Necon Is Moving to Salem, Increasing Capacity

Necon Is Changing Its Venue to

Salem State University in Salem, MA,

Increasing Capacity to 250 Campers

Dear Necon Campers,

Here’s the TL;DR version of what follows — The Northeastern Writers’ Conference is thrilled to announce that we are changing our venue and increasing our capacity. Beginning this summer at Necon 40 (July 16th – 19th, 2020), the convention will be held at Salem State University in Salem, MA, and can accommodate up to 250 fully registered (i.e. four-day, overnight) Campers.

Before we launch into the full story, you may want to pour yourself a cup of coffee — or, perhaps, two fingers of Maker’s Mark — and get comfy.  🙂

Shortly after Necon 39 concluded, we were informed by Roger Williams University that they were undergoing institutional changes and could not confirm the Baypoint Inn & Conference Center for our announced dates next summer. We immediately began researching other venue options, and we’ll be straight with everyone, the results were not promising. Finding a venue that “checked every box” Necon requires was daunting, and we began to fear we’d have to accept a location that, quite frankly, would have sacrificed much of what makes Necon “Necon” (i.e. the convention would have morphed into a typical “hotel con”).

Then, a too-good-to-be-true opportunity fell into our laps.

But first, a bit of background — forty years ago, Roger Williams University reached out to Bob Booth after he chaired the World Fantasy Convention in Providence. The university had just begun hosting conferences on its campus and asked to pitch themselves to Bob as a potential venue. Bob took the visit, and as he suspected they were way too small to host an event like WFC … but they were the perfect size (and cost) to launch his own small writers conference. And hence, Necon was born.

Much like Bob was approached four decades ago, the director of summer conference and hospitality services at Salem State University reached out to us and asked if we had considered holding Necon in Salem. And truthfully, the answer to that question was no! No matter how perfect it would be to hold a horror/speculative fiction convention in Salem, we never dreamed we could find a suitable venue there!

Emails led to phone calls, which led to a site visit, and we were blown away each step of the way. Not only did Salem State check every box for us, they offered upgraded facilities and accommodations and the ability to increase our capacity. Moreover, they offered us a chance to return to Necon’s roots, housing most of our Campers in four-person, two-double-bedroom suites on a college campus. (Side note: there are also a limited number of suites with single rooms, set up to accommodate as few as three and as many as six people.) Perhaps most importantly, they not only secured our dates for this summer, they offered us a multi-year, fix-priced contract that secures us the third weekend of July every year, affording the convention security and stability going forward. All told, we truly believe that Necon will not have to sacrifice or compromise anything that makes us what we are with this move; in fact, on literally every level, this is a flat-out better option for us.

We’ve put together the following pictures from our site visit to give everyone a taste of what’s in store for us at Salem State. The University, by the way, is only a mile away from Downtown Salem, featuring all of its museums, stores, restaurants, historical sites, etc. And our liaison at the University has graciously offered to hook us up with “Destination Salem” so that Necon will be properly connected with and welcomed into Salem’s rich horror community!

Salem State Campus Map


A map of Salem State’s campuses, with our relevant buildings circled. As you can see, our event space  is two blocks from our dorm and cafeteria. The walk takes about 5 to 7 minutes through a residential neighborhood on a flat sidewalk (no major hills). There is parking available at both locations for Campers who have their own car and wish to drive, and the University has offered to rent us 8-seat golf carts to help shuttle Campers back and forth.

Viking Hall (Our Dorm)


Main lobby, first floor. Note two pool tables (there’s a third upstairs).

Second floor lounge / seating area with T.V. and jacks for gaming counsels.
There’s such a lounge on every floor. And yes, there are elevators!

Starbucks attached to Viking Hall.
Closes at 2:30PM and this space is ours to use as we see fit after they close.

Meeting room attached to Starbucks by retractable wall. Full AV capabilities. Seats 80-ish.

Starbucks outdoor patio seating. Will be available to us all hours.

More patio / courtyard seating (featuring Mike Myers!).

One side of the Viking Hall quad. We have assurances that all of our usual late-night Necon activities, such as talking, singing, hanging out, and everything we’ve typically done outside into the wee hours, will be permitted in these areas.

Main / front quad of Viking Hall. Salem State has a strict smoke-free campus policy, but smoking is allowed just beyond the front sidewalk, approximately 15 to 20 yards from the front door. A follow-up email regarding the University’s no smoking policy, and covering MA state laws regarding marijuana, will be sent at a later date. And FYI, the barn-shaped building across the street is a liquor store.

