All posts by Wendy Bolm

Hotel Info for This Year

Now that you’ve signed up for your panels, time to figure out where you’re going to sleep! It’s a very busy weekend in Madison and the hotel is filling up fast: currently the only way to book a room at the Concourse is through the WisCon room block. That means once our block is full, there won’t be any more rooms. So act fast!

You can reserve a room at the Concourse, our convention hotel, by:

  • Visiting the Concourse’s front desk
  • Using the Concourse’s special reservations link for WisCon
  • Calling the Concourse: 1-800-356-8293 — Make sure you mention WisCon when making your reservation.

All the information about the hotel and room reservations is at http://wiscon.net/hotel/.

We get a great discount on rooms, with a single room starting at $117, and a Governor’s Club room starting at $199. The Governor’s Club rooms are on the top three floors of the hotel and include access to a private lounge with free continental breakfast, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, coffee, and drinks. If you can afford it, consider checking in on the Thursday before the convention and enjoying the whole day on Friday. The last day to get these rates is April 26, or whenever the room block fills up.

If money is tight, you still have options. The most important one is the WisCon Affordability 6th floor room discount. You can enter the lottery to receive one room night FREE by emailing Affordability. More information is on this page. The deadline to enter is April 20.

If you’re a regular WisCon attendee thinking about long-term affordability, the Concourse has a rewards program: Points can be redeemed for gift cards, upgrades, and even free nights! Just ask at the front desk or check out the application at the bottom of this page.

Now is a good time to mention that the Concourse will also be selling food discount cards during the convention. The card is $10.00 and can be purchased at the hotel front desk. The discount is good for 20% off at CIRC Restaurant, The Bar, and room service. And it’s reusable for the duration of the convention, even if you’re not staying at the hotel.

WisCon has been held at the Concourse Hotel since 1995 and we have a great relationship with the hotel management and staff. You can read all about the hotel on their website.

WMAF Matching Fund Challenge!!

Hello from WisCon’s Fundraising team!

We’re thrilled to announce that a group of our generous WisCon Member Assistance Fund donors have set us a challenge to raise funds to meet the needs of the folks in our community who need a little help to attend.

Sigrid Ellis, Jesse the K, Andrea Hairston, Kayla Fouch, Jed Hartman, Phredd Groves, and Aqueduct Press have stepped up, combining forces to make your donations go twice as far, and matching your donations up to $2,600. We’re so incredibly grateful to them!

If you donate $10, thanks to their generosity and belief in WisCon, $20 will go into the Fund. Give now to help meet their challenge—head to our Donation page to send a check or set up recurring donations, or keep it simple and go straight to paypal.me/WisCon!

(By the way, you have seen our beautiful WMAF t-shirts, right?)

AV & Hand-Staffed Panel Requests – Do You Need A Special Request For Your Proposed Panel?

AV Requests for WisCon 42

As you who is reading this probably know, the Panel Surveys are currently live and will close on March 19th. However, some of you fine folk put in requests for special AV equipment when you submitted your proposed panel ideas. In order to best accommodate all parties, we ask that those of you who submitted requests for AV equipment outside of the standard microphone set up confirm that you still require said equipment.

To confirm, please email us at panels@wiscon.net with “AV Request – Your Submitted Panel Name” in the subject line, and what type of equipment (e.g., a screen, projector, etc.) you require in the body of the email by March 19th.

only those who submitted the panels which made the survey email us with these requests. To view the entire list of panels, please log in to your WisCon account, click “Sign Up For Programming”, then click the full list of proposed panels link.

Hand-Staffed Panel Requests for WisCon 42

You may have noticed that certain panels allow for only a “I would like to attend this panel” option. That is because the suggesters had requested that these particular panels be staffed with those folk who best fit with the marginalized identities about which the panels will discuss. If you have not already contacted us about hand-staffing your proposed panel, please email us at program@wiscon.net with “Hand-Staff Request – Your Submitted Panel Title” in the subject line, and who you would like to be on your panel in the body of the email by March 19th.

Questions/Concerns/Feedback can be sent to program@wiscon.net.

Thank you for your continued attendance, feedback, and support of WisCon as we finalize panels for this year.

Later Days,

Jackie Gross, Lead Panel Programming
JP Fairfield, Panel Programming
Jennifer Cross, Panel Programming

Support the WMAF, and…wear an awesome shirt!

