Category Archives: calls for

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS — WISCON INVITES SCHOLARS TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS FOR WISCON 42 ACADEMIC TRACK

One of the things that sets WisCon apart, besides being the first feminist science fiction convention, is that we place many types of fannish interactions side-by-side in our programming. We have panels dedicated to exploring a single book or film as well as panels that look at, say, race across all of science fiction. We have author readings, discussions of fanfic or fanvids, and conversations about games and gaming.

We also have an entire track dedicated to scholarly investigations of feminism and science fiction — open to scholars of all descriptions.

The proposal period for WisCon’s academic track programming is now open!

WisCon’s track of academic programming, framed by the convention’s intersectional feminist principles, encourages submissions from scholars in all fields, including interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary areas, and from amateur and independent scholars as well as graduate students, postdocs, and faculty. One of the benefits of this track is that it strengthens the links between the wider feminist science fiction community, students and other scholars working on feminist science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy and related fields.

Given WisCon 42’s theme: “What Does Justice Demand?” We invite papers and panels 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.

Further, we invite proposals from anyone with a scholarly interest in the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, and disability with science fiction — broadly defined — in literature, media, and culture. We encourage contributions that emphasize WisCon’s focus on how science fiction has played an important role in the exploration and creation of socially just futures: futures where people of all colors and backgrounds flourish, where women’s rights and women’s contributions are valued, where gender is not limited to one of two options, where no one is erased out of convenience, hidden discrimination, or outright bigotry. We especially welcome scholarship on the work of 2018’s Guests of Honor Tananarive Due and Saladin Ahmed.

An incomplete list of possible subjects:

  • What Does Justice Demand? How is social justice lived/embodied? How does social justice shape feminism and genre work (scifi, fantasy, horror, and others) both past and present?
  • Gender, sexuality, race, class, and disability in individual works of science fiction and fantasy, especially in the works of our Guests of Honor, Tananarive Due and Saladin Ahmed
  • Feminist, queer, critical race, and critical disability analysis of science fiction and fantasy in media (film, television, music, video games, online culture)
  • Speculative aspects of feminist and social justice movements
  • Race, colonialism, and speculative fiction; Afrofuturism and related cultural movements
  • Feminist pedagogy and speculative fiction in the classroom

An incomplete list of possible formats:

  • 15-minute paper presentations, with or without visual accompaniment
  • Groups of presentations submitted together as panels
  • Presentation of scholarly creative works, including digital scholarship
  • Discussion-based panels and roundtables on scholarly research, teaching, or service
  • Screenings and discussions of short films or videos

The deadline for submitting an abstract for WisCon 42 is midnight Central Time on February 1, 2018.

Please submit your proposal using this form (wiscon.net site profile is required). You will be asked for a 100-word abstract, which will be printed in the convention’s program, and for a more detailed proposal of up to 500 words. If you are proposing something other than a traditional paper, please make sure you describe the format of your proposed program item. A projector and screen will be available; if you have further technological needs, please let us know in your proposal.

If you have questions, please email: academic@wiscon.net.

Beef Up Your Resume: Join Fundraising!

SF3’s Fundraising Committee is looking for new members, and we want to train you! We’ve only been around for a few years, and this is the first time we’ve felt ready to expand and welcome new team members. The Fundraising Committee raises money for SF3’s projects — right now, that just means that we raise the money that keeps WisCon both affordable and amazing. We do that by appealing to our community for donations, by approaching businesses that might be willing to sponsor parts of the convention or to shoulder some of the costs of parts of the convention, and by applying for grants that could cover specific elements of our programs.

Right now we’re doing that as a team of three people, and we’d like to bring at least two more folks onto the team. Our current team includes an experienced nonprofit development professional who is interested in training people who are completely new to fundraising but would like to learn, as well as folks who would like to contribute their own expertise.

