Category Archives: WisCon 39

WisCon 39 hosts the Tiptree Auction in 2015

The Tiptree Motherboard
Karen Joy Fowler (ex officio), Jeanne Gomoll, Ellen Klages, Alexis Lothian, Pat Murphy, Debbie Notkin, Jeffrey D. Smith

Given the recent changes in WisCon leadership, the Tiptree Award motherboard has been asked if our relationship to WisCon will change. The relationship between the two organizations, whose passions and intentions are so strongly aligned, remains vibrant.

The Tiptree Award owes so much about its existence and success to WisCon that people sometimes get confused about where the award leaves off and WisCon begins. So let’s clarify.

The Tiptree Award was originally announced at WisCon in 1991, at founding mother Pat Murphy’s guest of honor speech (Pat cooked up the idea with Karen Joy Fowler). Pat was instantly surrounded by WisCon attendees who wanted to help, and who spent most of the next year fund-raising and generating ideas. The award is named for James Tiptree, Jr., a pseudonym and persona of Alice Sheldon for many years, and it recognizes works of speculative fiction which explore and expand gender roles.

Pat Murphy holding check of seed money for the Tiptree Award
Pat Murphy holding $1800.

In 1992, the first winners (Eleanor Arnason’s A Woman of the Iron People and Gwyneth Jones’s The White Queen) were announced at WisCon. The award ceremony included a marvelous skit in which WisCon founder Diane Martin, in the role of Alice Sheldon, put on a mustache and an overcoat and slyly provided Sheldon’s work to publishers without revealing Sheldon’s gender. SF3 (WisCon’s parent organization) presented a generous $1800 in award seed money, in the form of a three-foot long check.

Over the ensuing years, the Tiptree Award became more formal, and stopped being run out of Pat’s private checking account. As a registered 501(c)(3) corporation with its own “motherboard,” the Tiptree Award does not have any official relationship to WisCon or SF3, although over the years many people have worked on, volunteered for, and been in the leadership of both organizations, either at the same time or sequentially.

The motherboard has arranged in the past and may arrange in the future to host award ceremonies at conventions other than WisCon; however, WisCon is uniquely situated in the center of the country, at a perfect time of year, and with a very supportive audience, so we anticipate coming back frequently even if not annually.

The Tiptree Award auction has been a feature of WisCon’s Saturday night entertainment for many years, although the first auction was not at a WisCon, but at a Readercon. Ellen Klages, our hilariously engaging auctioneer, has been a WisCon guest of honor, and is a Tiptree Award motherboard member. Some of the proceeds of the auction flow through WisCon’s treasury to the Tiptree Award, while others go directly into Tiptree accounts. All proceeds are used for travel and monetary awards for the winners, plus other Tiptree Award projects.

In the past, we have also donated auction proceeds as “seed money” for other WisCon daughter organizations (Broad Universe and The Carl Brandon Society are two examples), and used funds to help members of the Tiptree community who are in need.  The volunteers of the WisCon art show graciously supervise and manage Tiptree Award auction items for viewing on Saturday, and handle sale of t-shirts, cookbooks and Space Babe tattoos throughout the weekend; that money also flows through WisCon to the Tiptree Award accounts.

We are all looking forward to the 2015 auction. Coincidentally, 2015 is the 100th birthday of Alice Sheldon; the motherboard will work with WisCon’s programming team to include appropriate recognitions and celebrations of this milestone in WisCon programming.

Call for donations and nominations to WisCon Member Assistance Fund!

Lisa Cohen
WisCon Member Assistance Fund

Do you remember your first WisCon?  I remember mine.  I remember going to panel after panel where people were talking about fiction, about social justice, about Buffy and Xena, about the future, and about history.  I was amazed.  I was enchanted.

That’s the reason that I choose to work on WisCon, and that’s the reason why one of the things that I work on is helping people who need a little help coming to WisCon to make it here.  The WisCon Member Assistance Fund isn’t just for first-timers.  It isn’t just for old hands, either.  It’s for people who are drawn to WisCon, but can’t make it there on their own.

Every year, we try to help as many people as we can come to WisCon. It’s the time of year when we ask you to please consider contributing to the member assistance fund. All contributions should be made to SF3 and sent to:

SF3
Attn: WisCon Member Assistance Fund
P.O. Box 1624
Madison, WI 53701

SF3 is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your donations are tax deductible. Every penny will be used to help potential WisCon members attend in May. You can also use Paypal and send the money to treasurer@sf3.org.

We are also accepting nominations for potential recipients of assistance. Nominate someone else or nominate yourself. Tell us why the potential recipient would be a good person to attend WisCon and give us an idea of what funds would make the difference between being able to attend and missing the convention. Typically, we give amounts between $200 and $500.

We are often asked whether a previous recipient of assistance can receive help again. The answer to that is that yes, that is a possibility, but if we do not have enough money to help everyone who applies, we will give priority to people who have not previously received assistance. Depending on the number of nominations and the amount of donations, the WMAF committee will try to help out as many people as possible who would like to come to WisCon but need some support to do so.

All nominations need to be made by midnight, PST, February 15, 2015. Assistance recipients will be notified by March 15, 2015. These deadlines are timed to allow people who receive assistance time to sign up to be on programming. Nominations for the WisCon Member Assistance Fund should be sent to fund@wiscon.net.

Nominate away! And please, if you have a little money to help other people come to WisCon, donate!




There’s still time to nominate Guests of Honor for WisCon 39!

The deadline to nominate guests of honor for WisCon 39 is tomorrow, March 22nd. If you’d like to nominate someone, please send an email to gohnoms@wiscon.net. Please use “WisCon 39 GOH Nominations” as your subject line. Write a brief statement about how the person’s work and/or activism complement WisCon’s Statement of Principles. We especially welcome nominations for people of color.

Help us choose Guests of Honor for WisCon 39!

Want to nominate a Guest of Honor for #WisCon 39? Email gohnoms@wiscon.net the name of the person you want to nominate, as well as a statement about their work and/or activism complementing our Statement of Principles by March 22nd. We really do look at those statements! Please use “WisCon 39 GoH nominations” and the name of the person you’re nominating in the subject line of your email, 😉