiction? There are numerous technological developments on the horizon that will determine how humans (and transhumans) will live in the very near future. How will our lives change and what can we expect to see from writers who are getting it right?
  • WORLD BUILDING: whether you're writing about airship pirates, space cowboys, or the guy next door, it is the author's job to create a world that draws readers in and grounds them firmly in the story.
  • WRITING: Grammar and punctuation are your friends.
  • WRITING: I don't think that word means what you think it means.
  • YOU WANT TO GO WHERE? - If you had the Tardis (or other time travel) device, where would you go and what would you do?

Literature

  • ANDRE NORTON: Updated information and general discussion on her material.
  • AUDIOBOOKS: Come and discuss your favorite audiobooks and podcasts, and bring your reference lists.
  • CHILDREN'S LITERATURE: Childhood favorites and new publications.
  • COMICS: What do you read? Come discuss your favorite finds.
  • CONTEMPORARY URBAN FANTASY: Come discuss this explosively popular literary field, exemplified by the Dresden Files, the Mercy Thompson novels and dozens of other recent new series.
  • IT'S ROMANCE: It's Fantasy! It's Horror! Origins and development of paranormal fiction.
  • PERN: Discuss the latest book, "Dragonriders of Pern."
  • WHY DON'T PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THIS BOOK/AUTHOR? Discuss your unknown favorites.
  • MISCELLANEOUS HAUNTTNGS & PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS: MI Shadowchasers discusses this topic.
  • NASA AND SPACE: Where shall we go from here, and how shall we do it?
  • RADIO: COAST-TO-COAST AM: Bring your opinions and join a general discussion.
  • MOVIES ANIMATED MOVIES: Discuss the latest crop of animated movies in the theaters and on TV,.
  • AVENGERS Slash: Tony/Steve-A general discussion of the pairing in film and comics. (/).
  • EVEN MORE HIDDEN GEMS: A discussion of less known movies that are still very good movies. Some may not be SciFi, but still great movies. I may also include books and TV shows. Bring your favorite Hidden Gems.
  • GUARDIANS OF THE UNIVERSE: The comic book series is being turned into a movie. What do you think of the casting?.
  • IRON MAN 3: General Discussion of the movie and the awesome Tony Stark.
  • LOOK TO THE SKIES: Come discuss upcoming sci-fi movies and which look worth the ticket price.
  • OUR FAVORITE MOVIES made from TV shows.
  • SCI-FI LEADING MEN: From Will Smith to Tom Cruise. Who are your favorite leading men in the scifi-movie genre?
  • STAR TREK INTO THE DARKNESS: Are we still pleasantly surprised by the new incarnation?
  • STAR TREK INTO THE DARKNESS: Did the sequel measure up? General discussion.
  • STAR WARS: Lucas sells to Disney and Hamill, Ford and Fisher will be in Episode VII. What does the future hold?
  • SYFY MOVIES: Any good ones this past year? Come discuss and laugh about the outrageous plots. Or do you just watch to see favorite actors.
  • THE AVENGERS: Discussion of the upcoming films: Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series.
  • THE AVENGERS: It came out last year, but it's still one of the best action/scifi movies out there.
  • THE IIOBBIT: Character Discussion. Lets discuss the background of Bilbo and the Dwarves. Who's your favorite and why?
  • THE HOBBIT: Movie discussion. What did you love? What didn't work for you?
  • THE HOBBIT: Speculation on what Future movies will hold based on the book and the appendices. Warning: Spoiler Alert if you have not read the book.
  • THE NEXT STAR WARS TRILOGY: Speculation, what and who we'd like to see.
  • THE NOLANVERSE BAT MOVIES: Did The Dark Knight Rises wrap things up in a satisfactory way? All three movies open for discussion!,
  • THE TWILIGHT FRANCHISE: Did it work well on screen?,
  • TIME TRAVEL movies that worked-and those that didn't. Bring your list and compare.
  • TRANSFORMERS: Decent scifi movies or just mindless fun?
  • X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST: Director Bryan Singer has been updating with casting news and tidbits about the new setting and plot. So X-Men fans, do you like what you've heard or were you desperately hoping for something else? Come discuss your hopes, dreams, and fears about this forthcoming film.

