Category Archives: WisCon 40

WisCon 40 Writers’ Workshop — Announcing our fan fic special workshops

Marianne Kirby/The Rotund
Writers’ Workshop

Hey, fan fic writers! Have you considered the WisCon Writers’ Workshop but been put off by the requirement for original fiction? Are you interested in having conversations about the craft of writing fic? Do you want to connect with other fans who love it just as much as you do?

The WisCon Writers’ Workshop is so very pleased to offer a trio of workshops designed especially for folks who write fan fic. Unlike the workshops we’ve held in previous years, these sessions explicitly address the unique needs of fic writers, without anyone ever having to have a conversation about whether or not fan fic is legitimate. (Because, uh, OF COURSE it is.)

This year is your time. Fan fic facilitators Jackie Gross (ladyjax), Jess Adams (raanve), and Dira Sudis will be leading sections especially — and uniquely — designed for fic writers.

To sign up for a workshop section:

  • Simply email
  • Indicate which workshop you’d like.
  • Email by April 25 (11:59pm Central Time)!!

Two sections — restarting your fic and exploring tropes — do not require you to prepare a manuscript.  Just email us and we’ll sign you up — that’s it!

The beta reading section does require that you attach a 10k-or-less manuscript to your email.  To prepare your manuscript, please follow the guidelines on the main Writers’ Workshop page.

If you have any questions, email ASAP!

Each section is capped at four (4!) participants and is first come, first served!

Restart that fic!

Got an old fic that you love but that you just can’t seem to make any progress on? Jackie will be helping people figure out where the love went, where the fire went out, where the momentum was lost. Restart those abandoned fic projects with Jackie! You’ll need to send in your stalled work ahead of time, by the April 25th Workshop submission deadline.


Are you a fiend for a coffee shop AU? (I know I am.) Do you lose your inhibitions when contemplating sex pollen? Jess will help people explore how certain tropes can be used to reveal and explore character. No previously written manuscript will be required but you’ll still need to sign up by April 25th!

Beta reading

Finally, because what fic-focused workshop would be complete without an opportunity for folks to get some beta reading done, Dira Sudis will lead writers in a beta reading roundtable to make sure your fic is polished before you post it. Submissions should be ‘No Archive Warnings Apply’ and should not be heavily dependent on intricate knowledge of canon. You’ll need to send your 10k-or-less manuscript in by the deadline of April 25 to make sure everyone has time to read and prepare comments.

Workshop leaders

Who are these amazing fan facilitators? If you don’t already know them from your favorite fandom, check out their bios:

Jackie (aka ladyjax/LadyJ) lives in the Bay Area with the most awesome wife and cat.  She’s written fic for Space: Above and Beyond, Stargate Atlantis, Glee, Criminal Minds, and Leverage, among others. Rumors of the existence of a Twilight pastiche called “Sweet Potato Dusk” are totally untrue.

(Workshop department lead note: Jackie is lying about that “Sweet Potato Dusk” thing — it does exist. And it is MAGICAL.)

Known as raanve everywhere there’s an internet, Jess Adams is a teacher, writer, and fan from southwest Ohio. She holds a BA in creative writing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and an MA in Composition & Rhetoric from Wright State University. Jess is the author of such MCU fanworks as “The Finest Organic Suspension Ever Devised” and Arthuriana fics as “Into Exile.”  She’s also a First-Year Composition instructor at a community college, so don’t think you’re going to get away with not reading the syllabus.

Dira is originally from Michigan (if you ask her which town, she will point to the location on her right hand) and after several years in Wisconsin she has just recently relocated to Chicagoland. Very recently. There is probably still unpacking awaiting her after the con, don’t ask about it.

Dira has been writing stories since she can remember, and has been publishing fanfic, mostly slash, for her entire adult life. She has accumulated influences ranging from her mom’s collection of Christian inspirational romance novels to 2am shame-browsing on AO3 kink tags and everything in between.

