Mythcon 53 - Progress Report #1

August 2-5, 2024

Mythcon 53 logo

Mythcon 53
Fantasies of the Middle Lands

Minneapolis, MN
August 2-5, 2024 (in-person and virtual attendance options)

Combined with Diversicon 31

Progress Report #1 for Mythcon 53 (downloadable PDF)

Mythcon 53 main page

Call for Papers-- updated with extended deadline and virtual presentation options!

Mythcon 53 Registration -- both in-person and virtual

Book your hotel reservations now!


This year Mythcon 53 is combining with Diversicon 31, as Diversicon is traditionally held the same weekend as Mythcon, and the two conventions are of similar sizes and share many of the same interests.

About Mythcon

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, and always begins Friday afternoon and concludes Monday at noon. Each conference is constructed around a theme related to Inklings studies and/or fantastic and mythic literature. Conferences usually feature an author and a scholar guest of honor. Papers, panel discussions, readings, entertainment, an art show, a dealers’ room, and other activities fill the four-day event. Another Mythcon highlight is our annual banquet, after which the Mythopoeic Awards are presented. A small (usually 100–150 people) size and intimate setting makes Mythcon an excellent venue for meeting people with common interests. You may see the full history and individual conference pages by visiting our Mythcon History page. This year’s conference marks a return to Minneapolis for the first time since Mythcon 24 in 1993.

The Mythopoeic Society has always encouraged scholarship in mythopoeic and Inklings studies by providing a venue in which scholars, new and established, may present papers which may in turn be considered for publication in Mythlore, assisting scholars in need of financial aid to attend Mythcon, and recognizing student scholars with the Alexei Kondratiev Award.

Mythcons are also a lot of fun and feature some serious play: the Not Ready for Mythcon Players, performing a semi-spontaneous piece of topical silliness, a Masquerade (costume contest) with prizes for everyone, Bardic Circles in the evenings, an occasional Clerihew Contest, and Golfimbul (which Mythcon 45 Chair and former GOH Mike Drout explains in his entertaining report on the 2014 Mythcon).

About Diversicon

Diversicon is a project of SF MINNESOTA, a multicultural, multimedia organization dedicated to improving contacts among groups and individuals interested in speculative fiction, in and out of the traditional SF community. Their continuing mission: to provide the most thoughtful programming and the mellowest, most welcoming parties of any Minnesota SF convention, and to making our state’s SF community more closely reflect the cultural diversity of Minnesota in the third millennium. SF MINNESOTA also co-produces the Speculations Reading Series monthly at Dreamhaven Books.

Guests of Honor

Eleanor Arnason -- Author Guest of Honor

Brian Attebery -- Scholar Guest of Honor

See the Mythcon 53 main page for descriptions of the Mythcon Guests of Honor.

Diversicon’s Posthumous Guests of Honor

L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)
Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and 13 additional Oz books, 41 other novels, 83 short stories, over 200 poems and at least 42 scripts. Bio at Wikipedia.

Clifford D. Simak (1904-1988)
Simak wrote for the Minneapolis Star and Tribune from 1939 to 1976. Simak’s many Science Fiction novels and short stories won him three Hugos and two Retro Hugos, as well as Nebula, Locus, and Jupiter Awards. Bibliography at Wikipedia.

Papers and Program: Fantasies of the Middle Lands

See the Mythcon 53 CFP page for descriptions of this year's theme and paper submission guidelines.

Alexei Kondratiev Award (Student Paper)
At Mythcon 41, the society introduced a new award for the best paper presented at Mythcon by an undergraduate or graduate student. This award was named in honor of Alexei Kondratiev, long-time Society member and a scholar of wide-ranging interests in mythopoeic and related studies, who passed away in 2010. The winner of the award receives a certificate, a one-year subscription to Mythlore, and half-off registration for the next Mythcon he or she attends. The winner will be announced at the Mythcon banquet, on the society’s website and in Mythprint, and is encouraged to submit their paper to Mythlore for publication. More information and the award application can be found HERE.