Television

  • ACROSS THE BORED: What plot and casting cliches are driving you crazy on your favorite shows?
  • ANIMATED TV: From the Simpsons to the adult-themed Archer, which is your favorite animated series.
  • ARROW: General discussion of season one of this CW series.
  • ARROW: What do we like and dislike most about this show? Is it a good adaptation of the comic character? What do you think of it being so much grittier than "Smallville"?
  • BEING HUMAN: Aiden's hungry, Sally's human and Josh is human. My, how things have changed.
  • BIG BANG THEORY: One of the most popular sitcoms out there and it still maintains its fannish appeal. Discuss the latest season and growth of the characters.
  • BLAKE'S 7: Time for a reboot? And who should be involved?
  • BONES: General discussion of this past season.
  • CABIN PRESSURE: Brilliant! John Finnemore's BBC Radio sitcom.
  • CASTLE: Did ramping-up the relationship help or hinder the series?
  • CONTINUUM: Does this Canadian-made time travel show work?
  • COPPER: BBCA's tum-of-the century crime drama.
  • DALLAS: a blast from the past. How does the TNT series compare with the original CBS series?
  • DEFIANCE: Will this Syfy show be the new Battlestar Galactica?
  • DOCTOR WHO AT SO: Which was your favorite Doctor? Your favorite companion? Your favorite villain?
  • DOCTOR WHO: The 50th anniversary season: What we like so far, what we hate so far. What we think we're going to get; what we wish we'd get Plus, Moffat's latest out-of-left-field sexual innuendos (bifictional).
  • DOCTOR WHO: Rory's dead! - again? Were Rory and Amy your favorite companions? If not, who?
  • DOCTOR WHO: The 12th Doctor: speculations on Matt Smith's regeneration. A woman Doctor, finally? Or is Moffat just playing with our heads (again) saying River Song is bi?
  • DONALD STRACHEY MYSTERTES: How does a canon male couple compare to bringing male couples together in slash fandom? (/)
  • DONALD STRACHEY MYSTERTES: Now that same sex marriage is legal in New York, do the boys have a big wedding or a civil ceremony at the courthouse? (/),
  • DONALD STRACHEY MYSTERTES: What does the future hold career-wise for Donald and Timothy?
  • DOWNTON ABBEY: "Dowager Countess for the win!" What about this costume drama is so appealing?
  • DOWNTON ABBEY: Love and Loss among the Crawley Clan (season 3 review).
  • DREAMWERKS' DRAGONRIDERS: A weekly dose of Toothless!
  • ELEMENTARY: Exploration of the developing relationship between Sherlock and the lady Watson -- Where will it go from here, if anywhere?
  • ELEMENTARY: General discussion of this new series that plays fast and loose with Sherlock Holmes.
  • FALLING SKIES: General discussion of this TNT alien invasion series as it enters its 3rd season.
  • FIXING THE ENTERPRISE WITH A HAIRPIN: Mary Sues/Marty Stus are still alive and well in TV.
  • FRINGE: Final thoughts now that the series has ended.
  • GAME OF THRONES: Discuss the third season.
  • GRIMM: Buffy the Vampires Slayer for the 2010s?
  • GRIMM: So what did we think of this past season, and what do we think is coming next?
  • HAVEN: So where do we think the next season will go, and will Audrey be able to save her memories this time around?
  • HAWAII FIVE-O: Have the new characters this season added or detracted from the show?, A203, SAT, Regen
  • HEY! DOES ANYBODY ELSE REMEMBER BLAKE'S 7?: The show and the fanfic.
  • HIGHLANDER: Does this show stand any chance of resurrection?
  • HOW DO YOU WATCH TV? Do you watch every episode as they air, or do you watch the marathons to catch up due to the now weird TV seasons.
  • LEVERAGE: Eliot and Parker... creepy or quirky? How their characters grew and changed throughout the series
  • MAGNIFICENT 7: Cowboys, ATF, and more... AUs that work. Story recs and exchange of free ranging plot bunnies.
  • MAGNIFICENT 7: Who is the glue? We have a leader, sharpshooter, gambler, ladies man, healer, preacher, kid, but who also holds the group together?
  • MERLIN: A general discussion of this SyFy Series.
  • NCIS: 200 episodes and still going strong.
  • OLD TIME TV SCI-FI: General discussion of the old gems like Lost in Space and Outer Limits.
  • OLDIE TV: Cable channels (Cozi, Antenna) that show the oldies, like Adam-12, Ironhorse and more. Does viewing these oldies live up to your memories of them?
  • ONCE UPON A TIME: So what did we think of this past season, and what do we think is coming next?
  • PERCEPTION: How will the change in our hero's "best friend" from a hallucination to a real person affect his life and his perception of himself?
  • PERSON OF INTEREST: Discuss second season, with new cast members and some definite arc episodes.
  • PERSON OF INTEREST: High-tech Equalizer for the 21st century?
  • PERSON OF INTEREST: The Gang of Four. Discussion on the dynamics between Finch, Reese, Carter and Fusco. And throw in Elias, too!
  • PERSON OF INTEREST: What makes this show so addictive?
  • QUANTUM LEAP: A fun time travel series; would it work today?
  • REVOLUTION: A post-apocalyptic future. What do you think?
