All Posts By


Meet Linda Ballantyne

By News Updates
Linda Ballantyne is known for voicing the original dub of Sailor Moon, and has been a staple in many anime fans’ memories. We asked Linda a few questions in preparation for the convention.


LindaBallantyneWhat accomplishments are you most proud of?
Raising 3 of the best kids in the world is something I’m pretty proud of. Right now I have 3 great teenage daughters.
Career wise: I’d say I’m really proud of the fact that I have been able to make a solid living as a voice actor. It’s a really tough profession to break into. And even tougher to do successfully. It hasn’t always been easy. You hear the word no way more than you hear the word yes. But I have always loved my job and I’ve never needed to get a part-time job to supplement my acting job. That’s definitely something to be proud of.

What are you most looking forward to doing in Atlanta?
We are usually pretty busy at conventions with panels and autographs so we don’t get to see a lot of the city. I would love to go to a Braves game. I’m from Toronto and our Jays are on FIRE right now so taking in a ballgame would be magic… but I know we won’t get to do that. I also love architecture and would love to see some of the older buildings. I’d also love to go through the cemetery. That looks so interesting too.

What did you want to do when you were a small child?
When I was little I wanted to be an Olympic athlete or an actress. I loved sports. There weren’t a lot of organized sports for girls back then. The Olympics were always magical to me. Women competing on the world stage. And when the Olympics came to Canada (Montreal) in 1976 I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. It’s all I dreamed of doing.
I also really wanted to be an actress but I thought only people whose parents were actors could become actors. I know, I know. Crazy. But that’s what I really believed. It wasn’t until I was almost finished high school that I really started to see that anyone could become an actor who had talent. After that it was like tunnel vision. It’s all I wanted to do.

How does it feel knowing that a large portion of people who got into anime did so because of the show you worked on?
It’s pretty over-whelming. The further I travel the more it becomes real how far this show reaches. I mean, I’ve been to Australia and had people crying telling me how the show changed their lives. That’s half way around the world. But really, I was just a voice in the show. I got to go to work everyday and have fun… And 20 years later the fun continues. I’m travelling all over the world meeting the greatest people. Best job in the world!

Can you tell us a little about how the voice acting industry has changed since you started until now?
When I first started voice acting everything was still old-school. Digital recordings were only just starting to emerge. Most of the studios had started to use digital equipment but every now and then you’d go to a studio that still used reel to reel. With reel to reel they used actual recording tape to record. If someone messed up a line (which I do all the time) they would have to physically cut the tape and splice it (tape it) together. It was time consuming and they had to know exactly where that mistake was and where the good take was on a piece of tape. It was crazy! Sometimes they would realize after the actor left that they needed an “s” sound at the end of a word (maybe the actor had said apple instead of apples) and they would have to go through all the tape looking for an ‘s’ sound they could use that would fit in properly. And you didn’t want to have to do a bunch of different takes because it ate up a lot of tape. Now it’s all done digitally. I can be in another city half way around the world and record a session in a whole other city through digital media. It’s so amazing!

Do you have any special interests you wish more people would ask you about at conventions?
I have strange things that make me happy. I love older people. I could hang with them all day. I have an older woman who lives around the corner from me. She’s my buddy. I don’t know if that would qualify as a special interest… but I do enjoy it.
I have run a half marathon. I love most sports… especially hockey. I’m a Toronto Maple Leafs fan.
I also create stain glass windows. I’m pretty crafty. I can create things out of almost anything. I love making costumes. I’d be great at cosplay… but no, I’m not going to dress up as Sailor Moon.
I will help just about anyone who needs help. That has got me into trouble a number of times. I have a few great stories about when I tried to help people and it back-fired.

You can meet Linda, ask your own questions at her panels, and even get her autograph at Anime Weekend Atlanta. She will be at the convention from Friday to Sunday and would love to get to meet you!

