Category Archives: Official Announcements

Wiscon Safer Spaces Update

As WisCon 42 draws closer, the Concom chairs and Anti-Abuse Team (AAT) would like to reaffirm WisCon’s stance on safer spaces. In short, WisCon supports its safer spaces and our members who use them and will not tolerate any attempt to compromise those spaces.

Why safer spaces?

A truly “safe” space is neither possible, nor is it desirable: even among marginalized people, there is a risk for harm, and what makes one person feel safe may make another person feel unsafe. A safer space acknowledges that the space is by its nature imperfect and constructed while still allowing it to exist as a welcoming place.

The intent of a safer space, then, is not to censor or restrict, but instead to offer marginalized people a supportive place to express themselves among others who share similar experiences. Marginalized people often face outside pressure to conform to a certain persona or expectation from a dominant group—to hold their tongues, to shrink, to take up less space. The day-to-day toll of being marginalized wears people down, and incidents that replicate oppressive power structures can arise even in a more self-aware space like WisCon. Thus, safer spaces offer a place for marginalized people to decompress and socialize away from the gaze of those with power and privilege over them. These safer spaces include rooms designated by WisCon to be safer spaces, such as the Trans/Nonbinary/Genderqueer Safer Space, as well as unofficial, WisCon-adjacent events, such as the POC Dinner.

Safer spaces and WisCon’s feminist/social justice legacy

Any space that purports to be feminist and social justice-oriented must acknowledge the multifaceted nature of people’s experiences and identities: that people of color, trans/nonbinary/genderqueer people, and disabled people, among others, deal with different forms of structural oppression than white, cis, and abled people. Creating a more just society requires that we work to dismantle these forms of oppression. Safer spaces are one way for WisCon to uphold that legacy of working toward equality and accessibility for all people.

Repercussions for attempts to compromise WisCon’s safer spaces

WisCon’s Code of Conduct provides an outline of WisCon’s definition of harassment and the process for reporting an incident. The Safety team enforces the Code of Conduct strictly with regards to safer spaces: any harassment toward people who use or are in these safer spaces, as well as general attempts to compromise these spaces, will be dealt with swiftly and appropriately. These safer spaces are not an incidental part of WisCon but a core piece of its philosophy and practices that will be upheld to the fullest extent possible.

Please be aware that questions about the need for or effectiveness of safer spaces during WisCon should be directed to the Chairs, and not to users of those spaces, or any other WisCon member. WisCon’s membership are not asked or assumed to defend ConCom or SF3 practices on demand. Attempting to argue the merits of safer spaces with a member of a marginalized group will be considered harassing behavior.  

Many WisCon attendees who travel from elsewhere in the world, as well as elsewhere in the US, are coming to the midwest, to Madison—a place that they know may be unfriendly or even physically dangerous for them—in order to experience a convention that they believe is worth it. In return, WisCon will do what it can, as individuals and as a community, to make this place, for this weekend, as friendly and safe as possible. That includes giving folks a place where they can relax, catch their breath, and draw strength from each other. A place that they don’t need to defend, as WisCon will do so for them.

Signed,

The WisCon Chairs and Anti-Abuse Team

We’re Halfway There!

Yes, I have had Bon Jovi stuck in my head all day. You’re welcome.

We’ve hit the halfway point – one week into our two week matching donation challenge, and we’ve also raised $1500.00, exactly half of our goal!!

WE CAN DO IT.

Remember, even if you can only spare a few dollars to help the WisCon Member Assistance Fund help people come to Madison this year, their generosity is doubling every penny, so it will make a BIG difference.

Donate now at our Donation page or visit paypal.me/WisCon!

Update Your Availability for Panels for WisCon 42 by Friday, March 30th!

We love that so many people sign-up to be panelists every year!

What we need now is your availability so we can schedule panels at the best time for all the panelists.

You will need a WisCon account in order to view the availability form. 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 form once you have logged into your account.

Please let us know your availability by March 30th!

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

Amazing WMAF Matching Donation UPDATES!

Remember how Sigrid Ellis, Jesse the K, Andrea Hairston, Kayla Fouch, Jed Hartman, Phredd Groves, and Aqueduct Press combined forces to match your donations up to $2,600.00?

Well, we have an update! As of right now, we’ve received $1,020.00 in donations, which means we can add $2,040.00 to the Member Assistance Fund total available this year!

Speaking of goals, “moving the goalposts” is almost always a kind of crappy thing to do to someone. And it just happened to us. But in a nice way! Two more donors—Lesley Hall and a donor who has chosen to be anonymous—have added pledges.

WHAT WHAT THE MATCHING GOAL IS NOW A COOOOOL $3K??

LET’S DO THIS THING. Donate now at our Donation page or visit paypal.me/WisCon!

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?)

Last Call: WisCon 42 Panel Sign-Up, A/V Request, & Hand-Staffing Requests End on March 19th!

Last Call: Panel Surveys close on March 19th!

You still have time to give YOUR feedback on which 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 and sign-up for 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!

A/V Requests – Final Reminder!

We want to remind you that special A/V Requests must also be submitted by March 19th. Even if you had previously filled out the “Special A/V Request” field when you submitted your panel idea, we ask that you confirm said request. Please email us at panels@wiscon.net with “A/V 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.

Once again, we ask that 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 Requests – Final Reminder!

Thank you to those of you who have already contacted us about hand-staffing your panels. If you put in an initial request with your panel idea submission to have your panel hand-staffed, and you have not already contacted us, please email us at panels@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 panels@wiscon.net.

Allons-y!

Jackie Gross, Lead Panel Programming

JP Fairfield, Panel Programming

Jennifer Cross, Panel Programming

The party won’t start til YOU sign up!

Do you love WisCon’s nightlife? Do you have a fun idea for a party, or a book to launch, or a group to celebration, or some combination of that and more? Don’t forget to get your requests in for your WisCon 42 party! Requests close March 15th! Find out more and fill out the form HERE. Kesha* demands it!

*Actual Kesha does not know anything about this, we just think she’s pretty great and that she probably would support your cool party.

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