Yes, you read that correctly—we’re asking for your donations to WisCon’s Member Assistance Fund (WMAF) in TWO DIFFERENT WAYS!

You’ve always been able to support the WMAF via our Donate page, during the Registration process, or by using our direct Paypal link.

But now you can take care of your own need for clothing and benefit the WMAF at the same time! Sam Haney Press has designed artwork based on an idea from Nicasio Andres Reed (inspired by Woodie Guthrie) and we’re making it available on t-shirts! (And on a tote bag, which you will probably need to…carry the multiple t-shirts you are going to want to buy.)

CHECK. IT. OUT.

What’s more, you (yes, YOU!) benefit from our indecisiveness, as we have made this amazing artwork available printed in as many colors as we could manage onto as many colors and cuts of t-shirt as we could manage, while confirming that the garments are made ethically and that we can provide as broad a size range as possible.

We’re selling these shirts (and tote bags) via Teespring for a limited time: just until the end of WisCon 42, on May 28. 100% of the revenue we generate there goes into the WMAF.

What are you waiting for?! GO BUY SOME SHIRTS. Then come back and read more about the WMAF and donate if you can. <3

The WMAF has a single purpose: to help people travel to and enjoy WisCon. The WMAF awards attendees amounts up to $500, at whatever level they tell us they need to make their attendance possible. Keep in mind that WisCon is not just a convention: every Memorial Day weekend we create space to organize, to push back, to have restorative conversations, to make connections, and to build our dream of a better future.

As intersectional feminists, we know we can’t do that without striving for equity and taking concrete steps toward including as diverse a group of participants as possible in those spaces, conversations, connections, and dreams. A big part of how we foster inclusion and equity is WisCon’s Member Assistance Fund.

We need your donations to make this happen. Any amount you donate to WMAF makes a huge difference, and donations to WisCon are tax-deductible in the US.

Please give to put WisCon within reach!

Call for Con Suite Volunteers

It’s March already, and we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty of planning WisCon. We’ve heard that people would like the opportunity to plan their volunteering early, so that they can make the most of their time at WisCon, so we’re sending you a form for volunteering in the Con Suite now!

The Con Suite takes MANY MANY people MANY MANY hours to create a good space with great food for everyone who needs it — either in order to afford to attend, or to make a hectic schedule of fun times work, or both. In order to make that happen, historically a few volunteers wind up spending their entire convention trapped in the Con Suite.

We don’t want that to happen, ever again.

In order to stop that happening, we want to try to have people work no more than 6 hours in the Con Suite over the course of the convention. (Just enough to qualify for the volunteer rebate, if you opt for it!) That means we need MORE VOLUNTEERS to work FEWER HOURS. 🙂 Please sign up! Without volunteers, we can’t keep the Con Suite open.

Please use this form to tell us what you’d be comfortable doing in the Con Suite, how you’d prefer to do it, and when you’d be available: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeJ6j11IQkNjCxJnPNwB3FJ9okEpJVND2hey4N227oyiOPPPA/viewform

THIS FORM DOES NOT COMMIT YOU TO ANY SHIFTS. It just tells us when you could potentially volunteer. We will reach out to you to confirm and make final assignments.

There are lots of ways to volunteer in the Con Suite! Early in the morning, late at night, just on Thursday, one or two hours every day, Monday only…

Thank you for being willing to help out, and we’ll see you in May. <3

Call for Artwork for the Souvenir Program Book Cover

We’re doing things a little differently this year, and the Souvenir Progam Book is currently looking for artwork for its cover. (This year, the Souvenir and Program Books will be combined!)

Dimensions–8×10, 300 dpi
 
Works in all media that can be easily scanned/laid out in an 8×10 cover are welcome!
 
Please send a proposal and 3-5 work samples. 
 
We pay $100!
 
Deadline for consideration is March 15.
 
Please send proposals for consideration to souvenirbook@wiscon.net

WisCon 42 Panel Sign-Up and Interest Survey Is Open!!! Deadline to Submit Survey – March 19th

Panel Surveys are open until March 19th  Now’s the chance to give YOUR feedback on what panels will run during WisCon 42.  The survey is a big part on how programming is decided every year!  If you want to more about how panel programming, please view this post for a quick overview.