Read Her Full Bio Here


Anime Weekend Atlanta will be held September 24-27 at the Cobb Galleria and Renaissance Waverly. Registration will be available at the door.

Pre-Reg closing and more!

By News Updates
September approaches, and with it a few deadlines you definitely don’t want to miss!

  • Pre-reg: August 30, 11:59pm
  • Photoshoots: August 31, 11:59pm
  • Models: August 31, 11:59
  • Photographers: September 1, 11:59pm

Pre-registration closes August 30 at 11:59pm. This is your last chance to get a deal on your weekend pass for the convention, and get early start (no registration lines!!).

Additionally the photoshoot schedule will be closed for submissions on August 31 at 11:59pm. If you want your photoshoot or gathering included on the official schedule, hop to it and get your submissions in now!

If you plan on modeling in the fashion show and haven’t sent in your application your deadline is approaching as well- August 31st at 11:59 is your cut off!

If you’d like to be a part of our crew as a photographer, we’ll need your portfolio sent in to by the first.

We can’t wait to see everyone at the show!! Keep your eyes peeled for more guest, premiere, and event announcements – we’ve got some cool stuff coming- you will definitely be sad if you miss it!

Guest Recap

By News Updates

AWA Guest Recap

In the last few weeks, we’ve announced a ton of new guests! In case you’ve missed any of them, you can check out their bios below!

Stephanie Sheh

Daisuke Sakaguchi

Ippudo Sheh


Mengo Yokoyari

Loverin Tamburin

Luna Tsukigami

Christopher Sabat

K-ble Jungle

Kaiji Tang







Toby Proctor

Linda Ballantyne

Eir Aoi


Cassandra Morris



AkibaCup Qualifiers Held at AWA!

By News Updates
America is looking for the best cosplayer and best singer to compete in the AkibaCup held in Akihabara Japan!

The AkibaCup is an international competition for cosplayers and singers held in Japan. The North American qualifiers will be held right here in Atlanta at this year’s AWA!

The two attendees that win at the show will be flown to Japan and have their hotel and food covered to participate in the final competitions!

There are TWO ways to enter.

The first is by entering a new special category of our costume contest! Submit the AkibaCup application for the qualifiers when turning in your contest application. You will be required to say one sentence in Japanese enthusiastically and with emphasis while on stage. You will still be able to compete for awards from AWA too!

Judgement for this new category will be based on costume craftsmanship as well your abilities of being expressive and speaking Japanese.

The second is by participating in a karaoke competition. You will need to fill out the AkibaCup application and attend one of 6 preliminary rounds in order to enter the final round held on Sunday. You must be able to be present for this final round. You will have to choose a song from anime from their karaoke machine, and sing it in Japanese.

For more details visit our webpages here:


AkibaCup is a worldwide competition of karaoke and cosplay organized by the NPOJAPAN Manga & Anime Tokiwasou Forum, with the help of Associazione Ochacaffè and the endorsement of the music group K-ble Jungle.

Photographers Wanted!

By News Updates

AWA wants YOU!

Attention photographers! Are you planning on bringing your entire camera bag to AWA and trying to capture every last second of the weekend? Why not optimize your schedule, get special access to events, and shoot as a member of the AWA crew!

We’re looking for photographers with experience in event photography, who know how to handle themselves in low (or mixed) light settings, and can move quickly.

Some quick notes:

  • You must provide your own camera (micro four thirds or better)
  • Have an existing portfolio for review
  • This is not for shooting cosplayers exclusively!  (although there will be plenty of time for that.)
  • Like every other position at AWA, this is a volunteer position.
  • You must contact us before September 1st, 2015.

Sound like something you might be interested in? Send your portfolio to

Terms for Con-Goers

By News Updates

General Info & Definitions

So you want to attend AWA eh? To start out, there are going to be a few terms you’re going to need to know! Brush up on your AWA lingo here!

