Schedule of Events for the Northeastern Writers' Conference, a.k.a. Camp Necon


C’mon, you couldn’t really have expected this yet, right? Hell, we got the schedule for 2023 up right after 7/1 and it was the earliest it’s ever been published!

I give you my solemn word we’ll have our Programming Schedule published as soon as possible, but it’s gonna be MUCH closer to the convention because, well, we need to know who’s going to be here before we start putting people on panels! In the meantime, here’s the kick-butt lineup we put together for last summer to give you a general idea of what’s in store for 2024!


Updated 7/12/23

*** NOTE — Subject to change at a moment’s notice due to unforeseen circumstances ***


2:00 p.m. Registration Opens

2:00 p.m. Camp Necon Hawaiian Shirt (& Other Garments) Contest Begins!
Secret judges will be watching all weekend, so any Hawaiian shirt, mask, or other garment worn during the convention is eligible to win!

5:00 p.m. Welcome to Camp Necon / The Camp Necon Shout Out Hour
Hosted by Matt Bechtel; Opening Remarks by Craig Shaw Gardner
First, esteemed author and Hall of Famer Craig Shaw Gardner welcomes everyone to Camp Necon! Then, rather than an introductory Q&A for “newbie” Campers, but we thought we’d try something different this year — what better way to show new Campers who we are as a community then spending an hour recognizing authors, artists, etc. we feel have been under-appreciated?

7:00 p.m. Camp Necon 41 Welcome Reception
A buffet of finger foods with a cash bar open, to welcome everyone to the convention!

10:00 p.m. TBD (a Camp Necon Olympic Event)


8:00 a.m. Breakfast

9:00 a.m Registration, Dealers Room, and Art Show Open

9:00 a.m. Beyond Bigfoot: Lesser-Known Cryptids and Local Monsters as Subjects for Stories
Richard Dansky, Sephera Giron, Jack Haringa (Moderator), Gordon Linzner, Rena Mason, Hildy Silverman
Sure, everyone knows Bigfoot, Nessie and the Abominable Snowman, but every culture has contributed their own myths to global folklore. Our experts discuss incorporating some not-quite-as-legendary legends into your writing.

10:00 a.m. Bloody Swords & Dark Magic: Horror Elements in Swords & Sorcery
Gerald Coleman, Craig Shaw Gardner, Paul McNamee, Darrell Schweitzer, Mike Squatrito, Morgan Sylvia, Trisha Wooldridge (Moderator)
I can’t be the only person who was scared silly by Shelob in Lord of the Rings! But c’mon, can you really work a giant spider into your novel and claim it’s not horror?

11:00 a.m. The Coming AI Publishing Apocalypse (Doomsday Preppers Division)
Salvantonio Clemente, Mark Eshbaugh, Patrick Freivald, Nicholas Kaufmann (Moderator), Jamie Levine, Lori Perkins
Seriously, are authors and artists going to be the first casualties in the Terminator “Rise of the Machines” narrative?

12:00 p.m. Lunch; Registration, Dealers Room, and Art Show Close

1:00 p.m. Registration, Dealers Room and Art Show Re-open

1:00 p.m. RPG-Palooza!
Games and hosts TBD (beyond John Goodrich, who is a ROCK!).

1:00 p.m. Pushing Boundaries: The Art of Extreme Horror and Splatterpunk
Tom Clark (Moderator), Garrett Cook, Bracken MacLeod, Billy Martin, Bridgett Nelson, Jeff  Strand
A.K.A. the “Goddamn Do We Miss You Dallas!” panel. Simply put, when done well and right, there’s far more to extreme horror and splatterpunk than just pandering for shock value. Out panel discusses the art and craft of balance when you’re aiming for over-the-top.

2:00 p.m. Refusing to Stay In Your Lane: Building a Career Across Genres
Linda Addison, Kristin Dearborn, John Foster, John McIlveen, Jennifer McMahon, Hilary Monahan (Moderator)
Writers are often told to build a brand in one genre and not jump around, but what if you just can’t help yourself? Multi-genre writers discuss the pleasures and pitfalls.

3:00 p.m. Punk Fiction: Protest in Prose
David Baille, Matt Bechtel, J.S. Breukelaar, John Goodrich, Carol Gyzander (Moderator), Sawney Hatton
At its core, punk was and still is an unapologetic protest against the myth-making entities that seek to control how and what people think — it tirelessly rages against that machine in myriad ways and under a multitude of banners, sub-genres, and DIY movements. Inevitably, punk has deeply affected other art forms, not the least of which is fiction.

4:00 p.m. Please Judge a Book By Its Cover: The Art and Business of Cover Design
David Dodd, Duncan Eagleson, Lynne Hansen (Moderator), Todd Keisling, Ogmios, Francois Vaillancourt
We all do it. Our panelists will explain how they create dynamic covers that make sure the judgment is in the book’s favor.

5:00 p.m. Camp Necon 41 Class Photo (in the Main Ballroom)

5:30 p.m. Dinner; Registration, Dealers Room, and Art Show Close


Evening hour entertainment blocks are often “more adult” than other programming (if this was T.V., viewer discretion would be advised); there will be alternatives for those who feel this may not be their cup of tea.

