programming at ICON
Megan Lara, Lar DeSouza and Daniel Mohr at ICON 39.
image by Terri M. LeBlanc

Download the Full Programming Grid

About Programming at ICON

Most of our panels and workshops come from ideas submitted by our membership. We encourage everyone to submit ideas. You do not have to moderate or be a part of the panel or workshop to submit an idea.  Without your ideas for panels and workshops, ICON would be stale and boring. We are always looking to bring new things to ICON.

Programming suggestions for the upcoming convention are accepted between the beginning of January and the end of June each year.  Watch this space for more information about how to submit your idea!


Special Programming Events

Barnes & Noble Fundraising Event

Each a number of authors attending ICON gather at at Barnes & Noble to meet and greet fans. This includes our author guest of honor.  This event is free for the public to attend.  All we ask is that you mention ICON when you make a purchase.  A small portion of your purchase will support ICON and our chosen charity for the year.

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm on Thursday
Cedar Rapids Barnes & Noble, 333 Collins Rd NE Bldg 1, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Authors interested in attending the event should fill out our Professional Attendee Interest form.

Note: It is the author’s responsibility to contact Barnes & Noble BEFORE July 1 in order to participate in the event. Authors must complete the form to receive the information on how to be a part of this signing event.


Bulwer-Lytton Contest

“It was a dark and stormy night…” — only the worst beginning of the classic novel opener written in 1809 by Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton. You have been challenged to come up with a worse one! The Bulwer-Lytton Contest is open all weekend. Submit your bad first line at the Registration desk.

Download the entry form

Vogon Poetry Contest

According to Douglas Adams, the Vogons write the third worst poetry in the galaxy. Can you write the first? The Vogon Poetry Contest is open all weekend. Submit your bad poetry at the Registration desk.

Download the entry form

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At ICON we host a fun, relaxed, casual Masquerade/Cosplay Show. We welcome all. Outfits must be “Street Legal” and we ask that you keep things PG-13 as there may be children either in the audience or on the stage.

How To Participate

  • Complete a Masquerade registration form. These will be available at the Registration Desk starting on Friday.
  • The Masquerade is usually early Saturday evening.  Please check the Programming Guide for the exact date and time.
  • There will be an MC who will read information about your costume, including who you are portraying, who created the costume and who is presenting.
  • The MC can also read a short story to go with your presentation.
  • There MAY (no promises) be technology to play a CD with recorded music or presentation. Please keep these to no more than 90 seconds (less is better).

Saturday Phen Feud

Family Feud is an American television game show created by Mark Goodson where two families compete to name the most popular responses to survey questions in order to win cash and prizes. It is considered a spin-off of Match Game, whose panel included original host Richard Dawson.

Phen Feud is ICON’s version of Family Feud where we will have teams compete against each other for the most popular responses to phen friendly questions in order to win THE ULTIMATE ICON GAMING TROPHY and maybe a little something more.

ICON would like to host as many teams of 4 as we can for our Saturday Evening Entertainment! The DeCrane Sisters are delighted to host, have worked hard to gather the information for our questions and, of course, are keeping it in fun phen phrasing! Now, go get your teams together and contact us to reserve your spot!

How to Participate

  • Gather your team of 4 and submit reserve your spot.
  • On Saturday, two teams of 4 compete against each other.
  • One player from each team goes head to head to guess the most popular answer to the survey question.
  • Whoever picks the highest scoring answer will bring their team into play for that round.
  • The players from that team take turns guessing more answers to the survey questions. They cannot confer with each other.
  • If a player guesses an answer that is not among the survey answers, they will receive a strike. If a team gets 3 strikes, the play moves to the other team.
  • The other team is allowed to confer before answering. If the other team guesses one correct survey answer, they win the round.
  • The team with the most points after a predetermined number of rounds will win the game!
photo by John Johnson

Annual Blood Drive

Every year ICON partners with the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center to bring a mobile blood donation bus to our event.  This is just another way ICON supports our area.

The Chocolate Ceremony

Shrouded in secrecy and held late at night, the whole of ICON gathers to pay homage to the greatest gift the gods have ever given us.


photo by John Johnson
photo by John Johnson

Wylde Nept Concert

Most years we host a Wylde Nept Concert on Friday night. An ICON membership is required to attend the concert.