You can tell which character in a story is her favorite because he’s the one who all the really, really terrible things happen to, but of course she’s only mean to fictional people. Of course.

Special sections change from year to year — there’s no guarantee we’ll be able to run these sections in the future. Don’t miss out!

WisCon 40 Writers’ Workshop — Announcing our Comics Writing and Video Game Writing special workshops

Marianne Kirby/The Rotund
Writers’ Workshop

Critique sessions are awesome — but this year the WisCon Writers’ Workshop is shaking things up a little bit with craft workshops. Each craft workshop will focus on introducing a new skill — or a completely new format for your fantastical world creations. This year, we’re rolling out two special sections: Comics Writing and Video Game Writing.

To sign up for a workshop section:

  • Simply email
  • Indicate which workshop you’d like.
  • Email by April 25 (11:59pm Central Time)!!

The Comics Writing and Video Game Writing workshops do not require that you submit a manuscript. Just email us and we’ll sign you up — that’s it!

If you have any questions, email ASAP!

Each section is capped at eight (8!) participants, and both are first come, first served!

Comics Writing

If you’ve ever wondered how to break into the comics industry, this Comics Writing workshop is for you. Pro writer Mikki Kendall will be tackling writing for comics as a general topic. She’s going to cover everything from scripting to pitching, and then she’ll review protecting your rights so that you’re never left out in the cold when it comes to your own work. You won’t need a finished manuscript for this how-to session, where you’ll do some exercises, learn some of the business, and leave with a valuable chunk of insider knowledge.

Mikki has some surprises up her sleeve for everyone, too. No comics writing experience is required, and you’ll receive any information about what to bring to the workshop from Mikki before the workshop.

Video Game Writing

Are video games more your speed? If you love the feel of a controller in your hand then you’ll want to sign up for Ceri Young’s Video Game Writing workshop. Ceri will not only teach you about scripting and pitching a story in the video game world, she’ll review a basic rundown of how games work and how to apply that knowledge to game design. You won’t need a finished manuscript for this how-to session either. Instead, you’ll brainstorm ideas and leave with a framework for how game mechanics would fit that story.

Ceri has presented at GeekGirlCon in the past, to rave reviews. No video game writing experience is required, and you’ll hear about anything needed for your session directly from Ceri before the workshop meets.

Workshop leaders

Who are these amazing group leaders? Check out their bios!

Mikki Kendall is a writer who lives in Chicago. She is an accomplished cultural critic and vibrant Twitter personality. Her comics work includes writing for Swords of Sorrow, Princeless, Paths (a free comic about online harassment — Content Warning for non-graphic depiction of suicide), and a number of original projects. She might try to sell you one of her kids on grocery day.

Patrick aka PDillaTheGreat (aka, Mikki’s assistant during the Comics Writing workshop) has social media accounts that he shuns regularly. He illustrates comics, books, and random buttons for internet shenanigans. Despite claims to the contrary he is actually a figment of our collective imaginations.

Ceri Young has been writing video games for nine years. She currently works at Ubisoft Montreal where she’s worked on titles ranging from “Just Dance 3” to “Prince of Persia” to “Assassin’s Creed.” Most recently, she wrote Evie Frye’s storyline for “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.” She can be found on Twitter as @toughlovemuse.

Special sections change from year to year — there’s no guarantee we’ll be able to run these sections in the future. Don’t miss out!

WisCon 40 Writers’ Workshop — Announcing the special sections of our critique-based workshops

Marianne Kirby/The Rotund
Writers’ Workshop

Sometimes it can be tough finding someone who understands your genre. That’s why the WisCon Writers’ Workshop is excited to add two very special workshop sections to the critique-based workshop offerings available at WisCon 40 — one focusing on speculative (paranormal / sci fi / fantasy) romance/erotica stories and one focusing on post-colonialist steampunk.

These workshops follow the format of our traditional Writers’ Workshop sessions, so be sure to look over the information on our workshop page so that you’re ready to send in your submission by April 25!