Membership badge – When you purchase your admission to AWA, you’re actually purchasing a membership to the convention. We offer Full AWA memberships, 2-day memberships, and 1-day memberships. To show that you have purchased a membership, you will get a nifty badge to wear around while at the convention. To enter any of the rooms and the convention space (aside from in the Galleria where you can access Public Safety, Registration, Accessibility and Info Desk), you will need to display your membership badge. Please be courteous if a staffer asks to see it, they’re just doing their job!


Pre-Register/Pre-Registration – If you purchase your membership before the show, you’ve pre-registered! (pre + register; get it?) There will be a separate line for you when you come to AWA to pick up your membership badge. Just bring your ID, and a printed (or mobile) copy of your confirmation page, and you’re good to go!


Early Start  – This is the term we use for the mailing service you can optionally add on, when you pre-register for the show. For an extra $15, we’ll mail your badge to your house before the show – you don’t have to wait in line to pick it up, and we can get more people through the line quicker- it’s a win win! To add on Early Start, go through the Eventbrite process and add it on before you check out.


Crew – These are the people behind the scenes busting their butts to make a great con. Our crew is what other conventions call their staff or volunteers. Everyone who runs AWA is part of the Crew! If you ever need help, feel free to grab the closest person with the word “Crew” on their badge and they’ll be happy to help you out!

Classroom Crisis - 06 - Large 32

Public Safety – They are the watchers. They keep the titans at bay. These are the guys guarding your back and making sure the con is safe for everyone and everything. If you have a problem, find a public safety crew member and tell them about it! If you don’t see them right away, you can always visit their office for help, located just across from Registration in the Renaissance hotel. These are also the people that will peace-bond your weapon (tag it with a special convention tag) to show that your prop is safe.

Shingeki no Kyojin - 02 - Large 34

Super Happy Fun Sell (SHFS) – One of the biggest events on Thursday, the SHFS is a swap-meet type event, where attendees can sell their used anime goods. Yes it has a silly name. Yes you should check it out. You will need a membership badge to participate in it.


If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have, and update this post to match!


SHFS Tables On Sale Now!

By News Updates
The Super Happy Fun Sell (SHFS) is a yard sale-flea market-garage sale type event held at AWA on Thursday night at the Grand Ballroom of the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel. The purpose of the SHFS is to give AWA attendees a chance to clean out their closets and pass on previously-enjoyed anime and manga merchandise to other fans.

What can I sell at the SHFS?

  • The SHFS is for post-consumer, previously owned anime/manga items only. This means manga, video games, toys, DVDs, model kits, books, cels, comic books, VHS tapes, record albums, professional cosplay items & props, and other used anime and manga memorabilia. Adult material (doujinshi, etc) is allowed, but must be sealed and you must verify that anyone seeking to purchase it is 18 years old.

Is there anything I cannot sell at the SHFS?

  • SHFS is only for used items. That means prohibited items include: “new” merchandise, food items (candy, snacks, drinks, etc), homemade crafts or costume items, metal weapons, blades, or any other dangerous weapons.
  • If it violates AWA’s Weapons Policy, don’t bring it to SHFS.
  • No bootleg merchandise is allowed (pirate or home-burned CDs or DVDs, etc). All merchandise must be visible for inspection – no grab bags or mystery boxes are allowed.
  • If you want to sell original crafts or artwork, please check out the Artist Alley for an appropriate venue to sell your works, and if you are a dealer retailing new merchandise, please do so in the Dealer’s Room.
  •  It’s unfair to other vendors if you sell these items, and if you are caught with them at your table (or otherwise violating the spirit of SHFS), your membership will be revoked, and you will need to vacate your table.

Can I sell stuff in the room without a table?

  • The sale of items in the SuperHappyFunSell is restricted to registered SHFS tables. You must have a SHFS table to sell merchandise.

When does setup start?

