Phoenix Rising; May 17-21, 2007; New Orleans, LA

Presented by
Narrate Conferences, Inc.
Phoenix Rising
Phoenix Rising took place May 17-21, 2007. Please feel free to view this archival version of our website, and to visit the Narrate Conferences, Inc. website for information about future events.

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MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2007

Contact: Renee Antoine, Media Manager


NEW ORLEANS, La., March 26, 2007—Phoenix Rising has announced the final line-up for the Borders Riverside Quidditch Classic, to be held on May 19, 2007, as part of the Phoenix Rising conference activities. The tournament will include the Alivan’s Winged Lions, the Knight 62442 Werewolves; the Whimsic Alley Sea Serpents; the Borders Potion Masters; the Shrieking Shack Marauders; the Owl Appreciation Society Fighting Owls; the World Confederation of Pirates and Ninjas Pontchartrain Pirates; and the Betas Anonymous Punctuation Pixies. All teams will play at least three matches of outdoor Quidditch, complete with spectators, and at the end of the tournament, the winners will take home the famed Delta Cup.

"It's incredible to see such a diverse group of fan groups and businesses join together to play Quidditch on the banks of the Mississippi River," said Madeleine Defourneaux, the Bayou Quidditch League’s tournament manager. Interested attendees can join the tournament until the close of registration on April 10, 2007.

Additionally, non-attendees may take part in the tournament by visiting <> and using the "purchase tickets only" option. Until April 10, anyone may purchase Quidditch tournament registration, tickets for the Storyville wizard rock event on Bourbon Street, and for the keynote events, presented by Susan Aikens of Borders, Inc., Danny Bilson of Electronic Arts, Jon Burlingame of the University of Southern California, and Dr. Anne Heibert Alton, as well as for a unique walking dinner at the Aquarium of the Americas.

Links: <>

About Phoenix Rising
Phoenix Rising (, a Harry Potter conference for adult scholars, students, professionals and fans, is presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc. (, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that produces dynamic, innovative events. Phoenix Rising is an unofficial event, and is not endorsed, sanctioned or any other way supported, directly or indirectly, by Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Harry Potter book publishers, or J. K. Rowling and her representatives.




A Weekend of Celebration for Harry Potter Fans

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 6, 2007 — Borders, Inc. today announced its corporate sponsorship of the 2007 Phoenix Rising conference, presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc. The Phoenix Rising conference, dedicated to the exploration and celebration of Harry Potter through lectures, workshops, discussion, Quidditch, artwork and writing, will take place May 17 through May 21 in New Orleans. Through this sponsorship, Borders Rewardsä members will enjoy 10% off the conference registration fee. Visit a Borders or Waldenbooks store to sign up for the free loyalty program where members earn rewards every time they shop and enjoy exclusive savings every week. For additional information about the Phoenix Rising conference, please visit

During the conference, Borders will support the Riverside Quidditch Classic tournament where Muggles and wizards alike test their skill as a Keeper, Beater, Chaser, or Seeker. The company will sponsor a team called the "Borders Potion Masters."

On Saturday, May 19 from 12 to 2 p.m., Susan Aikens, independent reader buyer for Borders, selected as one of Phoenix Rising’s Guests of Honor, will participate as a keynote speaker. During her lecture, "Transformation: From Boxes to Bookshelves and Beyond," Aikens will speak about the numerous changes the Harry Potter books have had on her field.

Borders will also serve as the exclusive onsite vendor, providing Harry Potter, science fiction and fantasy books during the conference. In addition, Borders will sponsor the discussion panel portion of the conference, including a special discussion titled, "Severus Snape: Friend or Foe," where the nature of Professor Snape’s loyalty will be debated. The quandary, sure to pit Muggle against Muggle and wizard against wizard, is the centerpiece of an exclusive "The Great Snape Debate" that Borders and Waldenbooks will carry out in the coming months as fans eagerly await the book’s release this summer.

