Tag Archives: Conventions

The Beauty of Small Cons

Guest post by Thurston Howl. Thurston is the editor-in-chief of Thurston Howl Publications. The author of several novels, short stories, and poems, he prides himself in the Ursa Major Award winning essay collection he edited, Furries Among Us. He received his BA in English at Vanderbilt University and his MA in English at Middle Tennessee State University. Aside from running a publishing house, he teaches English at a local college, plays piano, dances, and is actively training to be a coffee connoisseur.

Ed. note: I got so overwhelmed with other stuff that I forgot to post this! My apologies to Thurston and to his readers!

All year long, furries see it all over the social media: “3 days till AC!” “Can’t believe I’m on my way to MFF!” Or, my personal favorite, “Suffering post-con depression after that big con.” Yet, we never hear enough about the less famous small cons. Wikifur has published a list of conventions by attendee participation. It shows 55 furry cons, ranging from 58 participants to over 7,000. The arithmetic mean (average) of the participants for a con was 1,027. Yet, cons that average around that number are generally called “small cons.” I have been to more small cons than large ones. So, here I shall provide five reasons for why small cons are better—or at least, as good as—large cons.

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[adjective][species] at Further Confusion 2017

[a][s] contributors make the occasional appearance and presentation at conventions around the world (well, okay, a few cons in the US plus Confuzzled in the UK), and Further Confusion is one of our regulars! This year, [a][s] folks have a few panels at FC2017, so if any catch your eye, stop on by and say hi!

Note that times/dates are tentative until scheduling gets locked in by con staff. Bookmark this page and we’ll keep it up to date with any changes. Data was snagged from the panel system directly, but if I missed any [a][s] contributors’ panels, shoot me an email or leave a comment!

Friday

Gender and FurryMakyo – Friday, January 13 – 11:00AM-12:30PM – Hilton: Santa Clara

Both gender and furry touch on very important aspects of identity, and the fandom often provides a space in which to explore one’s gender in a safe manner. Join Makyo from Love – Sex – Fur to talk about what gender is and how it interacts with the furry subculture.

Write Now! Jakebe, Kyell – Friday, January 13 – 11:00AM-12:30PM – Marriott: Salon V

Having trouble starting that short story? We’ll present a simple structure for thinking about your story–then you’ll take half an hour to actually start writing it!

The Love – Sex – Fur Guide to Healthy Relationships Makyo – Friday, January 13 – 1:00PM-2:30PM – Marriott: Blossom Hill

Interested in what all goes into having a happy, healthy, positive relationship with you and your partners? Curious on how to make long-distance and in-person relationships work? Come join us in an open panel discussing safe and healthy relationships.

Saturday

Resources and Tech for Furry Writers Makyo, Chipotle Coyote, Blackfeather Tanfur – Saturday, January 14 – 11:00AM-12:30PM – Marriott: Almaden

There’s a dizzying array of software, hardware and resources, both online and off, for both established and aspiring writers to use. We’ll talk about our favorites (and least favorites), from Scrivener to InDesign, writing guilds to libraries, and all points between.

Exploring the Fandom Through Data Makyo – Saturday, January 14 – 1:00PM-2:30PM – Marriott: Salan I/II/III

Come join Makyo from [adjective][species] to explore what it means to be a furry using data from seven years of the Furry Survey and several other resources. We’ll investigate the demographics and interests of the fandom to see what it is that makes us who we are.

What’s Your Problem? Jakebe, Kyell, FuzzWolf, Ryan Campbell – Saturday, January 14 – 4:30PM-6:00PM – Marriott: Almaden

Your surefire story was rejected? The panelists talk about common errors (and maybe a few not-so-common ones) that get manuscripts turned away by editors.

Adult Furry Writing Kyell, Rukis, Ryan Campbell – Saturday, January 14 – 10:00PM-11:30PM – Marriott: Almaden

Adult stories are a mainstay in the furry fiction world. Listen to some experienced authors talk about how (and why) to create effective adult stories.

Sunday

Brainstorming in Real Time Jakebe, Kyell – Sunday, January 15 – 11:00AM-12:30PM – Marriott: Almaden

Don’t just stop at your first idea—it’s probably not your best idea! We’ll talk about generating ideas and show you the value of brainstorming in real time, mining for idea gold. Leave this panel with free story ideas!

