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All About the Balticon Exhibits, Functions & Program Tracks

This page lists the functions and events from Balticon 47. The schedule for Balticon 49 has not been finalized, but this page offers a sample of the kinds of events that will take place at Balticon 49.

Balticon Exhibits, Functions & Program Tracks

 Back to Index  ANIME PROGRAM TRACK  Back to Top 

While Balticon is not an anime convention, we certainly recognize the importance anime has had science fiction/fantasy community culture over the past several decades. The Balticon Anime Program Mini-Track offers 4 to 6 program hours of discussion panels and presentations, focusing on various aspects of anime, including introductions for those new to anime, as well as culture, history, or fandom. See Anime Panels Schedule on the Panels and Workshops page for panels and presentations details.

 Back to Index  ANIME ROOM  Back to Top 

The Balticon 49 Anime Room, located in Salon E, is open from 4:00 PM Friday through the end of the last feature on Monday, with a one hour break each morning for hotel housekeeping service. The Anime Room shows feature length anime films as well as consecutive episodes of Anime Series films. Between 8 AM and 10 AM we schedule material that is appropriate for all age groups. In general, Anime screenings between 9:00 pm at night and 11:00 pm will not be appropriate for young people under age 13. Screenings between 11:00 pm and 6:00 in the morning should be considered not appropriate for children at all, and not appropriate for teens who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian. Screenings before Noon are geared to general audiences. Every effort is made to schedule content between 10 AM and 9 PM which has age appropriateness equivalent to PG or PG-13. See this Anime Ratings document for more information.


 Back to Index  ARTISTS ALLEY  Back to Top 

The Balticon Artist Alley, located in the hallway outside the ballrooms housing the "main tent" and Art Show brings you various Arts and Artists along with offerings of their work for sale. Artists, please contact Artists Alley manager Tristan Alexanader as soon as you can after January 1, 2016, to reserve a table. PLEASE NOTE: Artists Alley only has 17 spaces and we have sold out before the end of March in some years. We cannot hold a table for you because you have been a "regular" in previous years. Tristan will attempt to maintain a good mix of artists in Artists Alley. He will confirm your reservation or return your check to you by the end of April.

 Back to Index  ART PROGRAM TRACK  Back to Top 

The Art Program Track brings you over 20 hours of presentations, demonstrations, workshops and discussion panels with our artist guest of honor, art show and artists alley exhibitors and other artists participating at Balticon. Attend a workshop to learn a new techinique. Watch artists, using the "ELMO" to project onto a screen, create work right in front of you. Listen to presentations about art history or about artist's personal experiences in the industry. Attend discussion panels about topics ranging from how to sell your art, to how to keep your head straight and still get the work done, to who's who in science fiction and fantasy art.

Artists who have a workshop, demonstration or lecture they would like to present, or an idea for a discussion panel they would like to moderate or be a panelist for, should contact the Art Program Coordinator to get the ball rolling on your participation.

 Back to Index  ART SHOW  Back to Top 

The Balticon Art Show showcases two- and three-dimensional art across the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. Paintings, prints, sculpture and unique jewelry will be on display and for sale via silent auction and quicksale purchase.

Art Show Rules and Registration Form are available as PDFs, the Registration PDF is a "fillable" form. To register, download and fill out the form, then mail it with your payment to:

The Balticon Art Show
PMB 311
4725 Dorsey Hall Drive, Suite A
Ellicott City, MD

Or fax (with Credit Card payment) to: 410-799-0545.


Deadline to register: May 1, 2015.

This year we are pleased to have Ruth Sanderson as our Artist Guest of Honor, come meet her on Friday at 9pm. We are also continuing with our regular Meet the Artist events, where our artists spend an hour in the Art Show during the weekend meeting people and talking about their work. Artists can contact the Art Show Director to sign up for a time slot.