To sign up for a workshop section:

  • Simply email
  • Attach your manuscript (see next paragraph)
  • Indicate which workshop you’d like.
  • Email by April 25 (11:59pm Central Time)!!

All our critique-based workshops do require that you attach a 10k-or-less manuscript to your email.  To prepare your manuscript, please follow the guidelines on the main Writers’ Workshop page.

If you have any questions, email ASAP!

Both sections are capped at four (4!) participants and are first-come, first-served!

Speculative (paranormal / sci fi / fantasy) romance/erotica

Do you like your romance with a stroke of the other worldly? Love your urban fantasy with a generous touch of something sexy? Elizabeth Reeve will be leading a Workshop section focused on the needs of writers of paranormal/sci fi/fantasy romance/erotica. It’s time to show your manuscript some love that includes sex scenes. Particular emphasis will be placed on finding a balance between romantic/erotic elements and speculative elements, all of which advance your plot. Word choice will also be discussed so that your sex scenes make people laugh for all the right reasons. As a bonus, Elizabeth will discuss finding resources for finding publishers.

Be advised, this workshop section requires you to be comfortable reading material that will be sexually explicit to varying degrees.

You’ll need to send in your manuscript of 10k or less (either a short story or novel excerpt) by the April 25th submission deadline.

Post-colonialist steampunk

Are you in love with the intersection of history and speculative fiction, powered by fantastical technologies that never were but should have been? The gears of fortune are turning in your favor then because steampunk postcolonialist Jaymee Goh will be leading a Workshop section devoted to steampunk. This workshop will be especially useful for and welcoming to people who do not center white Western narratives in their steampunk universes.

Preference will be given to writers of color or those with other often marginalized voices. The Workshop regrets that it may not be able to accommodate all applicants to this specific section; however, space will be provided in one of the other critique-based sections provided all materials are received in a timely fashion. There are four slots available, and you’ll need to send in your 10k or less manuscripts (also either a short story or novel excerpt) by the April 25th deadline, so get your submissions in today!

Workshop leaders

So who are the fantastic group leaders taking charge of these adventures? Check out their bios!

Elizabeth Reeve writes speculative romance and erotica with a comedic bent. She lives in Arizona with her husband, two little boys, and an increasingly disgruntled cat. When she’s not writing — or chasing small children and trying to clean their faces — she likes to read, complain about genre television, and sew amusing animal hats.

Jaymee Goh writes fiction, poetry, and academese. Currently a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Riverside, she has contributed to and and been published in Science Fiction Studies, Strange Horizons, and Stone Telling. She recently co-edited The Sea is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia (Rosarium Publishing).

Special sections change from year to year — there’s no guarantee we’ll be able to run these sections in the future. Don’t miss out!

WisCon 40 Writers’ Workshop — Announcing the leaders for our critique-based workshops

Marianne Kirby/The Rotund
Writers’ Workshop

This year the WisCon 40 Writers’ Workshop is so very proud to announce the following authors and editors who will serve as group leaders for our traditional, critique-based workshops:

Aren’t sure if the critique-based workshop sections are for you? Check out more information (and then sign up by the deadline of April 25th) on our Workshop page! Or check out our other offerings via the blog’s Writers’ Workshop tag!

Aren’t sure who some of our group leaders are? Check out their websites (linked above) and their bios below.

To sign up for a workshop section:

  • Email
  • Attach your 10k-or-less manuscript (instructions are on the main Writers’ Workshop page)
  • If you have a preference for a workshop leader, please indicate whom
  • Email by April 25 (11:59pm Central Time)!!

If you have any questions, email ASAP!

Each section is capped at four (4!) participants and is first come, first served!

