Balticon Functions and Events

In addition to the panels, presentations and workshops you can find described on the Programs page, Balticon offers a variety of dedicated function rooms, cross-track functions and special events.

The schedule for Balticon 49 has not been finalized, but webgoblins are updating it as information becomes available. You can look at the Balticon 48 pocket program HERE for an example of what might be in the works for 2015.

Index to Balticon Functions and Events


Back to Index ANIME ROOM Back to Top

The Balticon 49 Anime Room, located in Salon E, is open from 6:00 PM Friday through the end of the last feature on Monday, with a one hour break each morning for hotel housekeeping service. The Anime Room shows feature length anime films as well as consecutive episodes of Anime Series films. Between 8 AM and 10 AM (when children’s program opens) we schedule material that is appropriate for all age groups. In general, Anime screenings between 9:00 pm at night and 11:00 pm will not be appropriate for young people under age 13. Screenings between 11:00 pm and 6:00 in the morning should be considered not approprate for children at all, and not appropriate for teens who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian. Screenings before Noon are geared to general audiences. Every effort is made to schedule content between 10 AM and 9 PM which has age appropriateness equivalent to PG or PG-13. See this What Anime Ratings Mean document for more information.


The Anime Room schedule will be available soon on the Schedules page.

Back to Index ARTISTS ALLEY Back to Top

The Balticon Artists Alley, located in the lower level hallway outside the Hunt and Valley ballrooms brings you live artists along with offerings of their work for sale. Many artists will be working on projects at their tables. Check back frequently to see how their projects are progressing! Tables are curated so that we can offer you a wide range of talented artist’s offerings.

Check here in April for a list of Artists Alley exhibitors.

Artists, please go to the Artists Alley web page for more information.

Back to Index ART SHOW Back to Top

The Balticon 49 Art Show is proud to feature the work of Artist Guest of Honor Ruth Sanderson. We are also pleased to offer the work of many other artists in a wide variety of media, such as original works in pen and ink, charcoal, pastels, watercolor and oils, sculpture, and handmade crafts and jewelry, as well as limited edition prints.

Visit one of the biggest and best regional art shows on the East Coast featuring SF and fantasy original art and prints. Most of the works and prints are available for sale, although you will see some works marked “Not for sale – For Exhibit Only”. Artists must pre-register to be included in the art show. For more information or special requests, send a request to artshow AT balticon DOT org

or write to:
Balticon 49 Art Show
PO Box 686
Baltimore, MD 21203-0686

Artists, please go to the Art Show web pagee for more information and registration forms.

Back to Index AUTOGRAPHING Back to Top

Balticon provides any scheduled program participant who wishes it with one hour of shared table space for signing autographs. Autograph sessions at Balticon are always no-fee signings. We encourage participants to purchase authors’ and artists’ works at Balticon (the Dealers Room is adjacent to the Autograph Table in the Maryland Ballroom foyer) and have them autoghraphed right away! All Balticon 49 Autograph Sessions will be held at the Autograph Table in the foyer outside the Maryland Ballroom.

See the Schedules page for the dates and times authors, artists, podcasters and others will sit for autograph signings at Balticon 49.

Back to Index BSFS Books for Kids Back to Top
BBFK-logo78x78[1] For the 18th year in a row, a charity auction will be held at Balticon. There will be SF&F collectibles, memorabilia and other exotic items put on the block.

BSFS Books for Kids gifts funds raised to the PTA of the selected school for the purchase of books ordered by students for personal recreational reading. The books will become the personal property of the students. In additon, BSFS Books for Kids collects book donations for local school libraries, as requested by their resident librarians.

The Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction at Balticon 49 will be raising money so that BSFS Books for Kids can provide book purchase funding for the students of Buck Lodge Middle School.

Items for the auction are donated by both individuals and companies and generally have a SF or fantasy theme. Author- and artist-signed copies of books, art work, games, and SF collectables are very popular donated items. Please remember that this auction provides books to children to encourage them (and their families) to read. Bid generously!