“Kitchen Lounge” featuring seating area, full fridge, large microwave, etc.
There’s one of these on every floor.

“Quiet Lounge” (i.e. seating area without a T.V., intended for studying).
There’s one of these on every floor, too.

Two-person bedroom (each suite typically has two of these).
The beds will be on the floor so they can be pushed together if desired.

Vanities. The toilet is in a separate room to the left and the shower is in one to the right; that keeps the toilet available while people shower.

“Kitchenette Nook” with mini-fridge and microwave. There’s one of these in every suite.

Marsh Hall (Cafeteria)


The quad between Viking Hall and Marsh Hall.
They’re about 100 yards apart (and we can hang out on this lawn, too).

The dining hall. Seats over 300. Large screen TV and lounge area with couches not pictured. This space will be available to us at all times (including evenings).

Food lines / serving area, first picture (was too big for one shot).

Food lines / serving area, second picture. Refreshments will be available at all times, and there are also vending machines in every building.

Second floor outdoor patio. This space will be available to us at all times (including evenings).

Small breakout conference room. There was another larger one of these as well, and both will be available to us.

Ellison Center (Event Space)


Front courtyard, first picture (was too big for one shot).

Front courtyard, second picture.

Main lobby / lounge area.

“Commuter Lounge,” one floor beneath main lobby. Space will be available to us at all times.

Small conference room off of the “Commuter Lounge.”

Larger meeting room off of the “Commuter Lounge.” Seats 80 to 100-ish and features full AV capabilities.

“The Underground” room (hence the sign on the wall), first picture (was too big for one shot).

“The Underground” room, second picture.

“Martin Luther King, Jr.” room, first picture (was too big for one shot).

“Martin Luther King, Jr.” room, second picture. Includes full AV capabilities.

Main Hall, first picture (was too big for one shot). Our primary programming / entertainment space. Wall on right retracts for a capacity of 250.

Main Hall, second picture (other side of retractable wall). The two flat-screens mirror the main screen, on to which we could project live speakers / panelists.

More about Salem State can be found at https://www.salemstate.edu.

We know that change can be scary and unsettling, and we recognize there are sure to be adjustments for all of us at our new venue. For example, any Campers planning to fly in for Necon should now book their flights to Logan Aiport in Boston rather than T.F. Green (side note: a follow-up email regarding travel arrangements will also be sent as a later date). For our part, we plan to spend the next ten months keeping everyone as informed as possible and (hopefully!) anticipating and addressing issues before they arise. That said, due to this venue change, we will honor any requests for a full refund (deposits included). But we’re not expecting to receive very many, because Necon at Salem State, in the city that’s very much the hub of the New England horror community, is going to be an AMAZING fit!

Thank you all so much; we hope you’re as excited as we are, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to us should you have any questions.

See you this July in Salem!

Registration for Necon 40 NOW OPEN!

Dear Campers,

Short and sweet — registration for Necon 40 is now officially open.

Writer Guests of Honor: Tananarive Due, Victor LaValle & Bracken MacLeod

Artist Guest of Honor: Leila del Duca

Toastmaster: Kasey Lansdale

Necon Legends: Joe R. Lansdale & Kathryn Ptacek

And as if that’s not enough to entice you, the Necon XL anthology (edited by Matt Bechtel, Christopher Golden & Bracken MacLeod, published by Haverhill House Publishing) will be debuting at con … where a SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION will be gifted to every full registrant of the convention.

Please trust us when we say that slots for next year are going to fill fast, so PLEASE CLICK HERE to register today!

The Northeastern Writers' Conference, a.k.a. Camp Necon

Necon 39: Call for Goody Bag Swag!

Dear Necon Campers,

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it — Christopher Golden wrote most of this copy a few years ago to solicit materials for the Necon Goody Bags, and it worked so well that we’ve updated the dates and recycled it every year since. So if this message feels like déjà vu all over again, please feel free to skip to the end for the address and deadline for goody bag donations.

Once upon a time, it was enough for us to contact the publishers, tell them about Necon, and ask them if they had any books they wanted to donate. That hasn’t worked in a very long time. For the past few years, we’ve written a little note like this one and every Necon Camper has reaped the rewards.

