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BristolCon is looming on the October horizon like a great undodgeable iceberg made of cake and beer and strange, drunken half-heard conversation.  It is, quite simply, the most fun you can have in a hotel ballroom with 200 of your mates.  I hope you’ll join us this year.

People have been asking me about the programme, and, more to the point, when they can see it.  The way we do programming at BristolCon was dreamed up by Cheryl and based on the model they use at Wiscon.  All our panelists are signed-up, paid-up members of the con.  When we have enough potential panelists on our lists, we sit down as a committee and have a free-for-all about what panels we’d like to see.  From this we get a longlist of around 20-30 panels.

Meg then puts together descriptions of the panels and slots them into a form, which she then releases to everyone who has expressed an interest in being on a panel, and who is a signed-up con member.  The potential panelists then fill in the form, which also has supplementary questions about moderating, books signings, kaffeklatsches etc, and (hopefully) send them back to Meg.  Obviously this takes some time, because anything requiring a response from a large number of human beings takes twice as long as it should (look at publishing 😉 )

Once they have sent the replies back, Meg whittles down the list to the panels which have proved to be most popular with the panelists, and they go in the programme, which is then passed to Roz for computerifying and then goes to the printers.

Obviously, we can’t put together a programme until firstly, we have a lot of panelists signed up, and secondly, until they have returned their responses so we can collate them.  That’s why the programme is almost the last thing we do.  We could do it earlier and just assign people to panels, but we think this is a fairer, and more fun, way of doing it!  It does mean the programme goes up a bit later than you would expect, though, which is a downside.

As soon as this years programme is announced, hopefully in the first week of October, it will be up on the BristolCon website for your perusal.  Until then, you’ll just have to wait and wonder….