  • You will need to be present at the Waverly at 4pm on Thursday with your merchandise, and confirmation email. Once you’ve been checked in, setup will run from 4pm to 5pm.
  • Please plan ahead to get your badge; consider pre-registering with our early start option, or coming to register at 2pm when registration opens. You will need a badge to setup your table.
  • You are welcome to invite friends to assist you with the setup and operation of your SHFS table, but they will also need their membership badges.
  • We will not hold your table past 5:30, so if you can’t be at the convention before then, please consider holding off on the SHFS for this year. No refunds will be given.

When will people be able to enter to begin purchasing their items?

  • At 5pm we will start letting the public in to actually buy things. You should be set up and ready to go. Remember, we will not hold your table past 5:30pm.

Anything else we should know?

  • AWA will not provide carts, hand trucks, change, tape, labels, pens, pencils or markers. AWA will NOT be providing electrical power connections OR any kind of Wi-Fi for this event. If you require an internet connection for credit card transactions, make arrangements with the Waverly or your wireless provider in advance.
  • Have fun at the SuperHappyFunSell and enjoy the rest of your AWA!

How do I register?

  • To reserve a SHFS table, you must be pre-registered for AWA as a single member or as part of a group, with a 3 day badge. SHFS tables are not available for dealers registrants.  If you are registering under any other badge type, please email us at
  • Click on the button below (or at the top of this page) and purchase your table through eventbrite.
  • Once you’ve registered for your SHFS table, you will get a confirmation email.  Please print the email out and have it with you for Thursday night set up.

Final Staff Meeting

By News Updates
AWA is almost here, and we would love your help to make it the best convention possible! If you haven’t signed up to staff yet, the final meeting for staff is August 9th.

The meeting will be held at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel located at 2450 Galleria Parkway  Atlanta  Georgia  30339.

From 2pm to 3pm, we will be hosting a department fair, for new crew members and those crew members interested in finding a new department. Here you can meet all the departments looking for new crew members to join their family. This will take place in the Ansley Room.

From 3:15pm to 4pm, we will be hosting the general meeting. This will give everyone a thorough idea of what to expect during the weekend and will cover general tips about being a crew member. This part of the meeting will be held in the Habersham Room.

If you have any questions, please contact us at If you haven’t filled out a crew application, please do so before the meeting.

The VAT Updates!

By News Updates

Announcing the Video Art Thunderdome!

The VAT has added a new event to its line up: The Video Art Thunderdome, completely new this year, is a music video editing event. During the convention teams of editors work to complete a Multi-Editor Project using footage provided and to a song selected from a limited list. The resulting videos compete on Sunday with you the audience being the final arbiter!

What is The Video Art Track?

More than just the home for anime music videos, The Video Art Track is the single largest event for fans and editors of amateur music videos, fan parodies and amazing and astounding original video art. Now in its 16th year, the Video Art track has always promoted remix culture and participatory fandom by supporting the creation and exhibition of fan works of art in video media.

This year, amongst nearly 80 hours of programming, the Video Art Track hosts several major events:

The Music Video Exposition (sometimes “The Exposition” or just “The Expo”) started in 1995 at the very first Anime Weekend Atlanta. Its goal has always been to exhibit as many videos as possible while awarding recognition to as many deserving videos as is practical. The Exposition is just that, an exposition and not a contest. Recognition is awarded, but there are no prizes.  Entries are judged by the Video Art Track Crew members, taking into account primarily artistic elements. Often new awards are created on the spot for innovative and creative entries.

The Professional Awards, much like the Academy Awards, is an opportunity for editors to recognize the outstanding work of their peers, and thus is a higher standard for those who wish to participate.   The categories are selected and prizes awarded by the very participants of the contest.

The Masters is hosted every two years and represents our highest standard for both artistic and technical music video production. The Masters is judged exclusively by The Video Art Track director. While the director may consult with anyone on matters artistic or technical, the final decision is theirs alone. The judging for the Masters Competition is blind, and the director’s only consideration is the finished submission.

To learn more, or enter your video, please visit The VAT’s page here: