Every day at CrossingsCon has its own format. Read below for the typical outline of what has happened each day for our in-person cons, and the guests of honor we’ve invited in the past.
"Friday is built around saying hi to old cousins and meeting new ones! We introduce our Guests of Honor at opening ceremonies, play games with each other, and have a variety of panels, activities, and book signings. Activities typically go long into the night on the first day of the con!
On Saturday, we kick it up a notch. We have stories, discussions, panels, and highly-requested attendee-led lightning talks. On Saturday night, we play tabletop games and hang out until the hotel kicks us back to our rooms.
Even though it's the last day of the con, day three doesn't have us slowing down. We usually have a group excursion on Sunday, which gives us one last chance to hang out and build amazing memories together before we head home! So far, we have explored Manhattan, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and the Montréal Space for Life.
At the end of the day we have closing ceremonies, and we finish out the con with our (unofficial) post-con party somewhere nearby.
We always have exclusive CrossingsCon Merch available for sale during the con, and have had booksellers join us onsite in 2019 and 2022.
Diane has been a Guest of Honor for CrossingsCon in 2016, 2017, 2019, 2021, and 2022. Diane is now in her fourth decade as a writer of science fiction and fantasy. She is the creator of the Young Wizards YA science fantasy series (now up to volume 10) and the Middle Kingdoms LGBTQ adult-fantasy series (three main-sequence novels and various long and short interstitial fiction), and has also worked in comics and computer games. She has also written extensively for television and film, working with characters ranging from Jean-Luc Picard to Batman and from Siegfried the Volsung to Scooby-Doo. She has picked up various awards for her prose and screen work over time, the most recent of these being the Faust Grandmaster Award from the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. She also served as a writer guest of honor at the World Science Fiction Convention in Dublin in 2019.
Born and raised in the New York suburbs, DD lived and worked in Manhattan, Philadelphia, and the Los Angeles area before finally relocating to Europe in 1987 and Ireland in 1988. She has lived there ever since with her husband of more than thirty years, the novelist and screenwriter Peter Morwood. From an unusually device-heavy cottage in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains they casually pursue total galactic domination and the perfect home-baked loaf of bread, with the occasional trip to the Continent for long dining-car lunches and business meetings in the Alps with the Transcendent Pig.
DD’s favorite color is blue, her favorite food is a weird Swiss scrambled-potato dish called maluns, and her sign is RUNWAY 22R: HOLD FOR CLEARANCE.
Mark Oshiro joined us as a Guest of Honor for CrossingsCon in 2016, 2017, and 2019. Mark is the award-winning author of the young adult books Anger is a Gift (2019 Schneider Family Book Award), Each of Us a Desert, and Into the Light, as well as their middle grade books The Insiders and You Only Live Once, David Bravo. They are also the co-author (with Rick Riordan) of the upcoming Percy Jackson novel centered on Nico di Angelo and Will Solace. When they are not writing, they run the online Mark Does Stuff universe and are trying to pet every dog in the world.
Photo courtesy of Zoraida Cordova
Megan Whalen Turner
Megan Whalen Turner has joined us for CrossingsCon as a Guest of Honor in 2021 and 2022. Megan is an award winning and NYT bestselling author of fantasy for children, adults and young adults. Her novel, The Thief was a Newbery Honor book in 1997. It was the first of six books set in the world of the Queen’s Thief. Turner has been awarded a Horn Book Honor, been shortlisted twice for the Norton Award and won both the Mythopoeic Award and the LA Times Book Award for Young Adult Literature. Satisfying for all ages, her books are filled with political machinations and divine intervention, friendship, fortitude and deceit. It is a testament to their staying power that twenty five years after The Thief was published, readers were eagerly awaiting the arrival of Return of the Thief in October 2020.
Ursula Vernon, author and illustrator, has been a CrossingsCon Guest of Honor in 2021 and 2022. Ursula has written over fifteen books for children, several novels for adults, an epic webcomic called Digger and various short stories. She publishes children’s books under her own name and adult books under the pen name T. Kingfisher. She has received numerous awards, including the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for her work in various mediums. Having moved across the country several times, she eventually settled in Pittsboro, North Carolina, where she works full-time as an artist, writer, and creator of oddities.
Kate Howells joined us for CrossingsCon 2019. Kate is the author of Space is Cool as Fuck, former member of the Government of Canada’s Space Advisory Board and Public Education Specialist at The Planetary Society, an organization that aims to empower people all around the world to become involved in advancing space exploration.
Kate Howells works with The Planetary Society to build and manage a global network of volunteers who do educational outreach in their communities, and to develop volunteer activities that support The Planetary Society’s goals and vision. Kate also leads the development of the Society’s youth education program. Based in Ontario, Kate represents The Planetary Society in Canada and leads the development of advocacy and outreach work there, and is pursuing a Master of Arts in Educational Studies at Concordia University.
Seanan McGuire was a Guest of Honor at our first CrossingsCon in 2016. She is an American author, and the vanguard of an invading race of alien plant people which will soon arrive to darken the skies of this world. She is very sorry about any trouble this may cause. While waiting for the invasion, she writes books (an average of five to seven per year, which is ridiculous), watches a lot of horror movies, and spends far too much time playing with her abnormally large Maine Coon cats. They’re enormous.