Our illustrious workshop leaders

Chesya Burke has written and published nearly a hundred fiction pieces and articles within the genres of science fiction, fantasy, noir and horror. Her story collection, “Let’s Play White,” is being taught in universities around the country. In addition, Burke wrote several articles for the African American National Biography in 2008, and Burke’s debut novel, The Strange Crimes of Little Africa, garnered critical praise from writers such as Tananarive Due and Kiese Laymon. Poet Nikki Giovanni compared her writing to that of Octavia Butler and Toni Morrison.

Burke’s thesis was on the comic book character Storm from the X-Men, and her comic, “Shiv,” is scheduled to debut in 2017.

Burke is currently pursuing her PhD in English at University of Florida. She’s Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Charis Books and More, one of the oldest feminist bookstores in the country, and she is co-editor of the upcoming anthology “Hidden Youth.”

Karen Healey writes young adult science fiction and fantasy, including the “When We Wake” duology, The Shattering, and the short stories “Careful Magic” and “Mrs Beeton’s Book Of Magickal Management.” She traces the start of her professional career to the WisCon Writers’ Workshop. She likes sundresses, spies, and women who save the world.

David D. Levine is the author of novel Arabella of Mars (Tor 2016) and over fifty SF and fantasy stories. His story “Tk’Tk’Tk” won the Hugo, and he has been shortlisted for awards including the Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, and Sturgeon. Stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF,, numerous Year’s Best anthologies, and his award-winning collection Space Magic.

David J. Schwartz writes novels, short stories, and essays. His novel Superpowers was nominated for a Nebula Award. His work has appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Asimov’s, The Best of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Paper Cities, and Twenty Epics. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Delia Sherman writes short stories and novels for adults and young readers. Her most recent short stories have appeared in Jonathan Strahan’s “Under My Hat” and on Her collection of short stories, “Young Woman in a Garden,” was published by Small Beer Press. A middle-grade novel, The Evil Wizard Smallbone, will come out this September from Candlewick Press. She has taught many writing workshops, including Clarion, the Hollins University Program in Children’s Literature, and previous Odysseys. She has also worked in a bookstore and as a contributing editor for Tor Books. She lives in New York City with her wife, Ellen Kushner, and many books, most of which at least one of them has read.

Brit Mandelo is a writer, critic, and editor whose primary fields of interest are speculative fiction and queer literature, especially when the two coincide. They have two books out, Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction and We Wuz Pushed: On Joanna Russ and Radical Truth-telling, and in the past have edited for publications like Strange Horizons Magazine. Other work has been featured in magazines such as Stone Telling, Clarkesworld, Apex, and Ideomancer. They also write regularly for and have several long-running column series there, including Queering SFF, a mix of criticism, editorials, and reviews on QUILTBAG speculative fiction.

WisCon 40 — Announcing our Dealers’ Room!

Dealers’ Room

We’ll have thirty amazing vendors displaying their wares on nearly fifty tables this year in the Dealers’ Room. You’ll see your old favorite publishers and booksellers, as well as many new faces, bringing clothes, crafts, dolls, masks, jewelry, comics, accessories, and decorative arts for sale.

Want details? We’ve got details! Read on…

Creator of nerdy items including jewelry, keychains, plushies, and more from some of your favorites games, shows, movies, and other media.

Alex Heberling
An online comics artist who has been creating comics for over 10 years, and is currently publishing The Hues, a post-apocalyptic magical girl series. She takes custom commissions, and will also be bringing jewelry, prints, and posters.

Aqueduct Press
Publishers of feminist science fiction and related titles, with emphasis on work that stretches the imagination and challenges readers.

Book Lynx
Books: used, rare, and collectible. A large stock of hard covers and vintage paperbacks in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other interesting genres.

Broad Universe
Broad Universe is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating and promoting women writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

The Crafty Dyborg
Bringing beautiful art to the masses, The Crafty Dyborg specialize in modular origami balls and lamps, but don’t be surprised to see wire jewelry or duct tape creations as well!

