As readers, writers, and general fandom individuals, we all have lists of characters we'd kill villains to meet, authors we'd love ...

My Dream Fandom Conference

As readers, writers, and general fandom individuals, we all have lists of characters we'd kill villains to meet, authors we'd love to learn from, and conferences and comic-cons we can only dream of attending. But imagine... what would it be like to compile your dream list of all the bookish people you've ever loved and get them to meet you and each other at one epic event in the fandom location of your choosing?

Well, at this point it actually remains a dream (fingers crossed though). A dream... and a series of blog posts that Eventbrite is putting together. They're an online ticketing platform to help creators organize events and attendees register for them, and they invited me to be part of this cool new project where bloggers dream up their ultimate author and/or character conference panels, and then do posts about them. Although, because I am, well, me, one panel was not enough... so I created an entire conference instead.

You're welcome.

Panel 1: So You're the Chosen One: Advice From Those Who Have Gone Before
Obviously, this is a must-have for any character conference, covering such topics as managing homework from all classes, everything from potions to maths to kickbutt fight skills; various relationships (including the necessary best friend and possible love triangle/significant other); blocking out the haters who don't believe in you or your prophecy; how to handle your first encounter with your respective Dark Lord/other villain; and, for the YAs, how to not die before your 16th or 17th birthday (no guarantees can be made after that though).
Panel features: Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and the crew from Heroes of Olympus' Argo 2, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and special guests: Blue and the Raven Boys to add a unique perspective if your villain is a little out of the ordinary.

Panel 2: Chosen Nones: So You're Not the Chosen One
This one's for the secondary characters, particularly those who actually could've been the Chosen Ones if given the chance and/or were particularly instrumental in the Dark Lord/Lady's defeat. Tips include how to not-die if someone you know suddenly has a prophecy surrounding them, encouragement you can offer when they're certain they'll never be strong enough to win, as well as general Do Not's (i.e. betray them to the Dark Lord, get captured, die, etc) and Do's (health and meal management, humor to lighten the moment, general motivation to give them something to fight for, and of course killing henchmen while leaving the big baddie for the Chosen One).
Panel features: Neville Longbottom, Nico di Angelo, Grover Underwood, Samwise Gamgee, Carswell Thorne, Scarlet Benoit, and Cress Darnel.

Panel 3: Brains, Brawn, and Blaze: Resistance 101 for the Completely Unqualified
For the dystopian/post-apocalyptic/general BRING-DOWN-THE-MAN authors, books, and characters in attendance. We'll cover the necessary tech, sparkling personalities of the faces of the resistance, and imminent betrayal of all who are supposedly on your side, leaving your unqualified self to battle the baddie alone with your equally unqualified, motley crew.
Panel features: Linh Cinder, Kaito, Katniss Everdeen, Gale Hawthorne, Zane, Four, Tris Prior, and Day Wing.

Panel 4: To Steal the Hearts of Fangirls: (or really just me)
I'll admit it: this is a panel just for me, where I bring in all the characters who completely stole my heart, whether in a romantic sense, because they were just wonderful people, or because they were small, fluffy babies who desperately needed someone's protection and sure as heck weren't getting it from their authors.
Panel features: Noah of The Raven Boys, Peeta Mellark, Sohan Kishan Rajaram, and Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Obviously, no fandom could ever be complete (or even begin, actually) without its author, and so after a week-long brief break to fangirl, the final four panels will feature the authors themselves.

Panel 5: Weird Writers: Where in the Heck Did You Get That Idea?
Panel covers what to do when your idea is flying out of the box; how to answer this question when people inevitably ask it and deal with the following criticism; and how to find confidence and just write no matter how unorthodox your story happens to be.
Panel features: Suzanne Collins (for obvious reasons), Phil Vischer (we're going to talk about VeggieTales, but he has written books, so he counts), Patrick Carman (particularly concerning Dark Eden), and Rick Riordan (because seriously Greek gods are actually really weird).

Panel 6: From Ordinary to Extraordinary: Writing about the Real World
Panel covers both historical and contemporary fiction, teaching things like who, what, and where to draw inspiration from, how to find the incredible in the seemingly uninteresting, and how to breathe new life into stories as normal as your life, making them as remarkable and captivating as a bestselling fantasy.
Panel features: Laura Ingalls Wilder (because in my imagination bringing her back is totally a thing), Sarah Dessen, and C. Lee McKenzie (Double Negative though).

Panel 7: To Write by Faith
A discussion with writers from several genres of Christian fiction. They'll be teaching us how to create stories that are both brilliant in delivery and built on faith, containing lifelike characters instead of unreal caricatures, and whose themes and plots are entertaining, exciting, and encouraging all at once.
Panel features: Ted Dekker, Jill Williamson, Rachelle Rea, C.S. Lewis (yup, bringing him back too), and Robin Jones Gunn.

Panel 8: To Weave a World Out of Words
The final panel covers everything from basic setting and description to the deeper nuances and thought processes behind the worldbuilding; how all of these come together to develop the worlds we know and love; and how the rest of us can turn our 2-dimensional squiggles on a page into a 3-dimensional world of unfolding awesomeness that fans can revisit for ages to come.
Panel features: S. E. Groves, Cornelia Funke, J. R. R. Tolkein (also returning him from the grave), Cameron Dokey (even the names were characterized in Winter's Child), Maggie Steifvater (who I actually am going to learn from at First Seven Sentences!!!!), and Gail Carson Levine.
And that, my friends, would be my dream conference! Honestly, there's probably a lot more panels I could come up with, lol, but we'll go ahead and stop at eight because I think these are pretty solid. ;)

So, who would you have at your dream conference? Care to attend mine, lol, or would you do something completely different? Can't wait to hear from you, and thanks, Eventbrite, for inviting me to do this post!

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  1. I think we should all tailor conferences just for us. What a great idea.

    1. I know right? lol. It would be so amazing to actually be able to do this!

  2. I would so go to this conference. XD It sounds amazing! :D

  3. This sounds amazing! I love the phrase Chosen -none, that cracks me up! I LOVED Noah (I just finished the Raven Cycle, and I'm confused--he died, right, at the end? I didn't get it) and Kaito is my BAE honestly. Yesterday I was fangirling about the Lunar Chronicles with my friends as we walked somewhere, and a lot of squealing was involved. Also, you get to meet Maggie Stiefvater? That's so cool!

    1. Haha, thanks. My best friend came up with that! :)

      (I believe so, yes. Though I'd agree, it is a little hard to tell)
      LOL, Lunar Chronicles is absolutely deserving of squealing.

      We didn't actually meet her, but we got to learn a lot from her at the conference. So yes. That was very cool.


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