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


C’mon, you didn’t really except us to have the schedule posted yet, did you? That’ll come much closer to the convention itself. In the meantime, please take a look at our docket from last year for a taste of what you can expect this summer!

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*** 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, We’re Here to Help … Wait a Sec, Where Are We
Hosted by Matt Bechtel
We usually host an introductory Q&A for “newbie” Campers to get their feet wet, but let’s face it, our new digs are new to everyone! As such, we’ll also do our best to field questions about our new venue.

7:00 p.m. Camp Necon 40 Welcome Reception
Thanks to our new partners at UMass-Lowell, we‘ll have a buffet of finger foods with the cash bar open. Chairperson Matt Bechtel will make a welcoming toast during the reception, Mary SanGiovanni will toast Dave Thomas, and Elizabeth Blue and Sephera Giron will toast Lisa Mannetti.

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


8:00 a.m. Breakfast

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

9:00 a.m. The Frank Michaels Errington Five Star Books Kaffeeklatsch
James Chambers, Garrett Cook, Nikki Hopeman, Valerie Williams
Our annual “year’s best books” discussion, held in honor of one of the finest reviewers, champions, and friends this community has ever known. R.I.P., Frank; we love you.

10:00 a.m. Celluloid Heroes: The Year’s Best Movies Kaffeeklatsch
Michael Arruda, Victoria Dalpe, Shannon Grant, Jonathan Lees
Kudos to anyone who can make a case for Mother Schmuckers with a straight face.

11:00 a.m. No Longer Just the Boob Tube: The Year’s Best TV Kaffeeklatsch
Elizabeth A. Black, Scott Goudsward, Paul McMahon, Judy Pancoast
Camp Necon is not responsible if you leave this kaffeklatch inspired to subscribe to a dozen new streaming services.

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 hosted by John Goodrich, Chris Irvin, Mike Myers, & possibly more!

1:00 p.m. How to Create a Character Arc and Keep it Going
Dana Cameron, Richard Dansky (Moderator), John Langan, Allison Pang, Morgan Sylvia
Whether it’s throughout one story, one novel, or a series thereof, crafting a consistent and compelling character arc is an essential element to penning fiction. Our authors discuss taking their characters on a journey.

2:00 p.m. A Panel for Bob: The Art of the Novella
John C. Foster, Tom Deady, Tony Tremblay, Trisha Wooldridge (Moderator), Rio Youers
Camp Necon Founder Bob Booth insisted the novella was his favorite form of literature, but the truth is that “long short fiction” can be a hard sell. A group of authors who’ve successfully done so discuss work that lands in that “word count no man’s land.”

3:00 p.m. The Evil Men Do: Horror Without the Supernatural
Kristin Dearborn, Patrick Freivald (Moderator), Marianne Halbert, Joe R. Lansdale, Bracken MacLeod, L.L. Soares
Seriously, has there ever been a more relevant, timely panel considering the current state of the world than this one? Sadly, we think not. These esteemed authors discuss writing what’s real and scary rather than really scary.

4:00 p.m. Golden Memories: What It Was Like to Work During the 80s/90s Horror Boom
Craig Shaw Gardner, Joe R. Lansdale, Lori Perkins, Stephen Mark Rainey (Moderator), Darrell Schweitzer, Melissa Ann Singer
It was dubbed “The Golden Age of Horror” for a reason; please enjoy a look back with our Campers who helped shape it. (Please note, any anecdotes about Christopher Golden are completely extemporaneous.)

5:00 p.m. Camp Necon 40 Class Photo (in the Main Ballroom)

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

7:00 p.m. Official Necon 40 Toast by Toastmaster Charles R. Rutledge

8:00 p.m. Meet the Authors Party

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

10:00 p.m. Kan Jam (a Necon Olympic Event)


8:00 a.m. Breakfast

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

9:00 a.m. Crossing Literary Streams, or the Blending of Genres
Dianna Catt, Gerald Coleman, Sephera Giron, Carol Gyzander, Chris Irvin, Nicholas Kaufmann, Errick Nunnally (Moderator)
More and more authors, and their work, are simply defying simple genre classification. A group of authors whose books could belong on any number of shelves in Barnes & Noble discussing embracing and appealing to multiple niche audiences at the same time.