If you’re a publisher and you’d like to donate books, magazines, or promotional merchandise, that would be fantastic. If you’re an author or editor and would like to try to persuade your publisher to do the same, that’s wonderful as well.

Authors, if you’ve got that box of spare copies sitting around, send ’em along.

Remember, even though we cap attendance at 200, that doesn’t mean you need to have 200 copies to donate. The goody bags are always mix and match.

This year, the official deadline for us to receive goody bag donations is Friday, July 12th, 2019. Although let’s face it, that’s a soft deadline; if you write us in advance and ask to send your donations after the 12th, we’ll be more than happy to accommodate you. Please ship any materials you’d like to donate, including (but not limited to) books, bookmarks, magazines, and merchandise to —

Necon 39
ATTN: Goody Bags
365 Columbus Ave.
Pawtucket, RI 02861

Thanks and see you in July!
— Sara Booth & Matt Bechtel
Co-Chairs, Necon 39

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! Change to Necon 39 Dais!

Dear Necon 39 Campers,

Due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict, Megan Abbott will not be able to attend Necon 39 this summer. She sends her apologies, and she looks forward to joining us in the near future. On behalf of the entire Necon Family, we’d like to send Megan our very best. Because of this late change to the dais, Necon will honor any refund requests we receive from Campers who have already registered.

But sometimes, out of chaos comes opportunity. In discussing who should replace Megan on this year’s dais, a truly egregious error of omission was called to our attention and we jumped at the opportunity to right this long-overdue wrong. As such, Necon is thrilled to announce that LINDA ADDISON has accepted our invitation to attend Necon 39 as a Writer Guest of Honor!

Linda D. Addison grew up in Philadelphia and received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Carnegie-Mellon University. She is the author of four collections: How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend (Crossroad Press), Being Full of Light, Insubstantial, Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes and Animated Objects (Space & Time Books) and has published over 300 poems, stories and articles. Her work has also appeared in numerous publications, including Essence magazine, Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction and anthologies, Scary Out There (Simon Schuster), The Beauty of Death (Independent Legions Publishing) and Into Painfreak (Necro Publications). She co-edited Sycorax’s Daughters, an anthology of horror fiction & poetry by African-American women (publisher Cedar Grove Publishing, 2017) with Kinitra Brooks and Susana Morris, which was a HWA Bram Stoker finalist in the Anthology category.

In 2001, Addison was the first African-American to win the HWA’s Bram Stoker Award for superior achievement in poetry for Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes (Space & Time Books). She has received three additional awards for collections: The Four Elements written with Marge Simon, Rain Graves and Charlee Jacob (2013 Bad Moon Books); How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend short stories and poetry collection (2011 Necon E-Books / Crossroad Press); and Being Full of Light, Insubstantial (2007 Space & Time Books). Dark Duet (Necon E-Books / Crossroad Press), a collaborative book of poetry written with Stephen M. Wilson was a 2012 HWA Bram Stoker finalist. Other prominent recipients of this distinguished award include authors, Alice Sebold (Lovely Bones) and J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter Series). In 2018 she received the HWA Lifetime Achievement Award.

She is the only author with fiction in three landmark anthologies that celebrate African-Americans speculative writers: the award-winning anthology Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction (Warner Aspect), Dark Dreams I and II (Kensington), and Dark Thirst (Pocket Book).

Her work has made frequent appearances over the years on the honorable mention list for Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and Year’s Best Science-Fiction.

Our sincerest thanks to Linda for accepting our invitation on such short notice, to Megan for her continued support, and to all Campers for your understanding regarding this unexpected change. We look forward to seeing you all in July!

Registration for Necon 39 NOW OPEN!!!

Short and sweet — registration for Necon 39 is NOW OPEN!!! PLEASE CLICK HERE to reserve your spot today!

We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our AMAZING dais of Guests (PLEASE CLICK HERE to read more about them) —

Writer Guests of Honor: Megan Abbott, Grady Hendrix and John Langan
Artist Guest of Honor: Reiko Murakami
Toastmaster: Kristin Dearborn
Legend: Thomas Tessier

Thank you all again; we look forward to seeing you next summer!

The Northeastern Writers' Conference, a.k.a. Camp Necon

Necon 38: A Call for Goody Bag Swag!

Dear Necon Campers (past, present, and future),
 
If this message seems vaguely familiar, quite frankly, it should. Christopher Golden wrote most of this copy a few years ago to solicit materials for the Necon Goody Bags, and it worked so well that we’ve pretty much just updated the dates and recycled it ever since!
 
