The North American Discworld Convention
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|The North American
The North American Discworld Convention (a.k.a. NADWCon) is a fan-run science fiction convention to celebrate the works of Sir Terry Pratchett, focusing primarily on his long-running series of Discworld novels. It is held biennially on odd-numbered years to accommodate the UK Discworld Convention, which is on even-numbered years.[dead link] The first NADWCon was held in 2009  and sponsored by Arizona-based LepreCon, Inc. The 2013 convention was held on July 5 - 8 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel.
The NADWCon program includes several large-scale events, such as the Gala Banquet, Maskerade (honoring Pratchett's novel of the same name), Charity Auction, and Guest of Honor Interview. The 2009 convention also featured a convention-wide Seamstress Guild Party on the opening night. These large events are mixed with smaller panels, discussion groups, games, guest klatches, and other activities.
Discworld Conventions have been held in the UK since 1996, but prior to 2009 one had not been successfully attempted in North America. On Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2005, Pratchett did a booksigning and Q & A session for Thud! at Olsson's Books & Records in Arlington, VA, and was asked during the Q & A portion (by the future Vice Chair of NADWCon2009) whether he would be willing to attend a North American convention if one were to be organized for him - to which he heartily answered "yes." Planning for the convention began that night and gained momentum until, after securing sponsorship from LepreCon, Inc. and acquiring a number of experienced convention runners for its chair and committee positions, registration for the 2009 convention opened in November 2007. Registration capped out and closed prior to the 2009 convention, at approximately 1,040 members.
|#||Year||Dates||City||Motto||Guest of Honor||Other Guests||Size|
|1st||2009||Sept. 4-7||Tempe, Arizona||The Turtle Moves!||Sir Terry Pratchett||Jennifer Brehl, Diane Duane, Esther Friesner, Anne Hoppe, Peter Morwood, Bernard Pearson, Isobel Pearson, Colin Smythe, Rob Wilkins||1,040|
|2nd||2011||July 8–11||Madison, Wisconsin||More Ankh, Morpork!||Sir Terry Pratchett||Stephen Baxter, Jennifer Brehl, Rod Brown, Esther M. Friesner, Anne Hoppe, Ian Mitchell, Bernard Pearson, Stephen Player, Kristine Smith, Colin Smythe, Reb Voyce, Rob Wilkins, More TBA||TBA|
|3rd||2013||July 5-8||Baltimore, Maryland||L-SPACE||Sir Terry Pratchett||Stephen Baxter, Esther M. Friesner, Dr. Pat Harkin, Ian Mitchell, Bernard Pearson, Colin Smythe, Reb Voyce, Rob Wilkins More TBA||TBA|
- NADWCon2009 ran from Sept. 4 - 7, 2009. There was also a pre-convention event on Sept. 3, and a library appearance by Sir Terry Pratchett (made possible by NADWCon, but not part of the official convention) at the Glendale, AZ library on September 8. The convention was considered a great success, and Pratchett declared it "the best Discworld Convention" he'd ever been to.
- NADWCon2011 was held in Madison, Wisconsin on July 8–11, 2011, at the Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club.
- NADWCon2013 was held in Baltimore, Maryland on July 5-8, 2013, at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel.
Following the successful conclusion of NADWCon2009, an oversight and sponsorship committee, dubbed The Guild of Chelonavigators, was formed to decide the location of the next convention and to maintain any archives and assets of the conventions from year to year. The Guild currently consists of a chair, four voting members, and a consulting member. The Guild is not actively involved in planning the biennial conventions; rather, it acts as an advisor to the convention's planning committee, and a sponsor to the convention as needed.
The logo for NADWCon2009 featured the convention name encircling a stylized turtle and the number '2009.' The motto of the convention was, "The Turtle Moves!" The turtle seal was designed by Emily S. Whitten, Vice Chair and Webmaster of NADWCon2009, who owns the rights to the design. The Guild of Chelonavigators has adopted the stylized turtle, with permission, for its logo.
The logo for NADWCon2011 features a black owl with a white ankh defining its beak and doubling as chest-markings for the owl, sitting on the "2011," and encircled by the convention name in yellow and red. The owl is grasping sausage links in its claws, which trail down to encompass the 2011 convention logo: "More Ankh, Morpork!" The owl seal was designed by Jon Lemerond, Vice Chair of NADWCon2011.
The logo for NADWCon2013 features a traditional disc with four elephants, but the turtle, Great A'Tuin, has been replaced by a Maryland blue crab, which Baltimore is famed for. The crab holds in its claw a banner which reads "The Turtle Moved!" The original concept was conceived by Ben Jarashow and the final design was created by Ray Friesen.
- NADWCon 2009 FAQs - What is the North American Discworld Convention? ("We chose 2009 to avoid conflict with the UK Discworld conventions that take place during even-numbered years – which makes us officially odd!")
- North American Discworld Convention: The Official Announcement! alt.fan.pratchett group, Nov. 22, 2007
- First North American Discworld Convention to be Labor Day (Weekend) 2009, SFScope, Nov. 20, 2007.
- Discworld Convention 2010: About Us
- Book-signing tours by Terry Pratchett "posted by Terry Pratchett on alt.fan.pratchett on 10th August 2005"
- Audio clip of the question being asked at the 2005 Q&A.
- PJSMPrints Discworld News (Sir Terry Pratchett's official news page), May 3, 2010.
- Authors @ The Teague Presents Sir Terry Pratchett
- Terry Says Goodbye to nadwcon 2009 ("The first ever North American Discworld Convention, nadwcon 2009, was held last week and this, September 4–7, in Arizona and was a huge success.")
- Discworld Comes to the Midwest ("The first Discworld convention in North America took place in Tempe, AZ in September of 2009 and was deemed a big success by fans, guests, and even by Sir Terry Pratchett himself, who was the Guest of Honor.")
- Terry Pratchett Forum, North American Discworld Convention 2009 ("Terry said it was the best convention he'd ever been to.")
- FabulousLorraine.com ("...and Terry said it was the best convention ever.")
- Announcing the formation of The Guild of Chelonavigators and soliciting bids for NADWCon2011
- The North American Discworld Convention official website[dead link]
- NADWCon Twitter feed
- The current North American Discworld Convention Facebook page
- 2008 Interview with Sir Terry Pratchett, by Emily S. Whitten, in which he discusses NADWCon2009
- The Washington Post: Book World Live: 'Discworld' Author Terry Pratchett (Terry mentions NADWCon2009)
- Terry Pratchett Books site at HarperCollins