The in-store and on-line campaign, will include events, discussions and surprises and features an exclusive offer when customers visiting their nearest Borders and Waldenbooks store may select from one of two Snape stickers as they reserve a copy of the seventh Harry Potter book. By choosing either the "Trust Snape" or "Snape is a Very Bad Man" sticker, customers will take sides on a burning question that has become more compelling with each book in the Harry Potter series.

"The Phoenix Rising conference gives fans of Harry Potter the thrill of celebrating the extraordinary wizardry world that J.K. Rowling has created for us," said Aikens. "To be given the opportunity to support and take part in the discussion of what this book series has done for the book industry and the renewed vigor it has given children’s literacy is an honor."

About Borders, Inc.
Borders is a subsidiary of Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE: BGP) a $4 billion retailer of books, music, movies and stationery items that trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BGP. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Borders Group, through its subsidiaries, operates more than 1,300 Borders and Waldenbooks stores and employs more than 34,000 people worldwide who serve more than 30 million customers each year. More information on the company is available at

About Phoenix Rising
Phoenix Rising (, a Harry Potter conference for adult scholars, students, professionals and fans, is presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc. (, a non-profit organization that produces dynamic, innovative events. Phoenix Rising is an unofficial event, and is not endorsed, sanctioned or any other way supported, directly or indirectly, by Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Harry Potter book publishers, or J. K. Rowling and her representatives.




Contact: Kayla Castille, Public Affairs Coordinator

Five winners will receive free registration to Phoenix Rising, May 17-21

NEW ORLEANS — Students from the New Orleans area are invited to participate in an essay contest about the themes of rebirth in the Harry Potter novels, with the top five essays winning free registration to Phoenix Rising, a conference focusing on the best-selling series from J.K. Rowling.

The contest seeks written essays of up to 2,000 words, or digital essays of three to five minutes in length, and is open to teens between 14 and 17 years of age. Students must reside or attend school (public, private or parochial) within the limits of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, St. Tammany, St. Charles, or St. John the Baptist parishes. The deadline for entering is March 1, and the winners will be announced on March 15.

Phoenix Rising is an academic and educational conference scheduled for May 17-21 at the Sheraton New Orleans. It will explore the Harry Potter phenomenon through a variety of programming, including formal panels and presentations, roundtables, workshops, an art gallery, fanfiction readings and more. The conference will also incorporate special events, including an all-day professional Quidditch tournament and a traditional Masquerade Ball.

Though the conference programming is geared primarily toward adults, teens who will be between 14 and 17 years old by the time of the conference may attend with a registered chaperone. Contest winners will receive a full registration for themselves, as well as their chaperones.

"This essay challenge seeks to involve area teens in our event, while also contributing to the conference’s goal of education," said Hallie Tibbetts, Phoenix Rising lead event organizer. "The themes of Phoenix Rising — rebirth and renewal — are prominent in the most recent Harry Potter novel, and certainly are ideas that south Louisiana students are facing every day."

New Orleans resident Meghann Niehus, who teaches photojournalism and works in the Technology Department at Isidore Newman School, is coordinating the essay challenge for Phoenix Rising. She said the contest offers students a unique chance to enter a digital essay as an alternative to a traditional written entry.

"Digital media are becoming more and more important to students’ success inside and outside the classroom," Niehus said. "We wanted to give students the opportunity to express their ideas through images, sound and video."

To download the essay prompt, or for more information about the Phoenix Rising Student Essay Challenge, visit Questions can be directed to

Phoenix Rising is presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc. (, a non-profit organization that produces dynamic, innovative events for scholars, students, professionals and fans. The conference’s Guests of Honor include Dr. Anne Hiebert Alton, Danny Bilson, Jon Burlingame, Vicky Dann, and Dr. Henry Jenkins, among others. Phoenix Rising is an unofficial event, and is not endorsed, sanctioned or any other way supported, directly or indirectly, by Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Harry Potter book publishers, or J. K. Rowling and her representatives.




