All posts by Chris W.

Open now — memberships & hotel rooms for WisCon 42

Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning for WisCon 42!  As always, WisCon will happen over the U.S.’s Memorial Day weekend — May 25-28.  And we’ll again be at the beautiful Concourse Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin.

WisCon 42 Registration

Memberships are now available for WisCon 42!  The news this year is that after holding off raising our membership rate for as long as we could, for 2017 we’re increasing the cost of our adult membership to $55.  All other membership prices remain the same.

How to register

  • Online:  Log into (or create!  it’s free!) your WisCon account at account.wiscon.net.  You can pay immediately via PayPal, or you can choose to mail a check or to pay at the convention.
  • In person:  Stop by our Registration desk (2nd floor) and register in person.

Membership prices

  • Adult (18+): $55
  • Teen (ages 13-17): $20
  • Youth (ages 7-12): $20
  • Former WisCon Guests of Honor: Free
  • Child Care (age 0-6) $1 per child. We need to know in advance how many children to expect, so if you plan to use WisCon’s childcare at all, you should register for it ahead of time! Please fill in the age of each child to be enrolled in childcare. Please read the childcare information page for full details.

The Dessert Salon

You can also purchase tickets to our Sunday night Dessert Salon through our registration system or in person at the Registration desk.

Our Dessert Salon is our fancy-ish Sunday night event, happening right before the Guest of Honor Speeches.  There are decadent desserts created for us by the Concourse’s pastry chef and lots of conversation with all the friends you met during the weekend.

Because the Dessert Salon is intended to be a fancy-ish event the price reflects that.  Money that we bring in from the salon not only covers the cost of the event but goes to support WisCon in many ways, including such things as our accessibility and affordability initiatives.

However!  We also want everyone who wants to join us have the chance, and so Dessert Salon tickets are available on a sliding scale!

Our recommended cost is $25 per ticket.  This is a little more than the base cost of the event to WisCon.

The sliding scale is $15-$50 — accommodating those who have a tight budget and those who may have some extra cash on hand and would like to support the salon and WisCon.

Concourse Hotel Reservations

Reservations at the Concourse Hotel open at 9am on Sunday.  There are 3 ways to make your reservation this weekend:

  1. At the Concourse front desk.  At 9am on Sunday there will be a reservation agent at the desk to assist you.
  2. Online using the Concourse’s reservation system.
  3. Calling the Concourse: 1-800-356-8293

The cutoff date to reserve a room in our discounted room block is April 26 (end of day — 11:59pm).

Concourse level

  • $117/single
  • $127/double
  • $137/triple
  • $147/quad

Governor’s Club

  • $199/single
  • $209/double
  • $219/triple
  • $229/quad

Dessert Salon selection at WisCon 41

Dessert Salon

The Concourse pastry chef has once again put together a delicious array of desserts that suit a variety of dietary needs for our Dessert Salon!

Key to labeling

  • GF = Gluten-free
  • N = Contains Nuts
  • V = Vegan
  • * = Contains gelatin

The WisCon 41 Dessert Salon Desserts

Chocolate Caramel Pots De Crème

  • GF

French Macaroons

  • N

Chocolate Decadence Cake with Whipped Caramel

  • GF

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries (2 per plate)

  • GF

Coconut Budino with Fresh Coconut

  • GF

Espresso Chocolate Mousse

  • GF
  • *

Fresh Fruit Cups with Strawberries, Blueberries, Pineapple, and Melon

  • V
  • GF

Key Lime Bar

Grasshopper Cheesecake

Lemon raspberry Layer Cake

Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Tarts

  • GF
  • N

Mini Eclairs with Chocolate Pastry Cream

Petite Chocolate Cannoli (2 per plate)

  • N

Strawberry Petit Fours

Tiramisu Verrines

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis

  • GF
  • *

Vanilla Poundcake with Fresh Berries

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing

  • V

Vegan Banana Cake

  • V

Vegan Dark Chocolate Coconut Almond Bar

  • V
  • GF
  • N

WisCon 41 at-con newsletter — A Momentary Taste of WisCon, Saturday edition

HOW IS IT SATURDAY ALREADY???  But don’t worry, WisCon’s not even half over yet.  Today we have the Bake Sale, a Magic the Gathering Tournament, and the Tiptree Auction.  Plus, y’know, tons of panels and readings and parties and … and … and ….

Don’t forget we have a Quiet Place if you need a break!

And if you need a snack, please stop by the Con Suite!  It’s for anyone who needs it — whether to make your con more affordable or because your blood sugar is dropping or just because you’re getting hangry between panels!

Saturday’s top volunteer needs

  • Con Suite needs a ServSafe certified volunteer 3-4pm today.  Stop by the Con Suite (room 638).
  • Art Show has hour-long shifts available all afternoon.  Stop by the Senate rooms on the 1st floor.
  • The Bake Sale needs help with sales.  Stop room 627.

More details on volunteering in the section at the bottom, or email volunteers@wiscon.net.

CART / live-captioning service available

WisCon is proud to offer live-captioning services — available all weekend long, at request, for (almost) any panel.  We always offer the service for Opening Ceremonies, the Tiptree Auction, and the Sunday night Guest of Honor Speeches.  But would you like to have CART for a panel you’re going to attend?  Our CART providers will be hanging out in the Green Room (2nd floor) all weekend long.  Check with a Green Room volunteer to see if the CART provider is available.  Or you can email access@wiscon.net!