Once upon a time, it was enough for us to contact the publishers, tell them about Necon, and ask them if they had any books they wanted to donate. That hasn’t worked in a very long time. For the past few years, we’ve written a little note like this one and every Necon Camper has reaped the rewards.
 
If you’re a publisher and you’d like to donate books, magazines, or promotional merchandise, that would be fantastic. If you’re an author or editor and would like to try to persuade your publisher to do the same, that’s wonderful as well.
 
Authors, if you’ve got that box of spare copies sitting around, send ’em along.
 
Remember, even though we cap attendance at 200, that doesn’t mean you need to have 200 copies to donate. The goody bags are always mix and match.
 
The official deadline for us to receive Goody Bag donations is (appropriately enough!) Friday, July 13th, 2018. Although let’s face it, that’s a soft deadline; if you write us in advance and ask to send your donations after the 13th, we’ll be more than happy to accommodate you. Please ship any materials you’d like to donate, including (but not limited to) books, bookmarks, magazines, and merchandise to —
 
Necon 38
ATTN: Goody Bags
365 Columbus Ave.
Pawtucket, RI 02861
 
Thanks and see you in July!
Sara Booth
Chairperson, Necon 38

Necon 38: Call For Volunteers

A brief message from Volunteer Coordinator Trish Cacek —

Camp Necon is just around the corner…

So the CALL IS OUT for volunteers!

If you’d like to become part of the

send Trish Cacek an email

pdcacek@yahoo.com

Only 20 slots this year, so get goin’!

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! Change to Necon 38 Dais!

Dear Necon 38 Campers,

Due to circumstances beyond her control, Sarah Pinborough will not be able to attend Necon 38 this summer. She sends her apologies, and she looks forward to joining us in the near future. On behalf of the entire Necon Family, we’d like to send Sarah our very best. Because of this late change to the dais, Necon will honor any refund requests we receive from Campers who have already registered.

But we’re not expecting to receive too many. Because out of chaos comes opportunity, and we’ve made the most of this one — Necon is thrilled to announce that HELEN MARSHALL has agreed to join us this summer at Necon 38 as a Writer Guest of Honor!

Helen Marshall is a Senior Lecturer of Creative Writing and Publishing at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England. She is also the general director of the Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy there.

Her creative writing aims to bring the past into conversation with the present. After receiving a PhD from the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Oxford investigating literature written during the time of the Black Death. Her first collection of fiction, Hair Side, Flesh Side, which won the Sydney J Bounds Award in 2013, emerged from this work as a book historian. Rather than taking the long view of history, her second collection, Gifts for the One Who Comes After, negotiated very personal issues of legacy and tradition, creating myth-infused worlds where “love is as liable to cut as to cradle, childhood is a supernatural minefield, and death is ‘the slow undoing of beautiful things’” (Quill&Quire, starred review). It won the World Fantasy Award and the Shirley Jackson Award in 2015.

She edited The Year’s Best Weird Fiction, volume 4 this year for Undertow Publications and her debut novel The Migration will be released by Random House Canada in February 2019.

Our sincerest thanks to Helen for accepting our invitation on such short notice, to Sarah for her continued support, and to all Campers for your understanding regarding this unexpected change. We look forward to seeing you all in July!

Necon 38 Officially SOLD OUT!

Dear Campers —

NECON 38 IS OFFICIALLY SOLD OUT!

We’re sorry-not-sorry to announce that we’ve already hit our capacity for Campers this summer.

However, there’s no limit upon Walk-In registrants, so please CLICK HERE and use the form to join us in that capacity (or simply pay at the door when you arrive).

Also, as we always inevitably receive cancellations, we’ve started a Waiting List. Simply CLICK HERE and submit the form and we’ll notify prospective Campers on a first-come, first-served basis as / if spots become available.

Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to seeing you this summer!

Registration for Necon 38 NOW OPEN!!!

Short and sweet — registration for Necon 38 is NOW OPEN!!! PLEASE CLICK HERE to reserve your spot today!

We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our AMAZING dais of Guests (PLEASE CLICK HERE to read more about them) —

Writer Guests of Honor: Sarah Pinborough, David Wellington and Dana Cameron
Artist Guest of Honor: Jason Eckhardt
Toastmaster: Errick A. Nunnally
Legends: Brian Keene and Carole Whitney

Thank you all again; we look forward to seeing you next summer!