Contact: Kayla Castille, Public Affairs Coordinator

PotterCast to be part of opening night event at conference on all things Harry Potter

NEW YORK, October 1, 2006 — The Leaky Cauldron and Phoenix Rising are pleased to announce that a special PotterCast will be recorded in New Orleans as part of Phoenix Rising, a Harry Potter conference.

"We're very excited to head down to New Orleans and bring PotterCast live to more than a thousand fans at Phoenix Rising," said PotterCast host Melissa Anelli, who will also be part of the panel Transformation: From Fan to Fandom with MIT scholar Henry Jenkins. "When Phoenix Rising asked us to produce a podcast on its opening night, we jumped at the opportunity." The podcast will be open to all attendees with registration, which is currently $160 and includes five days of programming, the Overture Dinner and Coda Breakfast, admission to all programming and events of Phoenix Rising, a ticket for a New Orleans-style Masquerade Ball, a conference t-shirt, and the opportunity to purchase keynote presentation and special event tickets.

On Thursday, May 17, 2007, Phoenix Rising's Overture Dinner event will begin with a southern take on a Hogwarts feast. Following dinner, PotterCast will record in the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton New Orleans. The evening will also feature a Grand Gallery Opening that showcases fanart submitted to the conference and the opening of Phoenix Rising's vendor room. The conference will continue through May 21, 2007, with programming submitted by scholars, professionals, and fans, as well as keynote presentations on how the arts and fans transform the Harry Potter series and special events that take advantage of locations in New Orleans' French Quarter.

Conference organizer Hallie Tibbetts noted that "PotterCast has set a standard in the Harry Potter community for celebrity interviews, insightful analysis and fun elements, which dovetails very well with our broad-ranging programming. It also invites listeners to interact and be part of the show, and since we encourage collaborative programming, [PotterCast] is an excellent fit for our Overture event."

More information about the Overture can be found at

Phoenix Rising ( is a five-day conference on all things Harry Potter in New Orleans from May 17-21, 2007. Guests of Honor include Dr. Anne Hiebert Alton, Danny Bilson, Jon Burlingame, Vicky Dann, Tim Ditlow, Henry Jenkins, among others. The conference is presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc. (, a non-profit organization that produces dynamic, innovative events for scholars, students, professionals and fans.

PotterCast ( is the weekly Harry Potter podcast of Webby Award-winning Potter site The Leaky Cauldron (, and presents newsworthy information about and in-depth discussion of Harry Potter in a humorous, intelligent and informative program. Hosted by Melissa Anelli, John Noe and Sue Upton, it is the only Harry Potter podcast to offer celebrity interviews, many of whom have offered never-before-heard info about the upcoming films and previously published books. Past guests have included Arthur Levine, American editor of the Harry Potter books; Matt Lewis, the actor who plays Neville Longbottom; acclaimed director M. Night Shyamalan, and many more. Each week fans can also listen to in-depth Potter theory discussions with the hosts of the show and Steve Vander Ark of the Harry Potter Lexicon; they can also enjoy fan DVD commentary, contests, filk (song parody) competitions, fan interviews, themed shows, and plenty of other interactive comment aimed to keep fans interested and involved. Transcripts, polls, blogs, contests and other information are available on the show's Web site. PotterCast debuted in August, 2005, and reached #1 on the iTunes Podcast Directory within 48 hours of its release and has been a regular feature in its Top 100 ever since. It has since been profiled by the New York Post and has been awarded a 2006 Podcast Award for Best Entertainment.