Moderator needed

We’re looking for a moderator for the “My Voices, Your Voices, #ownvoices” panel on Sunday at 10am.  Unfortunately, the scheduled moderator wasn’t able to make it to WisCon this year.  If you can step in, please contact the Green Room on the 2nd floor!

How do I join the WisCon organizing committee, and what even IS that???

  • 4pm Saturday
  • Room 605

WisCon is run entirely by volunteers, but who are these attractive people and what the heck do they do?  Please join us for some spontaneous programming where we’ll demystify these and other questions!

Location typo in the Pocket Program Book

Our printed Pocket Program Book has a typo for the location of the Safer Space for People with Disabilities.  It’s in room 625.

Swimming!

There will be a teen-and-up Open Swim with a lifeguards on duty both Saturday and Sunday 2:30-3:45pm.  Join us on the 3rd floor!

Magic the Gathering tournament

  • 4-5:15pm
  • Room 606

Formerly the Teen Programming Magic the Gathering tournament, the tournament is now open to all WisCon attendees.  THERE WILL BE PRIZES.  Tap your mana, shoot with your dragon — BOOM! — victory.

Posting your posters

Have a reading or party at WisCon that you want to advertise?  Want to get the word out about some Spontaneous Programming you’ve planned?  You can make a poster to hang around the convention space.  Flyers in the stairwells can be posted NOW (previously some folks had been told they had to wait until Sunday — we apologize for the confusing information).  You can also post your flyers and posters on the 2nd and 6th floors around the elevators but not IN them. Signs on the 1st floor can ONLY be posted on the bulletin board — except for things officially from WisCon Access.

Browsing & shopping

Today’s a great day to take a stroll through our Art Show and Dealers’ Room.  And don’t forget to cast your vote in the Art Show awards by 6pm tonight!

  • Art Show hours:  9:30am – 6pm
  • Dealers’ Room hours:  10am – 6pm

Today’s big events

Bake Sale for Tiptree

  • 11:15am – 5:15pm
  • Room 627

Every year, WisCon hosts a bake sale to support and raise money for the Tiptree Award.  A wide variety of cookies, breads, cakes, pies and delectables are baked and donated by Tiptree supporters.

Tiptree Auction

  • 7:30-9:15pm or so
  • Capitol/Wisconsin

Do feminists have a sense of humor? Come to the Tiptree Auction and find out! You might come away with a first edition signed by LeGuin, a glow-in-the-dark squid, a statue of Space Babe, or a book from Alice Sheldon’s library. It’s never the same show twice, and whatever happens, there are always lots of laughs, all for a good cause. Every bit of the money you spend is donated to the James Tiptree, Jr., Award.

Gaming

Want to sign up for tonight’s games?  Email gaming@wiscon.net.  For full descriptions of the games, check out this blog post.

Fizzbin

  • Card Game
  • Saturday, 10pm-12am

The Last Seder

  • LARP
  • Saturday, 8pm-12am
  • Room 629

We are sad to announce that Saturday’s “Dr. Seuss” board game has been cancelled.  🙁

Today’s Open Writing Salon

  • Saturday, 8-10pm — With drive-by drabbling!

Looking for a quiet place to get some words on the page? Join us every morning and evening from Friday night to Sunday night for an opportunity to share space with other writers. The full weekend schedule is in this blog post.

Weekend drabble  challenge!

For the WisCon FanFic Drabble Challenge, we’ll be accepting works that are 100-250 words long, from any fandom. These will be collected and included in a collection on the Archive of Our Own. The challenge is open from Saturday at 12pm through close of con on Monday at 4pm.  This post has all the details!

The once & future WisCon

How can WisCon improve?  What programming would you like to see next year?  Who would make a great Guest of Honor for WisCon 43?  Please check out this blog post and help us continue to build a great WisCon.

Today’s Con Suite menus

This blog post has the full list of menus for the weekend.

Saturday lunch (11:30am-1:30pm)

  • Potato salad (vegetarian, GF)
  • Three bean salad (vegan & GF)
  • Carrot slaw (vegan & GF)
  • Jerk tofu (vegan, GF)
  • Sandwich platters
  • Sandwich bread (including GF bread)
  • Cheese slices
  • Sunbutter (nut free)
  • Peanut butter
  • Jams & jellies

Saturday dinner (5:30-7:30pm)

  • Chili night (beef & vegan)
  • Maple roasted vegetables (vegan & GF)
  • Rice

Got an hour or two to volunteer? #WisConGiveBack

What makes WisCon go are the volunteers. Have a free hour or two? Would you like to help out and earn a rebate on your membership?  If you’re up for volunteering, please email us!  volunteers@wiscon.net

  1. Current urgent needs are posted on a white board next to the Registration desk on the 2nd floor.
  2. We always have a strong need for folks who can help out in the Con Suite.
  3. We also have a regular need for volunteers at Registration Desk and the Art Show desk.
  4. Other specific needs are added as needed to the blog’s volunteers tag.

Need to contact Safety?

Reminder:  Our Code of Conduct

  • email:  safety@wiscon.net
  • phone:  608-957-7233 (957-SAFE)
  • reporting form: wiscon.net/report

Or look for one of our on-call Safety volunteers. They’re wearing bright yellow/green high-visibility vests.

