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Announcements of Future Mythcons

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  • David Lenander
    I wanted to respond to Lynn s explication of (?!! current) policy on Mythcon advance announcements. When I came on to the council, back in the 80s, this was
    Message 1 of 46 , May 30, 2007
      I wanted to respond to Lynn's explication of (?!! current) policy on
      Mythcon advance announcements. When I came on to the council, back
      in the 80s, this was policy, but after extensive arguments I believe
      it was reversed. I'm very sorry to hear that it's been reinstated.
      I think that the premise is wrong, or only sometimes accurate (that
      people will not come to Mythcon if there's going to be one next year
      that's more convenient), while the other side, that a year's notice
      is insufficient for some people to attend is far more likely. We
      announced Mythcon 24 and its theme well over a year in advance. Of
      course, we had some problems with changing guests of honor, when our
      original Scholar choice didn't respond for months, and then in the
      negative, and our Writer pulled out after initial announcements had
      gone out. I believe that much of the success of Mythcon 24 (one of
      the most financially successful Mythcons up to that point, and I
      believe successful on several other levels) was due to the
      announcements. A number of guests who'd never attended a Mythcon
      before, or even been aware of the Society, came because they had more
      time to think about and then decide to attend; several were able to
      obtain institutional support because of the advance announcement.
      While a year would seem to be sufficient, it takes a while for
      publicity to start getting out those announcements after the August
      announcement, and if you don't learn of a conference until November
      or December or January, the department budget is already gone, or
      you've previously committed to attending some regional MLA thing or
      something with the IAFA or whatever, so your allotment is gone.

      It's particularly crucial for inexperienced committees, I think. It
      just took us a while to really get going on some things (Mythcons are
      a lot more complicated than a lot of SF cons, or even more literary
      or professional conferences, because there are so many diverse
      expectations and rules, even though they're usually small). I
      wouldn't consider trying to bid for another Mythcon in the twin
      cities with only a year's time to put it together. We assisted with
      the Mythcon 30 organization, when Richard West agreed to pick up for
      a failed bid at the last minute, but Richard and others had already
      been planning a Bree Moot 4 at that point.

      Being in the Society we've often "known" where the likely bid was
      going to be approved, and started tentative planning in that
      direction--but for those we want to find and invite in to join us,
      this isn't going to happen if they don't have any way of hearing
      about likely rumors. I thought that the reason that we'd gone to
      having less advance notice was simply because there were no bids put
      together sufficiently to have received Council approval. I believe
      that Mythcons would be somewhat larger and healthier if approved
      paper calls, theme, dates, locations (at least the city) could be
      announced farther in advance. I think that the publicity of a
      current year Mythcon is also enhanced if you can start piggy-backing
      information about the following year's as well: it gives people a
      better understanding of what the Society is about. I think we
      started releasing some info about Mythcon 25 before Mythcon 24,
      though perhaps I'm wrong, I suppose Wendell would remember if all
      details were embargoed until the Council meeting in Minneapolis that
      year. It makes it clear that (for example) although this year's
      theme is Children's Literature, the Society isn't primarily focused
      on Children's Lit, and if it's not your bag, then next year's is on
      "The Language of Myth" or whatever. Possibly someone who would've
      come to Minneapolis from the east coast decided against it, upon
      learning that there'd be one in Washington, DC, but I think it's more
      likely that someone who couldn't make it anyhow, but wanted to,
      started planning to attend the one coming next year in Washington.

      But let me ask other participants in this discussion, if you're
      planning to attend this year in Berkeley, would it change your plans
      if next year's was going to be in your home city? What if it was
      going to be in Philadelphia or Seattle or Chapel Hill or Montreal? I
      suppose if Lynn and the current Stewards just think I'm wrong about
      this, I may be. Or we may be all partly wrong. I've said my piece
      (for the 50th time), and Lynn probably isn't any more convinced than
      when we were on Council together in the 80s. But maybe she'll bring
      it up again for discussion, anyhow. (And by the way, even when I
      disagree with Lynn, I'm delighted that she's back on the Council.
      I've personally thought of her as the Personification of Mythcon for
      years. Don't tell her.)

