Fanfiction convention in Denver

The International Fanfiction and Fanart Convention, fondly called “Yo Dawg, I Heard You Like Fandoms” by attendees, is coming to the mile-high city May 13-16. Several Mines students and alums will be speaking at the event, mostly to provide engineering advice on the “FanFix” panel. The panel will provide tips and guidelines for authors who approach fanfiction as a way to fix glaring plot holes, character mis-development, and unrealistic technology in the original work.

The organizers of the convention expect roughly 50,000 attendees over the course of the weekend. There will be over 400 booths and several talks, as well as the highly anticipated shipping costume show and MST-slam. Talks will be given by experts in writing, technology, and psychology, among other specializations, and are meant to help people improve the quality of their fanfiction.

The most highly anticipated talk is “A Fangirl’s Intro to Human Physiology,” which has occurred — with various speakers — every year since the convention began. As one organizer explained, “This is badly needed for the fanart side of things, but fanfic has its share of strange proportions and unrealistic descriptions. We cannot stop preteen girls from drawing bare-chested renditions of every bishonen ever made, but we can at least help them make their art slightly less cludgey.”

The shipping costume show is also an old standby at the convention. Unlike a game or comic convention’s costume contest, participants must enter as pairs or groups of characters who were not in a relationship in the original work but have been “shipped” by fanfic writers. Prizes are awarded in categories that include Crossover Couple (e.g. Draco/Buffy), Foe Yay (e.g. Draco/Harry), and AUGHHHH Brain Bleach (e.g. Draco/Whomping Willow).

The awards will be given at the end of the weekend, along with the 2010 Notable Fanfiction and Fanart trophies, which cover categories like Best Grammar, Most Believable Character Development, Best Alternate Universe, and Best Trollfic. Pre-registration is still open on the convention’s website; the event will be held at the Colorado Convention Center. Families are advised that some of the events and booths at the convention may be unsuitable for children and will require proof of adult status to access.

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