Friday, approximately 10:00 PM The Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction at Balticon (Valley Ballroom)
Sunday, approximately 2:30 PM The Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction at Balticon, Part II (Garden Room)

The auction at Balticon is held during the masquerade half-time while the judges deliberate and the audience waits to hear the winners. Part II of the auction is held on Sunday following the art auction. Items available for auction are displayed in the Art Show. To donate items for the auction throughout the year, or for other details about the auction in any given year, please contact BooksForKids AT Balticon DOT org.

If you have something to donate to the auction, you can send it to us now or bring it to Balticon, where donations can be dropped off at the Convention Operations desk at the end of the hallway on the lower level just past the Art Show. Contact Auction Coordinator Kelly Shannon Pierce at BooksForKids AT Balticon DOT org to make arrangements to send your donation or have us pick it up.

BSFS Books for Kids is currently collecting new and used book donations for the libraries of seveal schools in Baltimore City. They are in need of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance and Poetry books, as well as less challenging books like Goosebumps, Sweet Valley High, etc. for reading competency levels from grade 3 on (ages 8 and up).

You may drop-off book donations for the schools at the Info desk, the Volunteers Desk and at Convention Operations.

Thank you for supporting youth literacy in Maryland!

Back to Index CONCERTS Back to Top

The Music/Filk Program at Balticon offers many hours of musical and comedy entertainment.

THE BALTICON 49 CONCERT SCHEDULE will be posted in April, 2015.

Back to Index CON SUITE Back to Top

Balticon offers its members a traditional convention hospitality suite with soda and snack foods in a congenial atmosphere design>ed to promote casual conversation. In addition, look for special events like late night concerts and book launches in the Con Suite!


Frankie and Vinnie’s has been eliminated from the hotel. The Balticon 49 Con Suite will be in the Concierge Lounge on the lobby level, near the Hal Haag Memorial Game Room.


Back to Index CONTESTS Back to Top

Compton Crook Award
honors the best first novel of the year written by an individual author (collaborations are not eligible) in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genre. Compton Crook, who used the nom de plume Stephen Tall, died in 1981. He was a long time Baltimore resident, Towson University professor, and, of course, a science fiction author. Since its inception, this award conferred by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society has been presented at Balticon. Balticon hosts the author of the winning novel as a Compton Crook Guest at Balticon for two years — the first year to receive the award (and the nice check that accompanies it), and the second year to give that year’s award to the incoming winning author. For more information, visit the Compton Crook Award website.

BSFS Amateur Writing Contest

promotes the creation of quality genre literature in the state of Maryland. Winners are announced at Capclave in the fall and invited to be introduced and read from their work at Balticon the following spring and the winning stories are included in the BSFan. We encourage entry by any amateur writer 18 or over, who is currently a Maryland residents or a student at a MD two or four year college. Entrants cannot be a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America nor can they have been published in a professional science fiction/fantasy magazine.For complete information, see the Amateur Writing Contest web page.

BSFS Poetry Contest

awards three prizes for poems up to 50 lines in length which address the themes of science fiction/fantasy/horror/science. For more information, see the BSFS Poetry web page.

BSFS Robert A. Heinlein Award

BSFS has been involved with the Robert A. Heinlein Award since its inception in 2003. The award is conferred “…for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings to inspire the human exploration of space”. The Award is presented at Balticon. For more information, visit the BSFS Heinlein Award web page.

Jack L. Chalker Young Writers’ Contest

honors young writers between the ages of 14 and 18. Contest submissions must be in the field of science fiction or fantasy. Contestants must reside in or attend school in Maryland, and be no older than 18 years of age as of the date of Balticon. Submissions must be no more than 2500 words in length. The first, second and third place winners are invited to and announced at Balticon. Please see the BSFS Young Writer’s contest rules web page for the full rules or contact BSFS for a hard copy.

Back to Index DANCE Back to Top

Balticon has worked hard to establish a tradition of offering dance and other music and movement events. Watch these pages for events such as a themed Ball, hula-hooping to music, period dances, and other music and movement events. Check the Schedules page for the Dance Events Schedule.