In order to be considered for the award, the application form must be submitted to the Alexei committee chair at mythlore @ by July 5th, and the finished paper must be submitted electronically by July 19th. The paper must follow Mythlore style guidelines and should be 4000–8000 words long. Applicants must be accepted in or currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at the time their abstract was submitted. Applicants must attend Mythcon and present the paper, either virtually or in person, to qualify for the award.

Glen GoodKnight Starving Scholars Fund
The Starving Scholars Fund was renamed in honor of our founder, Glen GoodKnight, upon his passing in November 2010. Glen always emphasized the importance of encouraging scholarship in Inklings studies and was happy to see this fund come into existence in 1993. The Fund supports attendance at Mythcon for scholars and other participants. Preference is given to persons presenting a paper or participating on a panel, though others are not automatically excluded from consideration. Awards consist of a contribution toward room & board costs or, very rarely, other conference expenses such as travel costs. The Mythcon Papers Coordinator, in consultation with the Mythopoeic Society Council of Stewards and the Conference Committee, makes the final decision in regard to award recipients, amounts, and application of funds. No more than half of the Fund’s balance may be used in any given year. Contact papers @ for more information.

Conference Schedule Overview

The Mythcon 53 registration table will open at noon on Friday, August 2, and there will be program items starting at 2 p.m. Friday afternoon until dinner. After dinner we will have our casual meet-and-greet Welcome Reception, sponsored by the Council of Stewards; other entertainments and activities to be announced. The reception will honor the 50th anniversary of Rivendell, the Twin Cities area discussion group of the Mythopoeic Society. The Hospitality Room and Bardic Circle will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.

Saturday morning, August 3, the Procession and Opening Ceremonies will start at 9:00 a.m., including our Scholar Guest of Honor address, followed by more papers and panels throughout the day, breaking for lunch and dinner. After dinner: entertainments including the Masquerade and post-programming activities.

Auction devotees, be assured that not only will there be the traditional Society auction, but it will be a joint auction with Diversicon. With much more on offer, be sure to bring your wallets!

Programming continues Sunday, concluding with the Banquet, Author Guest of Honor address, and Awards presentations on Sunday evening.

Final program items will start Monday morning at 9:00 a.m., followed by the Annual Mythopoeic Society Members Meeting (all are welcome) and closing ceremonies, concluding at noon.

Dealers’ room
Dealer room tables are $40. If you’re interested in bringing your wares to sell, please contact Joan Marie Verba by email at dealers @m and she will provide more details.

Mythcon 53 will have a masquerade as part of one of our evening entertainments. A Mythcon masquerade is a staged costume presentation that ranges from the sublime to the silly; its focus is fun and entertainment. Everyone is invited to participate; sign-up forms will be at Mythcon.

The Not Very Annual Mary Stolzenbach Memorial Clerihew Contest
Will there be a clerihew contest this year? Who can tell? Just in case, polish up your skills for our Not Very Annual Clerihew Contest, named in honor of the late Mary Stolzenbach, who used to sweep the awards regularly. A distinguished panel of judges, They Who Must Never Be Named, will evaluate each entry based on the HOC criteria of Humor, Originality, and Clerihewness. Winners in each category will be rewarded with the traditional prize of a jeroboam of Chateau de Porteur d’Anneau invisible champagne, and we’ll all toast the memory of beloved clerihew enthusiast Mike Foster.

Conference Registration

Mythcon 53 online registration for Mythopoeic Society members, general public, and students -- prices are in US dollars. These are advance rates from February 16, 2024, until July 1, 2024. In-person rates will go up significantly just before the conference and at the door. Virtual attendance may not include all tracks and papers. Please use online registration if at all possible: Mythcon 53 registration page.

In-Person Conference Registration
Mythopoeic Society Members - $75 until June 30; $90 July 1 and after
Nonmembers - $90 until June 30; $115 July 1 and after
Students* - $65 until June 30; $80 July 1 and after
Virtual Attendance Only (via Zoom/Discord): $20.00 both before and after July 1
* Students are those taking 12 or more credit hours per semester/quarter at an accredited college or university. Must present a current, active student ID at check-in.