The two roles we’d like to fill can both be filled by beginners, offer completely flexible hours, and can accommodate irregular availability; both also require willingness to communicate proactively with the rest of the team and to make certain that a small number of tasks are done every month by a set deadline. If you are interested in building your resume, changing careers, or translating volunteer work into paid work at another nonprofit in the future, we can help you with that! Available roles include:

  • Grant Writer. If you enjoy making clear, compelling arguments and presenting evidence in text, this one’s for you! To take this one on, if you don’t have some experience, then we ask that you be willing to do a certain amount of self-guided training, mainly by reading up on a few “how to” books at your local public library. You’ll learn about WisCon & other SF3 projects, collaborate with the whole Fundraising team to identify grant-fundable programs and to research potential grants, and then you will coordinate the tasks of writing and submitting those grants. You shouldn’t need to do all of the writing or any other part of a given grant if you don’t want to, but you will be our expert, and will direct grant application efforts. The entire team will be expected to contribute work under the grant writer’s direction, so that no one on the team will be crushed by deadlines or have to shoulder any other stress. We think this role will take a maximum of 10 hours in any given month, and that it should average out to around 3 hours a month over the course of the year.
  • Fundraising Generalist. Absolute beginners are very welcome in this role. You’ll learn about nonprofit fundraising best practices including responsibilities to donors, to the community, and to the organization. You’ll participate in planning and carrying out fundraising appeals, collaborate on designing and pursuing sponsorships, help to create donation records, reports, and donor recognition procedures. You’ll also help us to make sure that we thank every donor so they know how crucial they are to WisCon’s success. This role will have lots of support and guidance if you’d like to learn, but can also accommodate a volunteer who is already familiar with fundraising or is just looking for regular set tasks and low-stress conversational planning. We think this role will take a maximum of 5 hours in a busy month, and it should average out to around 1.5 hours a month over the course of the year.

Members of the Fundraising Committee do not need to be local to Madison, since we work via email, chatrooms, shared documents, and conference calls. Folks on the team are automatically eligible to opt for a WisCon membership rebate of 40% of your registration fee, meaning that if you register for WisCon as an adult, you can opt to receive $22 of your $55 membership back after the con ends.

To apply to join the Fundraising Committee, please email personnel@sf3.org.

Help Create WisCon 52!

Yes, you read it right. This year’s WisCon *will* be 42, but we plan to be just as vibrant and challenging a space for ideas, inquiry, and justice long into the future. We’re laying the groundwork for that now, with our youngest members―and we need your help.

We’re looking for creative and enthusiastic folks to join our Kids’ Programming team and help nurture the next generation of feminist SFF fans. Tailored to WisCon members 6-12 years old, Kids’ Programming has a long history and excellent reputation. In the past, it’s included hands-on science, book discussions, crafting workshops, collaborative art and storytelling, games, swimming, and talks with artists and authors. It’s kind of like a day camp in 3 hour chunks…which isn’t actually that different from the grownup version of WisCon. The biggest difference is that the timescale of planning programs for the convention doesn’t work well for the under-twelve set, and that’s where you come in.

Our Kids’ Program team will be made up of at least three adults who will be part of our Convention Committee (ConCom). In the coming months, the team will plan out a series of highly varied short programs to fill around 16 hours of time, and will talk with likely authors, artists, crafters, and creators from among WisCon’s membership who can lead, share, demonstrate, or teach the things they are passionate about to young convention members. Kids’ Programming is drop-in, just like most of the grownup programs at WisCon, but offers adult supervision and requires that attendees are signed in and out by a parent or responsible adult. Because of that, members of the Kids’ Program team will be expected to be present during programming for 4-6 hours of the convention, all between 8:30am and 5pm, and never overlapping with lunch breaks.

This role is the perfect experience if you’re thinking of a future as a teacher, a librarian, a parent, an event planner, a counselor (camp, crisis, or other)… You don’t have to be a parent, you just have to enjoy making plans that will allow kids to have a good time. And you should probably be over 18. A larger team will make the work low stress and low time commitment, with an emphasis on discussing ideas and having conversations with people interested in making those ideas reality.

Members of the Kids’ Programming team do not need to be local to Madison, since we work via email, chatrooms, shared documents, and conference calls. Folks on the team are automatically eligible to opt for a WisCon membership rebate of 40% of your registration fee, meaning that if you register for WisCon as an adult, you can opt to receive $22 of your $55 membership back after the con ends.

