Mythmoot XI

The Resilience of Imagination

June 20-23, 2024

National Conference Center,

Leesburg, VA

Mythmoot is an annual conference that brings together students, fans, staff, and friends of Signum University, the Mythgard Institute, Signum SPACE, and Signum Academy. Our online and in-person completely hybrid event combines the best of scholarship and friendship in four glorious days.

Guests of Honor

Donato Giancola

Artist Donato Giancolo sits in his studio in a grey t-shirt and jeans surrounded by canvases both finished and unfinished.
Copyright © Greg Preston

From the epic triptychs of Peter Paul Rubens to the sublime graphics of Mondrian, Donato Giancola mines classical draftsmanship, renaissance narration, and modern aesthetics of composition to lay a foundation rich in historical associations for his paintings and drawings. Donato seeks to express stories which best define our humanity.

Donato is currently engaged on multiple fronts with his themed works for exhibition at fine art galleries, book projects for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, ongoing commercial assignments, and explorations on his developing themes of Empathetic Robots and astronauts. More information can be found at his website:

His artworks have graced the covers of over three hundred novels, appeared in scores of exhibitions, and landed him numerous peer honors notably including three Hugo Awards, twenty-three Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, two Gold and six Silver Medals from the annual Spectrum, and many more. You may have seen his art from The United Nations, LucasArts, National Geographic, Scientific American, CNN, Random House, DAW Books, DC Comics, Microsoft, George Lucas, George R.R. Martin, US Postal Service, Wizards of the Coast, Heavy Metal Magazine, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Tor Books, Time/Warner, Milton-Bradley, and Hasbro.

Sparrow F. Alden

Sparrow Alden is surrounded by green flors with heads of blooming queen anne's lace placed front and center.

Sparrow F. Alden dances in the borderlands between the World Where the Stories Come From and the world with spreadsheets and logistics and bills to pay. She really does live in a one-room cabin in the woods, ready to receive heroes who need a night of respite on their quests, anchoring her clan of kith and kin and very good dogs. Her personal philosophy around story creation respects Stories trying to express themselves through their chosen Author — and respects writers plying their skills to tell their stories. She loves facilitating the development of writing skills and confidence in students of all kinds (she says it is almost literally impossible to “teach creative writing”). Her deep ambition is to invent Scribliotherapy: the art of the heart’s escape, recovery, and consolation through the writing of fiction.

Her poetry and creativity blog offers a glimpse into her nonlinear side; her M.A. thesis at Signum University explored color-coded spreadsheets as a tool for analyzing Tolkien’s works. Which is the dark side and which the light? Or is that not the question?

Liam Thomas Daley

Liam Thomas Daley is a literary scholar and dramaturg living in Washington, DC. Liam has been teaching at Signum University since its inaugural semester in Fall 2011. Specializing in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, his research and teaching interests include the Arthur legend, Chaucer, medieval drama, and Shakespeare’s history plays. His work arises from scholarly debate over two imaginary boundary lines—the chronological line between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of early modernity; and the philosophical line between historical fact and literary fiction.

In addition to teaching at Signum, Liam also teaches at the University of Maryland, where he earned his PhD in English in 2022. He is the co-organizer of the Folger Community Scholars group, part of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. Next year, he will be managing the annual Theatre History Seminar of the Shakespeare Association of America Conference (Boston, 2025).  He is also the co-producer and dramaturg of two plays (Joseph’s Trouble About Mary and Jesus’s Trial Before Herod) in the York 2025 festival—an attempt to stage all forty-seven plays of the medieval York Corpus Christi cycle in a single day. He is delighted to be one of this year’s Guests of Honor.

Guest Lecturer

An older man in a grey jacket, white shirt, and black tie, stares off to the left while sitting in front of a microphone.

We are happy to welcome Dr. Tom Shippey, once again presenting from the comfort of his home!

Tom Shippey has taught medieval literature at six universities in Britain and America, including Oxford and Harvard, and for many years held the Chair at Leeds University once held by Tolkien. He is best-known for his books on Tolkien, which have been often reprinted and translated into many languages, including The Road to Middle-earth (1991), and Tolkien:Author of the Century (2000). His most recent books include Laughing Shall I Die: lives and deaths of the great Vikings (2018), Beowulf and the North before the Vikings (2022), and see further books at

Pricing & Registration

In-person registration has closed, but MootHub registration will remain open until the end of the event.

Your in-person ticket includes all conference activities for the days you are attending (workshops, socials, speeches, presentations, costume contest, movie discussion, graduation, etc.), onsite parking, as well as your meals, snacks, and beverages throughout the conference, You also will have access to all recorded content after the conference in Blackberry. It does not cover travel or lodging. Rooms at the NCC are available to registrants.

MootHub gives you access to all workshops, speeches, presentations, graduation, movie discussion, etc and all recorded conference material in BlackBerry after the event.

Ticket TypeCost


Mythmoot registration is through Blackberry. If you have not used Blackberry before you will need to create an account using one of the hyperlinks here or the Registration button above.

Lodging at the NCC will be available at conference rates ($140 per night for singles and $190 per night for suites + applicable taxes with additional persons being $99 per night) for conference nights. Shoulder days are available at the NCC average rate.