Darlene P. Coltrain
Fine art craft wearable art in fantasy, science fiction, and visionary themes. Sculptural lost wax cast jewelry in precious metals, beads — glass, gemstone, and natural materials — knotted on silk, and hand dyed & painted silk scarves. Some of the images on silk are also made available on greeting cards.

DreamHaven Books
One of the oldest and largest science fiction specialty dealers in the world, with the largest and most diverse selection of books and ephemera found anywhere.

Dylan Edwards
A comic creator with a focus on queer comics, his work includes Transposes, a Lambda Literary Award finalist for Transgender Non-Fiction, and Politically InQueerect: Old Ghosts and Other Stories. His comics have also appeared in QU33R (2014 Ignatz Award), No Straight Lines (2013 Lambda Literary Award), and the Beyond Anthology. His current project is Valley of the Silk Sky, a YA science fiction webcomic that features a cast with queer, asexual, and trans characters.

Frugal Muse Books
Sellers of all types of books, DVDs, and CDs serving the Madison science community for 17 years, as well as providing a home to the Madison Science Fiction book discussion group.

Sadly, Geekiana had to cancel this year!

Intensely geeky clothing and accessories designed and printed by a geek for geeks. Geekiana references TV, comics, movies, and geek culture. Each design is meant to be a beautiful, funny, or inspiring beacon to other fans and fan-friendly folk, with work that appeals across genders and ages.

The Heathersmith
Erika Hammerschmidt, author of the science fiction novel Kea’s Flight and other works, makes a wide variety of fantasy-style wire-wrapped gemstone jewelry. Pieces include crowns and tiaras, elf-earrings that make the ears look pointed, jeweled-dagger letter openers, gemstone chess sets, rings, earrings, and necklaces made with crystals, geodes, meteorites, and fossils.

Interlude Press
A boutique publisher of exceptional LGBTQ fiction including science fiction and fantasy for YA and adult audiences. In its first 18 months, Interlude Press titles have garnered five Publishers Weekly starred reviews and kudos from the American Library Association’s GLBT Roundtable, Booklist magazine, Foreword Reviews, Library Journal and USA Today’s HEA book reviews. Three 2014 novels were finalists for five Foreword Indiefab Book of the Year Awards, including the winner of the Silver Indiefab for LGBT fiction. Rachel Davidson Leigh, author of the upcoming debut novel Hold, will be representing the press.

Lady Purl Designs
A geeky shop for knitters and fiber lovers. Yarns inspired by favorite fandoms and characters in geek culture, as well as sewn knitting accessories such as needle organizers and project bags with nerdy licensed fabrics. Lady Purl designs and sells original knitting patterns, all fandom inspired, and has recently fallen in love with making soap and lotion bars in geeky shapes.

Lioness: Ornament for People and Places
Named jewelry that may make you want to write things or make art or sing for joy. Shiny goodness. Inspiration and delight. The creator of the Tiptree tiara, Lioness jewelry has been used as inspiration by many writers.

Maggs Creations
Lampworked glass critters and wearable art. Using a torch, simple hand tools, heat, and gravity, Maggs works glass into fun sculptural critters and pendants, making everything from exotic space aliens with googly eyeballs and tentacles to delicate seahorses and goddess pendants — and she loves talking about the science and art of glass.

MLPoliceBox221BagEnd is devoted to expressing exactly what people love about their particular fandoms, and includes hand-knitted hats, scarves, and dolls inspired by fantasy, cult classic, gamer, and science fiction favorites.

Hand fabricated sterling silver jewelry incorporating a variety of interesting, beautiful stones, and including many pieces that lend themselves to story-telling.

Philip Kaveny Bookseller
Books of high quality in the area of science fiction criticism, feminist theory, and fantasy, as well as art and idea books.

PM Press
An independent publisher that creates radical, feminist, and stimulating science fiction and nonfiction books, pamphlets, visual, and audio materials to entertain, educate, and inspire. PM Press aims to distribute important ideas and resources through every available channel with every available technology; they’re old enough to know what they’re doing and young enough to know what’s at stake.