To apply to join Kids’ Programming, please email personnel@sf3.org.

Nominate Your Friends or Your Heroes (or Both) As WisCon 43 Guest of Honor

The clock is running down on your time to nominate a Guest of Honor for WisCon 43 in 2019!

We opened nominations back in May during WisCon 41, and you have until Sunday, October 15, at 11:59pm Central Time to send in all your wildest dreams of who you’d like to see us spotlight.

Don’t talk yourself out of sending us your thoughts! It’s easy, and nominations for Guest of Honor can come from anyone. That means whether you’ve been to WisCon forty-one times, one time, or maybe you’ll come someday in the future, we want your nominees. As long as WisCon is important enough to you to send an email, your ideas are important to us.

Our Guests of Honor help shape and focus our programming, influencing our conversations at the convention and afterward, so we welcome nominees who have something to say about the world, science fiction, fantasy, and elements of inclusive intersectional feminism as described in WisCon’s Statement of Principles. Guests of Honor can be essayists, critics, artists, reviewers, fans, authors, musicians, scientists, performers, or none of the above, so long as you think they fit the bill.

To make a nomination (or ten, or more), send an email to gohnoms@wiscon.net. We’d love to hear your reasoning, but that’s not mandatory. We’ll make a list of all of the nominees on October 16, and the convention planning committee will take a series of votes then extend invitations to the top candidates. We’ll announce the WisCon 43 guests during WisCon 42 in 2018, and then this whole process will start again.

More questions about Guests of Honor and the whole process? We’ve got lots of details in last year’s version of this blog post – just don’t forget that the dates have changed.

Happy nominating – we can’t wait to hear who you want to invite!

Volunteering at WisCon 41 — Lots to do!

Kristin Livdahl
Volunteers

WisCon is organized and run by volunteers and there are many ways to help out this year. We’ve highlighted a few of those opportunities in recent posts, but we also have opportunities in almost every department. Below is a list of many of the departments that use volunteers — most still need more help. We hope you will give a little bit of your time to help keep WisCon the great event it is!

Each year volunteers receive a special commemorative thank you gift that is only available to volunteers — we’re excited to offer badge wallets/holders this year. After requests for a more neutral color,  we’re going with a black holder with white printing this year.

Also, if you volunteer 6  or more hours (participating in programming counts, too!), you can receive a $20 rebate on your registration as funds allow. Volunteering can be a great way to give and also get a little back to help with convention expenses!

For more information on these or any other volunteer opportunities, please contact Kristin Livdahl, Volunteer Coordinator: volunteers@wiscon.net

Logistics

Often needs someone local to help with directing the movers for convention set-up and tear-down on Thursday and Tuesday.

Con Suite

This area is often understaffed. We need volunteers throughout the convention to provide hospitality to congoers. We also have a need for a few more volunteers who are SafeServ certified or willing to become certified.

Art Show

This area is also often understaffed. Volunteers are needed to help with set-up, tear-down, sales during open hours, and during the show preview.

Access

Needs 1-2 people throughout the convention to set up blue tape — early mornings and before the Opening Ceremony, Tiptree Auction, and Dessert Salon.  Also needs 1-2 more people to help put up signs on Thursday and take down signs on Monday.

Green Room

Needs volunteers throughout the convention as programming runs.

Registration

Is open almost the entire convention and needs volunteers throughout.

Safety

Various shifts open throughout the weekend. Training provided.

Bakesale for Tiptree

Needs volunteers for shifts from on Saturday.

The Gathering

Volunteers are needed to help with set-up and tear-down and to give the people staffing booths breaks during the event.

Volunteering at WisCon 41 — Art Show, Registration, & Green Room

Kristin Livdahl
Volunteers

Are you looking for a quiet place to get away from the big crowds for a couple hours? Do you need a way to meet new people at the convention but are more comfortable having people approach you? Do you want to help out with the convention but need a position where you can sit or stay sitting most of the time? We have volunteer opportunities that allow for all of those.