WisCon social media

Drabble Challenge at WisCon 41!

Jess Adams
WisCon Workshops

In the fanfic world, the word “drabble” has at times been applied to a work of any length, provided it is very short. More traditionally, “drabble” is a term that designates a work of fanfiction that is precisely 100 words long. [See Fanlore: https://fanlore.org/wiki/Drabble ].

For the WisCon FanFic Drabble Challenge, we’ll be accepting works that are 100-250 words long, from any fandom. (Though, the challenge would be to create a work that’s exactly 100 words long — bonus points toward your No Prize if you can manage this!) These will be collected and included in a collection on the Archive of Our Own.

The challenge is open from Saturday at 12pm through close of con on Monday at 4pm.

Eligible works will be those that meet the following parameters:

  • Fanfiction based in any fandom
  • 100 – 250 words (You may also have a title that’s up to 15 words long)
  • Written during WisCon weekend

Works can be submitted directly through AO3:

Works can also be submitted to moderator Jess Adams by email at drabbles@wiscon.net, or in hardcopy by visiting the Open Writers’ Salon!

If submitting by email/hardcopy, be sure to include:

  • Your name OR desired pseudonym
  • A means of contact (email address, twitter handle, etc)
  • Name of fandom work is under
  • Ratings and relevant warnings (If necessary, the moderator will apply a rating/warning.)

You are welcome to join us at the Open Writing Salon if you need a space to compose your drabble, or want to drop it off to us!  The Open Writing Salon is in the Private Dining Room in CIRC on the 1st floor.  We’re open:

  • Saturday:  8-10p
  • Sunday:  9-11a
  • Sunday:  8-10p

Building WisCon together — take our survey, suggest some programming, nominate someone for GOH!

The thing that makes WisCon so amazing is that it’s built by its members.  From your suggestions on how we can improve to what our programming should be, nearly everything that happens at WisCon happens only because a member proposed the idea.

If you’re attending WisCon 41, we’d be very grateful if you could take a few minutes to complete one of our surveys.

Have some ideas for programming for next year’s WisCon?  Our idea submission form for WisCon 42 is already open!  And we’ve also opened nominations for Guest of Honor for WisCon 43.

WisCon 41

We know things just got started, but as your weekend wraps up please take a moment to fill out our surveys and let us know what you thought and how we can keep improving the convention!

WisCon 42

Did something just happen in a panel to spark a great idea for next year’s WisCon?  Yes, we are taking programming suggestions for WisCon 42 already!  Just complete this form on our website.  No login necessary, but if you do log into your WisCon account you’ll receive an email confirmation of your submission.

WisCon 43

Yes!  We are already planning WisCon for 2019!  First and foremost — who would you like to see as a Guest of Honor?  This blog post talks more about how to nominate someone (and what the process after that is like).  To nominate, just drop a short email to gohnoms@wiscon.net.

WisCon 41 at-con newsletter — A Momentary Taste of WisCon, Friday edition

IT’S WISCON!!

This is it.  It all starts today.  Do you have your Pocket Program Book (pick up a paper copy at Registration or W41_PPB-web)?  Or the WisSched app on your smart thing?  (Or both, who are we to judge?)  Have you started to get the lay of the land?  Con Suite’s on 6; Art Show‘s on 1; Registration/Info Desk is on 2.

Don’t forget to get some sleep.  Eat a meal or 2 (or 3!).  Have some fun!  And, by all means, let’s get started planning that revolution, comrades.

Today’s big events

The Gathering

  • 1- 3:45pm
  • Capitol/Wisconsin (2nd floor)

The Gathering is the official start to WisCon — every year on Friday at 1pm sharp!  This is the time and place to decompress from the rigors of travel, meet friends old and new, make the transition to WisCon space-time, and get into the WisCon frame of mind!

What’s happening at the Gathering this year?  This blog post will give you fuller details, but here’s a quick list:

  • Icebreaker Scavenger Hunt
  • Clothing Swap
  • Nail Polish Swap
  • the Fiber Circle
  • Gadget and Device Petting Zoo
  • Fancy Hair Braiding
  • an E-Textiles Activity
  • Tabletop Games
  • Lock Picking
  • Tiptree Auction Preview

First WisCon Dinner

  • 5:30-7:30 PM
  • Outside the Wisconsin Ballroom (2nd floor)

Is this your first WisCon? Or are you a long-time WisCon attendee? Either way, you are invited to meet up as a group right after the end of the first panels (5:15 pm) outside the doors of the Wisconsin ballroom. After meeting, we’ll all head over to a local restaurant. You will be responsible for the price of your meal and for providing the sparkling wit during the meal. For those of you coming to WisCon for the first time, this is a great way to meet and get to know others that share your passion for feminist science fiction and fantasy. And if this isn’t your first WisCon, please join us as well—it’s a great way to meet even more new friends and besides, the first-timers will be looking to you for advice!

Art Show

Opening Reception

  • 6-7:30pm
  • Senate (1st floor)
Come to the Wiscon Art Show and meet the artists. Ask about their work, hear about their process.

