We have set the 2024 Doxadays! For those who recall, Doxadays are a sort of mini-Doxacon – an opportunity to gather several times throughout the year. Though they’re more simply themed, they’re a great way for us to gather together, geek out, and share those things that inspire us.
We’d like to thank Loren Pontén, John Muehleisen, and Euan Tait for their wonderful keynote panel “Characters, Archetypes, and the Concept of Home: Parallels between Pilgrim Beatitudes (a new cantata by John Muehleisen and Euan Tait) and The Rings of Power.” They will will be presenting John’s latest commission Pilgrim Beatitudes (the subject of the panel) on May 13, 2023 at St. James Cathedral in Seattle. We encourage you to follow Opus 7 on their website and on Facebook for more information on how to purchase tickets and support the work of Opus 7!!
(If you were sad that Euan Tait (the librettist for Pilgrim Beatitudes) was only able to be virtually present at Doxacon Seattle 2023, come to the Pilgrim Beatitudes premier – along with the rest of Opus 7, he’ll be there in the flesh!)
Looking to next year
Mark your calendars – we have a date for next year’s Doxacon Seattle! We hope to see you there on Saturday, February 10, 2024 at the Brightwater Center! We look forward to sharing more details as we plan for the convention. Between now and then, we’ll be continuing last year’s new tradition of Doxadays. These are a kind of mini-convention, each featuring a single speaker, a workshop, or gaming opportunity (sometimes a combination of them!). We’re even working on a Discord server where we can hang out virtually. We’ll have more about all of this in the coming days & weeks.
In the meantime, keep an eye on our website as well as our social media pages (Twitter & Facebook) or even sign up for the e-mail newsletter (see the sidebar). We look forward to continuing to explore our common faith and fandoms with you!
Whew! Almost a week since Doxacon Seattle 2023: a great week of soaking in the great memories and catching up on sleep and hydration!
We want to thank everyone involved with making it such an amazing day! Our presenters, our vendors, our tireless volunteers, and above all everyone who came out and made connections and asked questions and just embodied the whole reason we put on this convention. You are the best geek orthodox and faithful fans in the galaxy!
We’re taking a break from planning for a few weeks, but we’re already simmering ideas for Doxacon Seattle 2024!
We’re getting pretty close, with just three days left! As we draw near, we invite you to check out the vendors who will be joining us for Doxacon Seattle 2023.
Based in Everett, Geek Xtravaganza describes itself as ‘A unique geek shopping event’. They bring together geeky vendors that include artists, game designers, comics creators, crafters makers, pop culture artisans, t-shirts, collectible toys, games, POPs, and more. Attendance is free (and so is the popcorn)! Learn more about them, their wares, and their own event in April at the official Geek Xtravaganza Facebook page.
S.K. Ehra is an author of fantasy, horror, and all that lies between, including The Crossroads Series. When not reading or writing, S.K. Ehra can be found wandering the woods, and while skittish, is friendly when approached. Read more about her and her works at her website (https://skehra.com/?page_id=163)
Art by Erika Rae Heins will be at this Saturday’s Doxacon event with a selection of prints, cards, mugs, and shirts, featuring pen-and-ink and watercolor art inspired by classic literature, Tolkien, and more! Erika is a traditional and digital artist who has been selling work online and at Pacific Northwest conventions for over 12 years and is currently serving on the Doxacon board.
Kevin King grew up reading speculative fiction, and still would rather spend all summer reading than anything else in the world. He currently works as a software developer, living near Seattle with his wife Trish and their dog Frodo (aka Mr Frodo Beggins, and yes, he does carry the ring.) His debut Action-Adventure Fantasy novel, Song of the Adoël, came out in February 2022. He also began writing flash fiction in 2022, via Instagram account kevinkingauthor as part of the group FlashFictionMagic, based on weekly prompts.
Our keynote panelists will be setting up a table to share materials from the Opus 7Vocal Ensemble, a resident ensemble of Saint James Cathedral in Seattle. Opus 7 performs works of local & regional composers as well as commissioning new choral compositions. Read more about Opus 7 at their website (http://opus7.org/about-us/)
If you haven’t done so already, it’s not too late to purchase tickets for Doxacon Seattle 2023. See our website sidebar for the link to our ticket page at Brown Paper Tickets. We’re very grateful to all of our presenters for this year’s convention. As you prepare for this Saturday, you may enjoy reading about them, their talks, and the other sessions that we’re cooking up! (Click here to read about our keynote panel [John Muehleisen, Euan Tait, and Loren Pontén])
Family in Anime and Animation: Earthly Echoes of Our Heavenly Home (Father Jacob Maurer)- Father Jacob Maurer explores how works of anime & animation illustrate the meaning & purpose of family – those we are born into and those we build along the way.
