Category Archives: WisCon 42

WisCon 42 Is Trying Something New!

Because WisCon has always challenged us to take our own activism and geekdom to new levels via the evolving philosophies of Feminism, the Programming Department decided to try something new for WisCon 42. For this upcoming WisCon, the Programming Department came up with a theme to be tied into our activist discussions and activities.

Theme: 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 endeavour 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?

We’re excited to have other departments adding their own unique flavors to this year’s theme.

I’m Curious. How Exactly Will The Other Departments Be Participating In The Theme?

Glad you asked! Some of the departments provided us with some information as to how they plan to participate.

From the Art Show Department:
We often have artists in the Art Show who deal with issues of social justice directly or indirectly in their work, but this year we’ll be specifically inviting applicants to make art for the show addressing the question of what justice demands (although it won’t be required). Applications for the WisCon 42 show will open in January 2018, and we welcome new artists to apply (see http://wiscon.net/events/art-show/ for details).

From the Gaming Department:
The gaming track will also work to engage the theme What Does Justice Demand. If you have ideas for board games, tabletop roleplaying games, larps, or even video games that explore ideas of justice that you’d like to run, please keep an eye out for the call for games in early January. 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.

Please note that participation in this theme is not mandatory. We would simply like to invite you to reflect on this theme. If you so choose, we welcome your panel suggestions that you believe would tie into it.

This Sounds Really Cool! Can I Start Submitting Panel Ideas Now?

That you can! Program ideas submissions are open! The Wiscon 42 programing department looks forward to receiving all of the awesome ideas YOU have to offer!

We invite you to submit programming ideas for WisCon 42 through January 19, 2018. To submit an idea, please click on “Submit your ideas for programming!” link on right-hand side of main page or go straight to the program idea submission form. We can’t wait to see your suggestions!

Please note starting this year, there will be a hard stop for accepting program idea submissions. Unfortunately, the WisCon 42 program committee will no longer accept any program ideas after the January 19, 2018. Make sure to submit your ideas before the deadline!

What If I Want To Submit An Academic Paper?

The call for Wiscon Academic Papers is open until February 1, 2018. Submit your proposal using the online form. 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 any questions, contact the Academic Programming chairs at academic@wiscon.net.

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.

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

Last day of the con, last newsletter of the con.  😭😭😭😭😭

Please don’t forget to turn in your plastic badge holder at the Registration desk.  While you’re there grab one of our Souvenir Books!  Enjoy a day of relaxing in Madison if you’re staying today, and safe travels if you’re leaving.

We all had a great time this weekend, and we can’t wait to see you again in a year.  Hope you can join us!

WisCon 42 — May 25-28, 2018

We are overjoyed to announce that our Guests of Honor for WisCon 42 are Saladin Ahmed and Tananarive Due!  Want to join us?  Memberships and hotel reservations are open!

Saladin Ahmed
Saladin Ahmed (Photo by Al Bogdan).

Tananarive Due
Tananarive Due.

Keep in touch after WisCon

We’ll miss you, too!!!  Please keep in touch!  Sign up for our email newsletter (eCube), or follow us on social media.

Registration / Lost & Found

Have one last question?  Want to register for WisCon 42?  Lost something over the weekend and hope someone turned it in?  The Registration desk is open until 1:30pm.

LAST CALL!

You still have a few more hours to visit the Art Show, Dealers’ Room, and the Con Suite.  And get your drabbles in to the Drabble Challenge!

  • Art Show:  10am – 12pm
  • Dealers’ Room:  10am – 2pm
  • Con Suite:  Closes at 1pm
  • Drabble Challenge:  Closes at 4pm

Today’s big events

SignOut

  • 11:30am – 12:45pm
  • Capitol/Wisconsin

Come to the SignOut, a signing party and WisCon farewell rolled into one! Writers and those who love them will gather together to sign and get signatures, to thank and praise and schmooze one last time before we fly away for another year.

Authors at the SignOut this year are:  Becky Allen, Charlie Jane Anders, Paul Dale Anderson, Eleanor A. Arnason, Robyn Bennis, Lee Blauersouth, Ty Blauersouth, K. Tempest Bradford, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Moondancer Drake, Timmi Duchamp, Amal El-Mohtar, Ruthanna Emrys, Alexandra Erin, Michael Thomas Ford, Andrea D. Hairston, Naomi Kritzer, David D. Levine, Nancy Jane Moore, Sunny Moraine, Pat Murphy, Anne M. Pillsworth, Beth Plutchak, Kiini Ibura Salaam, Cath Schaff-Stump , Nisi Shawl, Jan Suzukawa, Sheree Renée Thomas, Amy Thomson, Nancy Vedder-Shults, Cynthia Ward

Fond Farewell Party

  • 8pm – 12am
  • Room 629

If you’re still here on Monday night, come join others who are still here for a Fond Farewell party. We’ll have munchies, beverages, and good conversation. It’s the last party for WisCon 2017! It’ll begin at 8 PM and run until the last fan falls over.

