Red Rose Convention

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Name: Red Rose Convention
Dates: 1998-2002?
Frequency: every other year 1998-2000-2002
Location: Telford, Shropshire, UK
Type: fan-run fan con
Focus: slash, multimedia
Organization: Red Rose Press
Founder: lexin
Founding Date: 1998
URL: WayBack Archive Link to 2000 convention page
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Red Rose Convention was a slash multimedia fan-run convention held in the UK from 1998 to 2002. Attendance numbered around 50. It billed itself as "an unashamed multi-media 'slash' convention, two days taken out of Real Life to talk about slash without let or hindrance."

The convention also released a convention fanzine called the Red Rose.

1998 Programming

The 1998 con was held July 24-26th at Telford Moat House, Stropshire, England.

cover of the 1998 program book
1998 video room schedule

The chair person was Ruth Saunders. The guest of honor was M. Fae Glasgow.

This con had a drabble contest, a caption contest, and a raffle.

The program book contains four long excerpts from fiction written for this con, though does not give information where this fiction was later published. And it wasn't in the the 1998 Red Rose fiction zine...

From the program book:

Other people - This is a hotel and we aren't the only guests. We're just the only ones who matter. Despite that, please don't leave zines with pictures around where the public can pick them up, and don't leave them about in your rooms when you believe the hotel staff might see them. If necessary, put the Do Not Disturb sign up. If someone reads a zine despite your reasonable precautions, I tend to see that as their problem, they shouldn't be so prurient!

Badges - All our attendees will be wearing badges, please don't let people who are not wearing badges into our areas however confident they look. Unless they are hotel staff, of course. THIS IS IMPORTANT! We don't all know each other, after all, and we wouldn't want anyone to walk in on anything they weren't expecting. If you lose your badge we can make you out another, but we don't have an inexhaustible supply.

Stewards - To an extent, in a convention as small as this one, everyone is a steward. Please keep an eye on our equipment and don't be afraid to say something if you are at all unsure. Don't leave it to someone else to speak up. A few people have volunteered to steward certain rooms at certain times, to these people we are very grateful, it would be very difficult to run the convention without them.

Library Zines - These have been loaned to the convention by fans, please don't damage them or take them away. We will be having a loans book if you want to take them to your room overnight, and the library steward will sign them back in next day. If you have damaged a zine inadvertently please don't leave us to find out, let someone know immediately. After a great deal of thought, we have decided not to ban drinks or food from the zine library (some folks would practically die of thirst!) but that means people must be even more careful of the zines. And remember that if you do damage a zine beyond repair we might very well ask you to pay for it! If all that sounds a bit off-putting, we're sorry - but many of the zines in the library belong to the committee and the rest belong to their closest friends.

Some programming:

  • Just a Minute (The Radio 4 Panel Game, with a slash twist)
  • Fire and Ice (The astrological implications of the Blake/Avon relationship)
  • Guest Talk: M. Fae Glasgow (The Person Behind the Porn)
  • The Deliberately Provocative Panel: It's Porn, Admit It! (What does a fandom need? Apart from the obvious?)
  • Quiz (Clever Cogs or Brain Donors -- all should score a few points!)
  • Net vs Print (We can't ignore it, it's here to stay. Has net fic changed the face of fandom forever? And yes, we ask The Question: Netfic - crap or what?)
  • Does Your Mother Know Where You Are? (Have you told porkies about slash, do you fib about fandom? Do the kids think you've popped out for a pint of semi skimmed and a sliced loaf?)
  • Kinks and Anti-Kinks (What floats our boat -- what hurls our cookies? And what about the elusive Dopple-Kink -- we should love it, we think we will love it, but when we read it in a story -- argh)

2002 Programming

In the 2002 convention flyer, the convention offered the following programmming: "The programme will be fairly relaxed. It will include a video programme of programme episodes, music and gay-interest videos and there will be a convention library and a dealer room. We plan discussions on the slash issues of the day such as: "Why don't slash writers write good female characters", "The first slash story wot I wrote," "Warnings? I don't need no steenkin' warnings," and "Name your slash cliché", and we'll be taking part in games including the perennial favourite Just a Minute."

flyer for the 2002 con, it mentions that the GOH was to be Minotaur, click to read


  • 2.00pm Registration desk opens - Hello!!!
  • 4.00pm Tea
  • 5.00pm Panel: The first slash story wot I wrote - ‘Fes up to those early horrors!
  • 7.00pm Dinner
  • 9.00pm Opening ceremony - And a little ice breaker to get to know each other.
  • 9.30pm Game: Just a minute
  • 10.30pm Panel: Ugly Bastards - Why do we write slash about the ugly ones?


