In the oft’ told story of the birthing of Norwescon, it is noted that Norwescon grew out the desire of the founders to host a Worldcon. The cry of “Seattle in ’81!” was heard through out northwest fandom. A goal was established, but there was just one very major stumbling block: Most of these dreamers had very little experience in con running.

In an effort to remedy this deficiency they put together Norwescon “to get some practice”. Realizing the task was a large one, they also started the Northwest Science Fiction Society, also known as NWSFS (thus sparking the great “NOOS-fuss” vs. “Nizz-Fizz” debates) to help gather a group of people to draw volunteers from. Thus was born Norwescon.

The first Norwescon was held at the Holiday Inn in what was then the unincorporated area known as Sea-Tac. It was a success, featuring Theodore Sturgeon and drawing just over 400 attendees. The next year Norwescon moved to the Hyatt House, the site of the only Seattle-sponsored Worldcon. The Hyatt was the site of Norwescon II through VII. Feeling the pressures of growth, the convention moved to what was then the SeaTac Red Lion Inn.

With growth came problems and after two years at the Red Lion, Norwescon was forced to find new location on rather short notice. The convention moved back to the familiar confines of the Hyatt House for a convention named Alternacon. The next year brought a big move south to Tacoma, where the Sheraton hosted Norwescon for five years. 1993 brought the convention back to the Seattle area–well, Bellevue actually–and in 1994, back to the Red Lion Inn in SeaTac, now known as the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport, where it has stayed to this day.

Norwescon’s list of Guests of Honor has grown over the years. Starting with a list of three (A Guest of Honor, Fan Guest of Honor, and a Toastmaster), we now include artists, scientists, special guests, and spotlighted publishers. Norwescon has always made an effort to invite guests deserving of being honored and has thus had a prestigious parade of guests.

Honors are also bestowed on the winner of the Philip K. Dick Award, given annually to the author of the best original novel appearing in paperback form without prior publication as a hardback. The first time the P. K. Dick Award was presented at Norwescon was at Norwescon VII in 1983, to Tim Powers for Annubis Gate.


You can visit the Norwescon Historical Archives to see our collection of digitized ephemera from Norwescon’s entire history. We’re working on adding more items to this collection as we dig it out of our physical archives and get items scanned and photographed; if you have items from Norwescon’s past that you would like to contribute, please drop us a line at webmonkeys@norwescon.org!

Norwescon

March 25-26, 1978

Holiday Inn, Sea-Tac

Chair: Greg Bennett
Guest of Honor: Theodore Sturgeon
Fan Guest of Honor: John Berry
Toastmaster: Alan E. Nourse
Attendance: 415

Norwescon 2

March 23-25, 1979

Hyatt House, Sea-Tac

Chair: Greg Bennett
Guest of Honor: Philip Jose Farmer
Fan Guest of Honor: Loren Mac Gregor
Toastmaster: Elizabeth A. Lynn
Attendance: 725

Norwescon 3

March 28-30, 1980

Hyatt House, Sea-Tac

Chair: Stephen T. Bard
Guest of Honor: Alfred Bester
Fan Guest of Honor: Fred Pohl
Toastmaster: Theodore Sturgeon
Attendance: 732

Norwescon 4

March 27-29, 1981

Hyatt House, Sea-Tac

Chair: Stephen T. Bard
Guest of Honor: Samuel R. Delany
Artist Guest of Honor: Rowena Morrill
Fan Guests of Honor: Jack, Pauline, and Tilda Palmer
Toastmaster: Philip Klass (William Tenn)
Attendance: 1,410

Norwescon 5

March 18-21, 1982

Hyatt House, Sea-Tac

Chair: Richard Wright
Guest of Honor: Thomas Disch
Artist Guest of Honor: Michael Whelan
Fan Guest of Honor: Bob Shaw
Toastmaster: Richard A. Lupoff
Attendance: 1,371

Norwescon 6

March 17-20, 1983

Hyatt Hotel, Sea-Tac

Chair: Richard Wright
Guest of Honor: Jack Williamson
Artist Guest of Honor: Richard Powers
Fan Guest of Honor: Art Widner
Toastmaster: Algis Budrys
Attendance: (unrecorded)

Norwescon 7

March 22-25, 1984

Hyatt Hotel, Sea-Tac

Chair: Richard Wright
Guests of Honor: L. Sprague and Catherine Crook De Camp
Artist Guest of Honor: Don Maitz
Fan Guest of Honor: Jack Speer
Toastmaster: Marta Randall
Attendance: ~1,700