Awards

Stop by the WisCon Art Show and vote for your favorite art and artists! Voting will open at 6pm on Friday, beginning during Meet the Artists, and will remain open until the Art Show closes at 6pm Saturday evening. This year’s categories are:

  • Best in Show (You’ll have the option to nominate an individual best piece as well as picking an artist.)
  • Best 2D Art
  • Best 3D Art, Non-Wearable
  • Best Wearable Art

Opening Ceremonies

  • 7:30-8:30pm
  • Capitol/Wisconsin (2nd floor)

WisCon welcomes everyone and officially begins the weekend of programming. Guests of Honor are introduced, the Tiptree winner is crowned, and there’s usually some form of entertainment. This is also the time for last-minute announcements and an explanation of some of WisCon’s policies. This is a great event if it’s your first WisCon!

Gaming

Set-up help needed

We have Braille compatibility kits this year for Pandemic and 7 Wonders, but we need some help setting them up! In particular, we need someone who can read Braille to set them up. Please contact gaming@wiscon.net!

Sign up for tonight’s games!

Want to sign up for tonight’s games?  Drop by the Gathering (1-3:45pm in the ballroom on the 2nd floor) or email gaming@wiscon.net.  For full descriptions of the games, check out this blog post.

Support

  • RPG
  • Friday, 8pm-12am
  • Conference 3

Strange Gravity

  • LARP
  • Friday, 8pm-12am
  • Conference 4

Weekend drabble  challenge!

In the fanfic world, a “drabble” is a work of fic that is very short. More traditionally, “drabble” designates a work that is precisely 100 words long. The constraints of the form, and the challenge they bring, are what makes drabble-writing so fun!

For the WisCon FanFic Drabble Challenge, we’ll be accepting works that are 100-250 words long, from any fandom. Though, the challenge would be to create a work that’s exactly 100 words long — bonus points toward your No Prize if you can manage this!

These works will be included in a collection on the Archive of Our Own. The challenge opens on Saturday at noon — stay tuned for the details of the challenge and how to join in!

The once & future WisCon

WisCon 41

We know things just got started, but as your weekend wraps up please take a moment to fill out our surveys and let us know what you thought and how we can keep improving the convention!

WisCon 42

Did something just happen in a panel to spark a great idea for next year’s WisCon?  Yes, we are taking programming suggestions for WisCon 42 already!  Just complete this form on our website.  No login necessary, but if you do log into your WisCon account you’ll receive an email confirmation of your submission.

WisCon 43

Yes!  We are already planning WisCon for 2019!  First and foremost — who would you like to see as a Guest of Honor?  This blog post talks more about how to nominate someone (and what the process after that is like).  To nominate, just drop a short email to gohnoms@wiscon.net.

Today’s Con Suite menus

This blog post has the full list of menus for the weekend.

Friday dinner

  • Chicago style Italian beef on rolls (GF rolls available)
  • Spinach & potato curry (vegan, GF)
  • Creole roasted sweet potatoes (vegan, GF)
  • Gingered veggies (vegan, GF)
  • Rice

Got an hour or two to volunteer? #WisConGiveBack

What makes WisCon go are the volunteers. Have a free hour or two? Would you like to help out and earn a rebate on your membership?  If you’re up for volunteering, please email us!  volunteers@wiscon.net

  1. We always have a strong need for folks who can help out in the Con Suite.
  2. We also have a regular need for volunteers at Registration Desk and the Art Show desk.
  3. Other specific needs are added as needed to the blog’s volunteers tag.

Need to contact Safety?

Reminder:  Our Code of Conduct

  • email:  safety@wiscon.net
  • phone:  608-957-7233 (957-SAFE)
  • reporting form: wiscon.net/report

Or look for one of our on-call Safety volunteers. They’re wearing bright yellow/green high-visibility vests.

WisCon social media

WisCon 41 — Con Suite menus

Welcome, WisCon!  Here are the hours and food options for your Con Suite this year.

Con Suite hours

Friday

  • Dinner:  5:30-7:30pm
  • Closed for cleaning:  7:30-8:30pm
  • 8:30pm-1am  (ConSuite open but not staffed)

Saturday

  • Breakfast:  8-9:30am
  • Lunch:  11:30am-1:30pm
  • Dinner:  5:30-7:30pm
  • Closed for cleaning:  7:30-8:30pm
  • 8:30pm-1am  (ConSuite open but not staffed)

Sunday

  • Breakfast:  8-11am
  • Late Lunch/Early Dinner:  3-5pm
  • ConSuite closes at 6pm for Dessert Salon & Guest of Honor Speeches
  • 10pm-1am  (ConSuite open but not staffed)

Monday

  • Brunch:  9-11:30am
  • ConSuite closes at 1pm

Standard fare all weekend long

Coffee & tea

Available 8am-Midnight in room 626

Staples available all day

  • Popcorn (butter, cheese corn & kettle corn)
  • Potato chips & Pretzels
  • Assorted cookies (inc. GF)
  • Scads of candy
  • Raw veggies
  • Hummus
  • Guacamole
  • Pop tarts
  • pita chips
  • applesauce (single serve containers)
  • fruit cups (single serve containers)
  • Crackers (inc. GF varieties)
  • Sandwich bread (inc. Udi’s GF bread)
  • Sunbutter (nut free)
  • Peanut butter
  • Jams & jellies
  • Assorted sodas & fizzy water

Grab-and-go (pre-packaged from Willy Street Co-Op)

