A weekend jam-packed with fantasy and science fiction inspiration and action is being held in Rotorua in the form of GeyserCon.

GeyserCon is the 40th national science fiction and fantasy convention, and will be held over Queen's Birthday weekend.

The weekend will include events for writers, students and fans of genre fiction and movies, and also features an all-weekend Book Expo with new titles from Kiwi and international authors.

International guests and award-winning authors Kaaron Warren, Laura VanArendonk Baugh and Alan Baxter will feature in the writers' and students' education programmes, along with a line-up of New Zealand authors.


Two of the award-winning New Zealand authors attending are AJ Ponder and Eileen Mueller, who will help primary pupils to hone their writing skills through the Young New Zealand Writer's Day Out.

This is a series of programmes for students from Year 5 through to Year 13 on May 31 as part of GeyserCon.

Mueller said she loved teaching students who were keen and helping them on their journey.

She said they would be creating impromptu stories, having fun with interactive fiction and embarking on a superhero's journey.

"I've seen kids come to these and their enthusiasm explodes."

Mueller said this convention was a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people, was great for networking, and a chance for people to learn a lot from experts.

AJ Ponder, teacher and author, said that as well as great workshops for writers and students, there were so many fun activities for fans.

"Fantasy mapping, cosplay and fantasy makeup, board gaming, steampunk, zines, even making your own ray gun, joining in a radio play and finding out the latest news from Weta Digital."


International cosplay guest Alena Van Arendonk, who provides professional costuming and SFX makeup for film, live theatre, and museums, will be helping fans and novice cosplayers improve their costumes through workshops.

Adult writers at any level can also learn tips about writing fight scenes, cover design, the nuts and bolts of writing and editing, using mythology, marketing their books, and writing in all genres and for audiences of all ages.

In-depth panel discussions will run on a variety of genre-based topics across the weekend.

There will also be off-site workshops for the adventurous, a poetry slam and limerick session.

The book expo is free all weekend.

Tauranga's Lee Murray, GeyserCon programme director, author and co-founder of Young NZ Writers, said the programme was full of interesting things including academic discussions.

She said the convention had something for anyone in the public who might like science fiction.

"It's a great opportunity to meet with local and international writers creating the work that becomes the films, comics and stories we are talking about."

Run as a not-for-profit venture, GeyserCon registration costs have deliberately been kept low to enable as many people as possible to attend.

More programme information and registration prices are available at www.geysercon.nz/.

Teachers or parents may register students by clicking on the YNZW Day Out poster at youngnzwriters.weebly.com/ ($20 per student).