Philosophy and Furry MakyoCorgi W – Sunday, January 15 – 1:00PM-2:30PM – Marriott: Salon V

Curious about the ways in which we find meaning? How do furries actualize themselves in the world? Come learn about philosophy within furry from Corgi and Makyo.

The Love – Sex – Fur Guide to Safer Sex Makyo – Sunday, January 15 – 3:00PM-4:30PM – Marriott: Blossom Hill

Interested in what all goes into having a happy, healthy, sex-positive relationship with your partners? Curious on how to stay safe while playing? Come join us in an open panel discussing safe and healthy sexuality.

Mindfulness and Transformation in Action Jakebe, Kannik – Sunday, January 15 – 3:00PM-4:30PM – Marriott: Salon V

Being present and mindful is at the heart of nearly every philosophical tradition. This workshop will introduce the fundamentals of Buddhism and Philosophical Ontology, teach some practices that are useful in diffusing and bringing possibility to everyday situations, and will end with a short mindfulness meditation.

Unsheathed Live Kyell, K. M. Hirosaki, Ryan Campbell – Sunday, January 15 – 10:00PM-11:30PM – Marriott: Almaden

Everyone’s favorite highly irregular furry writing podcast returns for a Further Confusion tradition! Join Kyell Gold, K.M. Hirosaki, Not Tube, and special guest Lady Gaga. Or a manatee.

Looking at post-con depression through a lens of literary theory

When I first heard about the concept of post-con depression, the idea made a lot of sense. We have a massive community of people who meet each other over sites like Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, and various furry art hubs. These groups of people travel across or fly over states, countries or in some cases continents and oceans to see these online friends possibly once a year for a weekend, if that.

That’s already bittersweet.

Continue reading Looking at post-con depression through a lens of literary theory

Managing Anti-Social Behavior at Conventions: A Better Approach

Guest article by Flip. Flip has been involved with furry and other fandoms since the late 1980s, running conventions since the mid 90s, and generally being an uberfan. He helps organize Furry Migration, which is held in Minneapolis.

This article is a companion and counterpoint to JM’s recent article, Ideas on Anti-Social Behaviour at Furry Events.

It’s odd when I find myself in such contrasting agreement and disagreement with an article at the same time. For the most part, I AGREE with JM’s article in his goals and even parts of his methodology. However, I do not believe the use of “nudge” dynamics is the best approach. Nudge assumes a sort of passive aggressive control from the staff. Control should not the final goal; responsibility of membership should be the final goal. I am going to suggest a reframing of the argument to better meet this goal.

Continue reading Managing Anti-Social Behavior at Conventions: A Better Approach

Ideas on Anti-Social Behaviour at Furry Events

Anti-social behaviour caused problems at three different furry events in recent times. These incidences are rare, and there is nothing to suggest that they are becoming less rare. However the fact that three issues occurred coincidentally has led to many of us wonder about furry culture.

Ultimately, each person has personal responsibility for their actions. Beyond that, furries in general hold a collective responsibility for behaviour and self-policing. And finally, organizers are able to influence the culture of a group event.

So how can organizers of large furry gatherings create a culture that reduces the chance of a problem?

Continue reading Ideas on Anti-Social Behaviour at Furry Events

Self-Care and Conventions

Originally posted on Jakebe’s blog here.

Further Confusion 2016 will begin tomorrow, and for most of us furries we’re just counting down the hours until we can head to San Jose to immerse ourselves in fandom for four glorious days. I know I’m itching to get there myself. But one of the things that rarely gets talked about at these conventions is how big a disruption they are to our daily lives, and what that disruption can do for those of us coping with mental illness. While the potential is there for a brilliant weekend, the craziness of the convention alone can throw us off-kilter.

For many of us, FC 2016 is one of our only chances to be with people we feel truly understand us; for four days we can put aside the problems of our regular lives and enjoy company and kinship in a way we rarely get to experience. We become so attached to the promise of a non-stop great time that any disappointment or gap in pleasure can send us spiraling into dark places. Unfortunately, downtime and disappointment are both facts of life; we can do ourselves a huge favor by learning to roll with them.