Revolutionary Lemonade Stand
Clothing and gifts that are politically fresh and in season! Handmade peace and justice items including baby onesies, toddler, youth, and adult t-shirts, scarves, hats, cups, bags and totes, framed art, pillows & pillowcases, coasters, bandanas, bracelets, and more.

A Room of One’s Own
Madison’s independent bookstore, you can find them in the Dealers’ Room throughout the convention as well as in a beautiful new-and-used bookstore just a few blocks down State Street from the Concourse. RoOO provide people with great books by WisCon’s Guests of Honor, attending authors, and a variety of books discussed on panels and of interest to feminist SF/F lovers.

Rosarium Publishing
A fledgling publisher specializing in speculative fiction, comics, and a touch of crime fiction — all with a multicultural flair. Echoing a belief that talent does not inherently have a race, religion, gender, or region and that talent is everywhere, Rosarium combs the four corners of this globe to find it.

Sign Of The Unicorn
Hand-sculptured jewelry — mostly one-of-a-kind — designed in feminist, mythic, science fiction, and fantasy themes using lost-wax casting and incorporating sterling silver, bronze, 14k gold, and semi-precious stones, and including rings, earrings, and pendants in feminist designs. Additionally, Laurie Toby Edison’s books and photographs Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes, Familiar Men: A Book of Nudes, and Women of Japan, all works done in collaboration with social change activists and feminists, will be available.

Small Beer Press
Publishers of a few very good novels and short story collections every year, Small Beer Press also run a DRM-free indie ebooksite, This year we will publish WisCon GoH Sofia Samatar’s second novel, The Winged Histories, as well as books by Joan Aiken and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Strange Land Costuming
Tailor-for-hire with a focus on costumes and accessories, also selling fandom-related neckties, scarves, and hats, SLC is known for their line of Nerdy Neckties and specialty embroidery services. They also welcome clients who have been rejected by other less-experienced tailors for their size, and are eager to fit clients who wish to dress across gender lines.

Toot Sweet Ink
Woman-owned independent publishers crafting books with love who publish strong and unique voices in historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, contemporary fiction, and non-fiction.

20th Century Books
New and used books catering to WisCon-relevant interests and specializing in small press, comics, graphic novels, magazines, and fantasy related toys.

Twin Cities Speculations
“Welcome to Minnesota, where aliens go ice fishing, angels roam the streets of Minneapolis, and missing socks show up on a distant planet.” St. Paul authors, co-chairs of Geek Girl Brunch Twin Cities, and co-editors of HerStoryArc, Cecelia Isaac and Lindsey Loree will bring their recently published short story anthology Twin Cities Speculations, as well as Cecelia Isaac’s debut dragon infused fantasy novel Turquoiseblood. Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover something amazing from Minnesota 😉

White Hawk Press
This local Madison area publisher and literary resource will bring books of fantasy and science fiction, poetry, literary biography, and other interesting stuff. This year, under WordWiz4You, they will also offer spontaneous skiffy poems on demand!

Hotel update #2 — Room block filled, overflow block still available

Hotel Liaison

We are 51 days away from the start of the best weekend of the year and our hotel block has filled up — but don’t despair!

The Concourse has an overflow block that is a slightly higher room rate than regular block: $145 single on the Concourse level and $225 single on the Governor’s Club level.  Overflow reservations will automatically move into the regular, lower-priced room block if there are any cancellations before April 25. Beyond that, there may also be some regular-priced rooms available. You can also ask to see if there are any Governor’s Club rooms still available in our regular room block, though be aware that all Governor’s Club rooms have a single king-sized bed. This might accommodate 4 if you’re very, very friendly. Happily, they also have room for a twin-sized (single) cot.

