What is the Mythopoeic Society Conference?
The Mythopoeic Society Conference, informally known as “Mythcon,” is an annual Tolkien and Inklings-focused conference held over an extended weekend late-July to mid-August; the location moves throughout America, beginning Friday afternoon and concluding Monday at noon.
Daytime programming features papers by both academic and independent scholars, with some panel discussions and plenary sessions. We typically feature both an Author and Scholar Guest of Honor.
Guests of Honor
Past Guests of Honor include Christopher Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Connie Willis, Madeleine L’Engle, Jane Yolen, Tim Powers, Peter Beagle, Poul Anderson, Clyde S. Kilby, Verlyn Flieger, Douglas A. Anderson, Mike Drout, Diana Glyer, Charles Huttar, Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull. Our guests not only make a presentation but are active participants in other programming and, because of our intimate scale, very accessible to members of the conference.
Because Mythcon has usually been held at a college or university, we enjoy shared meals throughout the weekend and find they provide a wonderful opportunity to discuss and network with others about thought-provoking papers, conference themes, and other issues related to mythopoeic literature.
In addition to its focus on mythopoeic scholarship, this conference is unique in that it incorporates some fan elements into our activities. Evening entertainments have included concerts, plays, Bardic Circles, country dancing, and an occasional film program for folks who enjoy esoteric and mythic films. The Mythcon masquerade is an opportunity for spontaneity and humor as well as showcasing lovely costumes and we confess it’s a bit of a caucus race: everyone gets a prize. Mythcon typically includes a dealers room and sometimes an art show.
Banquet and Awards
The Sunday evening banquet is followed by the presentation of the prestigious Annual Mythopoeic Awards and one of the Guest of Honor speeches. Monday features light programming and the annual Mythopoeic Society Members’ Meeting (all are welcome) before closing ceremonies.
There are opportunities for some funding and a graduate student paper award. We are friendly, informal, and delighted to welcome new participants.