Archive: 8Pi-Con FRIDAY Panel and Event Descriptions

3:00 p.m.

Tea-Tasting ReceptionTBA

Debi Chowdhury

If you arrive by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, join us for a tea tasting reception to start the weekend. An assortment of fine teas will be available along with cookies. Bring a dessert of your own to share! The location will be posted at the One Desk.

6:00 p.m.

How to be a Good PanelistAgawam

Susan Hanniford Crowley, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, Morven Westfield (M), Michelle Wexelblat

 We’ve all been to panels where things got wildly off-topic or where a panelist or audience member hogged the panel. Sometimes it’s been a lot of fun or extremely interesting. Other times, it’s been aggravating. In this panel, experienced panelists talk about preparing for a panel, participating on a panel, being a good moderator, handling someone who’s obviously aggravating, and how different cons have different styles.

Reading Aloud WorkshopSuffield

Justine Graykin

Reading your work aloud in front of an audience is a great way to promote it, but can also be a source of utter terror to many of us. This workshop is designed to help take some of the terror out and offers pointers on how to do a successful and effective reading.

7:00 p.m.

Using Story Forge Cards for PlottingAgawam

D.L. Carter

A writer’s workshop on how to use the Story Forge cards ( and Tarot card layouts for story plotting. I know that writers have bad days when they are in a situation and need a kick to get out of it, or they have an idea for a character and need a story to put them in. Plotting is a headache to learn and these Story Forge cards are a great tool. I have several sets of Story Forge cards and books on Tarot spread. We’ll play with these and ordinary Tarot cards to see how they can aid the imagination.

Developing Deep Characters in Spec-FicSomers

Vikki Ciaffone, Kate Kaynak, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, Allen Steele (M), Trisha J. Wooldridge

Characters are more than talking props—a well-developed narrator or protagonist can reach readers at a deeper level and breathe life into a story. But what are some ways that authors can make the characters believable, give them different voices, and otherwise make people want to hang out with their imaginary friends?

Intro to Block PrintingSpringfield

Sarah Morrison

A great way to create cards and stamps, as well as works of art! Learn how to carve an image, ink it, and print it yourself. Note, this workshop involves sharp tools.

Electrons to Higgs Bosons: The Particle Physics AdventureSuffield

Ed Bishop

For over 2,000 years, people have thought about the fundamental particles from which matter is made, from the Democritus’ Atoms to J.J. Thompson’s Electron to Peter Higgs’ mass-giving Boson. Join physicist Ed Bishop in a journey through the history of Particle Physics, highlighting quantum mechanics, the standard model of particle physics, the higgs boson as well as current and potential future discoveries at the Large Hadron Collider and other particle physics experiments.

8:00 p.m.

Writing the Cross-Genre NovelAgawam

M. L. Brennan, Ellen Larson (M), Roberta Rogow

How do you incorporate the “rules” of two genres and keep the story flowing? (Note: this is not about selling the story, it’s about reading or writing it.)

The Same Old StorySomers

Lisa Evans, Kate Kaynak (M), Misty Pendragon, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert

ROUNDTABLE: Vampire teenage romance, fairy tales in modern settings, Star Trek programs that mimic police procedurals and medical response programs (actually being discussed right now) and, coming up, TWO shows (at least) set in OZ. With all of the stories there are in the world and all of history to draw on why do storytellers (and TV producers) keep telling the same stories over and over again? With all of the rehashing of the Civil War we have never had a series about espionage in that period. Given all of the westerns there have been, we have never seen the story of Bass Reeves (a real U.S. Marshal) who captured 30,000 criminals in his lifetime. Given people’s love of pirates, why have we not seen the story of the various pirate queens? Come and discuss what stories need to be told, and maybe find a few that you want to tell yourself.

Author ReadingsSuffield

Grant Carrington / Susan Hanniford Crowley

9:00 p.m.

Being and SuperbeingAgawam

George W. Claxton (M), Mario Di Giacomo, Mike Luoma

Is there an essential storytelling difference between low powered vigilantes (Daredevil, Power Man, Batman, Nite Owl) and four color superheroes? Do you lose drama when your hero cannot be hurt by normal means? Is it easier to tell a dramatic story that the audience can relate to when the hero is just a well trained person fighting crime?

SINFUL THOUGHTS Vaudeville & BurlesqueMain Tent

Sinful Thoughts Vaudeville is a variety show that is never quite the same. Some shows may feature stage magic, others may have a rocking vocal number. Some may feature a set from a local band, while others may showcase stand-up comics. All of our shows are 21+, because A) we perform in a lot of bars and B) we almost always feature some form of burlesque. While the meaning of that word “burlesque” has been somewhat confused over the years, to us it means sexy & alluring dances by women & men who are skilled in the art of the tease. While this will often mean stripping down to panties & pasties, this is not a “full nude show” that you might see at a so-called gentleman’s club. Our show is a full-service engaging of your mind, your libido, your humor, and your heart.

How to Think GoodSomers

Ari Alpert, Carl Fink (M), David Larochelle, Dr. James Prego

Science isn’t a set of facts, it’s a way to separate ideas that work from ideas that do not. How can you apply the philosophy and methods of science to practical, everyday problems. For instance, can a lay person use science to decide what food to buy, what medicine to take, what neighborhood to live in?

Author ReadingsSuffield

Lisa Amowitz / M.L. Brennan

10:00 p.m.

New to Pi-Con?Somers

Terry Franklin, David Larochelle (M)

ROUNDTABLE: Is this your first Pi-Con? Your first con? Join us for an informal chat about Pi-Con, how it differs from other cons, and how to get the most from the experience. Find out what to do if you need assistance for a medical problem or a problem with another con-goer. Learn how to suggest programs for next year.

Author ReadingsSuffield

Justine Graykin / Lisa Evans