As I suspect many of you already know, next weekend is the fiftieth (!) Winkie Convention, the west coast gathering of the International Wizard of Oz Club. Winkies is now also the longest running Oz event anywhere, having been held every year but one since 1964. The one exception? In 2000, all of the then-regional Oz conventions combined their resources in one mega convention in Indiana to celebrate one hundred years of Oz. That was the biggest Oz convention ever, but it looks like this year's Winkies may actually surpass that! The convention is back in its original southern California roots, in San Diego, and is not going to be like any Winkie Convention before it. Don't believe me? Take a look at the interactive schedule. Yes, for the first time, there will be true multi-track programming.
And being the big grand poobah of Ozziness that I appear to be, I'm on a few places on that schedule. So, if you're going and want to see me in person, here is what I'm doing:
- Saturday, August 9, at 11:00 a.m.: The Oz Books for Beginners: Reading and Collecting. This is essentially Oz 101, for those who may not know much about Oz beyond the big high-profile movies. I'll be talking about the Oz books, how best to approach them, that sort of thing. My friend Paul Bienvenue, who's a rare book dealer, will talk about collecting books.
- Sunday, August 10, at 12:30 p.m.: The Adventures of Queen Ann in Oz. I know I've already mentioned it here, but this panel will be the official debut of the new edition of Queen Ann in Oz, the book I co-wrote with Karyl Carlson many, many years ago. When the rights reverted back to us, and The Royal Publisher of Oz approached us about a new edition, we jumped at it. The publishers were able to get the original illustrators, William Campbell and Irwin Terry, on board for some new illustrations, including color plates. Karyl also wrote a new novella, Jodie in Oz, picking up where Queen Ann in Oz left off, is included, as well as a skit I wrote for the 1988 Winkie Convention, "Another Adventure with Ann", which predates Queen Ann in Oz. All four of us will be talking about the genesis of the book and how it all came about. As a bonus, for the first time ever, Karyl and I will get to meet Bill and Irwin.
- Sunday, August 10, at 2:30: Upcoming Oz Events. The website for this event talks about the 2015 convention, for which planning is already underway. I will be there to bring up some tentative plans for the 2016 convention, which I am pencilled in to chair. I will be more interested, however, in seeing what other people want to see during this convention.