Category Archives: Programme


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.

Newsletter #3

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

newsletter 3

Trudi Canavan Workshop

Trudi’s writing workshop is now full up. If you are feeling lucky, we will take names in case somebody drops out.

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”.

Group Signing

We thought you would all like to know about our Group Signing event. This is a new item for NZ cons (did you see our name?!). In recent years we have had more and more writers attending the NZ natcon but it hasn’t been easy to arrange a way of making sure everybody gets a chance to see and buy their work and then chat to the author and get the work signed. There simply aren’t that many slots in a timetable.

But with a bit of inspiration from across the Tasman, we are giving our author members a chance to have a signing event as a group. If you are an author, come along and sign up then grab a spot at a table, stack up your books and tell the folks about yourself.

If you want to meet new authors, buy their books and so forth, come along to the event and have a browse. You will undoubtedly be surprised as to how many really fine local authors there are for you to meet.

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.

Programme Participants

Programme participant names have been posted against the unCONventional Events list on the Events page. Take a look to see the great lineup of people we have contributing to events.

If you were expecting to see your name against and event, and it isn’t there, please drop us a line. Chances are we are waiting to hear from you for confirmation. Ditto if your name is appearing somewhere you were not expecting.

Programme Updated

We have made a few adjustments to the programme. It is now pretty much finalized. We will be publishing the lists of panel participants later this week. We do still need a participants on a few panels however, so if you would like to participate, why not drop us a line.

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.