7:00 p.m. Welcome to Camp Necon After Dark: An Introduction / “Mea Culpa”
A few words from the Camp Necon Executive Subcommittee

7:15 p.m. Official Camp Necon 41 Toast by Toastmaster Tony Tremblay

7:30 p.m. Special Encore Screening! Madness and Writers: The Untold Truth Maybe? Extended Trailer

7:35 p.m. Camp Necon Update with Jeff Strand
Followed by the Camp Necon Hall of Fame Inductions of Sephera Giron & Weston Ochse

8:00 p.m. Meet the Authors Party

10:00 p.m. Cornhole (a Camp Necon Olympic Event)

10:00 p.m. TBD (a Camp Necon Olympic Event)


8:00 a.m. Breakfast

9:00 a.m. Registration, Dealers Room, and Art Show Open

9:00 a.m. Stretching Yourself: Moving From Short Fiction to Long Fiction
Tom Deady (Moderator), Kyle Rader, Zin E. Rocklyn, Julia Rust, Tony Tremblay, Craig Wolf
Simply put, they’re different forms; a short story isn’t a condensed novel, and a novel isn’t an elongated short story. A panel of authors who have made, or are going through, the transition discuss the process.

10:00 a.m. Do You Hear What I Hear? A Discussion of Audiobooks and Podcasts
Michael Arruda, Russ Colchamiro (Moderator), Emma J. Gibbon, Linda Jones, Douglas Wynne
A lot of authors and fans don’t know much about how audiobooks are created, and the advent of podcasts has created a new medium for the distribution of fiction. Our panel discusses the process of going from printed page to listening device.

11:00 a.m. Get By With a Little Help From My Friends: Self Care Tips for Writers
Meghan Arcuri, Dianne Buja, Christopher Golden, Catherine Grant, John Harvey, Allison Pang, Melissa Sherlin (Moderator)
Last year’s panel on dealing with “Imposter Syndrome” was an unqualified triumph. In that same spirit, we recognize that writing can often be a difficult calling to pursue; our panel discusses ways to take care of yourself and keep your head above water.

12:00 p.m. Lunch; Registration, Dealers Room, and Art Show Close

1:00 p.m. Dealers Room and Art Show Re-open

1:00 p.m. Guest of Honor Interviews (Note: extended 90 minute panel)
Maurice Broaddus, Josh Malerman, Jennifer McMahon, Tony Tremblay (Moderator)
The centerpiece of Camp Necon Programming. Toastmaster Tony Tremblay honorably interviews this year’s Guests.

2:30 p.m. A Retrospective/Appreciation of the Writing of Billy Martin
Victoria Dalpe (Moderator), Eric LaRocca, Billy Martin, L.L. Soares, Jamie Weida
It’s not often our Artist Guest of Honor is also an acclaimed author. As such, we’d like to take an hour to appreciate Billy Martin’s artistry with words.

3:30 p.m. Did You See That Coming (and, If Not, Was it a Cop Out)?: Sticking the Landing Without Sucker-Punching
Charles Colyott, P.D. Cacek, Marianne Halbert, Michael Huyck, Vaughn Jackson (Moderator), David Surface
I had a college professor who insisted every novel had one and only one proper ending; our authors talk about preserving mystery and the delicate balance of ambiguity in supernatural works while making sure readers don’t feel cheated.

4:30 p.m. Dream Theater: Getting Adapted to Screen
Maurice Broaddus, Dana Cameron, Jean-Francois Dubeau, Josh Malerman, Cat Scully (Moderator), Paul Tremblay
Writers discuss the pleasures and the disappointments of having their work adapted to screen (big or small). Is it still fun when you see how the sausage is made?

5:30 p.m. Dinner; Registration, Dealers Room, and Art Show Close

6:30 p.m. Artists Reception


Evening hour entertainment blocks are often “more adult” than other programming (if this was T.V., viewer discretion would be advised); there will be alternatives for those who feel this may not be their cup of tea.

8:00 p.m. Camp Necon Honors Yvonne Navarro
Hosted by Mike Myers and featuring a panel of dignitaries. An intimate interview and discussion honoring Yvonne’s countless contributions to our community.

9:00 p.m. We Honestly Don’t Know, But We’re Damn Excited! With Josh Malerman & Allison Laakko
Writer Guest of Honor Josh Malerman and the insanely talented Allison Laakko offered to entertain all of us. We didn’t ask what they have planned, but we can’t wait to find out!

10:30 p.m. The Traditional Camp Necon Saugy Roast

10:30 p.m. High-Low-Jack (a Necon Olympic Event)

10:30 p.m. TBD (a Necon Olympic Event)


8:00 a.m. Breakfast

9:00 a.m. Dealers Room and Art Show Open

9:00 a.m. Beyond Netflix: Schlock Feeds the Machine
Larissa Glasser (Moderator), Shannon Grant, Jason LeBlanc, Jonathan Lees, Brent Tripp, Trish Wilson
Free and cheap streaming services are a wealth (?) of B-movie “delights” that spark the imaginations of many writers. The panel discusses some of the best brain candy on the web and where it can be found.

10:00 a.m. Isn’t Batman Kinda Scary?: The History of Horror in Comic Books & Graphic Novels
John Buja, Michael Burke (Moderator), James A. Moore, Errick Nunnally, Angi Shearstone, Hank Wagner
A.K.A. the “Goddamn Do We Miss you Les!” panel. From Detective Comics to Watchmen to Locke & Key, horror has always informed the form of comic books and graphic novels. Our panel sheds light on the dark side of panel fiction.

11:00 a.m. Camp Necon Town Meeting

12:00 p.m. Dealers Room and Art Show Close

12:00 p.m. Farewell Lunch