Father Maurer is a Roman Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of Seattle serving as pastor of Saint Mark parish in Shoreline. He has a particular fondness for Star Trek, Doctor Who, Middle Earth, and Studio Ghibli.
The Pilgrim’s Power: Holy Heroes and Evangelizing through Beauty (S.K. Ehra) – The hero’s journey is a staple in speculative fiction, the pilgrim a compelling figure in the Christian imagination, and the two combined are ideal for evangelizing a spiritually-deadened culture. The Pilgrim’s Power: Holy Heroes and Evangelizing through Beauty will analyze the different paths pilgrim characters take, why the familiar formula of the hero’s journey is far from predictable, the moral challenges the pilgrim presents to the audience, and why the pilgrim’s purpose is both enduring and necessary for the culture and Christian fiction.
S.K. Ehra is an author of fantasy, horror, and all that lies between, including The Crossroads Series. When not reading or writing, S.K. Ehra can be found wandering the woods, and while skittish, is friendly when approached.
Murderbot as Spiritual Pilgrim (Megan Lorance & Robert King) – The protagonist of Martha Wells’ The Murderbot Diaries undergoes a transformation similar to that of the Christian in their life of conversion and theosis. Lorance and King compare Murderbot to Biblical figures to discover how we find communion with God, neighbor, and self through stories.
Megan Lorance and Robert King – Megan is an excitable nerd. Her current obsessions include fiber arts so she can keep her friends and family warm in case of apocalypse, learning Latin in case she ever meets Virgil, and curating her collection of introverts because she likes the challenge. She daily attempts to convince three cats who still have food in their bowls that they are not starving to death. Robert is a freelance editor and novelist who has tried and failed at landscaping, global adventuring, and holding rational discussions on social media. He lives in Everett near a flock of mourning doves, all of whom are named Kyle.
The Camino and the Lord of the Rings (Thom Ryng & Jayne Fury)- Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is not the typical hero’s journey, but is it perhaps a pilgrimage? Thom Ryng and Jayne Fury have walked various routes and portions of the Camino de Santiago in Spain four times. They compare their experiences as modern day pilgrims, walking the 500 miles from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela, with those of the Hobbits who walked from the Shire to Mount Doom and back. Along the way, they discuss the age-old question: is it the destination or the journey that makes a pilgrimage? Or perhaps something else entirely?
Thom and Jayne are two nerdy pilgrims in love. They met on a train and have been going full speed ever since. Together they have eaten their way across Spain four times (from four different starting points) along The Way of Saint James. Aside from hiking, they also run the small press: Pilgrimage House. Both Thom and Jayne are published authors of speculative fiction. Thom has been playing and DMing various forms of tabletop games since high school while Jaynie plays “fluffy” video games on Twitch under the nom de stream of RainyJaynie and can be found on the web via her linktree (https://linktr.ee/jaynefury)
Writing Stories that Matter: A Writing Workshop on Theme (Robert King) – As people of faith, we want the stories we tell to have both the emotional impact of powerful storytelling and also the spiritual impact of profound faith. The key to great storytelling, whether for secular or religious audiences, is theme. This workshop will explore some practical tools for engaging readers with your faith to tell an impactful story without becoming preachy or predictable. We’ll learn from how writers ranging from J.R.R. Tolkien to Tim Powers imbued their works with their faith, and practice developing strong themes for our own stories. This will help you write stories that mainstream secular publishers and religious publishers alike would be excited to publish.
Robert is a freelance editor and novelist who has tried and failed at landscaping, global adventuring, and holding rational discussions on social media. He lives in Everett near a flock of mourning doves, all of whom are named Kyle.
Exploring Home: Here and There, Now and Then (Tim Brown)- Everyone has some place they think of “home.” But most think the home they have now is a mere shadow of an ideal Home, whether they think that ideal exists somewhere else or can be obtained by adjusting their existing circumstances. Tim Brown digs into stories ranging from the Odyssey to The Lord of the Rings to The Mandalorian to uncover the concept of “home” in fiction and real life.
