Vampires, Witches, and Daemons Arrive in Philadelphia

All Souls Con, the sold out third fan convention, themed around New York Times’ bestselling Author Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy, will be held at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia on Friday, August 10, and Saturday, August 11.

The 2018 All Souls Con offers two days of history and a deep dive into the books’ witches, demons and vampires. People from more than 30 countries around the world will participate in All Souls Con. All Souls Con benefits Bodley’s American Friends, the American organization that supports the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

About Harkness and All Souls Con

Harkness’ first book, A Discovery of Witches (2011), debuted at #2; and then, went to #1, on the New York Times’ Best-Seller List. Shadow of Night (2012) and The Book of Life (2014) both debuted at #1 on the prestigious list. Known as the “All Souls Trilogy,” more than 3.5 million copies have sold through Viking and Penguin Books, imprints of Penguin Random House LLC, and 37 publishers worldwide. In spring 2018, The World of All Souls debuted to offer a fully illustrated guide to the history and characters in the Trilogy.

Harkness’ books are being made into a television series that will debut on September 14, 2018, in the UK on Sky One and in the US in early 2019 on Sundance Now and Shudder. The Sky& Original Production from Bad Wolf will star Hacksaw Ridge‘s Teresa Palmer as heroine Diana Bishop and Downton Abbey alum Matthew Goode as vampire Matthew Clairmont.

Harkness’ next book, Times Convert, goes on sale on September 18, 2018. Set in the same universe as her best-selling All Souls Trilogy, it takes place in contemporary London and Paris, as well as the American colonies of Revolutionary War times, and explores what it takes to become a vampire.

Harkness is the first author to have her own conventions hosted and promoted by her fans prior to her books being produced for television or movies. This convention features a series of speakers with expertise on Harkness’ books.

Attendees will also experience the Science History Institute’s museum and the Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Library of Chemical History. The library will display treasures such as rare books by historical figures mentioned in the series and exquisite framed illuminated miniatures from an alchemical manuscript dated c. 1450-1475. Attendees can explore the museum’s latest exhibition, Age of Alchemy, featuring paintings and scientific instruments. Every object in this exhibition is from the Institute’s collections and represents a broad range of items, from preserved animal specimens, to apothecary jars, to scales and balances.


2018 All Souls Con Highlights

Friday, August 10, 1:00–2:45 p.m.
The Making of the TV Adaptation

This session is a panel discussion about the behind-the-scenes of the making of the A Discovery of Witches television show. Executive Producer Deborah Harkness, Bad Wolf Executive Producer Lachlan MacKinnon and General Manager of SundanceTV and Sundance Now Jan Diedrichsen are on the panel. (No photography allowed, other restrictions apply)


Saturday, August 11, 9:00–10:00 a.m.
The Making of a Book

Like a pack of loyal vampires, Literary Agent with the Frances Goldin Agency Sam Stoloff, Penguin Random House Publicity Director Shannon Twomey, Co-Author of The World of All Souls Claire Baldwin, and Designer Francesca Belanger hide in the shadows and work tirelessly with Team Harkness to bring the books in the All Souls universe to life. During this panel, they will share their insights about what it takes to transform a brilliant manuscript into a New York Times best seller.


Saturday, August 11, 11:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
A Meander through the Art & Manuscripts of the All Souls World

Dr. Stephenie McGuken offers a session on the history of art as told through the All Souls Trilogy. Drawing on objects big and small, from manuscripts to buildings, her talk will outline their histories, both in the ‘real’ world and the All Souls world, covering aspects of making and using, illustrating the processes through historic texts and the objects themselves.


Saturday, August 11, 1:30–2:20 p.m.
The Origin of Creatures

Dr. Shelli Carter is a biologist and associate professor of science at Colorado Technical University, College of General Education & Psychology. She will help attendees consider that moment when science begins to tackle the real questions of the supernatural and preternatural in The Book of Life. In other words, this session revisits the books’ favorite science lab in the Kline Biology Tower. While it is easy to focus on the immediate work of identifying what causes blood rage, the true study going on among the research team is actually “what defines a creature.” Could it be possible for creatures and humans to really be part of the same species, given their chromosomal variability?


Saturday, August 11, 2:20–3:20 p.m.
Are You What You Read? Books and Readers in the All Souls Trilogy

Author and Television Producer, Deborah Harkness, addresses the question, “Are you what you read?” She also will offer glimpses into her forthcoming book, Times Convert, arriving on books shelves from Penguin Random House and publishers around the world on September 18, 2018.



Contact for All Souls Con: Laura,, 650.208.0718
Contact for Deborah Harkness: Siobhan Olson,, 336.769.6365
Contact for the Science History Institute: Hope Koseff Corse,, 215.925.2222


August 10, 2018