Back to Index DEALERS ROOM Back to Top

The Balticon DEALER’S ROOM features 6500 square-foot of tables with everything a Fan might want, from hard-to-find books to ancient weapons, costumes, collectibles, models and more. This year, the room will be open late Sunday and until 2 pm Monday. See the Dealers Room page for a list of vendors (COMING SOON) and for information about becoming a vendor at Balticon.


For the 12th consecutive year, BSFS sponsors The Balticon Sunday Night Short Film Festival (BSNSFF), held traditionally on (surprise!) Sunday night, presents animated and live action science fiction, fantasy, and horror films from independent filmmakers all over the world. The focus of the Balticon Sunday Night Short Film Festival (BSNSFF) is on independently produced science fact, science fiction, fantasy and horror live action and animation projects under 52 minutes run time, which have been completed no earlier than in the two years prior to the festival year. This is a competitive festival with winners in two (sometimes three) categories determined by audience rating. Award ribbons and/or certificates are given for audience favorite animated, live action and specialty films (science fact, music videos). For entry guidelines and forms, or for more information about the Balticon Film Festival, go to the Film Festival page.

In addition, the BSNSFF seeks to support the work of independent filmmakers by premiering an independently produced feature-length film on Friday night and we are open to considering a family-friendly premier for Saturday afternoon. We hope to bring you other independent feature-length and short films as time and space allow.

We accept proposals for film premiers and other feature films as well as film festival submissions year-round.


Sunday, 7:45 PM Doors open for seating for Balticon 49 Sunday Night Short Film Festival (Valley Ballroom)


Sunday, 8:00 PM Balticon 49 Sunday Night Short Film Festival (Valley Ballroom)

Doors open at 7:45 PM. Come and make your opinion count! Please note that films shown after 9:00 pm may not be appropriate for children under 13 without an accompanying adult. Please make sure you pick up a ballot on your way into the Valley Ballroom on Sunday night.

After May 1, 2015, see this year’s screening schedule on the Schedules page.

Back to Index GAME ROOM Back to Top

Balticon 49 marks the 5-year anniversary of the renaming of our game room as the Hal Haag Memorial Game Room in honor of fan and gamer Hal Haag, who passed away in 2009. Bring your own game or play one of ours — we’ll be open from 4:00 pm until 2 am Friday, from 9:00 am through 2 am on Saturday and Sunday nights and from 9:00 am until close of con on Monday. If you have a miniatures or other games you would like to schedule during the 2:00 am to 8:00 overnight, write to Donna to negotiate arrangements.

Back to Index HALL COSTUME CONTEST Back to Top

While you are enjoying Balticon dressed to the nines, stop by to have your photo taken for the Hall Costume Contest. Then tell everyone you see to go vote for you! The winner gets a complimentary membership to Balticon 49 and there may be an additional surprise gift.

Back to Index KAFFEEKLATSCHES Back to Top

Kaffeeklatshes offer an opportunity to chat with Guests in a more intimate setting. Sign-up sheets are located at the Information Desk near the top of the escalators. See the Schedules page for the Kaffeeklatsche schedule.

Back to Index LARP (Live Action Role Playing) Back to Top

Join us at Balticon 49 for the LARP’s seventh year on Saturday and Sunday. Registration will be Across from Participant Check-In on Friday May 24th from 5:00 – 9:00 pm and continuing 9:00 am – 10:45 am, Saturday May 25th. Opening Ceremonies are on Saturday, 11:00 am-12:30 pm in the Pimlico Room. The Game starts 1:00 pm Saturday (location to be determined). Closing Ceremonies will be held in the Pimlico Room on Monday from 10:00 am – 11:00 am.

The LARP schedule will be on the Schedules page.

