The seasons are changing and spring is upon us! Already, we're less than three months away from Portus and each and every day we're brewing up something new for you all to enjoy this July. In another first for HPEF, Portus is glad to announce its Young Adult Author Reading Series.

Many of us came upon Harry Potter through our love for Young Adult fiction. Whether you are an evolving writer or an avid reader, everyone can appreciate a good story. Join us on the morning of Friday, July 11th and Saturday, July 12th to hear excerpts of original fiction from your Portus peers and revel in the satisfaction of a good story. Meet authors including Rachel Caine, author of the popular Morganville Vampires series. For more information on the Portus YA Reading Series or to find out how YOU can read an excerpt from your original story, check out the feature on the program later in this newsletter.

On another note, our La Esquina Meet & Greet Recap is finally up on YouTube! Click here to see a review of our recent visit with some of the Chairs and Dallas attendees.

On behalf of the Portus staff, we wish you a happy spring!

Best Regards,



Aziza Aba Butain
Editor-in-Chief

By Dr. Catherine Schaff-Stump

While Portus is primarily a gathering for Harry Potter scholars and fans, its activities span the range of academic and fan interests. Our attendees are avid readers of Young Adult fiction and enjoy hearing readings from new writers, as well as established writers in the field.

We invite all YA writers wanting share their work with us to submit an excerpt of their writing to be read Friday Morning, July 11th, and Saturday morning, July 12th at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas. The excerpt should be able to be read in 20 minutes. Upon acceptance to the Portus YA Author Reading Series, the author is eligible for a special rate of $180 for the convention. Efforts will be made to gather the author’s publication(s) for sale in the Vendor Room, and an autograph session would be held Friday and Saturday afternoon for attending authors to meet fans.

Works considered for the Portus YA Author Reading Series must be excerpts of the author’s original fiction. Preference will be given to published authors and writers of YA fiction or YA—friendly material.

We hope you will consider joining us at Portus. To be considered for the Portus YA Author Reading Series, send us an email indicating your interest to Dr. Catherine Schaff-Stump at yareadings@portus2008.org with your submitted work as an email attachment. Please include the following information in the body of the email.

Name of author(s):
Email address(es):
Phone number(s):
Summary of the work (500 words or less):
Author biography (150 words or less):

Thank you for your time and consideration. Please send submissions no later than May 15th. We look forward to reading your work and hope to have you join us for Portus.

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By Kari Philips

Call for Cosplay Performers!

This is for all those cosplayers who put many hours into their creations, designs, and artwork to reflect their ship, favorite character, or just a fun Hogwarts-themed witch or wizard. Did you take a real person out of history and intertwine them with the Harry Potter universe? Come tell us about them. We could all use a history lesson or two. Think you know all there is to know about your canon character? Let the quizzing begin!

For an hour on Friday and Saturday, people with cosplay creations will get to show their stuff. They can perform non-judged skits, or different people can talk about the groups in which they are involved. Keep it clean, and keep it safe! Apparation wards are up, Floo network is off, no Unforgivables! (aka, nothing dirty to pick up, use your imagination!)These entries must be pre-approved by the Common Room staff and must have scripts and group biographies reviewed before Portus.

For more information, please contact Lauren Johnson, Head of Common Room, at commonroom@portus2008.org.

Call for Fanfic Readers!

Are you a fan fiction author? Do you find yourself waiting for that special moment to expose more people to your story? Do you dream of being like the great J.K. Rowling and reading a bit of your work for the first time in front of a bunch of people? Here is your chance.

Like past HPEF events, fanfic readings will be offered in the Common Room to those authors in attendence. An author can elect someone else to read their story for them if they are unable to attend. This is the perfect chance to get your work noticed by many people. All ratings, ships, and eras will be accepted. (Adult ratings will be showcased at night, 10 p.m. and later).
12-15 minute reading sessions are available.

For more information, please contact Lauren Johnson, Head of Common Room, at commonroom@portus2008.org.

Calling all Wizard WROCKERS!

It’s no big secret; Wizard Wrock is a big deal for many people. At Portus, there will be many things to see, hear, and talk about. Best of all, there will be lots of music to wrock out to. If you are a member of a wrock band and know that your whole band will be able to be at Portus, then send an email to Lauren Johnson at commonroom@portus2008.org and ask for more details about performing in one of the Common Room’s Unplugged sessions!

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Sell Your Wares at the Portus Swap Meet!

Attention crafters, artists, writers, and musicians! Where’s the perfect spot to sell your home-made wands other than Ollivander’s? How about Portus' first ever Swap Meet?

Sign up for the Portus swap meet to sell hand-crafted or artisanal wares, self- or small- published books/periodicals, or independently produced/distributed music. You can qualify for the Swap Meet if your income from the sale of your wares is under $5000 per year. Swap Meet-ers must agree not to sell wares in the symposium areas but may discuss/hand out printed material throughout Portus, and agree to sell only works that do not infringe on others' Intellectual Property rights. To make sure your items are approved for sale at Portus’ Swap Meet, please send a photo of the items to swapmeet@portus2008.org by May 15.

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Join your favorite podcasters for a night of live podcasting fun!

