I’m very pleased to report that the second Tetrapod Zoology Convention – TetZooCon 2015 – is now definitely happening. Our confirmed date is Saturday 14th November; the venue is the London Wetland Centre, Barnes, London. And the booking site is now open, so please book if you want to come along (tickets are £40 per person). While last year’s event really was quite the success (see below for links to reviews and commentaries), we’re hoping that this one will be even bigger and better. Remember: it’s the number of attendees that makes or breaks the event (in other words, it determines how well we weather the substantial expenses we have to incur), and we basically need more people coming along if this is ever going to move to an event that lasts for more than a single day.

A scene from the TetZooCon palaeoart workshop of last year. Mark Witton, Bob Nicholls and John Conway are down at the front. Photo by Darren Naish.

Anyway... already there’s a planned list of events and speakers. As before, much of the day will be taken up with short talks on all manner of zoologically-themed subjects, then there’s a palaeoart workshop event, a quiz, a spate of animal-watching, and finally a pub trip and pub-themed social event. We seek prizes for the quiz, so let us know if you have anything you’re prepared to donate (last year, Mark Witton and Bob Nicholls kindly donated art prints. Top prize was a pig skull donated by Mike P. Taylor).

Some of the line-up for TetZooCon 2015: Salusbury, van Grouw, Lindo. It's gonna be awesome.

What sort of talks might be featuring? I’m very pleased to say that Matt Salusbury – author of the 2013 book Pygmy Elephants – will be covering something proboscidean-themed, Jessica Lawrence-Wujek will be telling us about Jurassic ichthyosaurs, Katrina van Grouw – of The Unfeathered Bird fame – will be discussing bird anatomy and artistry, and David Lindo – aka The Urban Birder (and author of the same-named book) – will be talking about birds and birding. I’m speaking as well, and one or two other speakers have yet to be confirmed.

A Tet Zoo exclusive courtesy of Rebecca Groom - as-yet-unreleased design for a plush Anzu!

We’ll also have stalls of merchandise, books and artwork: there will be art for sale as well as book signing (I’ve been trying to stock up on Tetrapod Zoology Book One and Walking With Dinosaurs: The Evidence). And, of course, Rebecca Groom will be there with her amazing palaeoplushies. In fact, I have some exclusive images of yet-to-be-released and yet-to-be-completed designs from Rebecca herself – check ‘em out! We’d love to have more stalls featuring toys and other relevant merchandise. Contact us if you’re interested.

Another exclusive, courtesy of Rebecca. YES THAT IS A PLUSH TIKTAALIK! Soon you'll be able to own one of your own.

So, please book if you plan to come along, and tell your friends and like-minded people who might be interested. We really look forward to seeing you in London in November. And – I’ll say again – we really hope to turn this to a two-day event in time. For those who can’t come along (sorry about the oceans and assorted other barriers that are in the way), we’ll encourage as much live-tweeting as is humanly possible (follow #TetZooCon).

For write-ups of last year’s event, have a look at...