For children attending with parent(s) or legal guardian(s), 12 and under are free, 12 to 18 pay the student rate.

Day passes will be available at the conference, prices to be announced later.

Mail-in Registration:
If you cannot, or do not wish to, use the online registration process, send checks, made out to The Mythopoeic Society, to the address below. Indicate that the check is for Mythcon 53, and include the name(s) of the person(s) registering, their email and snail-mail addresses, the kind(s) of registration requested (member, non-member, student).
The Mythopoeic Society
P.O. Box 6707
Altadena, CA 91003-6707

Hotel / Conference Venue

Mythcon 53 will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The hotel has full conference and catering facilities, so nearly everything we need will be in one place. This hotel is in a bustling shopping area full of stores, restaurants, and a megaplex movie theater, all within walking distance. We will be able to hold our Welcome Reception as well as our Sunday evening banquet in this same building.

Sleeping room rates for convention attendees have been set at $129* per night for a regular room, and $139* per night for a small suite. The suites are the same as the regular rooms except for a small sitting room at the front, and that they open onto the hotel atrium. To reserve rooms online at the special convention rate, go to Note the special instructions to follow to get EXACTLY the nights you want! The conference rate is available from Tuesday July 30 through Thursday August 8, so you can come early and stay a few days later at the same great rate. If you prefer not to use web access to reserve a room, you can call the hotel directly at +1 (952) 542-8600 and use the code MCA.

* Plus the usual taxes & fees, of course. We can’t avoid that these days, can we?

Meals and Banquet

We’ll be providing a Welcome Reception (sponsored by the Council of Stewards) with light refreshments and cake on Friday afternoon, and there will be a hospitality suite every night after the end of programming. The hotel has an on-site restaurant and a grab-and-go market, and there are lots of great eating options within walking distance. We’re still working out whether some meals will be provided. Banquet registration will be announced soon.

Getting there -- airport, ground transportation, parking

Plane: MSP (Minneapolis-Saint Paul) Airport is one of the most pleasant airports in the country, and as a major hub, it’s easy to get to. There’s a cheap but time-consuming public transit option (take the Metro Blue Line light rail north to downtown Minneapolis and pick up a #645 bus from there), but you’d get to the hotel a lot quicker via Lyft, Uber, SuperShuttle, or cab, or by renting a car. It’s about a 25 minute drive from the airport.

Train: The Amtrak station is in Saint Paul. From there, it’s about a 25 minute drive to the hotel. There are also several public transit options.

Automobile: Minneapolis is easy to drive to and through; I-35 cuts through north-south, and I-94 east-west. The hotel is in the western suburbs, so you can most likely avoid driving through downtown. Parking at the hotel is free.

Public transit in general: Minneapolis has a great public transit system with light rail and bus options. There’s a bus stop quite close to the hotel. If you come in through the airport, you can buy a transit pass there before you descend to the light rail platform. Find out more HERE.

Things to do

Since we’re all book people, let’s start with bookstores.

Looking for a great place to eat?

Minneapolis is a multicultural food paradise! We’ll provide some more personal recommendations in the second progress report, but for now feast your eyes on these:

Looking for other cool things to do?


ALLERGENS: There must be NO NUTS, and especially NO PEANUTS, and NO PETS in our function rooms due to potentially DEADLY allergy reactions. This is non-negotiable. If you have a service animal who must be with you in public function spaces, please contact a conference committee member well in advance so we can plan how to handle this.

COVID Safety Policy: Any COVID masking and vaccination policies will be tied to local recommendations at the time of the conference. Please check the conference webpage before you travel. The Mythopoeic Society accepts no responsibility for any spread of COVID-19 as part of travel to, from, or participation in Mythcon 53.

For more information

If you have questions or ideas, or wish to volunteer to help out, please email the appropriate committee member or the chair at the address below. Note that we would welcome volunteers to run an art show, arrange the program schedule, staff the at-con registration table, or host the hospitality suite, among other things.

Mythcon 53 Committee Diversicon 31 Committee

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