      On May 29, 2007, at 6:22 AM, mythsoc@yahoogroups.com wrote:

      > Re: Mythcon in 2008
      > Posted by: "lynnmaudlin" lynnmaudlin@... lynnmaudlin
      > Tue May 29, 2007 2:38 am (PST)
      > Ellen, with the exception of the two UK Tolkien Society Conferences
      > which incorporated Mythcon, it is the Mythopoeic Society's policy
      > *not* to publicize an upcoming Mythcon until the current Mythcon has
      > started, for exactly this reason: some people might say, "well, next
      > year is more convenient for me so I just won't go THIS year..." and
      > that's not in our best interest. The current conference committee is
      > working very hard to put together a terrific event and they tend to
      > feel undermined if the specifics of the following year's event is out
      > there too early; I'm speaking generically, not specifically of
      > Berkeley. There was much discussion among the Council of Stewards to
      > give permission to publicize the Tolkien Centenary Conference but, due
      > to the extraordinary circumstances, it was allowed in a "start saving
      > your money now!" kind of approach.
      > We do anticipate that the details (date and location) of the 2008
      > Mythopoeic Conference will be announced and memberships for Mythcon 39
      > --2008-- will be sold) at Berkeley.
      > *sorry*
      > -- Lynn -- (Secretary for Mythopoeic Conferences...)
      > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Ellen <carnimiriel@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > I'm curious whether it has been decided where Mythcon will be in
      > 2008.
      > > I'd like to get to Berkeley this summer, but I have a lot of other
      > stuff
      > > going on, like a family wedding and a writing workshop, which
      > ends just
      > > a week before Mythcon. Having some idea of the dates and location
      > for
      > > next year may help me decide.
      > >
      > > If it has not been decided yet, at what point can we expect to
      > find out?
      > >
      > > Thanks,
      > >
      > > Ellen Denham

      David Lenander
      2095 Hamline Ave. N.
      Roseville, MN 55113


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    • Cole C Matson
      My thanks to everyone for their welcoming replies. I m consolidating my responses into one post so as not to clog up your mailboxes. Wendell: I m not sure my
      Message 46 of 46 , Jun 11, 2007
        My thanks to everyone for their welcoming replies. I'm consolidating my responses into one post so as not to clog up your mailboxes. Wendell: I'm not sure my class paper would be of high enough quality to stand alongside other Mythcon presenters, but I'll take a look at it and see if I can get it up to snuff for submission. Thank you very much for the Knossos schedule. Emerdavid: Of course pun intended. Re: the MySpace page: The reason I didn't volunteer to create one was because of exactly the reasons David Bratman mentioned. I've only been a member a few months; if a page were to be created, it should be created by someone in an official capacity. And I wholeheartedly agree with David when he said, "We don't have to reinvent the Society to some low media denominator." If that happened for the sake of attracting members, much of the value of the Society would be lost. The trick is not to change it so that more people want to join, but to let more people know about it so that those people (like me) who would say, "Wow, such a thing EXISTS!?" will find what they've already been searching for. (Btw, I found out about the Soc. through Google - I was searching either for Lord of the Rings sites, or for sites about the Inklings, if I remember correctly.) Ellen: I am also on LiveJournal. I know there are several Tolkien/Lewis communities, some of which actually have good discussion. (On the "tolkien" community, someone just tried to post their "fanpics" of male LOTR characters engaging in romantic relationships with each other, and links to their club for the encouragement of the same. Several other members of the community gently but firmly suggested that, while that person had the right to post whatever he/she wanted, those drawings might not be quite appropriate for a community of people who were serious about discussing, among other topics, the moral and spiritual themes of the Middle-Earth Legendarium - oh, and they also weren't very respectful of the author's own beliefs. [Kind of like the LOTR tarot deck I saw sold at the Renn Faire where I work. The owner didn't care. It made me sad.] I was surprised to find on LJ something more than just rabid movie fans.) Lynn: Thank you for the tip about the "Starving Scholars" fund! Don't worry, I will be sticking around, and will try to make it to the next Mythcon (or Knossos meeting) I can. Cole

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