  • Cheezy pasta salad (vegan)
  • Squash & bulgur with pepitas (vegetarian)
  • Turkey & parmesan pasta salad,
  • Two bean quinoa salad (vegan, GF)

Daily breakfast

  • Coffee & tea
  • Bagels
  • Cream cheese & Tofutti spread (dairy free, vegan & gluten free)
  • Butter & Earth Balance butter (soy and dairy free)
  • Doughnuts & Kringle

Meals

Friday dinner

  • Chicago style Italian beef on rolls (GF rolls available)
  • Spinach & potato curry (vegan, GF)
  • Creole roasted sweet potatoes (vegan, GF)
  • Gingered veggies (vegan, GF)
  • Rice

Saturday lunch

  • Potato salad (vegetarian, GF)
  • Three bean salad (vegan & GF)
  • Carrot slaw (vegan & GF)
  • Jerk tofu (vegan, GF)
  • Sandwich platters
  • Sandwich bread (including GF bread)
  • Cheese slices
  • Sunbutter (nut free)
  • Peanut butter
  • Jams & jellies

Saturday dinner

  • Chili night (beef & vegan)
  • Maple roasted vegetables (vegan & GF)
  • Rice

Sunday late lunch/early dinner

  • Ian’s Pizza! Expect a mix of the weird & mundane. There will be GF and vegan pizzas.
  • Garlic lovers pasta salad (vegetarian, GF)
  • Kale (vegan GF)

Monday brunch

  • Coffee & tea
  • Bagels
  • Cream cheese & Tofutti spread (dairy free, vegan & gluten free)
  • Butter & Earth Balance butter (soy and dairy free)
  • Doughnuts & Kringle
  • Sandwich bread (including GF bread)
  • Ham & Turkey cold cuts (for GF options)
  • Sandwich bread
  • Sunbutter (nut free)
  • Peanut butter
  • Jams & jellies

WisCon 41 at-con newsletter — A Momentary Taste of WisCon, Thursday edition

Welcome to WisCon 41!  The weather is still looking a bit cool, but at least we’re out of the 50s!

This is the first edition of our at-con newsletter, A Momentary Taste of WisCon, where you’ll find short updates on a daily basis (more often if necessary!).  Momentary Taste will be posted here on our blog, which also feeds into the WisSched app under the “Announcements” section.

Enjoy your WisCon!

Where’s the Registration Desk??

For Thursday night only, the Registration Desk will be on the 2nd floor of the Concourse and slightly further down the hall then its usual space.  At the top of the grand staircase, turn left and you’ll find the desk just beyond the double doors.

On Friday morning it will return to its usual spot at the top of the grand staircase, and then remain there for the rest of the weekend.

hours:

  • Thursday 7-10pm (For pre-registration pick-up ONLY — No new sales just yet!)
  • Friday 8:30am – 8pm

Concourse info

Pool hours have been extended to 1am for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.

Check-out time on Sunday and Monday has been extended to 12pm.

Planning to catch a meal or two at the hotel over the weekend? The Concourse sells food discount cards! The card is $10 and can be purchased at the hotel front desk. The discount is good for 20% off at CIRC Restaurant, The Bar, and room service. (It is NOT valid at the hotel Starbucks.) And it’s reusable for the duration of the conference! Basically if you plan on spending more than $50 in total at the hotel this weekend, it’s worth it.

Today’s big event

Guest of Honor reception and reading at Room of One’s Own

The unofficial but traditional start to WisCon is with a Thursday night reception and Guest of Honor reading at Madison’s feminist bookstore, Room of One’s Own.

There reception starts at 6pm. Wine, cheese, and crackers are served. Our Guests of Honor, Amal El-Mohtar and Kelly Sue DeConnick, will each give a reading.

getting there:  Room of One’s Own is just off State Street at 315 W Gorham St, Madison, WI 53703. It’s about 3 or 4 blocks away walking.  Our Room of One’s Own Reception page has both a Google Map and a photo of the storefront.

This year we are proud to offer an accessible shuttle service between the Concourse Hotel and Room of One’s Own. The shuttle will run between 4:30 and 7:30pm.

Got an hour or two to volunteer? #WisConGiveBack

What makes WisCon go are the volunteers. Have a free hour or two? Would you like to help out and earn a rebate on your membership?  If you’re up for volunteering, please email us!  volunteers@wiscon.net

  1. We always have a strong need for folks who can help out in the Con Suite.
  2. We also have a regular need for volunteers at Registration Desk and the Art Show desk.
  3. Other specific needs are added as needed to the blog’s volunteers tag.

Need to contact Safety?

  • email:  safety@wiscon.net
  • phone:  608-957-7233 (957-SAFE)
  • reporting form: wiscon.net/report

Or look for one of our on-call Safety volunteers. They’re wearing bright yellow/green high-visibility vests.

WisCon social media

A few notes on Access at WisCon 41

WisCon ConChairs

Every year, our Access Team works hard to make the con space as navigable as possible for all our members. From the unscented soaps in the public restrooms to the travel lanes on the 6th floor, accessibility is an important priority for WisCon.

A new initiative that we’re very excited about this year is….

Accessible shuttle to / from the Room of One’s Own Reception on Thursday night, for the Guest of Honor readings

Room of One’s Own is about five blocks from the Concourse hotel, which is further than some members are comfortable or able to walk. This year we have reserved a fully accessible shuttle which will be running between the Concourse  and Room of One’s Own!

