The UNCON Approaches

Can you believe that the Book Blogger Unconference and BEA are just a little over a week away?

I went up to visit our site for the Book Blogger Uncon, The Center for Fiction, and it is going to work out beautifully. There are plenty of spaces for us to use both for the full group planning session at the beginning and then for the breakout sessions throughout the day. Heck they even have their own bookstore on the first floor!

Anyway, here are a few things to know about the location:

There is a Starbucks right across the street and plenty of other coffee places just a few steps away, so I don’t think we need to have coffee brought it. We’ll schedule enough time between sessions for caffeine runs.

There are also a bunch of places to grab a quick bite, so finding someplace for lunch won’t be a problem. I’ll come to the day with a few ideas if a big group wants to go somewhere.

One of the breakout session rooms has a great projector and screen we can plug computers into. If you think you might want to show something on your computer, be sure you bring a cable that can connect your machine to a standard VGA input. I have a couple I will bring, but if you want to be sure you have a way of showing something on the screen, bring your own.

We won’t have wireless connectivity. I will bring my LTE hotspot that five or so people can connect to at a time. If you have a hotspot or something that can serve as one, it would be super great if you could bring it along.

We’ll get the day started at around 10 (more on this in a minute). One thing I would like to know is how many people are trying to get to the BEA Buzz panel at Javits that begins at 415. The E train is just a couple of blocks away from The Center for Fiction and it goes to Penn Station, which is the closest subway stop to the Javits. There are also bus options. Also, a shared cab with 3-4 people is an inexpensive option as well. I’m thinking we try to end the main sessions by 315 to give folks who want to go to the Buzz panel a chance to get over there. If a group wants to stick around for another session at The Center for Fiction, we can do that (I don’t think I will go to the Buzz panel myself, so maybe the late day Uncon session could just be an open discussion or something).

We will develop the schedule at the Uncon, first thing. This will include number of simultaneous sessions, session length, schedule, and locations. The only schedule thing will be the planning session, which will start at 10am and go until we are done with the schedule. The Center for Fiction is just a few blocks away from the main branch of the New York Public Library and the fantastic park right behind it. I would propose a 9am bring-your-bagel meet and mingle in the park before official proceedings begin.

I will bring nametags and Sharpies. Can anyone think of any other absolute essentials? There is a chalkboard we can use to map out the schedule (I love chalkboards).

Book bloggers are a tidy bunch, but a few of us will need to stay after to clean up, move chairs and tables back to their original positions and just in general make sure we left things as we found them. I’ll be staying for sure, but be ready to volunteer.


I think that’s about it for the logistics. Let me know if you think there are unanswered questions or things people might like to know.

We have 35+ folks signed up now. I would like to do one more awareness push next week, just to make sure that anyone who might be interested at least knows that it is happening and what it is. Post about it on your blog, tweet/Facebook about it. I think we have plenty of great people already, so it’s not about wanting more numbers, but just wanting to include anyone who is interested.

The Center for Fiction is also holding a great event the night of June 6th: Richard Ford and Joyce Carol Oates! If you have a chance to mention that in your posts about the Uncon and/or BEA, that would be a great way for us all to thank The Center for donating their space and energy.

See you all really, really soon,



About bookbloguncon

The first Book Blog UNCON will take place in NYC on Monday, June 4 at the Center For Fiction Studies. This blog is the source for all information relating the the UNCON.

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