Back to Index MASQUERADE Back to Top

On Saturday night Balticon hosts one of the oldest masquerades on the East Coast. Marvel at the participants crafting of fabric and other materials into imaginative and extraordinary costumes. The Masquerade is not just for experienced costumers either — Hall Costumes and first-timers are encouraged to get up on stage and share their work. The masquerade competition will be judged on the experience skills division system to give beginners a chance to go home winners. Info: e-mail or check “Masquerade” on the registration form. Check the Baltimore Science Fiction Society website for the Masquerade rules.

Back to Index PARTIES Back to Top


NOTE: The first TEN open party signups we receive will get their cleaning fee paid by the con! This is a first come, first serve deal, so don’t wait! ALL parties, including PRIVATE parties, MUST be registered with the Balticon Party Czar.

Let’s keep the fun going into the night! If you are interested in throwing a room party at Balticon 49, to support your convention, your Worldcon bid, or just because you want to invite people in to have some fun, we’d love to have you. Please email for details.

Open parties will be registered and grouped in one area easily accessible to everyone. Registering your open party will ensure that you are covered by Balticon’s corkage agreement (allowing you to serve food and non-alcoholic drinks), and that your neighbors don’t mind the noise generated. Parties will be open until 3:00 am. Alcohol is not permitted at open room parties.

There is a $50.00 for the weekend party cleaning fee that the hotel will add to your bill for hosting open room parties. This one time fee is $50.00 for one, two or three nights of hosting an open party.

If you plan on holding a private party,let us know at party{at}balticon{dot}org; we will put you with the other parties so you can stay up all night talking and laughing without worrying about potential noise complaints. If your room is in the party area, but you are not throwing an open party, you will not be charged the additional cleaning fee. The hotel will take a deposit for open party rooms which will be returned when they confirm the room is not damaged. Open party rooms must be confirmed with hotel before April 24, 2015, or the hotel may reject the request for such a room. Please check the box on the registration form if you would like to receive the open-party information packet or send mail to Following these rules means we can continue holding open room parties at Balticon.

Back to Index VIDEO ROOM Back to Top

Balticon 49 again offers an expanded Video Room schedule. In addition to the Salon F video schedule, Video will continue to offer movies in the Belmont through from midnight through early morning.

See the Schedule posted outside Salon F.


Balticon is an all-volunteer managed and staffed convention and we can always use more help. Show your SF community spirit by volunteering a few hours at the con. Volunteers who work more than 10 hours receive our exclusive volunteer T-shirt. Work more than 20 hours and next year’s Balticon membership is comped. Sign up via email, at the convention or check the Volunteering box on the registration form. And if you decide not to volunteer, take a moment to say thank you to those who do! This convention wouldn’t exist without them.

Back to Index WORKSHOPS Back to Top

Balticon brings you a variety of workshops in the Anime, Art, Children’s, Costuming, Gaming, Literary:Writing, and Filmmaking program tracks. See the Schedules page for the Workshops Schedule.

Poetry Workshop

The annual Balticon Poetry Workshop is facilitated by award-winning poets and poetry editors! Work with these instructors and other poets to develop technique and learn to critique your own work.

Writers’ Workshop

For those who want to improve your writing skills in the areas of science fiction and fantasy, the workshop is a place and time to discuss ideas, debate styles and comment on each others’ work. From year to year, we look at various aspects of writing:

Opening lines
Character development
Story structure

In addition, we also discuss and debate those things that make SF&F different from ‘mainsteam’ literature: story ideas ranging from the dawn of time through the future, parallel worlds, civilizations human and non-human, technology advancing and threatening; settings near and far, on this planet and others, running across dimensions, travelling through the past and future; characters that are human, non-human, organic, inorgranic, physical and spiritual; settings ranging from worlds the size of a microbe to civilizations spanning galaxies. Yet all these connecting to us as people.

Having trouble with your short stories? We can work with you. Not sure how to write a novel? Talk to others who have done one or two. Wondering how to approach an editor, or how to write a cover letter? Let us help you. We don’t guarantee story sales, but we do what we can to help you. If you have questions, write to writersworkshop AT bsfs DOT org. Coordinator Steve Lubbs looks forward to hearing from you.

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