Exhibiting artists who would like us to print a link to their website or contact information and/or up to 10 lines (i.e. 200 words, 1100 characters) of biographical information on this page should provide that information by writing to BSFan AT balticon DOT org with ARTIST BIO in the subject line. If you have questions or need help, please email Nora at artshow AT balticon DOT org.

Please email artshow AT balticon DOT org if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions. See you at Balticon!
 Back to Index  AUTOGRAPHING  Back to Top 

Balticon provides any scheduled program participant who wishes it with one hour of shared table space for signing autographs. Autograph sessions at Balticon are always no-fee signings. We encourage participants to purchase authors and artists works at Balticon (the Dealers Room is adjacent to the Autograph Table in the Maryland Ballroom foyer) and have them autoghraphed right away! All Balticon 49 Autograph Sessions will be held at the Autograph Table in the foyer outside the Maryland Ballroom.

In 2015, these authors, artists, podcasters and others will sit for autograph signings at Balticon 49:

2015 Compton Crook Winner

 Back to Index  BSFS Books for Kids  Back to Top 

For the 18th year in a row, a charity auction will be held during the halftime break of the Masquerade on Saturday night and continued in Salon C/D on Sunday afternoon. There will be SF&F collectibles, memorabilia and other exotic items put on the block. If you have something to donate to the auction bring it to the con. In past years BSFS sponsored a charity auction at Balticon to raise money for Reading is Fundamental program/programs at a school or schools in Maryland. In 2006 the auction was renamed the "Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction at Balticon" in honor of BSFS member Bobby Gear to commemorate her years of service as a school teacher and BSFS volunteer.

When the charity we were working with became inactive in Maryland, we knew it was important to us to keep the work alive. Therefore we were pleased to introduce, in early 2010, the BSFS Books for Kids program, and are proud to continue this literacy program in 2015.

BSFS Books for Kids

BSFS Books for Kids will gift funds raised to the PTA of the selected school for the purchase of books ordered by students for personal recreational reading. The books will become the personal property of the students. In addition, BSFS Books for Kids collects book donations for local school libraries, as requested by their resident librarians.

The Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction at Balticon 49 will be raising money so that BSFS Books for Kids can provide book purchase funding for the students of Buck Lodge Middle School.

Items for the auction are donated by both individuals and companies and generally have a SF or fantasy theme. Author- and artist-signed copies of books, art work, games, and SF collectables are very popular donated items. Please remember that this auction provides books to children to encourage them (and their families) to read. Bid generously!

Friday, approximately 5:00 PM The Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction at Balticon will be set-up for pre-view until Saturday night. (Hunt Ballroom)
Saturday, approximately 10:30 PM The Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction at Balticon, Part I Masquerade half-time. (Valley Ballroom)
Sunday, approximately 2:30 PM The Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction at Balticon, Part II (Salon C/D)

The auction at Balticon is held during the masquerade half-time while the judges deliberate and the audience wait to hear the winners. Part II of the auction is held on Sunday following the art auction. Items available for auction are displayed in the Art Show from Friday night until Saturday night. To donate items for the auction throughout the year, or for other details about the auction in any given year, please contact BooksForKids AT balticon DOT org.

If you would like to bring your donations for the Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction with you to Balticon, they can be dropped off at the Convention Operations desk at the end of the hallway on the lower level just past the Art Show.

BSFS Books for Kids is currently collecting new and used book donations for the libraries of several schools in Baltimore City. They are in need of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance and Poetry books, as well as less challenging books like Goosebumps, Sweet Valley High, etc. for reading competency levels from grade 3 on (ages 8 and up).

You may drop-off book donations for the schools at the Info desk, the Volunteers Desk and at Convention Operations.

Thank you for supporting youth literacy in Maryland!

 Back to Index  CHILDREN'S PROGRAM TRACK  Back to Top 

Balticon, on Saturday, Sunday and on Monday morning, presents 22 hours of entertaining, educational, fun programming for children from toddlers to pre-teens. Program items include magic, music, dance, crafts projects, art, storytelling and costuming. If you would like to be a presenter or facilitator for a Balticon Childrens' Program hour, please contact coordinator Eta Hack about your idea.

