Slash Conventions and Slash-Friendy Conventions in the United States
An Index of Slash and Slash-Friendly Conventions in the United States
For many years - indeed, for several decades - fans of slash fiction have gathered at conventions around the world to talk about and share their passion for slash fan-fiction. These typically small (200 people or less), always fan-run conventions were long the best place to buy slash fanzines and fan art, watch slash fanvids and favorite television series, and talk about pairings and writing in a friendly, safe environment. Because slash was not widely accepted within fandom - even within fan-fiction friendly sections of fandom - these conventions were vital to the slash fan community.
As the internet has changed fandom, making it easier to share fan-fiction freely and slash fiction has become more accepted, there seem to be fewer slash conventions held every year - and those that do occur tend to be smaller in scope and size. Newer fans see less reason to travel and pay the expenses of going to a convention when they can download all the stories they want in fan fiction archives and talk with other fans on message boards, LiveJournal communities, and mailing lists. However, there are still a small number of slash-specific and slash-friendly fan conventions taking place each year. Here I've collected information about and links to still-running conventions in the United States for those interested in meeting up with other slash fans in person and getting to enjoy the experience of going to a fan-run convention. These links are currently updated through October 2014 and will be updated in the future as convention schedules are updated and announced.
Please note this list is specific to fan-run, non-guest oriented conventions. The focus of each of these conventions is on fan-fiction, fanzines, fan vidding and other forms of fannish creative expression within the media fandom community.
Your Experience Attending Slash Conventions
Have you ever attended a slash convention before?
What Takes Place at a Slash Convention? - A brief introduction for the inexperienced
Never been to a slash convention and not sure what to expect, or why you should go? While every slash convention has its own personality and specific events, one can typically expect many of the following activities to take place over the scheduled convention weekend:
* A dealer's room with a large variety of fannish merchandise available (fanzines new and used, fan art, fannish jewelry, photographs, t-shirts, DVDs...)
* An art show where attendees can view and bid on slash-themed artwork and crafts
* Scheduled discussion panels and workshops for talking about current, hot topics in slash fandom
* A video room showing attendee-chosen episodes of tv shows, movies, and slash songvids
* A video "premiere" show where selected songvids from the past year are shown on a larger screen
* Group dinners, breakfasts or parties where fans can mingle
* A con suite for casual relaxation and chatting with other fans
It is often required that fans purchase their memberships in advance for a slash convention, with no memberships sold at the door and only a set number of attendees allowed. Attendees must also be 18 years of age or older due to the often mature nature of the material being discussed and on display. Slash conventions are typically highly gender skewed with far more female attendees than male attendees, reflecting the fairly standard ratio of female-to-male fans in slash fandom. A mixed slash and "gen" convention will likely have more men in attendance.
The Slash Convention List
ConneXions - August 14-16, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia
After a 10-year hiatus, ConneXions is coming back in 2015! The multi-fandom slash convention was an East Coast favorite with fans, held annually in the Baltimore, Maryland area between 1998-2005. The convention annually featured multi-track programming, an art show, vid show, games and a Saturday night banquet. Now it's coming back with the assistance of many former attendees and original committee members. You can be sure this will be a slash party not to be missed!
Con*Strict - Las Vegas, Nevada - July 11-13, 2014 (2015 dates yet to be announced)
Con*Strict is a small (35-50 people) slash convention held every year in the Las Vegas area. There is not a dealers room or art show but there is panel programming, a Friday night party, Saturday night trip to the movies, and casual poolside programming as well. Every year the convention also puts together a commemorative fanzine. The original Con*Strict convention in 2001 had a heavy Star Wars fan contingent, but today it is very much a multi-fandom convention.
For more information, read about Con*Strict at Fanlore.
CON.TXT - Silver Spring, Maryland - June 15-17, 2014
CON.TXT is held every two years just outside of Washington, DC. This slash-specific convention typically sees about 170 attendees for all of the regular convention features (programming, dealers room, art show, song vids) as well as a large Friday night party and a strong focus on hot/meta-topics in media fandom. The convention was first held in 2006.
Read my review of the 2014 CON.TXT convention
- CON.TXT 2014 Convention Report
CON.TXT is a slash-focused, multi fandom convention, so it is always interesting to see what are the most popular fandoms at the moment which will get a lot of attention in panel discussion, artwork, music videos and conversation. This year it was...