The Leaky Cauldron ( is a Webby Award-winning Harry Potter site that features the oldest and most accurate news archive on the subject on the Web. In addition to news and its podcast, PotterCast, it features interviews with celebrities within the Harry Potter franchise (including author J.K. Rowling and her editors), the largest Harry Potter image and video galleries online, the largest collection of Potter merchandise available, polls, DVD commentaries, forums, widgets, crafts, contests, specialized feeds and subscriptions, and much, much more. J.K. Rowling has publicly called it her "favorite fan site," and awarded it a Fan Site Award in May, 2005. The site was also awarded Yahoo!'s 2005 Find of the Year, a 2004 Lovemark and a 2002 Bloggie.




Contact: Kayla Castille, Public Affairs Coordinator


NEW ORLEANS — Take a journey through the history of the Harry Potter fandom after taking a stroll through the Aquarium of the Americas. Or learn how the Potter novels are transformed into audiobooks, video games or film scores, from the experts on the front lines. Play in a professional triple-elimination Quidditch tournament on the banks of the Mississippi River. And then snuggle up in your squashy, purple sleeping bag to watch the Harry Potter movies with all your friends.

Phoenix Rising is thrilled to announce its Guests of Honor, who will present at the keynote presentations, as well as several events. The Guests of Honor include: Danny Bilson, Vice President of Intellectual Property Development at Electronic Arts, who worked with J. K. Rowling on developing the Harry Potter video games; Tim Ditlow, Vice President of Random House for Listening Library, who produced the Harry Potter audiobooks and works closely with Jim Dale; Jon Burlingame, a renowned film scoring professor and journalist; Dr. Anne Hiebert Alton, an English professor with a focus in children's and Victorian literature; Henry Jenkins, premier fandom scholar; and fandom members Melissa Anelli of The Leaky Cauldron, Heidi Tandy of FictionAlley, and Ebony Thomas, formerly of Harry Potter for Grown-Ups and

The chance to hear these guests and more is available now as tickets to Phoenix Rising's keynote presentations and special events go on sale today. Phoenix Rising, a Harry Potter conference, will be held May 17-21, 2007, in New Orleans.

Keynote and event tickets can be purchased through the online registration system at Those who are already registered for the conference can buy tickets through the "Change My Registration" feature, and those who have not registered must do so before buying tickets. Attendees can buy extra tickets to two events for guests not registered for Phoenix Rising — Storyville, a revival of New Orleans' historic jazz district, complete with Cajun food and the largest balcony on Bourbon Street; and Transformation: From Fan to Fandom, a panel discussion with fandom's founders following a walking dinner in the Aquarium of Americas.

The add-on options include:


Friday night, Phoenix Rising's attendees will take to Bourbon Street, dining on classic Cajun food and dancing to the rhythm of New Orleans jazz. Phoenix Rising will — at the Bourbon Vieux, Cajun Cabin and Five O'Clock Grille — revive Storyville, New Orleans' legendary red light district, which incubated "jass" in its infancy. Dinner will be served, the blues will be lowdown and mean, and those with tickets will interact with the crush of New Orleans from the largest balcony on Bourbon Street.

Ticket-holders will be given wristbands, so they may leave, wander the French Quarter, and return. A traditional Cajun dinner is included with the ticket price, and each ticket holder will receive one drink coupon as well.

It has thrilled Quidditch fans for years, and has a history to challenge any other Quidditch tournament in the world — and in 2007, the Bayou Quidditch League will hold the Riverside Quidditch Classic as part of Phoenix Rising. Tournament play will involve a triple-elimination series on the banks of the Mississippi River in the French Quarter. Phoenix Rising will feature House Quidditch play as well, which is included with the price of registration; you may choose that option later during the registration process.

Tournament fee includes placement on a "professional" Quidditch team, a jersey with your name and number, participation in the triple-elimination Riverside Quidditch Classic, and snacks, sports drinks and water.

Each night of Phoenix Rising, Headmistress Vicky Dann will present on one of the Harry Potter films, and then screen the film for attendees. Both the presentations and the films are included in the basic registration for Phoenix Rising. You do not need to purchase an additional ticket in order to attend.