 Back to Index  CON SUITE  Back to Top 

Balticon offers its members a traditional convention hospitality suite with soda and snack foods in a congenial atmosphere designed to promote casual conversation. In addition, there are children's events scheduled on Monday.

 Back to Index  COSTUMING PROGRAM TRACK  Back to Top 

Balticon offers 12 hours of costuming panels, workshops and presentations. We try to schedule quite a bit of that before the Masquerade so that novices can pick up some last minute coaching if they want it. However, the Masquerade post-mortem is a no-to-be-missed event!

 Back to Index  DANCE  Back to Top 

Balticon is proud to present a number of dances over the weekend. Friday night will see the return of our traditional steampunk ball, as well as a swing dance and dance for younger fans. Patches will host the medieval dance on Saturday afternoon with live music. Kristin Seibert will be making her Balticon debut on Sunday, calling a contra dance with live music.

 Back to Index  DEALERS ROOM  Back to Top 

The Balticon DEALER'S ROOM:

Features 6500 square-foot of tables with everything a Fan might want, from hard-to-find books to ancient weapons, costumes, collectibles, models and more. This year, the room will be open late Sunday and until 2 pm Monday. See the Dealers Room page for a list of vendors.

Dealers in SF and Fantasy related merchandise can inquire about availability by writing:
     Balticon 49 Dealers Room
     c/o P.O. Box 70013
     Baltimore, MD. 21237

     or by e-mail to Dealers AT bsfs DOT org

Balticon 49 Dealers room is sold out.

 Back to Index  FAN PROGRAM TRACK  Back to Top 

Balticon's Fan Program Track includes events such as the SF Trivia Contest, panel discussions on getting the most from your convention experience, examining lifestyle choices, looking at ways to be involved in fandom, demonstrations of some of the hobbies fans get involved in and discussions about various aspects of topics such as space war, private enterprise in space, and more.

 Back to Index  FILM AND TV PROGRAM TRACK  Back to Top 

The Film and TV Program track offers opportunities to compare and contrast current and past film and television offerings, celebrate favorites with other fans, compare literary and film versions of works, and discuss the trends in SF entertainment.


For the 12th consecutive year, The Baltimore Science Fiction Society sponsors The Balticon Sunday Night Short Film Festival (BSNSFF), held traditionally on (surprise!) Sunday night, will be presented animated and live action science fiction, fantasy, and horror films from independent filmmakers all over the world. Award ribbons and/or certificates are given for audience choice animated, live action and specialty film (science fact, music videos) favorites as well as director's choice. For entry guidelines, or more information about the Balticon Film Festival, download the Details, Application and Permission to Screen forms or contact filmfestival AT balticon DOT org.

In addition, Balticon seeks to support the work of independent = filmmakers by premiering an independently produced feature-length film, = "The Forsaken Pages," at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday -- following the Film = Festival. We hope you will stay up late to see what we have to show = you!

We accept proposals for film premiers and other feature films as well as film festival submissions year-round.

Sunday, 6:50  PM Doors open for seating for Balticon 49 Sunday Night Short Film Festival (Valley Ballroom)
Sunday, 7:00  PM Balticon 49 Sunday Night Short Film Festival (Valley Ballroom)

Doors open at 6:50 PM. However, if you arrive earlier, you are both welcome and encouraged to enter. An interview with Terry Pratchett, "Shaking Hands With Death", has been scheduled to precede the Film Festival so that you can pick it up at any time after 6 p.m. that you arrive.

Come and make your opinion count! Please note that films shown after 9:00 pm may not be appropriate for children under 13 without an accompanying adult.