Born sometime in the mid-20th century, Tim has been reading fantasy, science fiction, and history for as long as he can recall – and playing boardgames and role-playing games for almost as long. Growing up with no religious background at all, he converted to Christianity in college, and has slowly walked from nondenominational to Lutheran to Orthodox. A BA in Psychology, obtained late in life, did absolutely no good in the working world, but was an emotionally satisfying accomplishment that refects a long-standing interest in what makes people tick on the inside. Tim has been involved with Doxacon Seattle since its beginning and has given presentations at nearly every DS event (none of which have yet to provoke actual mobs with actual pitchforks – or even virtual ones).
Back Again from the Broken Land: A One-Shot Tabletop Role-Playing Adventure (Cow Shea) – Now that your small band of simple folk have played your part in the downfall of the great evil that had threatened the world, it’s time to make your way home with whatever treasures, troubles, hurts, and hopes you’ve acquired in your adventure. It’s a quieter but still dangerous journey … Back Again From The Broken Land. A low/no-prep game based on the Powered by the Apocalypse system (a very easy game to get into even if you’ve never played an RPG before!), BAftBL is inspired by the bittersweet final chapters of a Tolkien story.
Cow is a local disaster. He works at a local Catholic high school pursuing his true passion in life: doing a bunch of disparate weird jobs including tech support, managing the library, bus driving, helping out with retreats, and running an after-school RPG club. He married way out of his league, and he and his incredible wife have a batch of lovely children and one gross old dog. Cow wants to watch every movie.
Readings from Writers (Presvytera Elizabeth Tervo & the Doxacon Seattle Writers Group) – The Doxacon
Seattle Writers Group has been meeting since 2019 and encourages us not only to enjoy fantastic stories but to create them ourselves. In this session, various writers will read excerpts from their own works!
Presvytera Elizabeth is author of The Sun Does Not Shine Without You, as well as various stories, poems and articles. She is co-director of the Doxacon Writers Group and is married to Fr Michael Tervo of St Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, Bellingham
Geek-out Session (hosted by Erika Rae Heins) – Last year, we opened a session to all our members to rave about what they most enjoyed in their various fandoms. It was a great way to get to know one another (and add to our reading/viewing/playing lists), so we’re doing it again!
Erika is a Doxacon Seattle board member who is well-known for her charming literary and creative drawings and illustrations.
Doxacon Seattle 2023 is fast approaching and we’re eagerly looking forward to welcoming our presenters, attendees, and vendors! If you haven’t already, be sure to purchase a ticket for yourself – and spread the word to anyone you know who might be interested in joining us.
Following the example of other local fan conventions, we will require in-person members to wear face masks while indoors, unless actively eating or drinking. Presenters – please note that you may remove your face mask during your presentation. If you have tested positive for COVID or are experiencing COVID-like symptoms on the day of the convention, we ask you to stay home and attend online; you can request a refund for the difference between in-person and online membership from firstname.lastname@example.org
When does it all start?
The doors to Brightwater Center will open at 7:00 am on Saturday, February 11. We’ll begin the day with an Akathist of Thanksgiving – a beautiful Eastern Orthodox prayer (learn more here) and have our opening remarks at 8:00 am.
We will be serving a continental breakfast after Akathist. We will have lunch around noon and (of course!) coffee available throughout the day. We appreciate all who have noted their dietary restrictions – we are providing several gluten-free options at both meals. Participants are welcome to bring their own food & drink too, if they so desire.
We’ll be hosting a one-shot TTRPG (table-top role-playing game) that will run concurrent with some of the afternoon sessions. The game will be Back Again from the Broken Land, which follows adventurers returning home after saving the world from the forces of evil. There is a limit of six players for the game, so if you are interested please contact email@example.com. Players will be selected at random from those who have expressed interest and who are present on Saturday.
There may be opportunities to play other board games and/or tabletop games during the day. Feel free to bring your favorite game, if you like! We encourage you to mark your game with your name and/or some other identifying mark, so that it does not get lost or mixed up with someone else’s.
More to come!
We’ll have more information, including a full schedule, later this week. Meanwhile, we’re looking forward to seeing you on Saturday! Please keep the planners, volunteers, presenters, and all the others who will attend in your prayers!
