Philcon 2024 Guests

Max Gladstone

Principal Speaker

Max Gladstone - Principal Speaker Philcon 2024

Hugo-, Nebula-, and Locus Award winning author Max Gladstone’s works include Empress of Forever, the Craft Sequence of fantasy novels and games, and, with Amal El-Mohtar, the internationally bestselling This is How You Lose the Time War. His interactive projects include the XYZZY-nominated Choice of the Deathless and Deathless: The City’s Thirst, which take place in the world of the Craft Sequence. Gladstone created the Serial Box series Bookburners, and the interactive television series Wizard School Dropout

Gladstone studied Chinese literature at Yale, and lived and taught for two years in rural Anhui province.  He is a martial artist, fencer, and fiddler.  Before writing full-time, he also worked as a researcher for the Berkman Center for Internet and Policy Law, a Swiss Embassy tour guide, a go-between for a Chinese auto magazine, a translator, a philosophy TA, a tech industry analyst, and an editor.  He has wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat, sung at Carnegie Hall, and been thrown from a horse in Mongolia. You can learn more about Max from his website:

Matthew Stewart

Artist Guest

Matthew Stewart

Matthew Stewart is a freelance illustrator and painter. In his work, Matt strives to bring a classical realism to his imaginative and fantastic subjects. Matt’s paintings are done in the traditional medium of oils. Images are built through an intensive process of sketching, reference gathering, and study from life.

After graduating with a BFA in Illustration from Parsons School of Design in 1999, Matt has worked in the gaming and publishing fields, including such clients as Wizards of the Coast, Fantasy Flight Games, Blizzard Entertainment, The Easton Press, Night Shade Books, and Tor Books. Matt has illustrated over 200 Magic the Gathering cards.

Matt lives in Runnemede, N.J. along with his wife Gina, who is also an artist, and three cats.

You can see Matt’s work and learn more about him at his website:

Gina Matarazzo

Artist Guest

Gina Matarazzo

The short story about me:

I design books, paint pictures, hide chocolate like a squirrel (meaning, I don’t always remember where I put it), own and operate 22 hula hoops (not all at once), sometimes lose paintbrushes in my hair, get caught on doorknobs frequently, work too much, look for creative opportunities with EVERYTHING, love looking at academic paintings in person and spending time with my cats and husband. I love COLOR and DETAILS and SECRETS and STORIES and EVERYTHING about the creative process, especially the challenge and the hard work.

There are hidden secrets, wonders and joys of the world right under our noses every day. I enjoy creating art that celebrates the things that are often overlooked and taken for granted. When is the last time you really looked at the sky or the sprightly little rabbit in your yard? What does that dog of yours dream about? I think everyone needs to slow down and pay more attention to what’s going on around them. With a little creative license, I aim to show you a magical way of looking at ordinary things. 

Some history about me:

In the past, my primary focus was designing and illustrating album covers for a wide variety of recording artists across a great spectrum of music genres. My client list has included Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Glen Phillips, Peter Tork, Woody Allen, 88.5 WXPN and Austin Music. I have also done freelance work on books, toys, and textiles for clients including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw Hill, and Running Press Books. Currently, I design books for Bookbaby in any and every genre and style that comes across my desk.

My original artwork has exhibited at Haven Gallery; Abend Gallery; Canton Museum of Art; IX Gallery; IKON Images: The Illustration Gallery; Society of Illustrators, NY; The Franklin Institute Science Museum; Philadelphia Sketch Club; Rosenwald-Wolfe Galleries; and in the October Shadows exhibition in Altadena, CA. Recently my work has been published in Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art Vol. 22, Vol. 24 & 25) and in Infected by Art Vols. 3 – 10). 

I live with my illustrator husband, Matt Stewart and cats Gwendolyn, Cecily and Georgie in southern New Jersey where at certain spot between trees, you can catch a glimpse of the beautiful Philadelphia skyline in the distance.

You can learn more about Gina Matarazzo at her website:

Nghi Vo

Special Guest

Nghi Vo

Nghi Vo is the author of the novels Siren Queen and The Chosen and the Beautiful, as well as the acclaimed novellas Mammoths at the Gates, Into the Riverlands, When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain, and The Empress of Salt and Fortune, a Locus and Ignyte Award finalist and the winner of the Crawford Award and the Hugo Award. Born in Illinois, she now lives on the shores of Lake Michigan. She believes in the ritual of lipstick, the power of stories, and the right to change your mind.

Find her online at

Cecilia Eng

Musical Guest

Cecilla Eng

Cecilia Eng has been a singer/songwriter since 1984 and has performed in England, Canada and across the US. She was inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame in 2013 and won two Pegasus Awards (Best Classic Filk Song for “Helva’s Song” and Best Composer/Writer) in 2022.

You can find her song lyrics blog and a calendar of international filk song circles and events (virtual and in person) at the Friends of Filk website at Friends of Filk and Filk Bytes together host monthly bardic filk song circles on Zoom. Check the Friends of Filk website calendar for information and how to get the Zoom links.

She is active in both the filk and folk communities and is an active member of the Portland FolkMusic Society where she has introduced filk music and filkers in their events online and in person. She has also performed at the 2019 Northwest Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center, WA as well as performing as one of the featured artists at the 2021 Tumbleweed Music Festival in Richland, WA.

Cecilia Eng [Live] 2019 by Northwest Folklife Festival | Free Listening on SoundCloud
Conflikt 2015 – Cecilia Eng (
Tumbleweed 2021 Saturday Night Concert (2nd of 3 45-minute performances)