Ascendio Scroll Issue #3
A Scroll From the Minister of Magic
It’s been a busy Autumn for us, as we work behind the scenes on making the magic of Ascendio a reality. If you’ve been following our blog, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr posts, you’ll know we’ve made some exciting special guests announcements, and massively expanded Ascendio’s Thursday schedule with programming sessions, meet-ups and a slew of Wrock concerts. If this is news to you, read on!
We know you’ve been waiting eagerly to hear details of other headline Ascendio activities, including our Park Event. At our site visit in October, we met with Universal representatives, and continue to work to iron out those details. As soon as we know, you’ll know!
Most of all, we look to Ascendio attendees to shape our event — we have put out many calls for participation, including for formal programming proposals, informal programming proposals, meet-ups, author readings and more, which we hope you will consider submitting. Want to hold a book discussion? Do an acoustic music performance? Submit an Informal Programming proposal!
Minister of Magic
In this issue:
- Ascendio Maximus! (Thursday Day-Pass + Wrock Day!)
- Special Guests Round Up: Chris Rankin, Lev Grossman, Beth Revis & Aimee Carter
- Call for Informal Programming
- Call for Authors
- Reminder: T-shirt design contest!
- Staff Spotlight – Meet Registration Chairs
- Tempus Tipster: Universal CityWalk
Ascendio Maximus! (Thursday Day-Pass + Wrock Day!)
Since we started planning Ascendio back in 2010, we’ve planned to host meet-ups, Common Room activities, the Fan Art Gallery and the Vendor Room on Thursday, but at our site visit last month, it became clear to us that we could do more with our Thursday plans.
First thing’s first: We’re in the process of adding an afternoon of Wrock concerts and other entertainment, and to make the day accessible to everyone, we’re also introducing a Thursday-only Day Pass, priced at only $50.
The Thursday Pass will give you access to all programming on Thursday, including Wrock concerts featuring Undesirable #1, The Butterbeer Experience, Gryffindor Common Room Rejects, Carpe Geekdom and more bands who’ll be announced this winter. You’ll also get to hang out in the Common Room, shop the Vendor Room, explore the Art Gallery and more! (We’re waiting for some AV info from the hotel before we can confirm fanfilm showings on Thursday, for example).
You’ll also be able to purchase a ticket to Night of a Thousand Wizards 2 with a Day Pass for Thursday, Friday or Saturday! (note: NoaTW tix are still not on sale, but will be soon!)
Special Guest Round-up: Chris Rankin, Lev Grossman, Beth Revis & Aimee Carter to Attend Ascendio!
We’ve been busy behind the scenes with our special guests planning, and are pleased to announce two HPEF con “veterans” and two “newbies” will be joining the Ascendio programming slate!
HP con favorite and actor Chris Rankin is back! Not only is Chris coming to Ascendio, where he will definitely be doing a Q&A, signings and more, but Chris recently wrote his university thesis on Harry Potter fandom, and will be presenting his findings at the con!
Chris plays Percy Weasley in many of the Harry Potter films, including Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and has previously attended HPEF’s The Witching Hour and been a special guest at our Azkatraz and Infinitus events, as well as The Leaky Cauldron’s LeakyCon 2011. He also has an extensive theater background, having performed in pantomimes and plays such as “Dick Whittington,” “Jack & the Beanstalk,” “Hedda Gabler” and “Salome.” You can follow Chris on Twitter.
Azkatraz vet and New York Times best-selling author Lev Grossman will return to Ascendio, to discuss how Harry Potter inspired him to write his novels The Magicians and The Magician King, as well as provide behind-the-scenes info on his Time Magazine piece on fanfiction, and his 2005 interview with JK Rowling.
Former teacher-turned YA author Beth Revis is excited to come to Ascendio! Beth’s debut novel, Across the Universe, is a sci-fi thriller and New York Times Best Seller that has been described as Wall-E meets The Giver. A Million Suns, the second book in the AtU trilogy, comes out in January 2012.
In addition to hosting a reading and signing at Ascendio, Beth will be participating in several panels relating to writing, the publishing industry and themes in Harry Potter. Beth is the founder of the new popular dystopian blog, the League of Extraordinary Writers, and blows off steam by trying to come up with something witty in 140 characters or less, lusting after books on GoodReads, or wasting time on Facebook.
YA author Aimée Carter is a fantastic example of a writer who started in fanfiction and has gone on to being a published YA author — Her first novel for young adults, The Goddess Test, was published by Harlequin Teen in May 2011. Her second novel, Goddess Interrupted, will be released in February of 2012. Aimée has written fanfic and original stories for nearly fifteen years, and has long participated in the Harry Potter fandom; she was on staff for POAIMAXNYC in June of 2004.
Aimée will be doing readings and signings at Ascendio, and participating in panels on writing, including the differences between writing fanfic and writing in a self-created universe. You can find Aimée on Twitter, Facebook or her website.
Call for Informal Programming
Ascendio 2012: A Harry Potter Symposium welcomes proposals and plans for Informal Programming sessions inspired by, themed on or related to the Harry Potter book or movie series, the fandom, Young Adult, fantasy or genre literature or films, workshops on crafting, art, writing, music, film-making, podcasting, podficcing or costuming, or anything else you think would be of interest to Harry Potter fans.