The reception and Guest of Honor readings start at 6pm.  The shuttle will run between 4:30 and 7:30pm.   The shuttle will be on-demand in that it will collect passengers until it’s full, then make a run and return for more passengers.

A few other notes about accessibility through the rest of the weekend

1st floor carpeting

If you have difficulty navigating the carpeted area next to the elevator bank on the first floor, there is a path to the right of the grand staircase past The Cupboard Under The Stairs™ (previously the business center) and around the far side of the elevators.

Accessible and all-gender restrooms

There are single-occupancy accessible all-gender restrooms in several places in the hotel, including in Conference 1 on the 2nd floor and on the 6th floor between rooms 627 and 629. Panels may be taking place in Conference 1 during the day, but you are always welcome to enter to use the restroom.

Blue tape!

Blue tape is used throughout the convention space to define accessible spaces. Blue-taped areas and chairs in programming rooms are for those who use mobility devices or who may need to sit near the front for whatever reason. Blue-taped lanes in the hallways show you which side of the hall is for walking or rolling and which side is for hanging out — please move to one side if you find yourself stopping to chat in the hall. Blue tape can also indicate where lines should form.

Mobility scooters

Do you need a mobility scooter while you’re in town for WisCon?

Access Do’s and Don’ts

Respect Blue Zones: Please don’t stand in the striped zones. Don’t remove the tape

Do Respect Service Animals  Although interacting with animals is tempting, please don’t pet, distract, or take photos of service animals

Do Use the Quiet Space if you need a break. Don’t Make the Quiet Place a loud place. Respect the space

Do Use microphones on panels. Don’t Ignore requests that you use one.

Do Ask for help if you need it. Don’t feel like asking for assistance is a problem.

Questions, comments, requests?

How can we help make the convention more accessible for you? You can always contact us at access@wiscon.net.

WisCon 41 Guest of Honor — Kelly Sue DeConnick

Kelly Sue DeConnick
Kelly Sue DeConnick

From the moment we knew Kelly Sue was going to be one of WisCon 41’s Guests of Honor, we all started counting the days until until Memorial Day weekend 2017.  And we knew late last winter so it’s been a long wait!

AT LAST, the wait is over for all of us.  We are so excited to welcome you to WisCon 41 as we honor Kelly Sue DeConnick and celebrate her work!

About Kelly Sue

Kelly Sue DeConnick is best known for surprise hits like Carol Danvers’ rebranding as Captain Marvel and the Eisner-nominated mythological western, “Pretty Deadly”; the latter was co-created with artist Emma Ríos. DeConnick’s most recent venture, the sci-fi kidney-punch called “Bitch Planet”, co-created with Valentine De Landro, launched to rave reviews in December 2014. DeConnick lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, Matt Fraction, and their two children. Under their company Milkfed Criminal Masterminds, Inc., DeConnick and Fraction are currently developing television for NBC/Universal.

Kelly Sue @ WisCon 41

Room of One’s Own Reception and Readings

  • Thursday, 6–7:30pm
  • Room Of Ones Own

Readings by the Guests of Honor at Room of One’s Own Bookstore.

Following and Friendship: Social Media Etiquette for Fans

  • Saturday, 10–11:29am
  • Capitol A

When our faves share their thoughts and give us a peek into their personal lives, it’s enticing to engage as much as possible, but when we’re one of their thousands of followers and they’re likely to receive several notifications at once, where should we draw the line? As creators and creatives, the tenuous balance between being approachable and setting boundaries can take a huge emotional toll on us. How do we encourage fan interaction while holding a reasonable amount of space for ourselves to exist as humans? This panel will explore the nuances of being an inclusive, friendly internet community while still being respectful of the privacy and dignity of people with large public platforms.

Kaffeeklatsch and Guest of Honor Reading

  • Saturday, 4–5:29pm
  • Assembly

Guest of Honor Kelly Sue DeConnick reads from her work and chats with her fans over snacks and coffee.

> Attendance may be limited: Please check with the Registration desk to see if there is a sign-up sheet.

Comics Are for Everybody (with Comic Matchmaking)

  • Sunday, 2:30–3:59pm
  • Wisconsin

The lack of access to local comic shops and fandom culture of exclusion can make it hard for people to feel like there are comics out there “for them”. Comics Are for Everybody is all about proving that there is a comic for every taste.The panel will start by highlighting some lesser known comics and creators for the room, then to do some highly interactive matchmaking. Audience members will name a beloved genre/author/movie/etc. and the group will come up with suggestions for comic books they might not have read, the more under-the-radar the better. Web comics, self-published comics, and manga of course would be welcome (and encouraged).

Guest of Honor Speeches (and Tiptree Ceremony)

  • Sunday, 8:30–10pm
  • Capitol/Wisconsin

This Guest of Honor event is the high point of WisCon programming; it’s the formal event at which we honor our guests and listen to what they have to say to us. In the past, we’ve heard rallying calls to political action, humorous anecdotes, scholarly treatises, exposes, autobiographies, earthshaking ideas, and passionate and lyrical speeches. For instance, Pat Murphy initiated the Tiptree Award as part of her 1991 Guest of Honor speech at WisCon 15.