Norwescon 8

March 14-17, 1985

Red Lion Inn, Sea-Tac

Chair: Richard Wright
Guest of Honor: Brian Aldiss
Artist Guest of Honor: Jack Gaughan (Did Not Attend)
Fan Guest of Honor: Rich Brown
Toastmaster: Robert Silverberg
Science Guest of Honor: Gregory Benford
Attendance: (unrecorded)

Norwescon 9

March 20-23, 1986

Red Lion Inn, Sea-Tac

Chair: Robert Suryan
Guest of Honor: Anne McCaffrey
Artist Guest of Honor: Kelly Freas
Fan Guest of Honor: Greg Bennett
Toastmaster: Spider Robinson
Science Guest of Honor: James Oberg
Attendance: (unrecorded but “HUGE”, unofficial estimates at ~3,000)

Alternacon

March 26-29, 1987

Hyatt Hotel, Sea-Tac

Chair: Robert Suryan
Guest of Honor: Orson Scott Card
Artist Guest of Honor: Dan Reeder
Fan Guests of Honor: Marty and Robbie Cantor
Toastmaster: David Hartwell
Attendance: <1,700

Norwescon 10

March 24-27, 1988

Sheraton, Tacoma

Chair: Robert P. Suryan
Guest of Honor: Marion Zimmer Bradley
Artist Guest of Honor: Rick Sternbach
Fan Guest of Honor: Jon Gustafson
Toastmaster: David Gerrold
Special Guest of Honor: Avram Davidson
Attendance: 2,032

Norwescon 11

March 23-26, 1989

Sheraton, Tacoma

Chair: Elizabeth Warren
Guest of Honor: Algis J. Budrys
Artist Guest of Honor: David Mattingly
Fan Guest of Honor: Mike Glyer
Toastmaster: Steve Barnes
Science Guest of Honor: Dr. Alan E. Nourse
Special Guest of Honor: Avram Davidson
Attendance: 2,292

Norwescon 12

March 29-April 1, 1990

Sheraton, Tacoma

Chair: Elizabeth Warren
Guest of Honor: Roger Zelazny
Artist Guest of Honor: David Cherry
Fan Guest of Honor: Pat Mueller
Toastmaster: Dan Reeder
Science Guest of Honor: Dr. John G. Cramer
Attendance: 2,274

Norwescon 14

March 28-31, 1991

Sheraton, Tacoma

Chair: Elizabeth Warren
Guest of Honor: Stanley Schmidt
Artist Guest of Honor: James Warhola
Fan Guest of Honor: Becky Thomson
Toastmaster: Ed Bryant
Special Guest of Honor: Forrest J. Ackerman
Volunteer Guest of Honor: Joe Laybourn
Attendance: 2,320

Norwescon 15

March 26-29, 1992

Sheraton, Tacoma

Chair: Judy Suryan
Guest of Honor: Poul Anderson
Artist Guest of Honor: Alan Gutierrez
Fan Guest of Honor: Willie Siros
Toastmaster: J. Steven York
Volunteer Guest of Honor: Celia Smith
Attendance: ~2,400

Norwescon 16

March 25-28, 1993

Red Lion Inn, Bellevue

Chair: Judy Suryan
Guest of Honor: Betty Ballantine (Did Not Attend)
Artist Guest of Honor: Janny Wurts
Fan Guest of Honor: Pat Mueller
Toastmaster: Bonnie Baker
Science Guest of Honor: Chris Jonientz-Trisler(Sunday Only)
Special Guest of Honor: Anne McCaffrey (Did Not Attend)
Surprise Guest of Honor: Mike Jittelov
Volunteer Guest of Honor: Teresa Janssen
Attendance: ~2,430

Norwescon 17

March 31-April 3, 1994

Red Lion Hotel Seattle Airport

Chair: Michael Citrak (Replaced Judy Suryan mid year)
Guests of Honor: Katherine Kurtz and Scott MacMillan
Artist Guest of Honor: Darrell K. Sweet
Fan Guest of Honor: Peggy Rae Pavlat
Toastmaster: Janna Silverstein
Volunteer Guest of Honor: Deborah A. Wood
Attendance: ~2,680

Norwescon 18

April 6-9, 1995

Red Lion Hotel Seattle Airport

Chair: Michael Citrak
Guest of Honor: Robert Silverberg
Artist Guest of Honor: James Gurney
Science Guest of Honor: Dr. Jane Robinson
Toastmaster: Dragon Dronet
Volunteer Guest of Honor: Danny Rudesill
Attendance: ~2,675