The focus of the Balticon Sunday Night Short Film Festival (BSNSFF) is on independently produced science fact, science fiction, fantasy and horror live action and animation projects under 52 minutes run time, which have been completed no earlier than in the two years prior to the festival year. The BSNSFF is a competitive festival with winners in two (sometimes three) categories determined by audience rating. Please make sure you pick up a ballot on your way into the Valley Ballroom on Sunday night. After May 2015, see the Film Festival Schedule for this year's screening schedule.

 Back to Index  FILMMAKING PROGRAM TRACK  Back to Top 

The Balticon Filmmaking program track was introduced at Balticon 44 and continues at Balticon 49 with the same dual primary missions:

To provide a forum wherein talent, producers, directors, special effects technicians and others involved in making independent science fiction, science fact, fantasy, and horror films can meet each other and discuss their trade;

To provide opportunities for Balticon members to meet folks involved in independent filmmaking, learn about the filmmaking process from those who are out there doing it and see their work in screenings throughout the weekend.

See the Filmmaking Track Schedule on the Panels and Workshops page for more information.

 Back to Index  GAMING PROGRAM TRACK  Back to Top 

This is the fourth year that we have offered fans a Gaming Programming Track. In addition to the great panels planned for this year's Balticon we are excited to be able to offer Role Playing (RPG) and Miniatures Gaming events that will occur continuously throughout the convention starting Friday night and ending sometime Monday afternoon. Check out the schedule for all gaming presentations, RPGs, Miniatures games, and late night programs that we have to offer. Please contact the the Gaming Program Coordinator if you are interested in presenting a workshop or demonstration or sitting on Gaming Program panels.

 Back to Index  GAME ROOM  Back to Top 

Balticon 49 will find the Hal Haag Memorial Game Room in a new space, The Belmont. Right next to the new con suite and very near our old site. There will be an emphasis on board, card, and social games with lots of overflow space in the adjacent hallway. RPG and miniatures will have their own venue. Bring your own game or play one from our huge library. We will be open from 4:00 pm until 2 am Friday, from 10:00 am through 2 am on Saturday and Sunday nights and from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm on Monday. There will be GM's available, several game demos scheduled and BSFS's own Social Class Invitational starting nightly at 10:00 pm. Come play with us.

 Back to Index  HALL COSTUME CONTEST  Back to Top 

If you're attending Balticon in a costume, please stop by the volunteer desk to have your photo taken for the hall costume contest. Anyone can vote at the table by the bottom of the escalator. The winner will receive a membership to Balticon 50, as well as bragging rights. Young fans are encouraged to participate!

 Back to Index  KAFFEEKLATSCHES  Back to Top 

Kaffeeklatshes offer an opportunity to chat with Guests in a more intimate setting. Sign-up sheets are located at the Information Desk near the top of the escalators. See the Special Events or Panels and Workshops page for the Kaffeeklatsche Schedule.

 Back to Index  LARP (Live Action Role Playing)  Back to Top 

Remember your parents telling you stories about things that go BUMP in the night? All sorts of dark and dangerous creatures that would prey on human emotions, leaving you trembling in fear? Well...most of those stories have a grain of truth to them. Some more than others. But wherever there is darkness, creatures of the light will be there to protect us...holding back the evil and sealing it away, never to threaten us again. And thus it has been for thousands of years. Until now...

The year is 2015. The place is Seattle. Magic is real. Very real. All manner of supernatural creatures walk among us, yet remain hidden to prying eyes. They have slowly emerged from the shadows to help keep watch over humanity. For according to prophecies foretold by the Great White Council, the great evils that have been held at bay by magically sealed rifts are once again threatening to break loose from their bondage. Portents abound: massive meteor strikes, a great unknown pyramid arising in the Persian Gulf, a shadowy being cloaked in darkness and oozing malevolent intentions skulking around Washington D.C., and the inexplicable pull that the Supernaturals are now feeling to go to an unknown location in...of all places...Omaha. It is a puzzle. One which will draw both Supernaturals and humans alike into the fray. But is it too late? Has Malevolence grown too strong while biding its time in exile? Is someone...or something...aiding it? What is to be done?

