Category Archives: calls for

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.

OPEN CALL FOR GAMES, Game Masters, and Gaming volunteers! Deadline — April 1!

SarahTops & Phredd
Gaming

WisCon Gaming is looking for board and card games, game facilitators, and gaming volunteers for WisCon 41! On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, from 8pm to midnight, we will host board, storytelling, and role-playing games open to attendees. We are enthused to offer an alternative way to enjoy WisCon evenings in a (sometimes) quieter, more intimate setting… over dice and cards! Interested in playing with us? Read on.

Board and Card Games

WisCon provides several board and card games for attendees, but we also welcome attendees to bring new games to share!

Are you bringing a game you’d like to keep with you, but run at WisCon? Please fill out our online form with details of your proposal. If you’d like your game to be advertised on WisCon’s published schedule, submit the form before our April 1st deadline. Alternately, you are welcome to hang out in our board gaming space and run pick-up games at your leisure. The board gaming space will be located in the Dealers’ Room Lobby on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights from 8pm to midnight.

Are you bringing a game you’re offering to leave with Gaming through the course of the convention, for others to play at the public Gaming Space? Please email us at gaming@wiscon.net and provide a description of the game. We will take the best care we can with your game, but there is always risk in loaning games to a public gathering. We will be in touch to arrange logistics for the lending process.

Do you have a game you’d like to donate to WisCon? Please email us at gaming@wiscon.net. To make sure we have the storage space to accept your offering, please provide dimensions of the box or book, as well as the game’s condition. We are especially interested in family-friendly, kid-friendly games to round out our collection!

Do you have a game you’d like to see at WisCon? Please email us at gaming@wiscon.net and share a description of the game, how to find it, and if you’d like to play or run it should a copy be found. We are happy to put a call out for specific games attendees request.

Popular games tend to be those with simpler mechanics or rules and those that take one hour or less. Especially popular are family-friendly games, and we highly encourage all-ages game-playing in our public gaming space. Get in touch to share your ideas!

Game Masters and RPGs

WisCon is looking for people who want to run storytelling and role-playing games! Please fill out our online form if you’d like to run a tabletop RPG or LARP. To help us reserve space for your game, please submit your proposal before our April 1st deadline. (But do feel free to get in touch after; we may be able to cast a Location Spell.) Most games would run in 1-, 2-, and 4-hour time slots between the hours of 8pm and midnight on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, and we are open to discussing alternatives.

WisCon is especially interested in games that fit well within the convention’s themes (e.g., feminism, identity politics, and social and cultural theory). Rules that are familiar or easy for new players to learn tend to be the most successful. We look forward to hearing more about your adventures!

Gaming Volunteers

WisCon needs Gaming volunteers! If you’d like to volunteer in the public Gaming Space greeting attendees and/or running games, or help with Gaming before the convention, please get in touch with gaming@wiscon.net.

Stay tuned for games we will be offering at WisCon 41, to be announced in April!

WisCon 41 Accepting Proposals for Readings Track — Deadline March 13!

Readings

Hey, author.

Do you have a new book out this year? A poem recently accepted for publication? A work in progress you’d like to share? WisCon’s Reading track is now open to proposals!

Whether this would be your very first reading or your fiftieth, you should give our Reading track a try. A reading can be an exhilarating way to introduce your work to new fans, and WisCon has an engaged community that turns out as a welcoming audience that’s passionate about good stories.

To start, form a group — readings are organized into 75-minute sessions of four to six authors, usually with a common theme. Open poetry reading and rapid-fire sessions may have as many readers as you can fit into the time period without using time travel. The WisCon Reading track is typically very popular, and so we must limit everyone (except Guests of Honor) to just one reading. There is one loophole! You may read again during an open mic or rapid-fire event.

Author groups can be writing circles, authors featured together in a collection, or just a group of friends. We encourage you to ask around on your social media circles! But if you can’t find anyone else to read with, don’t worry: please sign up for a reading anyway! We usually have a few other individual authors searching for a group, and we might be able to find someplace to slot you.

We encourage non-standard readings, such as visual/comics readings, non-fiction, dramatic presentations, and readings with musical accompaniment. A/V equipment is available! Please inquire if you are interesting in doing something innovative, and we’ll see if we can make it happen.