In grand Harry Potter tradition, however, you may wish to purchase a purple, squashy sleeping bag for use during the Movie Nights.


Danny Bilson will present on the development and production of the Harry Potter video games by Electronic Arts, including his work with J. K. Rowling on their creation. He is Vice President of Intellectual Property Development for Electronic Arts; a Hollywood writer, director, and producer; and an instructor for the Interactive Media program in the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television.

Dr. Anne Hiebert Alton, professor of English at Central Michigan University and expert in children's, fantasy, and Victorian literature, will present on the various genres that have influenced the Harry Potter series, from folk tales to pulp fiction. Before the lecture, attendees have private access to New Orleans' Musée Conti Wax Museum, which features historical exhibits and a "haunted dungeon." Cash bars will be available.

Tim Ditlow, vice-president and publisher of Listening Library for Random House, and the producer of many children's and young adult audiobooks — including the best-selling, award-winning Harry Potter series — will present on the connection between listening and literacy, the founding of Listening Library, and how our understanding of J. K. Rowling's text is transformed and enhanced through Jim Dale's performance.

World-renowned fandom and media studies academic Henry Jenkins will partner with founders of the Harry Potter fandom on this panel, including Melissa Anelli of The Leaky Cauldron, Heidi Tandy of FictionAlley, and Ebony Thomas, formerly of and Harry Potter for Grown-ups. The panel will discuss, from both academic and practical viewpoints, how an individual fan experience is turned into a collective fandom experience through the growth of online fan communities. This presentation includes admission to the Aquarium of the Americas, and a unique "walking dinner" will be served as attendees tour the Aquarium's exhibits.

As part of a traditional New Orleans jazz brunch, attendees can hear from Jon Burlingame, film scoring professor at the University of Southern California; writer for Variety, the Los Angeles Times, and Premiere, among other publications; and curator of the world's first museum exhibit on film scoring. Mr. Burlingame will speak about John Williams' film scores and how they impact the entirety of the films.

More details on the keynote presentations and special events, including menus, are available at and




Contact: Kayla Castille, Public Affairs Coordinator

Evening will feature fanfiction readings, fanart displays, live SpellCast and more

Phoenix Rising, a Harry Potter conference, and FictionAlley, the fandom's largest Harry Potter-only archive, are thrilled to announce Artists and Authors Night, a featured event at Phoenix Rising in New Orleans. Artists and Authors Night, which occupies all of Saturday evening on the Phoenix Rising schedule, will highlight and explore the creativity of the abundantly talented Harry Potter fandom.

"Artists and Authors Night is a unique opportunity to incorporate the online fan community into an academic conference on a large scale," says Hallie Tibbetts, a Phoenix Rising lead event organizer. "We've chosen to dedicate an entire evening to this event in order to recognize the valuable and exciting contributions that fans have made to understanding Harry Potter."

Attendees of Phoenix Rising, scheduled for May 17-21, 2007, are invited to present their writing or artwork in a variety of ways during Artists and Authors Night, including fanfiction readings, art gallery displays, creative booths, and drabble and sketch challenges. Also, as attendees roam the ballroom of the Sheraton New Orleans, they will be able to visit tables hosted by other online archives and fan sites, as well as meet published authors of young adult novels, fantasy literature, or other works related to Harry Potter.

Additionally, attendees are invited to several featured events, though the focus of the evening is the myriad interactive opportunities for fans to demonstrate their work. First, world-renowned fandom scholar Henry Jenkins will join several founders of the Harry Potter fandom — including Melissa Anelli of The Leaky Cauldron, Heidi Tandy of FictionAlley, and Ebony Thomas, formerly of and Harry Potter for Grown-ups — in a keynote presentation discussing the creation of an online community from both academic and historical perspectives. After the presentation, FictionAlley will host SpellCast, the official FictionAlley podcast, featuring fanfic reviews, fandom news, tips and thoughts for artists, a Writer's Corner, and other types of creativity — from knitting to vidding to event organization - straight from the conference.