If the hotel does fill up or you desperately need a lower-priced room, you can check the fan-run communities on Dreamwidth and LiveJournal or the WisCon-Talk Google Group. As the con gets nearer, people often offer up reservations they can no longer use. The deadline for the regular block and the overflow block is April 25, but you can transfer rooms to other guests at any time while keeping the rate in effect when you originally made your reservation. Simply call the hotel to tell them you are transferring your reservation and give them the name of the person you wish to transfer it to. That person will then need to call to give the hotel their credit card information. Voila!

If you have a reservation that you don’t need, now is the time to call the hotel to release it back to the room block or offer it up on one of online venues listed above. Our hotel page also has an up-to-date list and a map of other hotels some of which offer shuttle service downtown for easy access.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, drop us a line at See you soon(ish)!

Hotel update — Do you need a room? We have rooms!

Hotel Liaison

As of this writing, we are 72 days away from the start of the pre-convention meeting with hotel staff (not that I’m counting…) and we still have rooms available in our hotel block at the Concourse.

Yes! We still definitely have rooms in our block at the Concourse. Ignore any rumors to the contrary! (As of our Feb. 26 update from the Concourse, there are also Governor’s Club rooms available, too.) The easiest way to book a room in our block to get our room rate is using our reservation link right here, but if that gives you any sass — it doesn’t connect or it claims there are no rooms remaining — then you can go ahead and call the Concourse directly and they’ll take care of everything (because we do still, really!, have rooms available!). Their toll-free number is 1-800-356-8293.

The WisCon group rate is available through April 25!

If you have reservations for more rooms than you can use, please contact the hotel to release whatever you don’t need. If the room block fills up, you can also transfer the reservation to another member. If you visit the LiveJournal community, the Dreamwidth community, and the WisCon Talk Google group people often post queries and offers for rooms as the days count down.

If you find that you need to cancel your reservation closer to the convention, we ask that you do so at least seven days prior to your scheduled check-in. It is the Concourse’s policy to charge one room night plus tax for stays canceled without a seven-day notice.

There are a limited number of cribs available for the use of our guests for a relatively nominal fee. As well as cots — also for a nominal fee — that are surprisingly comfortable and can, if properly situated, turn one bed in the room into a MEGABED. This is probably more exciting to me than it is to you.

(Did you know you can also rent a piano at the Concourse? Fee does not include pianist, but if you pay me enough I’ll play “Chopsticks” and “Heart And Soul.” In fact, I will keep playing them until enough people pay me to stop. Jackpot!)

If you have any hotel-related questions (or wish to book me for your piano bar party!), you can contact me at!

Open call for games, game masters, and gaming volunteers!


WisCon Gaming is looking for tabletop games, game masters, and gaming volunteers for WisCon 40! On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, from 8pm to midnight, we will host board, storytelling, and role-playing games open to convention members. 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.


WisCon needs games! Please email us at if you have a game or are interested in seeing a particular game at the table this year. Please answer the following questions as relevant to your offering or request:

Are you bringing a game you’d like to keep with you, but run in the public Gaming Space? Please share a description of the game and what night(s) you’d like to run it.

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 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.

Do you have a game you’d like to donate to WisCon? 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 also accepting dice, pencils, and other gaming supplies.

Do you have a game you’d like to see at WisCon? Please 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 board games tend to be those with simpler mechanics or rules and those that take two hours or less. Get in touch to share your ideas!

Game Masters

WisCon is looking for people who want to run storytelling and role-playing games! Please email us at if you’d like to run a tabletop RPG or LARP. To help us reserve space for your game, please email us before our March 18 deadline. (But do feel free to get in touch after; we may be able to cast a Location Spell.) Some of the information we’d like from you includes:

  • a description of the game
  • how long the game will take
  • how many players you’ll need
  • evening(s) you’d like to run the game (Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday)
  • any other logistics we should keep in mind to make the game happen

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, and/or help with Gaming before the convention, please get in touch with Let us know if there’s a particular game you’d like to play or help teach on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday evenings.

Stay tuned for games we will be offering at WisCon 40, to be announced in April!