Much more information on our Readings track is available on our website.

The proposal period for Readings closes on Sunday, March 13. Please note that you must also register for WisCon 41 before signing up for a reading!

We look forward to hearing your work at WisCon this year!

Wiscon 41 Art Show Call For Artists!

Art Show

Applications for this year’s WisCon Art Show are open until February 28th.

The WisCon Art Show focuses on art exploring themes related to SF and feminism/social justice, work by women, and work by Midwestern artists. We’re interested in seeing work in any medium. In addition to painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and jewelry, past shows have also included comics, fiber art, glass, art dolls, and ceramics, among others.

This will be our second year in a larger space on the first floor of the con, with room for more artists and more art!

We prefer and encourage that artists in the show also attend the con, but mailing in art is an option if you are comfortable with us hanging and handling your work. The Art Show operates like a gallery or store — you set the prices for your work and customers can purchase it during the show’s open hours (Saturday through Monday during the con). WisCon takes a 4% commission on all sales (8% for mail-in art).

Our artists page has more information and the application. Completed applications (including images of your work or a link to a website with images) must be submitted online by Tuesday, Feb. 28 (11:59pm Central Time).  Artists will be notified of acceptance in mid-March.

WisCon 41 Con Suite — Seeking staff & at-con volunteers

WisCon Co-Chairs

Did you visit the Con Suite last year? Do you want to see WisCon’s Con Suite continue to be a place where people choose to eat and spend time?

Then we need you!

But there’s a catch.

Our intent is to specifically address the racist and misogynist abuse toward Con Suite staff and volunteers that we saw at last year’s con, so we are putting emphasis on recruiting Con Suite staff and volunteers who are white and male identified.*

What’s the difference between being Con Suite staff and a Con Suite volunteer?

Just a matter of scope and commitment.

Staff become part of our Concom prior to the convention, comprise a team under our Con Suite leads, are required to go through ServSafe training and certification (fees paid by WisCon) and to help to guide the work of volunteers, and will be asked to commit to a minimum of two three-hour shifts during the convention. Tasks will include setting and resetting the Con Suite space, preparing and portioning foods, maintaining and monitoring inventory, helping to order supplies, and unpacking and repacking equipment, among other things.

Volunteers are encouraged to go through ServSafe training and certification (fees paid by WisCon) though it isn’t required, must follow guidance from Con Suite staff and leads, don’t need to commit to any minimum number of hours, and are not part of the Concom. You can let us know that you intend to volunteer to help out in the Con Suite now or at any point before or during the convention. Tasks will include keeping the Con Suite clean and ready for visitors, directing foot traffic, assuring that everyone in the space is wearing shoes, helping staff to portion and set out food, helping staff to reset the space between mealtimes, and other things.

What will you get out of stepping up to become Con Suite staff, or volunteering?

The most crucial reward will be that we will continue to have a Con Suite where you will enjoy spending time and eating! We’ve had wonderful feedback — and very very high demand — for the Con Suite over the past two years. That means that the WisCon community loved what our Con Suite lead, Julia, created so much that she is no longer able to keep up with it. As a community we need to make sure that she and her successors lead a team that is both large enough that no one has to spend the entire convention working and capable enough that they can all rely on each other.

If pride in a popular Con Suite isn’t the reward you’re looking for, we’ve got more! All staff 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 $20 of your $50 membership back after the con ends. Volunteering? You can get the same rebate deal as long as you volunteer at least six hours and ask the Con Suite lead to confirm those hours (ask how at the Registration Desk!).

To apply to join Con Suite staff, contact: recruitment@wiscon.net

To let us know you plan to volunteer in the Con Suite, contact: volunteers@wiscon.net

*Wait! You aren’t male identified, or you aren’t white, and you want to join the Con Suite team? Fantastic! We want to have you on the team as well, and we’ll work with you to make sure that your Con Suite experience is a good one. We are optimistic that we will not see a repeat of the poor behavior toward the Con Suite team last year, but we also assure you that behavior is a violation of our Code of Conduct, and will not be tolerated if we see it again.