Informal programming happens all hours of the day and night, with a heavy focus on evening activities. If you’d like to hold a more informal craft workshop, topic discussion, fanfic/fanart event (drabbles/drawbles!), or even play an acoustic set, the Informal Programming form is for you.
Note: if you are interested in planning a meet-up, please see here for the separate Meet-Up Request Form. If you want to do a fanfic reading, please fill out this form. If you’re a published author, we’ll have a form for you to fill out soon.
Examples of Informal Programming:
- How-to workshop on vidding
- Acoustic Wrock set in the Common Room
- Drabble/Drawble activity
- Live-action role playing game/cosplay demonstration
- Performance art
- Trivia game
Call for Authors!
Since our first event, Nimbus – 2003, HPEF events have included among their attendees, fanfic writers who’ve gone on to write novels that have been on the New York Times Best Seller lists, made into films, and resulted in fandoms that have spawned fanfic of their own. We’re also very proud of our history of showcasing YA, fantasy and genre authors, including Naomi Novik, Sarah Rees Brennan, Karen Healey, Tamora Pierce, Holly Black, Charles De Lint and more, at readings, on panels and in signings. We’ve created programming sessions around and for authors who’ve published with smaller houses, those who’ve self-published, and those who choose to write fanfiction (and these days, there’s definitely some overlap between those categories).
As you can see from our above special guests section, we’re already assembling a slate of terrific published authors for Ascendio, including Aimee Carter, Lev Grossman and Beth Revis – and that list will only grow! We’re planning workshops on pitching novels to agents, writing fanfic and original novels, the NaNoWriMo experience, changes to the publishing industry and more. And as we did at Azkatraz, we’re asking self-published authors who’re registered for Ascendio to get in touch with us if they’re interested in doing a reading and a signing; at Dragon*Con, Janine Spendlove signed up for the first slot!
If you’re an author, and you’re interested in doing a reading/signing, or participating in a panel , please contact our Author Coordinator, Ravenna C. Tan, at email@example.com . We’re hoping to see you at Ascendio!
Reminder – Don’t forget to enter the Ascendio T-Shirt Design Contest!
Don’t forget to submit your designs for the Ascendio 2012 t-shirt contest! Submissions will be accepted until midnight (EST) November 30, 2011 at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any questions can be forwarded to that address as well, or posted here.
For more information, click here!
Staff Spotlight — Meet the Registration Chairs, Gwendolyn Grace & Unspeakable Amy!
Unspeakable Amy is co-chair of Registration. Amy first discovered that she might be Unspeakable at the early age of six, when she realized that none of the other kids would play with her… and she didn’t even care. Since her adolescence, she embraced her Unspeakability by remaining an unaffiliated, non-joining, anonymous, and generally quiet but thoughtful force for chaotic good. A natural Gryffindor, she has an allergy to Austenian mannerism and a low tolerance for chicanery, which may be why she tends to be the unknown eyes, ears, and clear head for many a Minister of Magic. She has worked on all the HPEF events, mostly unwillingly, but has fun anyway and somehow manages to keep saying “Yes” despite multiple opportunities to run screaming into the unknown. She has fiddled around with fanfic, dabbled in decorations, and gone crazy for quilting. Amy lives in an undisclosed location working on projects that she could tell you about… but then she’d have to kill you. Which she could do. With a book.
Gwendolyn Grace is co-chair of Registration. Gwendolyn Grace died at the age of thirteen months. Since her death, and some would say suspicious return to life, she has been busy conquering worlds too numerous to mention. She has also extended her presence to the webways, lending her voice to podcasts and musical recordings. With more hobbies than free time, Gwen still manages to rule with benevolence that belies her true nature; she has been described by friends and enemies alike as “friendly, but not nice” or in the words of one twelve-year-old, “That’s Gwen. She’s evil.” She reminds one and all not to get on the bad side of a bard, for you too can have your flaws immortalized in song and poem.
In each newsletter leading up to Ascendio, we will be spotlighting a different aspect or area of our fabulous venue, from where to eat to the non-Potter activities you will find. Last month we told you about the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. This issue is all about having fun — and eating well — at night!
Exciting eateries, night-time spots, shops and more are just short boat ride away from the Loews Portofino Bay Resort at University CityWalk! CityWalk features a collection of award-winning restaurants, exciting nightclubs and live music venues, and offers a variety of options for those who prefer to grab meals — and have fun — outside of the official convention space.
When the sun goes down the excitement is just getting started at Universal CityWalk®. You can enjoy martinis at the Red Coconut Club®, frozen daiquiris at Fat Tuesday, live music at Jimmy Buffett’s® Margaritaville® and Bob Marley-A Tribute to FreedomSM, dueling pianos at Pat O’Brien’s®, dancing at the grooveSM and Latin Quarter™, and karaoke with a live band at CityWalk’s Rising Star.
For even more details, including restaurant menus and hours, visit Universal CityWalk’s website.
Friend us, follow us, join us!
Ascendio is all over the web so there are many ways you can keep up with everything related to next summer’s fun and magic!
- Facebook Page
- Facebook Group
- HPEF Forums
- Google +