WisCon 41 Guest of Honor — Amal El-Mohtar

Amal El-Mohtar
Amal El-Mohtar

Word is when we asked Amal to be one of our Guests of Honor, she read the email three times to make sure it was real.  When she accepted?  We pinched ourselves to make sure we were really awake.

This is definitely the best reality, because it’s finally time — We are so thrilled to welcome you to WisCon 41 as we honor Amal El-Mohtar and celebrate her work!

About Amal

Amal El-Mohtar has received the Locus Award, been a  is(!) a Nebula Award winner for her short fiction, and has won the Rhysling Award for poetry three times. She is the author of The Honey Month, a collection of poetry and prose written to the taste of twenty-eight different kinds of honey, and contributes criticism to NPR Books and the LA Times. Her fiction has most recently appeared in Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Uncanny Magazine, and The Starlit Wood anthology from Saga Press. She divides her time and heart between Ottawa and Glasgow. Find her online at amalelmohtar.com, or on Twitter @tithenai.

Amal @ WisCon 41

Room of One’s Own Reception and Readings

  • Thursday, 6–7:30pm
  • Room Of Ones Own

Readings by the Guests of Honor at Room of One’s Own Bookstore.

Stop, Collaborate and Listen

  • Friday, 4–5:29pm
  • Conference 2

Amal El-Mohtar has a history of collaborating with likeminded souls, from editing a poetry zine to performing with a troupe of writer/musicians to co-writing fiction and beyond. How is it possible to discover fellow travelers and co conspirators across space and time(zones)? What are the benefits of such long distance collaborations, and how do different kinds of collaborative projects come together?

Music & Miscellania

  • Friday, 9–10:29 pm
  • Michelangelo’s

Come and enjoy a musical extravaganza concocted by bewitching sensations Amal El-Mohtar and C.S.E. Cooney. Their repertoire includes singing, musical instruments of undisclosed types, moderate mayhem and poetry.

Direct Payment and the Creator/Fan Dynamic

  • Saturday, 10–11:29 am
  • Caucus

We’re interested in examining, through a feminist lens, the economics around SFF for writers and creators. With many emerging artists asking for support online through sites like Patreon, writers have more income avenues than ever. How does a direct connection between artist and supporter change the power dynamic? Does this give marginalized creators more direct access to the people they want to reach? Does the ability of working class folks to support the creators they admire change when writers seek funds individually? What do artists end up owing their patrons, supporters, Kickstarter backers, or universities that provide graduate student stipends?

Dance Apocalyptic: Dystopian Fiction and Media In a Dystopian Age

  • Saturday, 1–2:29 pm
  • Capitol A

What is the function of dystopian media in a dystopian world? When fans (and academics) talk about the functions and roles of dystopian stories, it is often assumed that they are worse than the world that the storytellers live in. What about worlds where this isn’t true, or might not be true for very long? Does how we react emotionally to these stories change? Has their function changed? What do we learn from these forms of media?

Guest of Honor Reading

  • Saturday, 2:30–3:59 pm
  • Assembly

Consuming Media

  • Saturday, 4–5:29 pm
  • Conference 2

“Geek” seems to be increasingly defined as a form of material “consumption”. We no longer “watch, read, play” but rather “consume”. How does materialism define geek culture, and how doesn’t it? Is it possible — or desirable — to separate geek culture from materialism?

Borders, Boundaries and Liminal Spaces

  • Sunday, 10–11:29 am
  • Capitol B

Politics has us talking about borders constantly. Not just geopolitical borders but also ones around gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and language. We examine and re-examine how they affect feminist discourse and intersectionality, as Gloria Anzaldua did in her semi-autobiographical book on Mexican and Latinx culture, Borderlands / La Frontera. How do our notions of gender, race, and orientation shift? What kinds of liminal spaces and identities exist for people who regularly cross borders (geographical and otherwise)?

Tastes of Honey with Amal El-Mohtar

  • Sunday, 1–2:29 pm
  • Room 627

In The Honey Month, WisCon Guest of Honor Amal El-Mohtar uses the taste of different varieties of honey as gateways into stories, poetry and more. This honey tasting will allow attendees to enjoy a variety of honeys and get a sense of some of the flavors which inspired The Honey Month.

> Attendance may be limited due to room size: Please check with  the Registration desk to see if there is a sign-up sheet.

Comics Are for Everybody (with Comic Matchmaking)

  • Sunday, 2:30–3:59 pm
  • Wisconsin

The lack of access to local comic shops and fandom culture of exclusion can make it hard for people to feel like there are comics out there “for them”. Comics Are for Everybody is all about proving that there is a comic for every taste.The panel will start by highlighting some lesser known comics and creators for the room, then to do some highly interactive matchmaking. Audience members will name a beloved genre/author/movie/etc. and the group will come up with suggestions for comic books they might not have read, the more under-the-radar the better. Web comics, self-published comics, and manga of course would be welcome (and encouraged).