Join the small, rag-tag group of supernatural beings and their human allies as they plot and plan a means to safeguard all of humanity. For it is within the walls of their sanctuary in Seattle, a run-down looking tavern known as The Golden Coin, that we will see them take a stand against that which threatens them and their own. Overseen by a family of Bear Shifters and managed by the likes of Fae, Demons, Celestials, and Mages, The Golden Coin is both home and haven to them, as well as the resting place for one of the few operational portals still in existence. They are there...watching these events unfold with equal parts interest and concern. And they are not the only ones. Both sides see the potential. And both are prepared to do anything in their power to achieve their goals.

 Back to Index  LITERARY PROGRAM  Back to Top 

Balticon Literary Program Track participants with qualifications as authors, editors, publishers, reviewers and long-time fans will explore varied themes in SF, Fantasy, Horror and mixed-genre literature through panel and round table debates and discussions, workshops, presentations, author readings and personal autograph session interactions. Multiple literary program tracks (Readers, Writers, Small Press Publishing, and [new for 2013] Editors) make this the core of Balticon programming.


This track is geared to placing professional editors in the panelist seats and on the presenter's podium sharing their knowledge and experience with professional and aspiring editors and writers. Danielle Ackley-McPhail is coordinating this track.

 Back to Index  LITERARY PROGRAM: POETRY TRACK  Back to Top 

Enter the Annual Balticon Poetry Contest! Here's your chance to win cash prizes, a convention membership, and have your work published in the BSFAN, the souvenir book of Balticon. Entries should address the themes of science fiction/fantasy/horror/science. Limit: 3 poems/person, maximum 50 lines each. Email/postmark deadline: March 1. No entry fee. For more information or to submit online, visit the Balticon Poetry Contest page. Questions, email poetry AT balticon DOT org.


In the Readers sub-track, with readers and fans as its target audience, everything from philosophical debates, story telling, book reviews, science speculation and historical perspectives will flow. Reviewers and Fan group members will review and discuss work and its place in the genre to help you find new literature suited to your taste. Audiences will have opportunities to cheer panelists on as they produce story ideas on the spot and panelists will evaluate audience efforts to do the same. Whether your personal fascination is with hard SF, fantasy or horror, there will be plenty of panels for you to attend.

 Back to Index  LITERARY PROGRAM: READINGS  Back to Top 

Author and editor program participants are invited to give readings of their work. Check the Readings Schedule to find out when your favorites will be presenting their work. We will again be using the two or three readers per program hour format this year. Readers can all sit at the table together, or may elect to take turns at the table, and will decide themselves the order in which they will read.


We are trying very hard to provide programming for small press publishers at Balticon. Through our Small Press Publisher Presents items, we hope to be able to offer small press publishers the opportunity to present their "line-up" to fans at Baltcon, just as the "big houses"do at WorldCons. Fans will have chances to win prizes, get first glimpses of cover art and hear about the publishers' upcoming books before they're released.


In the WRITERS TRACK, professional instructors will offer lectures and workshops on developing and enhancing writing skills. Panels of professional and aspiring writers will discuss how they got where they are, where they want to go, and share tips and tricks and experiences.

 Back to Index  MASQUERADE  Back to Top 

On Saturday night Balticon hosts one of the oldest masquerades on the East Coast. Marvel at the participants' crafting of fabric and other materials into imaginative and extraordinary costumes. The Masquerade is not just for experienced costumers either -- Hall Costumes and first-timers are encouraged to get up on stage and share their work. The masquerade competition will be judged on the experience skills division system to give beginners a chance to go home winners. Info: e-mail masqerade AT balticon DOT org or check "Masquerade" on the registration form. Check the Baltimore Science Fiction Society website for the Masquerade rules.

 Back to Index  MUSIC/FILK PROGRAM TRACK  Back to Top 

FILK & OTHER MUSICAL MAYHEM: Balticon is home to one of the East Coast's strongest tracks of filk and fannish music, featuring a variety of concerts, panels, and workshops, plus open filk all three nights. This year's concert schedule includes Decadent Dave Clement, Glyn Collinson & Andrew Marcus, recent two-time Pegasus Award winning Cheshire Moon, and Sassafrass. And of course our fabulous Music GOH, the filk community's resident philosopher, Erica Neely. Info: filk AT balticon DOT org. Click on the following link to the MUSIC PROGRAM TRACK SCHEDULE to see all the scheduled concerts for this year's Balticon 49.

 Back to Index  NEW MEDIA PROGRAM TRACK  Back to Top 

There's a whole wonderful world of non-traditional media available and, as we did last year, we're bringing you more than just podcasting. Come and meet local artists and writers from the world of web comics and many other fascinating people leading the new media explosion. Learn more about what's available in independent new media and how to turn it to your advantage. Dont let your work be lost in the shadows: find your audience! Balticon was the first con to run new media programming and have its own dedicated podcast, which makes ours the longest running new media track.

 Back to Index  PARTIES  Back to Top 

Illustrative text from a prior Balticon


NOTE: The first TEN open party signups we receive will get their cleaning fee paid by the con! This is a first come, first serve deal, so don't wait! ALL parties, including PRIVATE parties, MUST be registered with the Balticon Party Czar.

Let's keep the fun going into the night! If you are interested in throwing a room party at Balticon 47, to support your convention, your Worldcon bid, or just because you want to invite people in to have some fun, we'd love to have you. Please email for details.

Open parties will be registered and grouped in one area easily accessible to everyone. Registering your open party will ensure that you are covered by Balticon's corkage agreement (allowing you to serve food and non-alcoholic drinks), and that your neighbors don't mind the noise generated. Parties will be open until 3:00 am. Alcohol is not permitted at open room parties.

There is a $50.00 for the weekend party cleaning fee that the hotel will add to your bill for hosting open room parties. This one time fee is $50.00 for one, two or three nights of hosting an open party.

If you plan on holding a private party,let us know at party{at}balticon{dot}org; we will put you with the other parties so you can stay up all night talking and laughing without worrying about potential noise complaints. If your room is in the party area, but you are not throwing an open party, you will not be charged the additional cleaning fee. The hotel will take a deposit for open party rooms which will be returned when they confirm the room is not damaged. Open party rooms must be confirmed with hotel before April 24, 2013, or the hotel may reject the request for such a room. Please check the box on the registration form if you would like to receive the open-party information packet or send mail to Following these rules means we can continue holding open room parties at Balticon.


Illustrative text from a prior Balticon

The Performing Arts Program was a successful new mini-track experiment at Baltifcon 46. We hope to again be offering 4 to 6 hours of workshops and performance opportunities, but the former coordinator has stepped down and we need someone to take over!

 Back to Index  SCIENCE PROGRAM TRACK  Back to Top 

Balticon 49 offers over 32 hours of original science programming. Meet the scientists and attend fascinating presentations and panel discussions. As always, Balticon's Science program is first-rate. The program this year includes Science Special Guest Edie Stern -- the inventor and holder of 140 information technology patents. In addition, there will be the much anticipated annual lecture by Dr. Tom Holtz on the new discoveries about dinosaurs that have been made during the last year, alone. An event not to be missed! Beyond those presentations, which are held in Balticon's largest venue, there is an outstanding array of scientists, physicians, and other experts making presentations within multiple science disciplines. The complete Science program schedule may be viewed at

 Back to Index  SKEPTICS PROGRAM TRACK  Back to Top 

Skepticism, or scientific critical thinking, fits at the combined juncture of science and science fiction and fantasy. While most sessions at Balticon imagine how aliens, sorcerers, space ships, or dragons might behave, and the science track discusses new technologies and their impact on our world, the skeptics track discusses issues of whether such beings or devices really can exist and what would we accept as evidence of the truth of any such claim. Balticon presents several such talks that answer how we evaluate and accept as true many of these claims.