Escapade - Ventura, California - March 6, 2015 to March 8, 2015
Escapade bills itself as the "slash slumber party." It has been running for over 20 years and memberships usually quickly sell out as soon as they are announced (the attendance limit is 125-150 people.) Many enjoy traveling from far and wide in cold February to spend a few days with fellow slash fen in sunny California.
Escapade is known for its premiering video show, "purposefully controversial" panel discussions, art show and auction, and dealers room. The convention is slash specific and multi-fandom.
MediaWest*Con - Lansing, Michigan - May 22-25, 2015
MediaWest*Con will be in its 34 year in 2014. This convention is held annually over the Memorial Day weekend in Lansing, Michigan and is the largest fan-run, fanfiction/zine-focused convention still running in the United States. Several hundred fans from around the world gather for the convention's large dealers room, artshow, video room, multi-track paneling, games, parties, masquerade and famous door-decorating contest. The convention literally takes over its entire host hotel for the weekend and many attendees host room sales - great for finding old out of print zines, memorabilia and fun fannish merchandise.
MediaWest*Con features both gen and slash programming, merchandise or art. Some attendees feel it is not the "slash friendliest" of conventions, however there is always a large slash-fan presence at the con.
Learn more about MediaWest*Con at Fanlore.
Read my review of the 2014 MediaWest*Con
- MediaWest*Con 34: Post-convention report
2014 marked MediaWest*Con‘s 34th year as the self-proclaimed “definitive gathering of Science Fiction/Media fandom”, held annually in Lansing, Michigan over the Memorial Day weekend. I question whether that description truly applies any longer...
Muskrat Jamboree - Cambridge, Massachusetts - March 20 and 21, 2015
Muskrat Jamboree is a slash-oriented multi-fandom convention held every other year in the Boston area. It is limited to 150 attendees and has 2 tracks of programming, a vid show, dance party and con suite. Unlike other slash cons there is not a dealers room (to date). The convention first took place in 2007.
Pacificon - Seattle, Washington - April 12 - 13, 2014 (2016 dates to be announced)
Pacificon is a small relaxacon in the Seattle area which takes place every other year. The convention is friendly to slash, gen and het fans and is mutlifandom, with a slight emphasis on due South and related fandoms. Panel programming, games, a vid show and a dance party have become a part of the convention since it was first held in 2008.
Revelcon - Houston, Texas - March 20-22, 2015
Revelcon is known as "The little con with the Texas Size Heart." It's the only currently active fan-run, "relax-a-con"/fan-fiction focused convention in the Southwest of the United States. Revelcon is open to both slash and gen fans and features all of the expected activities: panel programming, dealers room, art show, song vid show, video room & con suite, and an orphan-zine table for publishers who wish to send in their items to sell and cannot attend. Revelcon has been running annually since 1990 and typically sees about 100 members in attendance.
SHareCon - Laurel, Maryland - October 17-20, 2014
SHareCon is a slash & gen convention focused specifically on longtime fandom-favorite series Starsky and Hutch. The convention currently takes place every two years in the Maryland area, and was originally held in 1987. The convention features video showings, a dealers room, art show, panel programming, group dinner, and typically sees around 50-60 attendees.
Tribal Forces - Collegeville, Pennsylvania - April 10-12, 2015
Tribal Forces is a small slash-specific convention which has been held in Eastern Pennsylvania annually since 2006. Typically attendance is under 50 people and this laid-back convention features a group dinner, panel discussions, video watching, a few dealers and a lot of friends gathering for fun discussion and relaxation. The convention initially was heavily focused on Stargate and Sentinel fandoms, however has expanded to be much more multi-fannish in scope in the past few years.
Vividcon - Chicago, Illinois - August 8-10, 2014 (2015 dates to be announced)
Vividcon is the only fan con in the US to focus specifically and entirely on fannish songvids. There is a video show track as well as a discussion track for talking about all aspects of fanvid making, appreciation and history. The convention is open to all types of fanvids - gen, het and slash, and also features a video dance party and premiere video show on Saturday night. The convention has been held annually since 2002 with membership increasing to around 120 (which sells out early.)
Wincon - Orlando, Florida - October 16–19, 2014
Wincon began in 2006 as a Supernatural-specific fan convention, but is now multi-fandom in nature. It is slash-friendly (not slash-limited), limited to 200 attendees, and held annually in a different location in the United States. There is panel programming, vendors, cosplay, discussion, parties and more.
For more information on fan-fiction and conventions
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If there's an upcoming slash or slash-friendly convention coming up that I don't have listed on this page, please drop me some information about it here so I can update this article. Thanks for visiting!
© 2012 Nicole Pellegrini