Emily Skrutskie was a CrossingsCon Guest of Honor in 2017. She is an author best known for The Abyss Surrounds Us, a young adult novel following Cassandra Leung, a young woman captured by pirates who must succeed in training a dangerous sea monster, or pay the ultimate price. The sequel, The Edge of the Abyss, was released in 2017. She has also published short fiction with HarperTeen. Skrutskie is also an artist and filmmaker, and studied the latter alongside computer science and game design at Cornell University. And any description of her would be incomplete without stating for the record that she is also six feet tall.
Jessica Day George
Jessica Day George joined us as a Guest of Honor in 2021 for CrossingsCon: Slipping Sideways. Jessica — author of the Rose Legacy, Castle Glower, and Dragon Slippers series — earned a BA in Humanities/Comparative Literature from Brigham Young University, where she enjoyed classes in Pottery and Old Norse, and dutifully forced herself to take Algebra and Biology. Originally from Idaho, she now resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and three young children.
C.B. Lee was a Guest of Honor in 2021 for CrossingsCon: Slipping Sideways. She is a Lambda Literary Award nominated writer of young adult science fiction and fantasy. Her works include the Sidekick Squad series, Ben 10 graphic novels, Out Now: Queer We Go Again, Minecraft: The Shipwreck, From A Certain Point Of View: The Empire Strikes Back, and A Clash of Steel: A Treasure Island Remix. Lee’s work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Wired Magazine, Hypable, Tor’s Best of Fantasy and Sci Fi, and the American Library Association’s Rainbow List.
Catherynne M. Valente joined us as a Guest of Honor in 2021 for CrossingsCon: Slipping Sideways. Cat is the New York Times bestselling author of forty works of speculative fiction and poetry, including Space Opera, The Refrigerator Monologues, Palimpsest, the Orphan’s Tales series, Deathless, Radiance, and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Own Making (and the four books that followed it). She is the winner of the Andre Norton, Tiptree, Sturgeon, Prix Imaginales, Eugie Foster Memorial, Mythopoeic, Rhysling, Lambda, Locus, Romantic Times’ Critics Choice, and Hugo awards. She has been a finalist for the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. She lives on an island off the coast of Maine with a small but growing menagerie of beasts, some of which are human.
History of the Con
In 2013, a fateful chain of posts was made on Tumblr. Determined to make the words into reality, a group of Young Wizards fans got together and planned the first CrossingsCon. We arranged an Indiegogo fund drive for start-up money and got almost twice as much as we asked for! Turns out, a lot of other cousins out there wanted to see CrossingsCon happen too. With that, we set our sights on Manhattan…
2016: Newark, NJ
We held the first CrossingsCon on June 24-26, 2016 in Newark, NJ with 125 cousins attending, 9 CrossingsCon staff minding the gates, and special guests Mark Oshiro, Seanan McGuire, and (via Skype) Diane Duane.
We spent the first two days telling stories, getting to know each other, and playing games at the Courtyard Marriott in Newark. On Sunday, 90 of us ventured into Manhattan to tour the city and see landmarks from So You Want To Be A Wizard. We visited Rockefeller Plaza, side-eyed the CBS building, had a scavenger hunt in Grand Central Terminal, explored the New York Public Library, and checked every bathroom in the American Museum of Natural History for wormholes to other planets.
2017: Long Beach, CA
After having such a great first year in 2016, we couldn’t wait to see all our cousins again! We held a submarine intervention on August 4-6, 2017 in Long Beach, CA with special guests Mark Oshiro and Emily Skrutskie, 11 CrossingsCon Staff, and 55 cousins! We had two days of panels, games, and puns at the Courtyard Marriott in Downtown Long Beach. Then, on Sunday, we walked to the Aquarium of the Pacific to spend the day conversing with our aquatic cousins! 40 of us also took an afternoon cruise and got to exchange spelling tips with the local whale and dolphin wizards! Take a look at some of the highlights.
2019: Montréal, Canada
The CrossingsCon staff made the decision to hold CrossingsCon every other year after the 2017 convention. After a long wait, CrossingsCon 2019 was held in beautiful Montréal, Canada on June 21-23, with more than 100 attendees, 12 CrossingsCon Staff, as well as special guests Mark Oshiro, Kate Howells, and Diane Duane (in person!)! 2019 was an action-packed weekend of panels, stories and much fun. On Sunday we took a tour of Montréal’s Space for Life botanical gardens, visiting Filif’s extended cousins, as well as seeing a show at the planetarium.
2021: Slipping Sideways
Due to the pandemic, we decided to postpone our in-person convention to 2022 and held a virtual Slipping Sideways convention on gather.town. We spread out the con over a week, and were able to host 6 Guests of Honor virtually! Diane Duane, Ursula Vernon, Megan Whalen Turner, C.B. Lee, Cat Valente, and Jessica Day George were all able to join us, as well as 70 attendees and 12 staff and volunteer moderators. Our Gather space had several panel rooms as well as a library with functional games, teleportation, and hidden easter eggs such as a duck pond livestream in the park.
2022: Montréal, Canada
After having been postponed, we were able to finally have our convention in-person again! CrossingsCon 2022 was held in Montréal, Canada once more on August 5-7, with more than 70 attendees, 11 CrossingsCon Staff, as well as Guests of Honor Megan Whalen Turner, Ursula Vernon, and Diane Duane. On Sunday we explored Montréal’s Biodôme, which mostly entailed hiding in the penguin exhibit to beat the heat.