We are delighted to announce that composer John Muehleisen, Opus 7 conductor Loren Pontén, and librettist Euan Tait will be the keynote panel for Doxacon Seattle 2023. They will be speaking to us about a composition titled Pilgrim Beatitudes, which is now in progress and will be premiered by Opus 7 on May 13 at St. James Cathedral in Seattle sharing how it relates to Tolkien, Middle Earth, and the new Rings of Power series! We’re looking forward to their presentation at Doxacon Seattle 2023. As we wait, read about John, Loren, and Euan below!
Composer John Muehleisen’s 150+ vocal and choral works have been described as “masterful…imaginatively harmonized…beautifully realized…and brilliantly crafted.” John’s compositions have focused on topics ranging from humor—his works Eat Your Vegetables! and Cantata Caffeinata—to more serious issues, including spiritual and emotional dimensions of suffering and healing; gun violence; immigration; how we treat those different than ourselves, hate crime, and the personal cost of war (in his award-winning oratorio, But Who Shall Return Us Our Children? – A Kipling Passion). John is a devoted Sci-Fi and Fantasy fan and is particularly enamored of The Expanse, Babylon 5, and all things Tolkien.
Loren Pontén, Founder and Artistic Director of Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble, has been an active conductor in the Pacific Northwest for over forty years. A champion of contemporary choral music, he and Opus 7 have commissioned and/or premiered over 120 works from around the world and particularly the Pacific Northwest. In 2000, Opus 7 instituted the first Student Choral Composition Awards Program for high school and university composition students. It has since become an annual event and the group has awarded 36 student composers, as well as performing and recording their works within our season concerts. As a nationally-recognized choir, Opus 7 is a three-time winner of the ASCAP award for Adventurous Programming, and also was awarded the American Prize for Choral Performance in 2013. Since 1989 Loren has been on the faculty of Midsummer Musical Retreat, a week-long workshop for adults. He became Choral Director in 2003, and leads the faculty orchestra, vocal faculty, and festival workshop chorus at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA.
Euan Tait is a European poet, retreat leader and teacher of Welsh-Scottish heritage. He works internationally with composers including Kim Andre Arnesen, Carson Cooman, Anselm McDonnell, Michael Bussewitz-Quarm, and Paul Spicer. Recent major projects include texts for Cooman’s 2019 oratorio As We Are Changed, Spicer’s 2014 choral symphony Unfinished Remembering (Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK), and Arensen’s 70 minute cantata The Wound in the Water (Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, 2016). ‘Flight Song’ is performed across the globe, and his work is widely recorded. Themes include human brokenness, internal and external exile, music as our companion through life, and healing.
Doxacon Seattle is the fruit of many people’s hard work! We have a planning committee who reserves the venue, invites and coordinates our presentations, plans the food, and so on. But the more who help out, the better job we’re able to do in making Doxacon an enjoyable and enlightening experience for everyone!
We know many of you are willing to pitch in and lend a hand where needed. But it helps us so much to know who is able to help in which ways, so that we can plan ahead and keep things running more or less smoothly!
We need help particularly in a few areas:
Audio/Video – assist with on-site presentations and/or live-streaming!
Breakfast and lunch service – help us feed the multitudes!
Registration – be a welcoming face for those joining us!
The goal of Doxacon is to gather a community of people who are fascinated by both faith and fantasy, who find inspiration both in fictional worlds and in the deep reality of revelation. It is good that we can gather together to share our joy and our insights!
It is even better when we make new friends and connect our various communities together!
We’re putting up posters and handing out postcards at our churches and at our favorite game/comic/collectable shops to spread the word. But the best way to connect with others is direct invitation.
So we’re making our official poster and postcard available to you! You can print it out and give it to that friend, that neighbor, that fellow choir member or book club buddy who would get so much out of Doxacon Seattle!
Just click on the images below to download them! And we’ll all meet each other at Doxacon Seattle 2023!
We will continue to publish recordings of the talks on our YouTube channel, but any option of Membership will grant early access to these recordings.
In addition, if for any reason we have to cancel the in-person aspect of the event, In-person Members will automatically be migrated to Online Members and will be refunded the difference in ticket price. You can always contact us with questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org!
We can’t wait to see you at Doxacon Seattle 2023 – , whether on screen or face to face! Till then, may you have many blessings during this time when we celebrate the birth and manifestation of our Lord, Jesus Christ!
*Presenters, vendors, and volunteers will be contacted with instructions for your registration.