  • SHERLOCK (BBC)-"Rat, Wedding, Bow": speculation on what the series 3 key words mean. This panel is intended to discuss what we're likely to get in canon, so neither gen nor slash: just, what's plausible? An attempt to peer into the twisty minds of Moffat and Gatiss.
  • SHERLOCK (BBC)-Discussion of the series, a modern retelling of the classic Arthur Conan-Doyle detective adventures, speculation on upcoming season. How Sherlock Survived the Fall.
  • SHERLOCK (BBQ-Johnlock: the relationship between John Watson and Sherlock Holmes of BBC's "Sherlock" starring Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch.
  • SHERLOCK: The many loves of John Watson: should Moffiiss marry off John?
  • STAR TREK (Classic): 'City on the Edge of Forever'-the best time travel ever done on Trek?
  • STAR TREK (Classic): 'Spock's Brain' was a true gem as it was so bad; if you remade that episode today, what would you do?
  • STARGATE: Toss in a Stargate, a solar flare and you've got time travel. How did all three series do when it came to playing with time travel?
  • STARSKY & HUTCH DO THE TIMEWARP: What if the whole show was picked up and dumped into 2013, including S&H at the age they were in 1975? How would cell phones, computers, the Internet change them? Would a more diverse society be reflected in their relationships with Dobey and Huggy? Is LA/Bay City just as dangerous or even more so? And most importantly, how would the timewarped change affect their relationship?
  • STARSKY & HUTCH: Alternate Universe Fanfic: (All) The interest in this genre has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years. Let's talk about favorite stories and plots for stories yet to be.
  • STARSKY & HUTCH: Did they become lovers "off camera" or did it happen after Sweet Revenge? (/)
  • STARSKY & HUTCH: Of course they're lovers, but not gay! In older fic, writers often felt compelled to justify the guys' slash relationship while insisting they couldn't be gay. In modem fic, their slash relationship is often assumed How does this reflect modem sensibilities about sexuality? (/)
  • STARSKY & HUTCH: Stoking the random engines! We've got dedicated archives, active mailing lists, Livejoumals, activity on Tumblr and other modem media, two fandom-specific cons, and recent joint appearances by the stars. New writers and artists are showing up on line, and more classic zine fic is getting posted, yet interest in the fandom seems to be waning. What should we be doing to keep the random active into the future?
  • SUPERNATURAL: "Men of Letters" Society: A new direction for the brothers, and the show?
  • SUPERNATURAL: A new showrunner has been brought in-same old, same old?
  • TEEN WOLF: If you've let the dumb name or the 1985 movie put you off this series, you're missing something. Strong characters, Buffy-worthy fantasy drama and a notably queer-friendly environment. Come discuss the first two seasons, Sterek and beyond.
  • TELEVISION TRENDS: Conspiracy theories, continuing story arcs, over the top stunts in action or casting, invincible villains... which ones make you crazy and which shows did it well?
  • THE AMAZING RACE: Discuss the results of the 21st and 22nd seasons with fellow TAR enthusiasts, and hear hints about upcoming Race plans.
  • THE FOLLOWING: A former FBI agent pursues a serial killer and his nefarious cult.
  • THE MENTALIST: General discussion of season 5.
  • THE PROFESSIONALS: CI5 Box of Tricks, Tea and Swiss Roll, The Safehouse: what are these? But wait! There's more! It's Bodie & Doyle's busy home on LJ. Let's talk stories, art, vids and other projects that are posted daily.
  • THE PROFESSIONALS: Spies, anti-terrorists .. .or dragon slayers. AUs that work .. .or don't and the ones we'd like to see.
  • THE PROFESSIONALS: The lads are still keeping England "clean and smelling - even if ever so faintly -- of roses and lavender". Let's talk about a vibrant fandom that's going strong after almost forty years.
  • THE PROFESSIONALS: They Got Together How? Did Cowley match-mate? Post danger sex? Too drunk to know better? Do these ways work? Are they believable? Let's discuss.
  • THE PROFESSIONALS: When did Bodie and Doyle finally tumble into bed together? Are there sweet nothings when the lights go out? (/).
  • THE SENTINEL: Favorite slash moments in the series. (/)
  • THE WALKING DEAD: Honestly, do you watch the show for the zombies or for the show's awesome characters?
  • TIME TUNNEL: Let's delight in the old Irwin Allen time travel show.
  • TOUCH: Discuss the second and final season of this Kiefer Sutherland series, A161, SUN, Delta 3, 12:00 PM
  • TV COMMERCIALS: Do you like the Doritos goat ad or are you a fan of Geico's gecko? Come and discuss the commercials that are sometimes better than the shows.
  • WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?: Was the premise impossible to maintain for a full season? Shows that might work better as a miniseries.
  • WHITE COLLAR: With all of the betrayals between characters, how can these people work together?
  • WHY ARE THE GOOD GUYS SO STUPID/incompetent that they can't ever get rid of the Big Bad (or, when villains where out their welcomes)?

