Category Archives: Events


UnCONventional is now over. Thank you, thank you, thank you. To everybody who attended, our guests, panel members and everybody else who helped in big ways or small. You can have no real idea just how grateful to everybody we are and hope you all had a great time.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

After the opening ceremony and mixer (there will be cake), there will be the now traditional Rocky Horror Picture Show screening. And of course it will involve the usual interaction with the characters. This year there will be an extra crew of RHPS specialists there to help you shout at the screen with the characters. You might well expect there to be some costumes on display

As with previous years, there is one difference between our event and what you may have experienced in cinema run events. Because of cleaning requirements, there cannot be any throwing of hard to clean props during our screening (i.e. confetti, rice, toast, water etc). Basically, the room needs to be left clean so that the hotel doesn’t need to call in commercial cleaners and pass the (considerable) costs on to us.

Newsletter #3

We have made a final Newletter update to all members. You can read it here.

newsletter 3


Here’s a brief intro to the contests we are running this year (subject to enough entries received).

More info posted soon.

All contests close 9pm on Tuesday 29 May.
You have to be a member of unCONventional to enter these contests.

email address for all contests:

Winners will be announced at the convention.

Art / Photo Contest

Calling the many talented artists in fandom!  We know you’re out there, so how about letting others see your work?   Get it to us early enough and you may see your artwork on the cover of the con book (with your permission of course).


Fanvid Contest

Show off your creative editing techniques at the same time as you are showcasing clips of your favourite movies and TV series.  You may even see it played at the opening ceremony.

Drabble Contest

What is a drabble?  A drabble is a short (very short) and carefully constructed story.  A drabble has one hundred words to tell that story – not a word more and not a word less.  This year, the theme of the drabble should be inspired by something unconventional, or perhaps an everyday mundane event with a twist at the end.

Short Story Contest

Yes: we know the definition of short story (length) varies with each contest or writer, therefore we have decided to be rather flexible and set the length as between 5000 and 8000 words.

This year, just like the drabble, the short story should be inspired by something unconventional, or perhaps an everyday mundane event with a twist at the end.

60-Second Sound Bite Challenge

Calling all movie buffs!  Your challenge is to create a 60 second conversation made up mostly by quoting from Sci-Fi and Fantasy movies / TV series.  All quotes must be fully acknowledged.

Book Launch “Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear”

Some of you will have spotted that there is a book launch happening on the Sunday of unCONventional. The launch event is for Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear edited by Edwina Harvey and Simon Petrie and released by Peggy Bright Books. Want to know more – come along to the launch. In the meantime, admire the cover and the list of stories that the book contains.

Joanne Anderton, ‘The Bone Chime Song’
Adam Browne, ‘The D____d’
Sue Bursztynski, ‘Five Ways to Start a War’
Brenda Cooper, ‘Between Lines’
Katherine Cummings, ‘The Travelling Salesman and the Farmer’s Daughter’
Thoraiya Dyer, ‘Faet’s Fire’
Kathleen Jennings, ‘Kindling’
Dave Luckett, ‘History: Theory and Practice’
Ian McHugh, ‘The Godbreaker and Unggubudh the Mountain’
Sean McMullen, ‘Hard Cases’
Ripley Patton, ‘Mary Had a Unicorn’
Rob Porteous, ‘The Subjunctive Case’
Anna Tambour, ‘Murder at the Tip’

“Zombie & Vampire Ball” – theme for the masquerade/cosplay

The regular masquerade/cosplay event at natcons will have a theme this year. At unCONventional, we give you the Zombie and Vampire Ball. Dress up to join the ranks of the undead and show off your style.

There will be a costume competition and that means prizes. The costume competition will not be restricted just to on-theme work – you have the full range of the universe to choose from if you so desire. If you have been working away on your fully functional Zaphod Beeblebrox second head costume, we so do want to see that.

There is a weapons policy for this convention. Please check with us if you plan to use something that could be construed as a weapon (use the good old “could I walk into a bank with this” check).

We know that not everybody likes to dress up in costume finery. That is cool too – please come along, you won’t be alone. If it helps in the concept of the theme, you are dressed as “prey”.

Sir Julius Vogel awards

A reminder to everybody attending unCONventional that you are eligible to vote in the Sir Julius Vogel awards. These are the New Zealand national Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror awards. The awards will be presented on Sunday evening at the convention (voting will close at midday that day).

The shortlist of nominees that will appear on the ballot forms is available on the SFFANZ web site.

The nominated works will be on display at the convention so you can make an informed choice. Many of the nominated people are attending the convention. Remember that you don’t have to vote in every category, so don’t hold back.

Trudi Canavan Writers Workshop – That Got Your Attention

Our guest of honour Trudi Canavan will be running a short (2 hour) writers workshop during unCONventional called “That Got Your Attention”.

How do you get the reader hooked from the first word and keep them reading until the last page without sacrificing the detail, grand scope and vision so loved in fantasy and science fiction? Trudi will show you ways to add tension to your writing, and work out the most relevant information to deliver about your characters and settings – and when – without slowing down the pace.

Places on this workshop are strictly limited. Full members of the convention will be allocated places on a first come-first served basis. If you wish to participate, please drop us a line.