  • 8.00am Breakfast
  • 9.30am Panel: Warnings - Should we add them, do we need them?
  • 10.30am Tea and Guest Talk (Torch)
  • 11.30am Panel: Cultural Differences - American shows, English slashers etc.
  • 11.30am In Video Room: Song Vid workshop
  • 12.30pm Lunch
  • 1.30pm Panel: OTT or OTP, OK or N/A - Over the top or one true pairing?
  • 2.30pm Panel: Copyright - Pertinent stuff for us all.
  • 2.30pm In Video Room: Fandom showcases (k/S and Oz)
  • 3.30pm Tea and Auction - Bag that bargain!
  • 5.00pm Panel: Bad Fic! No Biscuit! - why do we write deliberately bad fic?
  • 6.00pm Panel: Where to draw the line? - Is there anything we shouldn’t write?
  • 7.30pm Dinner –Please dress up a little, no jeans and T’s unless you must!
  • 9.00pm Panel: Name your cliché – Not another one where...
  • 10.00pm Game: Slash Pictionary


  • 8.00am Breakfast
  • 10.00am Guest Talk (Torch)
  • 11.00am Slash Masters of the Universe - Fandoms do battle!
  • 12.30pm Lunch (plus a little bribery and corruption)
  • 1.30pm Slash Masters of the Universe: Final
  • 2.00pm Closing ceremony
  • 2.30pm Game: Slashy consequences
  • 3.30pm Panel: Brainless Blonde or scary stalker - acceptable fannish behaviour?
  • 4.30pm Close - Goodbye...

2002 Con Report

We had several interesting panels -Torch, a scarily good and prolific writer from Sweden, gave a couple of talks, one of which I missed because I was talking about torture over tea in the slash library with a couple of friends but the one I went to was fascinating. She had a bunch of writing tips that she wanted to share with us and get feedback from good writers. We didn't get as far as the feedback, but I enjoyed listening to her sense of what makes a good story, and was interested to find that she doesn't do plot outlines either.

We had a panel entitled 'Where Do You Draw The Line' which was less interesting than it might have been, largely because it got sidetracked into a discussion on child porn, underage sex, and child abuse. I was hoping for a discussion on those moments where you realise you have come to a line that you as a writer really don't want to cross, and what happens then? But listening to people talking let me summarise it into three areas - there is your own personal sense of I-can't-write-this, there is your feeling of what is morally right and wrong, and there is your knowledge of what is legally allowed and where you run legal risks in publishing. One writer talked about how she finds rape fantasy very erotic, and yet when she writes a rape scene in one of her stories, even though the reason she thought of the rape scene is because the idea was erotic to her, she always tries to make the rape as unerotic as she can she likes rape in one sense, she hates rape in another sense, and her values (her feeling that rape should not be eroticised) are more compelling than her erotic feelings for rape. I found this put into words a dilemma of my own I enjoy master/slave stories in the same way as she enjoys rape stories, but whenever I write a master/slave situation social conscience/sense of realism kicks in real life slavery is not erotic.

We played slash pictionary which is always fun with a large group, because someone guesses the word inside five minutes and Fan Bingo (49 panels each with something that was true for at least one con attendee) as an icebreaker on Friday night. (There were 68 attendees.) I got all 49 signed off because I cheated and got a member of the hotel staff to sign the one that said I have never read a zine before....

The main event of Sunday at Red Rose... was the Masters of the Universe competition. We, the Pros gang, had entered this mob-handed. We were up against Sentinel, Blake's 7, Harry Potter, Hercules, Star Trek (The Original Series) and Star Trek Voyager. Having not done any thing like this before, wed decided to opt for the over-the-top approach there were at most two representing the other fandoms, and at least six of us. The Sentinel presentation included some song vids, the Blakes 7 some filk singing, and the Harry Potter constant reminders that Alan Rickman was involved! Meanwhile we were all sitting nervously waiting our turn, with [name redacted] looking particularly uncomfortable in her hired fancy dress outfit." [1]


  1. ^ from DIAL #23, note: the con included a presentation called "Ten Reasons to Love the Professionals." And about the Masters of the Universe competition: "Well, we managed to make everyone laugh, so it was definitely a success on that front, but when we came to the voting after lunch (when all the bribing and further canvassing was done) we had no chance. We were hopelessly outnumbered by Sentinel fans..."