Technical

  • BASIC EBOOK CONVERSION FOR FAN FICTION: Tips and tricks on getting your fie ready to convert to ereader formats, programs to use, archives and downloaders that may do it for you.
  • CHOOSING AN EREADER: With so many readers out there let us help you choose the right one for you. Or at least narrow down your choices. FAVORITE APPS/ SOFTWARE for your fannish needs, F02, SAT, Delta 3, 11:00 AM SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS, Past, Current and What's Next? Livejoumal is waning; tumblr is just not robust enough; FFNet and A03 and other database models frequently bend or break under the technical or social pressure.
  • VIDDING: Discussion of Friday Night's Fannish Music Video Premieres (held Saturday a.m.).
  • VIDDING: The creative process-talk to vidders about the creative choices they make (music, clips, format, etc.) in creating Fannish Music Videos [not a hands-on workshop].

How To/Workshops

  • ADVANCED EBOOK CONVERSION & MANAGEMENT: A more in-depth look at preparing and converting fanfiction for ereaders, and the Calibre ebook management program. Open to PC, Mac, and Linux users. (2 hours).
  • ADVANCED WRITER'S SEMINAR (2 hours).
  • F&SF WRITERS' WORKSHOP: Writers are invited to bring up to 1500 words from their short story or novel. Each writer must provide 7 double-spaced copies of their work, which they will read aloud. The other workshoppers will make notes on their copy. When the reader is done, their job is to listen as their co-workshoppers critique their work. (2 hours)
  • GHOST HUNTING: How to use ghost-hunting equipment and how to investigate.
  • HOW TO TELL A BETTER STORY (for beginning writers) (2 hours).

Games

  • WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?, Annual 2-hour fan participation event. Come join the fun!