Norwescon 19

April 4-7, 1996

Red Lion Hotel Seattle Airport

Chair: Michael Citrak
Guest of Honor: A.C. Crispin
Artist Guest of Honor: Tom Kidd
Fan Guest of Honor: Kitty Canterbury
Toastmaster: Janna Silverstein
Volunteer Guest of Honor: David Valentine
Attendance: ~2,590

Norwescon 20

March 27-30, 1997

Red Lion Hotel Seattle Airport

Chair: Michael Citrak
Guest of Honor: Larry Niven
Guest of Honor: A.E. Van Vogt
Artist Guest of Honor: Vincent Di Fate
Fan Guest of Honor: Brad Foster
Science Guest of Honor: Dr. Robert L. Forward
Volunteer Guest of Honor: Glenda Hedden
Attendance: (unrecorded)

Norwescon 21

April 9-12, 1998

DoubleTree Hotel SeaTac

Chair: Willam Sadorus
Guest of Honor: Neil Gaiman
Artist Guest of Honor: Brian Froud
Fan Guests of Honor: John Lorentz and Ruth Sachter
Science Guest of Honor: Patricia MacEwen
Volunteer Guest of Honor: Anthony Ward
Attendance: (unrecorded)

Norwescon 22

April 1-4, 1999

DoubleTree Hotel SeaTac

Chair: Willam Sadorus
Guest of Honor: Harry Turtledove
Artist Guest of Honor: Richard Hescox
Fan Guests of Honor: Jack Chalker and Eva Whitley
Science Guest of Honor: Jack Horner
Volunteer Guest of Honor: Susan Allen
Spotlighted Publisher: Ministry of Whimsy
Attendance: (unrecorded)

Norwescon 23

April 20-23, 2000

DoubleTree Hotel SeaTac

Chair: Pat Booze
Guest of Honor: David Brin
Guest of Honor: Gregory Benford
Artist Guest of Honor: Barclay Shaw
Fan Guest of Honor: Bjo and John Trimble
Spotlighted Publisher: Harper Collins and Eos (Jennifer Brehl, representative)
Attendance: 2,765

Norwescon 24

April 12-15, 2001

DoubleTree Hotel SeaTac

Chair: Pat Booze
Guest of Honor: Connie Willis
Artist Guest of Honor: Bob Eggleton
Fan Guest of Honor: Charles N. Brown
Special Guest of Honor: James P. Hogan
Special Guest of Honor: Dragon Dronet
Spotlighted Publisher: Bantam Dell Publishing Group (Anne Lesley Groell, representative)
Attendance: 3,054

Norwescon 25

March 28-31, 2002

DoubleTree Hotel SeaTac

Chair: Pat Booze
Guest of Honor: Jack Vance
Artist Guest of Honor: Brom
Fan Guest of Honor: Andrew I. Porter
Spotlighted Publisher: WOTC Publishing
Attendance: 2,787

Norwescon 26

April 17-20, 2003

DoubleTree Hotel SeaTac

Chair: Pat Booze
Guest of Honor: Jane Yolen
Artist Guest of Honor: Jim Burns
Science Guest of Honor: Geoffrey Landis
Special Guest of Honor: Michael Whelan
Spotlighted Publisher: Del Ray
Attendance: 2,718

Norwescon 27

April 8-11, 2004

DoubleTree Hotel SeaTac

Chair: Shawn Marier
Guest of Honor: Mike Resnick
Artist Guest of Honor: Don Dixon
Special Guest of Honor: Joe Haldeman
Science Guest of Honor: Ben Bova
Spotlighted Publisher: Baen Books (Jim Baen, representative)
Attendance: 2,610

Norwescon 28

March 24-27, 2005

DoubleTree Hotel SeaTac

Chair: Shawn Marier
Guest of Honor: Michael Bishop
Artist Guest of Honor: John Howe
Special Guest of Honor: Alan Dean Foster
Science Guest of Honor: Suzette Haden Elgin
Spotlighted Publisher: TOR Books (Tom Doherty, representative)
Attendance: 2,603

Norwescon 29

April 13-16, 2006

DoubleTree Hotel SeaTac

Chair: Shawn Marier
Guest of Honor: Lois McMaster Bujold
Artist Guest of Honor: Donato Giancola
Toastmaster: Robert J. Sawyer
Spotlighted Publisher: DAW Books (Betsy Wollheim and Sheila Gilbert, representatives)
Attendance: 2,758