WisCon programming is divided into separate tracks which group related concepts together in order to facilitate interesting and complex discussions.  The current list of tracks are below:

  • Feminism and Other Social Change Movements
  • Power, Privilege, and Oppression
  • Spirituality, Organized Religion and Politics
  • Science and Technology
  • The Craft and Business of Writing
  • Reading, Viewing, and Critiquing Science Fiction
  • Fandom as a Way of Life
  • Interactive Storytelling and Media

You will need to a WisCon account in order to view the survey.  If you don’t have an account, create one at the “Create Your Account” page.  For those with an account already created, go to “Log in to My Account” page.  You should see the link to the survey once logged into your account.  Now, you can choose your panel interests on the panel sign up and attendance interest form!

For your convenience, we also provide a full list of proposed panel items. You may wish to open this link in a separate tab or window for ease of reference.

Questions/Concerns/Feedback can be sent to program@wiscon.net.

Thank you for your continued attendance, feedback, and support of WisCon as we finalize programming for this year.

 

Later Days,

Jackie Gross, Lead Panel Programming
JP Fairfield, Panel Programming
Jennifer Cross, Panel Programming

This Just In: WisCon 42 Panel Sign-Up and Interest Survey Opens on February 26!

We’re very excited to announce that the Panel Sign-Up and Interest Survey will go live in 2 weeks! On February 26th, get ready to give us YOUR feedback on what panels will run during WisCon 42.

WisCon programming is divided into separate tracks which group related concepts together in order to facilitate interesting and complex discussions.  The current list of tracks are below:

  • Feminism and Other Social Change Movements
  • Power, Privilege, and Oppression
  • Spirituality, Organized Religion and Politics
  • Science and Technology
  • The Craft and Business of Writing
  • Reading, Viewing, and Critiquing Science Fiction
  • Fandom as a Way of Life
  • Interactive Storytelling and Media (Our Gaming track has evolved, friends!)

You will need a WisCon account in order to view the survey.  If you don’t have an account, create one at the “Create Your Account” page.  For those with an account already created, go to “Log in to My Account” page.  Come February 26th, you should see the link to the survey once you have logged into your account.

So mark February 26th on your calendars!

As always, questions/concerns/feedback can be sent to program@wiscon.net.

Jackie Gross, Lead Panel Programming
JP Fairfield, Panel Programming
Jennifer Cross, Panel Programming
WisCon 42

Art Show Call for Artists

Hello, artists! If you’re considering attending or sending art to WisCon this year, applications for the Art Show are open. The convention dates are May 25-28, 2018, and the deadline to apply is March 1. Late appliers will be waitlisted unless there is extra space. More information can be found at http://wiscon.net/events/art-show/, and the link to apply is https://account.wiscon.net/artshow-application/.

Please note a few significant cost-related changes: To continue covering the costs of the show, the commission WisCon takes on sales has gone up to 5% attending/10% mail-in. Also, mail-in artists will be required to cover return shipping for their unsold work (preferably by including a prepaid return shipping label in the box).

Finally, the convention has a programming theme this year: “What Does Justice Demand?” We’re inviting artists to consider incorporating the theme into their work for the show, although it’s not mandatory. See the blog post here for more about the theme: http://wiscon.net/2017/12/01/wiscon-42-trying-something-new/

Thank you!

Call for Gaming Proposals

WisCon is now accepting proposals for games!

You can submit games here. The deadline for proposing games is February 28th.

We have a slots available all day in a dedicated gaming room every day of the con, so don’t be shy about proposing games. We’re excited to see your game submissions, be they tabletop roleplaying, larp, board games, or, if you’ve got a way to make it work, video games! We also encourage you to submit games to the Teen Program at teenprograms@wiscon.net and Kids Program at kidsprograms@wiscon.net.

This year WisCon has a theme to help organize our focus. This year’s theme is: What Does Justice Demand?

Although the words “social justice” are bandied about within the WisCon community, geek/nerd spaces, as well as the mainstream, and many talk about and endeavor to work within this framework, what does it actually mean. How is social justice lived/embodied without becoming a buzzword? And how does this shape feminism and genre work (scifi, fantasy, horror, and others) both past and present?

If you’d like to propose a game but are out of ideas, or want help finding ways to address the theme, please reach out to gaming@wiscon.net, and we’d love to work with you to find something you’d be excited about running. You can also peruse these places for justice related games.

