Coming up the weekend of May 4th, I will be hosting my twelfth Mo*Con. For the uninitiated, Mo*Con is a mini-writers conference that I host (“Maurice Convention”), bringing together speculative fiction writers from across the country for a weekend of conversations—sometimes hard conversations—all done over food. In a church. The conceit being that the church should be a safe place where people could question and discuss things.
Mo*Con exists in intersectionality. It began as a place to explore the intersection of faith and speculative fiction. The first Mo*Con featured horror writer Brian Keene giving his testimony of unbelief: how he has always struggled with the idea of God, why he has, and how it has played out in his fiction.
What I mean when I say intersectionality is that we are intersectional people, we exist in multiple dimentsions. I can’t separate me as a black man from the role faith plays in my life or how both impact my art. The sociological theory behind intersectionality recognizes that an individual’s identities overlap—age, race, sexuality, health, religion, etc.–and discrimination can follow. We can get caught up pursuing the interests of “part” of us while ignoring—or worse, at the expense of—another “part” of us. Which is why we’ve had Mo*Cons revolving around sexual identity and Christianity, mental health and the artist, atheism and art. Because to move forward, we have to realize we are all in this together, all parts of our identity.
This year Mo*Con will be held at the Switchboard, a community co-working space in Fountain Square. The event brings together partners such as Spirit & Place, the Kheprw Institute, and gROE Inc. Our guest of honor line up this year includes Lynne and Michael Thomas (editors of Uncanny Magazine), speculative fiction author/black feminist/social media icon Mikki Kendall, horror author John Urbancik, and agent Jen Udden. As a community, we’ll be discussing race, feminism, the business of art, fluid fiction, and protest through art. Which is how I see Mo*Con: at the intersection of faith and social justice; community and continued conversation.