Mythcon 53 - Progress Report #2

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 #2 for Mythcon 53 (downloadable PDF)


Mythcon 53 main page

Mythcon 53 Registration -- both in-person and virtual

Banquet information and tickets available

Book your hotel reservations now!

Selected Papers -- a partial list of papers to be presented at Mythcon 53


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 Michael 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
Note that our program will include a discussion, open to audience members, of Arnason’s works, so brush up on your reading!

Brian Attebery -- Scholar Guest of Honor

See the Mythcon 53 main page for full 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

By this time all of the papers have been accepted for the conference and panels are being formed. If you want to suggest or propose a panel, contact Janet at co-chair @ Remember, all presenters must register for the full conference; please see the Mythcon 53 Registration page for information and rates. Participants are encouraged to submit papers chosen for presentation at the conference to Mythlore, the refereed journal of the Mythopoeic Society. All papers should conform to the 9th edition of the MLA Style Manual.

Presenters who are full-time undergraduate or graduate students are encouraged to submit their completed conference papers in advance for consideration for the Alexei Kondratiev Student Paper Award.

Presenters who could use some financial help with their travel are encouraged to apply for the Glen GoodKnight Starving Scholars Fund. Awards usually consist of a contribution toward registration or room & board 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. Contact Melody at 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 Masqueradechair @

Programming continues Sunday, including the Society Auction in the afternoon (a joint auction with Diversicon this year, so bring your wallets!), and the Banquet, Author Guest of Honor address, and Awards presentations on Sunday evening.

Interspersed with all this, we often have author readings and signings. If you are an author attending the conference and interested in doing a reading or signing, contact Joan at dealers @ at for details.

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.


Is this your first Mythcon...or your 53rd? Sign up to be paired with a Veteran or Newbie Buddy at Mythcon 53. Click this link to sign up.

Preference will be given to sign ups before July 26, 2024. Signup sheets will also be available at the registration table. Even if you don’t do this formally, watch for people with Steward ribbons or dots indicating how many Mythcons they have attended. Plus: If you’re interested in hosting your own Mythcon in a few years, ask about shadowing a committee member when you sign in!

Want to know more about Mythcon in general? See the main Mythcon page for an overview, and check out some recent conferences on the Mythcon History page.


For reasons of privacy and security in this online world, the current list of registered attendees is available only to members of the conference. If you have already joined, you should have received (or will soon receive) an email with a link to this list, and instructions for accessing it. If you haven’t already joined, what are you waiting for?!?


The Stewards will host a Reception with light refreshments, cake, and a cash bar on Friday afternoon, and there will be a hospitality room on the top floor of the hotel every night after the end of programming with more treats and goodies. The hotel has an on-site restaurant and a grab-and-go market, and there are lots of great eating options within walking distance. You can pre-pay for a breakfast voucher for the hotel when you register, if you want, but it’s the same cost as walking in to their restaurant.

Registration is now available for the banquet, which will be a plated dinner. Tickets are $70 per person (including all taxes and service charges), and there will be a cash bar if you want something other than water, iced tea, or coffee with your meal. Choice of entrées (no fish or nuts in any of these meals): Each entrée comes with rolls, salad, and dessert. (Are you thinking about the food sculpture already?)

Purchase your banquet tickets on the banquet section of the Mythcon 53 registration page.


The Mythopoeic Awards will be presented at the Mythcon 53 banquet. There are five categories this year. You can view the lists of finalists at this link.



Many past Mythcons have had art shows. Unfortunately, due to lack of staff, we do not currently have plans to host an art show this year. However, if someone who is enthusiastic about such things would like to volunteer to run one (hint! hint!), we would gladly accept help in that area. Contact the con chair at chair @ to offer your services.

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 @ and she will provide more details.

Vendors who have already committed to be at Mythcon include:


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. If you register on our website right now, you will still get a small discount, but below are the rates as of July 1. 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 - $90
Nonmembers - $110
Students* - $70
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?


Our conference hotel is right next to The Shops at West End. So that means, within walking distance:

GETTING THERE -- airport, ground transportation, parking

Plane: MSP (Minneapolis-Saint Paul) Airport is one of the more pleasant airports in the country, and as a major hub, it’s easy to get to. There’s a do-able but not great 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.

If you heard about problems with Lyft and Uber earlier this year, they have been resolved, but there are now a couple of new independent start-ups also offering similar services in the Twin Cities.

Train: The Amtrak station is in Saint Paul. From there, it’s about a 25 minute drive to the hotel. There’s a brand-new line from St. Paul to Chicago called the Borealis, with stops in Milwaukee -- this might be a game-changer for some attendees! 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.

Things to do

Plan to take advantage of the special hotel rate before and after the conference -- there’s lots to do and see in the Twin Cities!

Let’s start with bookstores!

Looking for a great place to eat?

Minneapolis is a multicultural food paradise! Feast your eyes on these:

Looking for other cool things to do?

Looking for fantasies set in Minneapolis and the surrounding area? There are a lot of them!


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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