The Outer Dark Symposium 2018 Gets Really Weird at the Winchester Mystery House

Outer Dark Symposium 2018 poster

This past March, Atlanta, Georgia hosted the first annual Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird to a smashing success. With 2018 right around the corner, The Outer Dark is poised to turn San Jose, California weird as the symposium returns with panels and readings from the very best in contemporary weird fiction.

On 24 March 2018, the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose becomes the portal for weird fiction. And what a locale for this event! One of the Weirdest places in the United States and listed on the National Register of Historical Places, this mansion built by gun heiress Sarah Winchester is known for its maze-like interior and haunted reputation. It also is the subject of an upcoming major motion picture, Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built, starring Helen Mirren.

Hosted by The Outer Dark podcast host Scott Nicolay and Associate Producer Anya Martin, this year’s guests include David Bowles, Daniel Braum, Heather Buckley, Rios de la Luz, John Foster, Cody Goodfellow, Michael Griffin, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Izzy Lee, Ross E. Lockhart, Liv Rainey-Smith, Tiffany Scandal, Eric Schaller, John Claude Smith, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, with more to be announced.

Hostess Anya Martin says: “Scott and I came up with the idea of the symposium after attending the room parties hosted by Laird Barron and John Langan at NecronomiCon 2013 and 2015. Conventions can be very spread out affairs, and you often don’t get to spend enough time with the people you want to because everyone is off to a different panel, the dealers room, or a group dinner. We thought: What if everyone attended all the same readings and panels and shared meals together, and then social time in the evening for that kind of spontaneous conversation we experienced at those room parties?

The response to the first symposium in Atlanta was honestly amazing. After it, we got so much positive feedback from the discussion it fostered to the friendships forged during it. And so many fun moments I can’t even begin to share them all. We hope the Winchester Mystery House will take the symposium to another level—a Weird fiction conference at a genuinely Weird and haunted location. We expect that at least one attendee will get lost and disappear, never to be seen again. Now if that isn’t a selling point, we don’t know what is!”

The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird is the only annual conference devoted to contemporary Weird fiction, and by now, you’re probably wanting all the details, so here we go: This one-of-a-kind immersive one-day event features approximately 12 hours of panels, readings, signings and social activities. Festivities also include public Friday Night Readings by some of the participating authors, with locations and details to be announced soon. The symposium is limited to 75 attendees, and if this event is anything like last years, this will be the weird symposium to attend in 2018. Early membership rate is $125, rising to $150 after 15 January if memberships are still available. Membership includes continental breakfast/coffee, sandwich box lunch, a multi-author signing reception, buffet dinner with cash bar, and a tour of the creepy Winchester Mystery House (a $40 value).

The Outer Dark Symposium 2018 has partnered with The Plaza Suites. The group room rate is $119 (plus tax) for a king or two-double-bed suite ($10 for each additional person for affordable sharing) and includes breakfast, daily cocktail, WiFi and parking. Rooms are available at this discounted rate until 22 February, so  you’re going to want to reserve early as the room block is limited and likely to fill up fast. Call 1-800-345-1554, ask for reservations, and provide code 1712THEOUT, or book reservations online here.

There will be an Indiegogo campaign to raise additional funds to fully support the symposium in mid-January. Sponsorship opportunities are available and greatly appreciated. For more information and updates on The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird 2018, please visit the Facebook event page here.

Purchase memberships via Brown Paper Tickets here.

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