If you have a game idea that you’re excited about but you’re not sure if it fits the theme, don’t worry! The theme is meant as a tool for inspiration, not as a limit on creativity, and we will be happy to accept your submissions that explore ideas other than justice.

You can submit games here.

Once you have submitted your game proposal you can expect an email from gaming@wiscon.net within the next couple days confirming that we received your submission and asking any follow up questions. After submissions close on February 28th a schedule will be created and sent out by early March so you will know your commitments when the call for panelists goes out.

Call for Submissions: Wiscon Souvenir Book Entries (Due March 15, We Pay $20!)

The Souvenir Book is WisCon’s gift to the community, featuring profiles of our Guests of Honor, pieces highlighting the work of WisCon’s child-organizations, and essays from community contributors. This year, we’re doing things a little differently: we’re specifically looking for 500-1,000 word entries revolving around this year’s theme, “What Does Justice Demand?” We are also changing up the format a bit; this year, the souvenir book and program book will be combined, so you’ll have one less booklet to keep track of. This will not affect the length or number of entries we will be considering.

For souvenir book submissions, we invite essays that explore the meanings, histories, and cultures of “social justice.” How is social justice lived/embodied without becoming a buzzword? And how does this shape feminisms’ relationship to speculative genres (scifi, fantasy, horror, and beyond) both past and present? This theme is an opportunity both for work that deals specifically with social and political questions of justice as they relate to feminist science fiction and for work on the histories and cultures of social-justice-oriented fan communities.

While we encourage everyone to consider this year’s theme, we are also open to considering essays that deal with broader Wiscon-related themes. Previous essay topics have included: an exploration of Working Class Studies, a retrospective of 40 years of WisCon, and an ethnographic intro to WisCon. The only topic requirement for the Souvenir Book’s essays is that they be relevant to the WisCon community.

We encourage everyone to submit their work, whether this is your first WisCon or your nearly-42nd!

Deadline

Submit your essay to the Souvenir Book by March 15!

Guidelines

  • Essays should be 500-1000 words
  • Authors will be paid $20 USD at time of publication
  • All essays or questions should be sent to souvenirbook@wiscon.net (Please use the subject line “WC41 Souvenir Book Submission: [Your Name]”)
  • Submit essays as .doc or .rtf attachments

Call for Proposals for The Gathering Activities

There are at least three of you out there who have already started a bag of clothes to bring to the clothing swap. Yeah, we love you, too.

While there’s a hum of activity and familiar faces in the Concourse starting around Wednesday, the Gathering is the official start of WisCon. Doors open at 1pm on Friday. The Gathering is a ballroom event (if you have noise/etc sensitivities, remember to take a break!) with all kinds of activities. In the past we’ve hosted:

  • Nail polish swap
  • Tattoo show-and-tell
  • Fiber arts circle
  • Gadget petting zoo
  • Access crafts
  • Make and take soft circuitry
  • Lock picking tutorial
  • …and much more!

Gathering activities rely on the interest of WisCon attendees hosting and organizing them. That’s you! But how do you run a Gathering activity?

  • Submit a proposal: this year we have a handy, easy form for you to fill out! Proposals made before April 1st will be considered for the coming WisCon—after that we’ll put them in our pocket for WisCon 43! Our gathering planners will let you know if we’ll be able to host your activity shortly after you apply. We particularly welcome activities that de-center whiteness, emphasize inclusion among new WisCon attendees, and highlight our theme.
  • Make it happen: Generally the amount of pre-planning required is quite low, and you can often find help making it happen from cool people on your favorite forms of social media. (Hint—WisCon twitter is always happy to signal boost planning calls!) WisCon may be able to make small purchases of supplies like stickers to make your activity work—just ask! Please note that we are not able to bring in outside food for activities due to our agreement with the hotel.
  • At-Con: Show up between 12 & 12:30pm to set up your activity! We ask that you either stay at the Gathering to make sure that your activity is continuing or recruit some trustworthy friends to help out. This is a great way to talk to new people and meet new faces, if that’s your thing! And time spent running your activity counts towards your volunteer refund hours.

That’s it! Really pretty easy stuff and always, always appreciated. We look forward to the fresh, fantastic ideas that you all come up with every year, as well as the activities we anticipate year after year! So click over to the proposal page, sign up, and we’ll see you in May!