In the first event of its kind, Portus presents the Portus Podcast Palooza. Join us for a night of podcasts from the Harry Potter fan communities culminating in a podcast panel with participants discussing the highs and lows of being a podcaster.

The Portus Podcast Palooza Premium Package includes a one-night stay at the Hilton Anatole for the night of Friday, July 11th (not including incidentals) and a day registration pass for Friday. The Portus Podcast Palooza begins Friday night at 7pm. Prices for this premium package are $200 for one or $275 for two sharing the same hotel room. Get yours while you still can!

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By Heather French

Congratulations to Jennifer Racek, our Photo Hunt winner for the month of February. Great Pictures, Jennifer!

Here are her winning pictures and the answers to the clues:

Clue #1 – The Floo Network

Clue #2 – Phonebooth

Clue #3 – Wizard Gold

Good luck to everyone on this month’s Photo Hunt! Here’s a refresher on the rules and this month’s clues:

Want to transport yourself to the magical world of Portus? While there is no spell (that we know of!) to make it July already, we think we have found a way to help pass the time until Portus.

Our Ministry night watchman found these clues in the visitor entrance, but he cannot figure them out. Can you? Each refers to something from Harry Potter, and they are related to each other. Decipher from the clue what each object is, then take a picture of one from your daily life. Be creative! Try to find new and interesting ways of showing off the object. Then email all three photos along with your name and the connection between the three objects to contests@portus2008.org by 11:59 CDT on May 31st.

Correct clue photos will be entered into a drawing for fun give-away gifts. The most creative photos will appear in next month’s Portal. Three new connected clues will be revealed each month until Portus, so keep playing!

Clue #1

I fly through the air with the greatest of ease,
Delivering messages on a slight breeze.
No pulp fiction here, what they write is true,
Upon my skin which is a red shade of blue.
Folded once and then once more
I go down the hall and through the door.
As Muggle children make a fleet
Ministry tasks I must complete.

Clue #2

Over your shoulder- one, two, three,
Why wish on a star when you can wish on me!
My brethren have horses, mermaids, and balls,
My “blood” runs through pipes and over the falls.
I make a splash inside or out,
My feet are all wet in rain or in drought.
I come alive in the midst of the fight,
But for Muggles I dance with music and light.

Clue #3

My lady is blind (Muggles might say)
Within my “palm” the balance does lay.
I weigh my options, magic or not,
Along with ingredients you may have forgot.
I make my home in the October sky
And question the core of the thing you did buy
Or measure your wealth, whatever it be,
And charge a brass tax or a small little fee.

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Portus Portus Summaries now online!

Visit the Programming page to view our wonderful offerings of presentations, panels, workshops and roundtables.

Wizard Wrockumentary: Additional Screening

Great news for all you Wrock fans out there! Due to high demand, we are adding another Wizard Wrockumentary screening! Megan and Mallory Schuyler, the producers of the film, have agreed to do an additional program from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, July 12th. Remember, this event is by RSVP only due to limited spaces. You can RSVP for the event by modifying your registration.

If you are already signed up for the first screening taking place from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday and would like to sign up for the later session instead, please remember to drop the first one in order to give other folks a change to register.

We look forward to wrocking with you!

Programming Changes

We are in full swing here at Portus HQ, putting together programs, listening to Wizard Rock and brushing up on our Quidditch skills. There is a lot of arranging and re-arranging going on down here that’s helping to shape what Portus’ programming will be and we’re all very excited about our lineup this year! Unfortunately, Steve Vander Ark will no longer be presenting at Portus for the Welcoming and Leaving Feasts. We apologize for this unforeseeable change in programming. Please stay tuned to the Portal for additional programming updates and to stay abreast of all things Portus.

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The Top Ten Reasons to Join us as a volunteer for Portus!

10. Access to the volunteers-only room and all the wonders within!
9. You’ll have an experience you can cherish forever.
8. You will help make Portus 2008 a great event for everyone.
7. You will meet great new people!
6. You'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the action.
5. Portus couldn't exist without its volunteers.
4. You'll get that 'feel good' feeling when you help out!
3. You can get free ice cream at the Volunteer Ice Cream Social.
2. Event planning looks terrific on a resume!

And the number one reason to volunteer at Portus 2008 this summer...
1. You'll make friends that will last a lifetime!

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Volunteer Spotlight: Christina Gonzalez

By Aziza Aba Butain

If you’ve registered for Portus then you’ve already “met” this month’s volunteer spotlight, Christina Gonzalez. As our registration chair, Christina plays an integral role in making sure Portus runs smoothly. Always ready for the latest change or update to the system, her patience and intuitiveness for her work is an admirable asset for the team.

Christina happened upon Portus when attending a wizard rock concert in Dallas, Texas. With previous convention work under her belt and being a recent fan of the books, Christina immediately jumped onto Team Portus, hoping to surround herself with more Potter friends – which we’re glad she did! Thank you, Christina for being such a valued member of our team.

In her muggle life, Christina is a graphic designer in Dallas. You can see some of her work on her website, christinasdesignfarm.com.

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If you have questions or comments concerning the Portus programming, please contact us at info@portus2008.org.

If you have any questions or comments about The Portal or the Portus Previews, please feel free to contact us at portal@portus2008.org.