Phoenix Rising's online submissions system is now open, and authors, artists, editors and others can submit their work for presentation at More information about Artists and Authors Night programming and preparing for a submission can be found here:

Artists and Authors Night is one of several unique aspects of Phoenix Rising, a Harry Potter conference with themes celebrating rebirth and the rise of the hero, set in a city that is herself being reborn. For more information about the event, visit, or e-mail, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was founded in the summer of 2001 as an archive for Harry Potter fanfic, and now hosts over ten thousand stories and chapters by thousands of authors. The site includes message boards for discussion of the series, writing and art, and fan news, and presents a bi-weekly podcast, SPELLcast, on fan creativity. In the summer of 2005, FictionAlley was invited to be part of the MINERVA project at the Library of Congress; the Library now archives all of the contents of FictionAlley for its permanent collection. FictionAlley can be visited on the web at

Phoenix Rising is a presentation of Narrate Conferences, Inc., a Colorado non-profit organization dedicated to creating conferences focused on academic and exploratory programming that appeals to scholars, students, professionals, and fans. Narrate Conferences can be contacted at

Phoenix Rising is an unofficial event and is not endorsed, sanctioned, or any other way supported, directly or indirectly, by Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Harry Potter book publishers, or J. K. Rowling and her representatives.



SUNDAY, JAN. 29, 2006

Contact: Kayla Gagnet, Public Affairs Coordinator

Narrate Conferences, Inc., announces Phoenix Rising, a 2007 academic conference on the famed boy wizard

NEW ORLEANS — The spirited city of New Orleans will be the setting for Phoenix Rising, an academic and educational conference on all things Harry Potter, to be held May 17-21, 2007.

This city of pageantry and revelry, herself being reborn in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, will welcome fans and academics from all over the globe to celebrate the best-selling book series by J.K. Rowling.

Phoenix Rising seeks to explore the Harry Potter phenomenon through academic programming — intellectual discussion and debate on the most famous boy wizard of his time. On top of these formal panels, presentations and roundtables, the conference adds exploratory education in a variety of forms, including games, fanfiction readings and an art gallery.

Phoenix Rising will step off on the evening of Thursday, May 17, 2007, with the Overture Dinner and Gallery Opening. Throughout the weekend, attendees will venture beyond the Sheraton New Orleans into the city's famed French Quarter for keynote presentations and evening events, including a masquerade ball, at unique and historic locations.

Amy Tenbrink, lead event organizer for Phoenix Rising, said the conference is thrilled to bring tourism dollars to New Orleans as it rebuilds.

"New Orleans was always on our short list of places to host a conference, but we were worried that after the hurricane, the city wouldn't be ready," said Tenbrink, a lawyer from Denver, Colo. "But when we went down there and visited, we were so warmly welcomed, and people were so excited about our event, that it became our only choice."

The theme of rebirth, of Harry Potter emerging from the devastating times that marked the two most recent novels, will infuse Phoenix Rising's programming. As fans await the seventh and final book in this epic series, they will explore the hero's journey to rise from the ashes into greatness through this conference.

Tenbrink and the entire conference staff bring vast event planning experience to Phoenix Rising. Most notably, they organized The Witching Hour, a 2005 Harry Potter conference in Salem, Mass., for a different non-profit organization.

Phoenix Rising is the first offering from Narrate Conferences, Inc., an educational non-profit corporation with the mission of putting on innovative and dynamic events for readers and scholars.

For more information on Phoenix Rising, visit, or contact Kayla Gagnet, public affairs coordinator, at



This conference is not endorsed, sanctioned or any other way supported, directly or indirectly, by Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Harry Potter book publishers, or J. K. Rowling and her representatives. All code and art copyright © 2006–11 Narrate Conferences, Inc.