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[a][s] at Further Confusion 2016

Hey fuzzies! Headed to this year’s Further Confusion?  Be sure to catch the panels that we’ll be hosting!  Updated survey data, safer sex, and a new gender and relationships panel (if you attended last year’s LSF panel, this was mashed in with safer sex, an 18+ panel, this year it’s all ages!)

Exploring the Fandom Through Data

Friday, Jan 15 – 5:00 PM – SJCC: Second Stage

Come join us in figuring out what it means to be a furry and who exactly makes up this wonderful subculture of ours, using six years of furry survey data and ourselves to explore.

Furry Psychology!

Saturday, Jan 16 – 11:00 AM – Hilton: University

You’ve seen his posts here, let Dr. Nuka take you through the weird and wonderful world of furry psychology as he presents the findings of nearly a decade of research on furries conducted by real psychologists on furries all over the world (think Bill Nye, but with furries!) Get educated and suggest ideas for future research!

The Love – Sex – Fur Guide to Safer Sex (18+)

Saturday, Jan 16 – 10:00 PM – SJCC: 133

Interested in what all goes into having a happy, healthy, sex-positive relationship with your partners? Curious on how to stay safe while playing? Come join us in an open panel discussing safe and healthy sexuality.

Gender and Relationships in Furry

Sunday, Jan 17 – 10:00O OM – SJCC: 133

Come join the folks from Love – Sex – Fur in a two-part open panel discussing how to have healthy, happy relationships, as well as gender identity and expression within furry.

Why Fursuit…

Guest post by Dain Unicorn. Dain is a nascent novelist, frequent NaNoWriMo participant, occasional Convention attendee, absent-minded blogger, old school shutterbug, and full time dreamer.  Born and raised in Arkansas, he was infected with a severe case of Wanderlust as a foal, which has led him to a career in truck driving, as well as many great adventures on the long road home. This article was originally published in the Further Confusion 2014 con book.


It was dark, hot, and the world around me was muted softly. I could feel my breathing and hear my pulse. Blacklights spread over the room made the white fur on my suit’s muzzle glow, casting a fun blue tint across my limited field of vision. Pounding music started to drive me as the dancing started. Spinning around to the soundtrack of my misspent youth I was living a dream years in the making, I had finally fursuited Further Confusion.

Continue reading Why Fursuit…

This One Time at FurCon…

How I Went From Ridiculing Furries to Cheering them On in Five Panels or Less

Guest post by Isaac. Isaac is that guy who is still pretty much a human, but definitely not Mundane.  He likes red pandas, chocolate, and improv.  You may have seen his apology post on Reddit, found him putzing around the FurNet IRC, or attempting to become America’s Next Top Popufur on Twitter as @isaacapologist.  He will be at Midwest Furfest, probably. Say hi.  Be gentle.


In many ways, I like to think that I ended up at a furry convention in the way that many furries end up at a furry convention:  alcohol, combined with an unhealthy sense of curiosity.  But the reality, I think, is even a bit more interesting than that, so I’d be happy to expand on the perfect storm of circumstances that led to my attendance at FurCon 2015, and subsequent headlong fall into the rabbit hole that is the Furry Fandom.

It’s December.  I’ve just recently moved to the Bay Area, to help out a friend with a new job working in the Silicon Valley.  He’s much the introverted type, I’m much more of the outgoing type, and he invites me to live out in CA for a few months to help him get acclimated and make some new friends.  As I’ve since discovered, neither of us is really good at ‘going out’ to make friends, we rather prefer to just organically meet people.  In practice, this works out about as well as you might imagine.

So, we are spending one of our many weekends in our living room, drinking wine, he playing video games on his computer, me watching Netflix, and I stumble upon the documentary about Bronies. I, being mildly intoxicated and fascinated with countercultures, decide to indulge in the Brony documentary.  I then decide to indulge in a second Brony documentary.  By this point, I am both fabulously drunk, and fabulously fascinated.  I have an inception-style we’ve-got-to-go-deeper moment:  If there are two documentaries about Bronies, there’s got to be one about furries.

Continue reading This One Time at FurCon…