Volunteer needs

Monday

SignOut:  Still needs volunteers to help with set-up and during the event.  Contact volunteers@wiscon.net.

Art Show:  Desperately needs help packing up the art of the 8 artists who mailed their work into the show.  Also needs help for breaking down displays during tear-down. Stop by the show in Senate (1st floor) to sign up.

Tear-down:  MANY departments will need help to tear down after the convention.  Stop by the volunteer board (2nd floor, next to Registration desk) to see where you can help!

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

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.

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.

Announcing our WisCon 42 Guests of Honor — Saladin Ahmed & Tananarive Due

We are overjoyed to introduce our Guests of Honor for WisCon 42!

Saladin Ahmed

Saladin Ahmed
Saladin Ahmed (Photo by Al Bogdan).

Saladin Ahmed was born in Detroit. His novel, Throne of the Crescent Moon, was nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards, and won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. His poetry and short fiction have been widely anthologized, and his nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, BuzzFeed, and Salon. He is currently writing “Black Bolt” for Marvel Comics.

Tananarive Due

Tananarive Due
Tananarive Due.

Tananarive Due is a screenwriter and an award-winning novelist who teaches Afrofuturism at UCLA. She also teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles and for Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA). She was the former Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Spelman College. Due, an  American Book Award winner and NAACP Image Award recipient, is the author of twelve novels and a civil rights memoir. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus and has been named to the Grio100 and Ebony Power 100. Her short story collection, Ghost Summer, won a British Fantasy Award and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. In 2013, Due and her husband/collaborator Steven Barnes co-wrote a short film, “Danger Word”, based on their YA zombie novel Devil’s Wake, which they co-produced with director Luchina Fisher. Starring Frankie Faison (“The Wire,” “The Silence of the Lambs”) and Saoirse Scott, “Danger Word” was nominated for Best Narrative Short at the BronzeLens and Pan African film festivals.

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

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.

Who would you like to see as a Guest of Honor at WisCon?

Chris Wallish
SF3 Communications Committee

WisCon 42 is a year-and-a-half away — which means NOW is the time to let us know who you’d like to see as a Guest of Honor in 2018.

Nominations for WisCon GoH come from our community. We want to hear from those of you who attend WisCon regularly and those of you who can only make it now and then. We want to hear from our volunteers and our concom members. Hey, even if you’ve never been to WisCon but you’ve been kind of wanting to come, let us know who you’d love to see as a GoH at your very first WisCon.

Nominations opened during WisCon weekend earlier this year, and they’re still open right now — but they close at the end of the week: Friday, Nov. 4, at 11:59pm Central Time

What does a Guest of Honor do?

Our Guests of Honor are part of WisCon programming all weekend long. There will be panels and discussions about their work. Each GoH gives a few readings — one during our unofficial kick-off on Thursday night at Room of One’s Own and another some time during the convention weekend. On Monday during the SignOut, they’ll be available to sign things for you. And, most prominently, on Sunday night our Guests of Honor in turn honor us with a keynote speech.

Who can I nominate?

WisCon has tended to have Guests of Honor who are writers of novels and other fiction, but we’ve also honored editors as well as individuals who are significant in the fan community in some way. For the upcoming WisCon 41 (in 2017), our Guests of Honor are Amal El-Mohtar, a poet, fiction writer, and prominent critic, and Kelly Sue DeConnick, comic book writer known for “Bitch Planet” and for her run on “Captain Marvel.” We’d also be delighted to receive nominations for artists, game writers or developers, musicians, and so on. The pool is as wide as you want to make it!

The most important thing to remember is that WisCon is a feminist convention — a Guest of Honor should be someone who upholds WisCon’s Statement of Principles in some way — and our feminism is intersectional, encouraging discussions not just about gender but also around race, class, disability, and many other axes oppression.

How do I nominate?

Send an email to: gohnoms@wiscon.net. Let us know the names of those whom you wish to nominate, and include a short paragraph about why you think they’re a good fit for WisCon and would make a great Guest of Honor. If you could provide a link to their website or to a Wikipedia page, that would be helpful.

(Please send your nominations via email only. Our nomination process is confidential — we do not ever release the names of individuals who have been nominated.)

What happens next?

In the next few months, WisCon’s convention-planning committee — the concom — will review the nominations, discuss them, and, in a series of voting, winnow the pool down to just a few people to whom we’d like to extend an invitation. Out of this process emerge the two Guests of Honor that we’ll announce for WisCon 42 at the conclusion to our Sunday evening ceremonies during the upcoming convention in 2017.