Art Show

The Art Show is usually a quiet oasis during the convention and there are many shifts available during the convention. Volunteers staff the desk during the show preview, assist with sales and check out sold items near the end of the convention. This area has traditionally been understaffed.

Registration

Helping check people in and register new arrivals is one of the best ways to meet new people and put faces with names. Email in advance if you are interested in taking a shift — or stop by at the beginning of the convention to see when they need help. Volunteers are needed for shifts from Thursday until Monday.

Green Room

We can always use a few more dependable volunteers to take shifts helping in the Green Room which is open during all the hours programming runs. Volunteers count attendance at programs, assist programming participants with name tents and other duties. The Green Room is great way to meet some of the interesting people who are participating in panels, readings and other programming in a relaxed environment.

For more information on these or any other volunteer opportunities, please contact Kristin Livdahl, Volunteer Coordinator at volunteers@wiscon.net

Volunteering at WisCon 41 — the Con Suite

Kristin Livdahl
Volunteers

Volunteers are the lifeblood of WisCon and essential to keeping the convention the wonderful, diverse gathering that it is. We will be featuring a few of the many volunteer opportunities available during the con over the next few days and hope you will consider giving back to WisCon by volunteering.

Providing hospitality is part of our commitment to making WisCon affordable and accessible to everyone and the Con Suite is one of the busiest places during WisCon. Because of this, it is also the one that often needs the most volunteers. We have ConSuite shifts available starting at noon on Thursday (for set-up) and running throughout the convention. Please help us out by signing up for a shift or two. Most shifts are two hours long and we have times to fit everyone’s schedules.

We also still have a need for ServSafe certified (a requirement of our providing food for congoers) volunteers to take the lead on a four hour shift . There is still time to get certified: the course and test is online and will only take a couple hours and WisCon will reimburse you for the course fee of $15-16.

(This post from last year provides some useful info about ServSafe — what it is and why we need it.)

For more information on these or any other volunteer opportunities, please contact Kristin Livdahl, Volunteer Coordinator at volunteers@wiscon.net

Calling all teens and friends of teens!

WisCon 41 Chairs

Did you know we have a teen room at WisCon that features a combination of programs and space to relax just for teens?

It’s true! And we’re back and better than ever this year, in Rooms 606 & 607. We have a lot of great things in the works, including a special writers’s workshop, Magic the Gathering (with coaching available for newer Magic players!), video games, movies, and plenty of time to hang out or to head to other panels and programs.

We want to get the word out now, before the convention starts, because we want you to help us make our Teen Programs even better.

If you are a teen (or you know teens) and you have ideas, let us know, and we can make your ideas happen this year!

Have you come to our teen room during past WisCons? We would love to know what you thought about it, so we can make sure the stuff that works and is fun keeps happening — and that we stop bothering with the stuff that doesn’t work or isn’t worthwhile.

It’s important to us that Teen Programming reflects the ideas and serves the needs of the people who take part, just like the rest of WisCon’s programming. That means your voice is important, and so is your presence! In other words, we’re also looking for teen volunteers. Like most of the volunteer roles at WisCon, you don’t need to be local to Madison, and volunteers who put in at least six hours are eligible for a 40% rebate on their membership cost. And teen membership is only $20 for the entire convention to start with, so bring your friends and come help shape Teen Programming and the teen room into the future!

We’re planning to have a small library of used teen books available for the taking, DVDs to watch, PS3 and Xbox games — and we welcome donations. We’ll also be ready to label games or DVDs if you are willing to loan them, so you’ll get them back at the end of the convention!

Let us know if you have ideas, opinions, donations, things you can loan us — or if you’d like to volunteer — by emailing us at teenprograms@wiscon.net.

WisCon 41 Concom Opportunity — PWD Safer Space lead

WisCon Chairs
SF3 Personnel Committee

We’re looking for someone to run our Safer Space for people with disabilities as the prior lead may not be able to make it to WisCon this year. This is, of course, a role that’s reserved for a person with a disability.