Acknowledgments

  • Co-Chairs -- Lori Chapek-Carleton & Gordon Carleton
  • Membership/Registration (records, data entry, onsite), Transportation — Lori Chapek-Carleton
  • Communications (e-mail, publications, website), Data Output (membership badges, lists), Graphics (logo, T'shirt design) — Gordon Carleton
  • Art Show -- Art Show Director: Gordon Carleton; Karen Klinck & staff will be running the Art Show under his supervision at the convention itself.
  • Plays -- Gordon Carleton
  • GoFers -- Jeanne Sullivan, GoFer Captain
  • Con Suite -- Jeanne Sullivan
  • Programming -- Elyse Dickenson & Dawn McLevy
  • Flyers -- Elyse Dickenson & Dawn McLevy
  • Party Suite -- Elyse Dickenson & Dawn McLevy
  • Fan Quality Awards -- Jan Keeler
  • Fanzine Reading Room -- Jan Gosnell
  • SF/Media Fan Fund -- c/o MediaWest*Con. To donate auction items, please contact Jan Gosnell
  • Dealers -- Debra & Anna Barber
  • Orphan ‘Zine Table -- Margaret Basta, Janice St. Clair, and Laura Basta-Sandler
  • Fannish Video Room -- Sheryl Adsit
  • Masquerade — Andre Lieven
  • Security — Seth Cutts
  • Blood Drive — Kim Dyer
  • Hotel Liaison – Carol Lynn
  • Lansing Liaison -- Carl Tielking
  • Door Decoration Competition -- Alem

Change in Hotels

From the first progress report:

As most of you know, since the Holiday Inn South was sold and became CWB and BWPL, there have been ongoing communication problems, especially in regard to reservations. During MW*C 32, the rooms assigned for Con Suite and Party Suite were changed from what we had been told (and had in the Program Book), which may have been a result of infighting among hotel staff. Then there was the nasty note the owner had slipped under members’ doors instituting a charge for “moving furniture,” and the owner made several last minute changes to the early reservation request procedure that we did not have time to discuss, much less agree to. There were also numerous problems with housekeeping, restaurant, etc.. BWPL representatives attended the dead dog panel and heard complaints, which we had hoped was a more promising sign.

Since MW*C 32 all we had was a proposed contract for MW*C 33 which made a number of unacceptable changes (such as slashing the credit for rooms used by members). After the con, there were hotel management/staff changes that we were not informed of, nor did anyone contact us to get a contract signed, and it was sometimes difficult to find who we should be talking to as it appeared no-one was specifically assigned to our account. We nonetheless had been operating in good faith in gathering reservation requests, etc.. In addition, we were given to believe that the owner took us for granted to the degree that he was unwilling to negotiate (as was demonstrated in raising the room rates again). As a precaution, we began a contingency plan with Ramada as an alternative location.

As you may already know, we also had some difficulties with settling the bill for MW*C 32 with BWPL, starting with an amount several times what we had expected. When we thought we had finally corrected it down to roughly what we paid last year, BWPL stopped answering our e- mails and phone messages.

We still don’t know why they stopped responding, whether it was further evidence of disorganization there or intentional.

After more than a month of unresponsiveness, we sent a check (return receipt) in September for the amount we believed to be correct (based on what information they had provided) along with a letter noting the lack of communication. When we got no reply to that letter, the lack of communication had reached a point beyond futility, so we felt we had little choice but to send another letter (return receipt) informing them that, given the total lack of response, we did not see how we could negotiate a contract for MW*C 33 and we would, therefore, be holding MW*C 33 elsewhere.

We still did not hear anything from BWPL after that until we were well into serious negotiations with Ramada, and even then the BWPL owner was clueless about both the trouble settling the bill and that we did not have a signed contract for MW*C 33.

Shortly after that, it was reported in the local paper that the U.S. Department of Labor has ordered the owner of BWPL to pay $162,147 in back wages to more than 700 current and former employees and that a former sales manager was suing the hotel.

In October, we had a phone message from someone at BWPL who apparently still didn’t know either that we had no contract or that we had told them we would be holding MW*C 33 elsewhere.

Naturally, there were additional delays due to having to negotiate two new hotel contracts and get both hotels up to speed. We apologize for those delays in getting the hotel confirmations out, but, hopefully, we will have fewer problems with the new hotels in the future.