10:00 a.m. Whose Line Is It Anyway: The Fine Art of Collaboration
Jeannine Acheson, Charles Colyott, Christopher Golden (Moderator), James A. Moore, Charles R. Rutledge, Thomas E. Sniegoski
Admit it, it would be kinda funny if everyone on this panel kept talking over each other and had trouble falling into a rhythm together.

11:00 a.m. You’re No Fraud: Dealing with Imposter Syndrome
P.D. Cacek, Jack Haringa (Moderator), Mike Myers, Kyle Rader, Rhonda Rosenheck, Craig Wolf
From — “This psychological phenomenon, known as imposter syndrome, reflects a belief that you’re an inadequate and incompetent failure despite evidence that indicates you’re skilled and quite successful.” A group of brave and honest Campers discuss this demon that torments many in our community.

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)
Gretchen Felker-Martin, Bracken MacLeod, Charles R. Rutledge (M), Mary SanGiovanni
The centerpiece of Necon Programming. Toastmaster Charles R. Rutledge honorably interviews this year’s Guests (with a special guest appearance by our good friend Christopher Golden).

2:30 p.m. What Makes a Good Book Cover (and How Has It Changed Over the Past 40 Years)?
John McIlveen, Reiko Murakami, Jose Nieto, Ogmios (Moderator), Cat Scully
They say not to judge a book by it’s cover, but we think the title of this panel is self-explanatory. Artists and publishers discuss.

3:30 p.m. 40 Years of Camp Necon: A Panel of Reminiscences
Avis Crane, Barbara Gardner, Dot Godin, John Godin, Hank Wagner (Moderator), Carole Whitney, John Wilson, Mad Wilson
We feel that four decades of this convention — and this group of panelists, all of whom are salt-of-the-con Campers — are both worth celebrating.

4:30 p.m. Charting New Paths in Horror: How Much of the Genre’s History Do We Carry Over Into Today’s Horror?
Peter Dudar, Gretchen Felker-Martin, Gary Frank, John Goodrich, Mary SanGiovanni (Moderator), Douglas Wynne
It’s one thing to be influenced and inspired by your genre’s history; it’s quite another to feel beholden and pressured by it. Our authors discuss the fine line between honoring the past while still growing and blazing a new trail with their work.

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

6:30 p.m. Artists Reception

8:00 p.m. All Hail the Popcorn King: A Screening and Q&A Session
Director Hansi Oppenheimer screens All Hail the Popcorn King, her documentary about Camp Necon Legend Joe R. Lansdale, followed by a Q&A session hosted by Toastmaster Charles R. Rutledge.

9:30 p.m. Camp Necon Honors Jack Haringa
Hosted by Mike Myers and featuring a panel of dignitaries. An intimate interview and discussion honoring Jack’s wide-ranging contributions to the horror community.

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. Cornhole (a Necon Olympic Event)


8:00 a.m. Breakfast

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

9:00 a.m. That New Book Smell, or New Authors Who Will Reinvigorate Our Community & Genre
Michael Burke, Teri Clarke, Stephen Cords, Michelle Renee Lane, Paul McNamee (Moderator)
A panel featuring some of the finest authors who are currently at varying early stages in their career arcs, discussing what it’s like breaking in now and how the challenges they’ve faced differ from previous generations of genre writers.

10:00 a.m. Space & Time Magazine: A Retrospective
Linda Addison, Gary Frank, Gordon Linzner, Mike Penncavage, Hildy Silverman (Moderator)
It is the seminal title in science fiction magazines. A look back, and a look forward, at Space & Time Magazine.

11:00 a.m. Camp Necon Town Meeting

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

12:00 p.m. Farewell Lunch