 Back to Index  TEEN (AGES 13-18) PROGRAM TRACK  Back to Top 

Illustrative text from a prior Balticon

The Teen Program Track includes workshops, panels and round table discussions for fans, readers and writers aged 13 to 18. Literary and art professionals will offer information and coaching as well as act as moderators for panels and round tables.

 Back to Index  VIDEO ROOM  Back to Top 

Balticon 49 again offers a Video Room featuring some of the best in recent and classic Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films and Television Shows. This year the Video Room will be spotlighting Science Fiction and Fantasy Films of the 1980's and Celebrating Fairy Tales with many film adaptations. The Video Schedule will be posted at the Video Room and in the Pocket Program. Please Note: All Start Times are APPROXIMATE.

See the Schedule posted at Salon F.


Balticon is an all-volunteer managed and staffed convention and we can always use more help. Show your SF community spirit by volunteering a few hours at the con. Volunteers who work more than 10 hours receive our exclusive volunteer T-shirt. Work more than 20 hours and next year's Balticon membership is comped. Sign up via email, at the convention or check the Volunteering box on the registration form. And if you decide not to volunteer, take a moment to say thank you to those who do! This convention wouldn't exist without them.

 Back to Index  WORKSHOPS  Back to Top 

Balticon brings you a variety of workshops in the Anime, Art, Children's, Costuming, Gaming, Literary:Writing, and Filmmaking program tracks. See the Panels and Workshops page for the Workshops Schedule.

Poetry Workshop

The Balticon 49 Poetry Workshop explores the arena of verse from inspiration and writing to submitting for publication and small press publishing. Join us afterward for the annual poetry contest award winners' reading and open mic. Check the Balticon 49 pocket program for time and location. Preregistration is not required. For more info on the workshop or poetry contest, visit or email poetry AT

Writers' Workshop

You Have To Have Character: We will critique character development in people's writing. To do this, we ask that all participants bring a sample of their writing that describes, develops, illustrates or otherwise presents a character. There will be discussion on how to create a character, both in fiction and non-fiction.

For those who want to improve your writing skills in the areas of science fiction and fantasy, the workshop is a place and time to discuss ideas, debate styles and comment on each others' work. From year to year, we look at various aspects of writing:

  1. Opening lines
  2. Outlines
  3. Themes
  4. Character development
  5. Story structure
  6. Dialogue

In addition, we also discuss and debate those things that make SF&F different from 'mainsteam' literature: story ideas ranging from the dawn of time through the future, parallel worlds, civilizations human and non-human, technology advancing and threatening; settings near and far, on this planet and others, running across dimensions, travelling through the past and future; characters that are human, non-human, organic, inorgranic, physical and spiritual; settings ranging from worlds the size of a microbe to civilizations spanning galaxies. Yet all these connecting to us as people.

Having trouble with your short stories? We can work with you. Not sure how to write a novel? Talk to others who have done one or two. Wondering how to approach an editor, or how to write a cover letter? Let us help you. We don't guarantee story sales, but we do what we can to help you. If you have questions, write to writersworkshop AT bsfs DOT org. Coordinator Steve Lubbs looks forward to hearing from you.

 Back to Index  YOUNG FAN (AGES 17-25) PROGRAM  Back to Top 

Illustrative text from a prior Balticon

The Young Fan Program Track includes workshops, panels and round table discussions for fans, readers and writers aged 17-25. Literary and art professionals will offer information and coaching as well as act as moderators for panels and round tables. Some items will be open to both Teens and Young Fans. We are especially working to include lots of hands-on craft presentations.

All materials copyright © 2010 Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Inc., unless otherwise noted.