On October 31, we had another message from BWPL from someone who clearly had no idea what MW*C is or that we had sent them a check in September and that the check had been cashed. After multiple attempts to navigate their phone maze resulted in dead ends, we finally left a voice mail message informing them both that we had sent them a check in September and that the check had been cashed.

We had an additional call from someone in sales who apparently still hadn’t gotten the message we weren’t coming back.

January 29, 2013 we got another bill by FAX, and replied by FAX that we had sent them a check in September, that it was cashed, and that this sort of confusion and disorganization is a large part of why we weren’t coming back this year.

Convention Reports

Comments the Organizers, from the Post-Con Report

Thanks to MW*C staff members who work all year round and to the GoFers and other volunteers who make MW*C possible!

Due to difficulties with the old hotel, MW*C 33 was held at the Ramada Lansing. Obviously, the hotel changes required some adjustments. Overall, people seemed to be pleased with the new arrangement, albeit in a smaller space.

The last few days leading up to the con were made even more hectic as it was discovered the Ramada had incorrect arrival and/or departure dates for some members (including staff members and Lori & Gordon). Apologies to those affected by these issues. Naturally, none of us needed such problems, especially so close to the con.

Surprisingly, no-one contacted us or MW*C Hotel Liaison Carol Lynn directly, which would have enabled us to address the problem sooner. Instead, people posted to social media, sometimes with misrepresentations and erroneous claims, causing confusion and panic.

For those who are not clear on the point, Carol is our MW*C staff person who deals with the hotels on behalf of members. Carol worked hard with Ramada to resolve the issue for those few people actually affected once she became aware of the problem. The Hampton Inn (the MW*C official auxiliary hotel) had no such issues, and was most helpful in dealing with the problem.

We still don't know exactly why there was a disparity between the information given the hotel and the information as it ended up on their computer, but steps have been taken to avoid any repeat of this problem. There was no "block of rooms" canceled, nor did the convention change anyone’s arrival/departure dates. Some people were apparently confused as to which hotel they had reservations for, and some people apparently were the cause of their own problem when they discovered they had duplicate reservations, and inadvertently canceled both. Some were simply wrong about what arrival date they had put on their form.

There was also some confusion as Ramada's definition of suite is apparently different than what people expected (their suite rate does not include adjoining rooms). We did take measurements of a suite room and posted them on Facebook before the con.

Naturally, there were some things we did not anticipate, or did not quite go as planned. The layout of the Dealers Room had to be adapted as we did not have precise measurements of the American Room, but they did manage to get the intended number of tables in. There was also a lighting issue around the periphery of the room, which was only discovered during setup. This problem has been discussed with the hotel and, hopefully, will be corrected for next year. A few dealers moved to the hallway, which seemed to work, so we may offer that as an option next year.

We also moved the Game Room (from sharing space in the ‘Zine Reading Room) to a more visible location, which seemed to work well. Thanks to Ericka Kahler for stepping in at the last minute to organize the Game Room! And thanks to Ramada for letting us have that space and holding the free breakfast buffets in the pool area (which also seemed to be well received).

It was also brought to our attention that the hotel firedoors presented a problem for members using scooterss/motorized wheelchairs, which we have discussed with the hotel and think we have a workaround for next year. Also, the company that has long provided the scooters has refused to do so in the future, citing verbal abuse by one member. Fortunately, another company has indicated they are willing to step in for next year.

Comment cards gathered by Carol were passed on to Ramada.

We did not take hotel reservation requests at the con this year. Having needed to make adjustments on the fly for this year due to the unexpected hotel change, we recognized the need to take the time and revise the system in a more orderly way. We now have contracts with both Ramada and Comfort Inn (formerly Hampton Inn) and members will be notified shortly when we have a system in place.

Obviously, this was a shakedown year at a new hotel, so we anticipate things will run smoother next year.

From Fans

References

  1. MediaWest*Con dated May 27, 2013; reference link.
  2. MediaWest*Con dated May 27, 2013; reference link.
  3. Morgan Dawn's notes based on info supplied by cannellfan on June 4, 2013 at the MediaWest*Con Facebook event page.