The inaugural 2019 Ogden UnCon convention on June 7-9 gives creatives a foothold in the industry through two contests for aspiring authors and actors in its Artist Helping Hand Programs. Ogden City’s recent efforts to become an epicenter of art and culture in Utah have included growing its Twilight summer concert series, establishing development of the Nine Rails Creative District and revitalizing a historic building into a future makerspace venue, The Monarch. A pop culture convention will now be added to that resume as Ogden UnCon seeks to artistically embrace the City’s recent Still Untamed branding.
“Comic and pop culture conventions are massive artistic festivals,” says Ogden UnCon Founder, Russ Adams. “You engage with every medium of art on at least some level by attending the events, even the scientific arts. We’ve made sure there are panels and contests at UnCon that cater to creatives and inspire every attendee to contribute to the media they love.”
The 2019 Artist Helping Hand Programs will support convention attending authors in the Pitch Fest Writing Contest and actors in the ReelGuru Experience workshops.
The Pitch Fest Writing Contest puts local authors face-to-face with publishers, editors and literary agents in the industry. Selected applicants will have the opportunity to give an elevator pitch about their work directly to a panel of judges at the convention. Contest winners will gain writing industry connections and a potential publishing deal for their book. The contest began October 1, 2018, and participants can still submit a query letter, marketing plan and sample of a finished book by the deadline of February 1, 2019.
The ReelGuru Experience will hold workshops on how to successfully audition for casting directors. Actors from three age groups will be picked to appear in a paid role for a film, TV, commercial or theater production. Sessions will be overseen by ReelGuru Agency producers Catrine McGregor, Madalyn Van Valkenburgh and actress April Matson. This contest will be held at the June convention, and contestants are encouraged to sign up early due to limited space.
“Ogden City Arts offers grants and hosts events on an annual basis to put a spotlight on our growing creative communities,” said Ogden City Arts Coordinator, Lorie Buckley. “Ogden UnCon is an amazing opportunity for those efforts to double in size, and the City is excited to support a project that mirrors our own philosophy of embracing the unique and the unconventional.”
The Artist Helping Hand Programs plan to support different creative arts, including music and fashion design, as the convention grows each year. Those interested in participating in the programs are required to be Ogden UnCon ticket holders. Links to purchase convention passes and complete contest guidelines and timelines can be found on the Ogden UnCon website.