THE SECOND REBOOT OF THE REMAKE OF THE SEQUEL OF THE NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL

  • Sunday, 4–5:29 pm
  • Wisconsin

The ninth installment of this popular and amazing panel! Writers of color working in F/SF face unique challenges, it’s true. But, at the end of the day, being a “person of color” is only one aspect of what makes up our identities as writers. While it’s very flattering to be asked to be on panels, most of these panels never crack the ceiling of Race 101. With that in mind, wouldn’t it be nice for multiple writers and fans of color to sit on a panel that isn’t about race at all? Here’s our chance to do just that. So, what are we gonna talk about, instead? Practically anything! Presented in game show format, SIX SEASON SERIES BASED ON THE THREE-PART TRILOGY BASED ON THE SINGLE BOOK OF THE NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL brings together writers and fans of color to get their geek on about any number of pop culture topics — none of them race related.

Guest of Honor Speeches (and Tiptree Ceremony)

  • Sunday, 8:30–10pm
  • Capitol/Wisconsin

This Guest of Honor event is the high point of WisCon programming; it’s the formal event at which we honor our guests and listen to what they have to say to us. In the past, we’ve heard rallying calls to political action, humorous anecdotes, scholarly treatises, exposes, autobiographies, earthshaking ideas, and passionate and lyrical speeches. For instance, Pat Murphy initiated the Tiptree Award as part of her 1991 Guest of Honor speech at WisCon 15.

The SignOut

  • Monday, 11:30 am – 1pm
  • Capitol/Wisconsin

Come and get things signed! Come and hang out and wind down before you leave.

WisCon badges — A tale of accessibility, affordability, and sustainability

Chris Wallish
SF3 Communications Committee

Ah, the humble convention badge. In its most basic form, it says simply, “Please let me into all your sweet programming spaces, for I am a member of this convention (having agreed to your Code of Conduct).” Often, it also says, “The name printed here is my nom de convention. Please use this and no others.”

But at WisCon, our badges say so much more.

The back of the badge

The first line on the back of your badge tells you the name(s) you used during registration — there may be two names listed if you indicated you wanted a specific badge name. This line also lists what type of membership you have (e.g., Adult, Teen, Youth) and how many tickets to the Dessert Salon you purchased (D:0, D:1, D:2, &c.).

On the back of everyone’s badge, we also print the contact information for our Safety team. This includes Safety’s phone number and (new this year!) the URL to use to get to Safety’s online reporting form.

Are you participating in programming this weekend? Your schedule is also printed on the back! This includes the day, time, location, and title of each programming item.

The front of the badge

On the front of your badge we print your name as large as we possibly can so that it’s easy to read from a comfortable distance. Under your name (much smaller) we print you home city, state/province, and country.

And that, in a nutshell, is the stock WisCon badge.

But wait, there’s more!

Pronouns

Pronoun stickers at WisCon 40.
Pronoun stickers at WisCon 40.

We also provide — available at our Registration Desk whenever you’d like to stop by to take them — pronoun stickers. This year’s stickers include she / he / they / e / xe / ou / ze / zie. As well as “any pronouns” and “singular they is always grammatical”. You can absolutely choose to not wear a sticker. You can choose to wear multiple stickers! You can change your sticker(s) throughout the weekend if you want! And if you don’t see the pronoun you need, please email us and we’ll try to get one custom printed for you: registration@wiscon.net If you’d like to know more about our pronoun stickers, this post from last year does a great job of covering the etiquette and protocol of navigating pronouns.

Interaction indicators

A full set of interaction cards at WisCon 40.

Our interaction indicators are an idea that comes from the autism community, and we are proud to offer them for everyone who feels it’s helpful to give folks some guidance on the best way to approach you in any given moment. The cards are designed to fit into your badge holder right behind your badge, with the top portion sticking out to indicate which interaction you prefer. Here’s a quick guide to how to use the cards.

First, take the whole set! You’ll need all of the cards — red/hexagon, yellow/triangle, green/circle — for the system to work. Each of the cards is marked in three ways: by color, by symbol, and with text that spells out the name of the color.

  • Red / square*: STOP. Don’t talk to me! (* A change from WisCon 40 when it was a hexagon.)
  • Yellow / triangle: I only want to talk to people I know in person — not strangers or people I only know from the internet.
  • Green / circle: I would like to talk to people, but I may have trouble initiating conversation.

Please respect these badges! It’s okay to mess up at first — you’ll soon learn to look for them and follow their cues.

“Ask Me!” buttons

“Ask Me” — now in button format for WisCon 41!

Who are these folks with the teal/turquoise buttons that say “Ask Me”? These are concom members and other long-time WisCon attendees who have volunteered to share their vast wealth of WisCon information. Have a question about WisCon? “Where’s the Con Suite?” “When is the Tiptree Auction?” “Can I register for next year’s WisCon yet?” “Which way to the pool??” Anyone wearing an “Ask Me” button can likely answer any of these questions — and many more! Don’t be afraid to ask!

Return your badge holder before you leave

As much as possible, WisCon reuses its badge holders from year to year. This saves us money and reduces waste, which is important for our commitments to affordability and sustainability.

This also means that we ask you to please not affix stickers to your badge holder. Please stick them directly on your badge!

And we also ask you to please not stick convention ribbons on your badge. We especially ask those of you planning parties or readings, and so forth, to not have badges for your event. Yes, badge ribbons look totally awesome! An amazing technicolor convention coat of sorts! But… then we can’t re-use the badge holder, and we’d really like to.

So please, as much as it’s possible, keep your badge holder in pretty good shape and return it to the Registration area as you leave WisCon this year. If you forget or something unspeakable happens to your badge holder, no harm done. We’ll have one for you next year!