2023 Theme -
We Only Work In Outer Space

This year we are celebrating coming from & living in the midwest. The midwest holds much talent, being successful as a creator – be it an author, artist, etc… does not require living in a metropolis. Learn about successful creator living around us and how they got there. Discover how to get your own content shared with others!


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.

Art Show

ICON welcomes art with a science fiction and fantasy theme to be a part of our Art Show. In addition to our Artists’ Gallery, we have a Print Shop, Student Art Show and Art Auction each year.

Cosplay and Masquerade

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).

Dealer’s Room

Whether we call them vendors, “huxters”, exhibitors, or dealers, the aim of this room is the same – bringing fans access to great science fiction fantasy-related merchandise in one convenient location.

Hours of Operation:

Friday from 2 PM to 6 PM

Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM

Sunday from 10 AM to 2 PM

Fan Tables

Do you run an SF, Fantasy, Horror, Anime, or Gaming convention?

Are you an SCA, SF/F, Anime, Gaming, Renaissance, or related fan group?

Do you run an organization you think the extended SF/F/Horror/Anime/Gaming/SCA communities might like?

Then we’ve got FAN TABLES for you!


Types of Gaming at ICON

  • Open gaming.
  • Scheduled gaming.
  • Mature gaming starts at 10 PM and goes until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Types of Gaming at ICON

  • Join us in our DEDICATED gaming rooms, the Cedar Rapids room starting on Friday.

Game Room Hours

  • Friday from Noon to Midnight.
  • Saturday from 9 AM to midnight.
  • Sunday from 10 AM open to 2 PM.

All games must be checked into the Mindbridge Game Library by Noon on Sunday.

Interested in Running a Game at ICON?

If you are interested in running a game or two or maybe three at any point during the weekend, please contact us so we can get your game on the schedule.

A Word About Mature Gaming

Games which may contain themes of intense violence, sexual content and/or strong language that might be offensive to some adults and not appropriate for younger gamers will not be allowed in the gaming room this year. Mature-themed games can be checked out with a legal picture ID from the Mindbridge Game Library in the main gaming room and taken to a specified Mature Gaming Room. On Friday and Saturday if the Gaming Room is closed before players are done, the person who checked out the game is responsible for returning the game the next morning when the gaming room opens.

Room Parties

Parties are a traditional part of ICON and open to all registered members of the convention. Just show your convention badge as you cross each threshold into each party and enjoy the hospitality brought to you by the talent and generosity of our amazing party hosts!

Host a Party at ICON

The first step is reviewing our rules and guidelines.

  • You may not charge any form of admission for your room party but you may have a tip jar for voluntary donations.
  • Your room party must be on the party floor.
  • You are encouraged to have music for ambiance, but if your music is loud enough that the room party next to you can hear it or people complain, you’ll have to turn it down.
  • You must register your room party before the convention begins.
  • Be responsible.

Additional Party Room Guidelines

  • Only blue painters tape can be used to attach things to doors and walls.
  • If you think it might be messy, put down plastic.
  • You are responsible for making sure everyone is of age if they are consuming alcohol.
  • Promote your party on our Facebook page and at the convention.

Annual Room Party Contest Details

Room parties are an enormous part of the ambiance of the convention during the evenings, and in appreciation of what they provide for our convention we wish to once again give back! Our contest themes this year will include: Best Snacks, Best Beverage, Best Theme, and Best Room Party. The host of the room party that gets the most votes in each category will win that category, with the room party winner for Best Room Party will receive a free membership for next year’s ICON.

The Room Party Department will handle the ticket collection & counting. We would like to have the ballot boxes reflect your room theme. If you don’t want to supply your own box, please let us know when you submit your Room Party idea via our contact form.

Other Details

Our staff will be checking with the hotel in early September to confirm that the party rooms are in order & will send more information to all hosts at that time.

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.




This year, we again have Cheshire Moon featured in the Rosewood Lounge!

Writing Workshops

This year, we are again hosting Paradise ICON!

Paradise Icon is a writer’s workshop sponsored by Mindbridge. Paradise Icon is part of the Mindbridge family of science fiction and fantasy projects. Paradise 11 will be October 14-16, 2022 in Cedar Rapids. Before applying to Paradise Icon, please contact Catherine Schaff-Stump about your credentials and work.

Alumni of professional writing workshops are invited to apply for a 2-day workshop experience that combines a Milford style workshop with an opportunity to attend and participate in Icon, a general science fiction and fantasy convention. Icon author guests will hold panels with the participants and workshop participants will have the opportunity to read their work and participate on convention panels. The capstone of the experience will be a chance to meet and connect with guests, local authors and regular Icon attendees.

Icon will be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa from October 14-16, 2023. Participants will be encouraged to arrive Thursday evening as the workshop will begin early Friday morning. Workshop activities will conclude Saturday evening.

Every once in a while we put out an anthology.