The lead is responsible for the key to the room and determines the setup for the room. They will also have control over a small budget that they are free to use for refreshments, supplies, or whatever they determine is necessary for the space.

To fill this role you do not need to be local to Madison, but should be planning to attend WisCon 41. We particularly welcome volunteers from traditionally underrepresented or marginalized identities.

The PWD Safer Space lead is part of the WisCon Concom and is automatically eligible to opt for a WisCon membership rebate of 40% of the registration fee, meaning that if you register for WisCon as an adult, you can opt to receive $20 of your $50 membership back after the con ends.

If you are interested in joining our Registration team, please email: recruitment@wiscon.net

WisCon 41 Concom Opportunity — Registration co-lead and table captains

WisCon Chairs
SF3 Personnel Committee

WisCon’s Registration desk is the information hub of the convention, greeting every member as they arrive, selling and handing out name tags and dessert tickets, and answering questions. Registration is a vital space that’s open every day of the convention — it’s where lost & found is, where you can sign up to volunteer at the Art Show or Con Suite or anywhere else that needs a hand at the last minute, and where members go when they have questions.

Registration is a great place to contribute time to help WisCon go smoothly, especially if you love knowing things and meeting people.

We are looking for someone to join the Registration team as co-lead for WisCon 41 — a role that’s part of the Concom.  We’re also looking for folks willing to learn the Registration interface (it’s easy, don’t worry!) who can serve as table captains during short shifts throughout the convention.

To fill these roles you do not need to be local to Madison, but should be planning to attend WisCon 41. We particularly welcome volunteers from traditionally underrepresented or marginalized identities.

The Registration co-lead is part of the WisCon Concom and is automatically eligible to opt for a WisCon membership rebate of 40% of the registration fee, meaning that if you register for WisCon as an adult, you can opt to receive $20 of your $50 membership back after the con ends.  The table captains are not part of the Concom, but as volunteers are of course eligible for the membership rebate.

If you are interested in joining our Registration team, please email: recruitment@wiscon.net

WisCon 41 Concom Opportunity — Hotel Liaison team

WisCon Chairs
SF3 Personnel Committee

WisCon’s Hotel Liaison team works throughout the convention with the amazing staff of the Madison Concourse Hotel to ensure that every one of the ballrooms, conference rooms, and meeting rooms in the hotel is correctly set up for each of the 240+ programming sessions throughout the weekend, coordinates banquet orders for any events that include food or beverage service, responds to member inquiries about hotel availability, and monitors the status of WisCon’s room block to ensure that sufficient rooms are available in the hotel.

The Hotel Liaison team gets a crash course in the nuts and bolts of large-scale events, but with the safety net of working within a 41-year-old convention with a relationship with the hotel that’s lasted more than three decades.

To fill this role you do not need to be local to Madison, but should be planning to attend WisCon 41. We particularly welcome volunteers from traditionally underrepresented or marginalized identities.

The Hotel Liaison team is part of the WisCon Concom and is automatically eligible to opt for a WisCon membership rebate of 40% of the registration fee, meaning that if you register for WisCon as an adult, you can opt to receive $20 of your $50 membership back after the con ends.

If you are interested in joining our Hotel Liaison team, please email: recruitment@wiscon.net

Nominate someone for the Member Assistance Fund — closes Feb. 28

WisCon Member Assistance Fund

Memorial Day weekend can be the best and worst time of year. The best time if you’re in Madison for WisCon. And the worst if — you’re not.

Listen, we know that getting to WisCon is not economically feasible for everyone. That’s why we have our Member Assistance Fund. Maybe you need gas money, or a plane ticket, or a hotel room, or even just dogsitting. We might be able to help.

The Fund is pretty simple — we have a small pool of money and we disburse it to people who need a little assist in getting to WisCon. All you have to do is write us a short email nominating someone. The details are on this page. We’ve tried to keep is as low-key as possible.

And, yes, we absolutely encourage you to nominate yourself. Because you know who we’d love to see at WisCon? YOU.

There’s one more week to nominate people — the deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 11:59pm Central Time. We’ll let nominees know if funding is available for them before the Programming survey closes on March 13.