Norwescon 30

April 5-8, 2007

DoubleTree Hotel SeaTac

Chair: Tracy Knoedler
Guest of Honor: Kim Stanley Robinson
Artist Guest of Honor: Luis Royo
Science Guest of Honor: Donna Shirley
Spotlighted Publisher: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (Gordon Van Gelder, representative)
Attendance: 3,024

Norwescon 31

March 20-24, 2008

DoubleTree Hotel SeaTac

Chair: Tracy Knoedler
Guest of Honor: Dan Simmons
Artist Guest of Honor: Ciruelo
Special Guest of Honor: Naomi Novik
Attendance: 3,048

Norwescon 32

April 9-12, 2009

DoubleTree Hotel SeaTac

Chair: Becky Citrak
Guest of Honor: R.A. Salvatore
Artist Guest of Honor: Todd Lockwood
Special Guest of Honor: Geno Salvatore
Spotlight Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Attendance: 3,115

Norwescon 33

April 1-4, 2010

DoubleTree Hotel SeaTac

Chair: Tracy Knoedler
Guest of Honor: Vernor Vinge
Artist Guest of Honor: John Jude Palencar
Science Guest: John G. Cramer
Special Guest of Honor: Cory Doctorow
Spotlight Publisher: Tor Books (David Hartwell and Jim Frenkel, representatives)
Attendance: 3,349

Norwescon 34

April 21-24, 2011

DoubleTree Hotel SeaTac

Chair: Shawn Marier
Guest of Honor: Patricia McKillip
Artist Guest of Honor: Kinuko A. Craft
PSIence Guest of Honor: Marie D. Jones (Did Not Attend)
Special Guests of Honor: Jim and Shannon Butcher
Spotlight Publisher: PYR (Lou Anders, representative)
Attendance: ~3,150

Norwescon 35

April 5-8, 2012

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport

Chair: Shawn Marier
Writer Guest of Honor: Stephen Baxter
Artist Guest of Honor: John Picacio
Science Guest of Honor: Bridget Landry
Spotlight Publisher: DAW (Betsey Wollheim and Sheila Gilbert, representatives)
Attendance: ~3,100

Norwescon 36

March 28-31, 2013

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport

Chair: Peggy Stewart
Writer Guest of Honor: Catharine Asaro
Artist Guest of Honor: Lee Moyer
Science Guest of Honor: Edward Tenner
Special Guest of Honor: Gardner Dozois
Norwescon Grand Master: Terry Brooks
Spotlight Publisher: Baen (Tony Daniel, representative)
Attendance: 2,700

Norwescon 37

April 17-20, 2014

DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport

Chair: Peggy Stewart
Writer Guest of Honor: Michael Moorcock
Artist Guest of Honor: Robert Gould
Science Guest of Honor: Catherine Plesko
Special Guest of Honor: Seanan McGuire
Costuming Guest of Honor: Anima! X
Spotlight Publisher: 47North (Jason Kirk and David Pomerico, representatives)
Attendance: 2,925

Norwescon 38

April 2-5, 2015

DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport

Chair: Katharine Bond
Writer Guest of Honor: George R.R. Martin
Artist Guest of Honor: Julie Dillon
Science Guest of Honor: Amy Mainzer
Spotlight Publisher: Random House (Tricia Narwani and Anne Groell, representatives)
Attendance: 3,205

Norwescon 39

March 24–27, 2016

DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport

Chair: Katharine Bond
Writer Guest of Honor: Tanya Huff
Artist Guest of Honor: Janny Wurts
Science Guest of Honor: William K. Hartmann
Spotlight Publisher: DAW (Elizabeth R. Wollheim and Sheila E. Gilbert, representatives)
Attendance: 2,853

Norwescon 40

April 13–16, 2017

DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport, SeaTac, WA

Writer Guest of Honor: Ian McDonald
Artist Guests of Honor: Cory & Catska Ench
Science Guest of Honor: Ethan Siegel
Toastmaster: Nancy Kress
Spotlight Publisher: Angry Robot Books (Marc Gascoigne and Michael Underwood, representatives)

Attendance: 2,860

Norwescon 41

March 29–April 1, 2018

DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport, SeaTac, WA

Writer Guest of Honor: Ken Liu
Artist Guests of Honor: Gala Daren
Science Guest of Honor: Mathew Wedel
Spotlight Publisher: Green Ronin Publishing (Nicole Lindroos and Chris Pramas, representatives)

Attendance: TBA

This page was adapted from the Northwest Convention History Wikispaces page, maintained by Don Glover. Our thanks to Don for his original page tracking Norwescon’s history, upon which both the Wikispaces page and this page are based.