What is 4th Street?
4th Street Fantasy is a small, intense, conversational convention about fantasy fiction, held each June in Minneapolis, MN.
We bring together a community of readers, writers, editors, and anyone else who loves the art of creating and enjoying fantasy fiction. Our convention participants are our program: 4th Street uses single-track programming to create a conversation that starts on Friday afternoon and ends sometime on Sunday. Panel participants change over the course of the weekend, and registrant participation – both within panels and spilling over into discussions in our consuite, the hotel lobby, or the hallways – is central to the convention’s ethos. By the end of the weekend, our members have built together a growing web of ideas, energy, and connections.
Everyone at 4th Street is interested in exploring the boundaries of fantastical storytelling, whether in literature, art, music, comics, games, film – or media we haven’t even thought of yet. We discuss multiple media interchangeably, all on the same panel, looking for points of congruence and fascinating differences. And if this description sounds stodgy, we’ve done a bad job: 4th Street is fun. The excitement of a three-day conversation, being part of a convention-wide voyage of discovery, is powerful stuff. And the people you’ll talk with at 4th Street are some of the most fascinating we’ve ever met.
In past years, we’ve had Elizabeth Bear and Patrick Nielsen Hayden deconstructing the folk process with guitars – we’ve done a reading of a brand-new Jo Walton play –and we’ve heard storytelling tips that drew from not only Mary Robinette Kowal’s writing skills but also her work as a puppeteer. Whether it’s Patricia Wrede and Lois Bujold talking about conflict and tension or Elise Matthesen and Jon Singer on food, fashion, and fornication, you’ll hear – and talk about – it all. And some of the best experiences of the convention will be talking to complete strangers you’ve never heard of, on topics you didn’t even know you wanted to discuss until you find yourself frantically scribbling down titles and notes.
We can’t tell you where the conversation will go this year, but we always try to make room for everyone to contribute the next great idea – even if that’s “Another Panel”!
Join us. Have fun. Raise a glass to (temporarily) absent friends. We’ll see you in June!
Everyone was New Once
Everyone has a first time at 4th Street. For some of you it will be this year. Others have been coming for years – or decades! We keep the convention small, and the nature of our conversation often means that we’ve gotten to know each other very well. Although 4th Street is a tight-knit community, we make it a priority to welcome new voices. Please feel free to raise your hand, join a conversation, or ask somebody out to a meal. So if you are an old pro, say hi to someone new. If you are a new member, welcome. We’re glad to have you.
See also our page on the 4th Street Meal Ambassador program – where longstanding attendees can meet new members for lunches or dinners throughout the convention. We want you to feel welcome, whether this is your first time or your twentieth time with us.
This hospitality space provides light refreshments throughout the weekend. It the best place to continue conversations which began in the Programming Room, to meet a new friend, or to renew relationships from years past. We make every effort to provide for dietary restrictions, including lactose, sugar, and gluten intolerance.
If you have particular dietary concerns, please help by letting us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have pulled together a list of the local restaurants for the convenience of con members. This is by no means exhaustive and may change based on the individual restaurants’ menu decisions, but it serves as an overview.