$2,500 matching donation met

Chris Wallish
SF3 Communications Committee

We did it!  YOU did it!!  Yesterday, we met Jed Hartman’s matching donation.  In just five days’ time, we raised $5,000 for the WisCon Member Assistance Fund.  This means that in the 10 days since Wrdnrd announced their matching donation, we’ve raised a total of $7,300!  This is completely unprecedented for the Fund and just shows what a strong and caring community WisCon has.

This year, WisCon made a very deliberate effort to raise awareness of the Assistance Fund, because attending a convention like WisCon can be quite expensive (Madison is not cheap to fly into, and the Concourse is a very nice hotel).  WisCon does what it can to make attending the convention more economically feasible — from providing Childcare for just $1 to offering free snacks and meals in the Con Suite — but by far the most valuable is the Fund, which puts money exactly where recipients need it.

And now, thanks to the outpouring of support from the WisCon community (and beyond!), the Fund will be assisting almost 30 people attend WisCon 40 this May.  Many of the recipients will be attending their first WisCon!

Our active fundraising is going into hiatus for the time being, although you can donate to the Member Assistance Fund at any time.  All money donated to the Assistance Fund from yesterday afternoon (Madison time) will go toward seeding the Fund for WisCon 41.  And at WisCon in May this year, we’ll be continuing to raise awareness of the Fund for potential nominees and also talking more about various ways to keep the Fund funded on a regular basis.

We are deeply grateful to Jed and Wrdnrd, and to everyone who donated in the past few weeks — especially to the donor who took us over the finish line yesterday.  We’re thankful for everyone who signal-boosted our fund drive and for everyone who worked in the background to encourage donors from all corners.  Thank you for helping to make WisCon a reality this year for more people than we ever thought possible.

See you in May!

Let’s fund the Fund — $966 and 31 hours to go

Allison Morris
SF3 Fundraising Committee

We are amazed and thankful for all of the generosity that our WisCon Member Assistance Fund’s fundraising efforts have been met with this year — it’s truly inspiring to be a part of this community, and to know that we are all committed to seeing WisCon, and WisCon’s principles, continuing to benefit from a variety of voices.

I’m someone who believes in the power of the stories that communities tell themselves. Those stories create our reality, set forth our dreams, and define our worlds. It’s crucial that those stories include many voices. The WMAF is one of the ways that we work to make sure that it’s possible for the people who want to be a part of our conversations to join us. Our stories suffer without them there.

We’ve been very lucky this year to have two amazingly generous challenge donors in Wrdnrd and Jed Hartman. They have both staked their money in the belief that others would join them to help meet the wonderful number of requests for assistance we received this year. I know that we will meet the challenge. That’s the story I am telling, and I believe in our power to create that reality.

As I write this, we’ve raised $1,533.94 out of our $2,500.00 goal. There are 31 hours left before our challenge deadline of 11:59pm Saturday night in Madison.

Give now to make our dreams become reality.

Writers’ Workshop open to applications for WisCon 40

Writers’ Workshop

Hey authors — yeah, I mean you there with the manuscript of original fiction. Do you know about the WisCon Writers’ Workshop?

Here’s the short version: The WisCon Writers’ Workshop is an opportunity to share your work with a small but dedicated critique group. You and your group members will be led by a pro writer who will also offer feedback.

Here’s the slightly longer version: The WisCon Writers’ Workshop is a unique opportunity to be grouped with other folks who are working in a similar genre and also take it seriously. No one is going to argue with you about the validity of space opera here. Every writing pro is there to coach their group through the critique process and also to provide valuable feedback on the work.

Workshops are currently designed for fiction. Our complete submission requirements (so hot right now) are on our website. We are always happy to offer the potential of a special section of the Workshop for teen writers if there’s sufficient interest. We also offer a section of the workshop for poetry. Please see the link for more information.

This year’s pros include writers like Chesya Burke and Karen Healey and more.

And what, you might ask, is the cost of attending this magical Workshop? It’s free with the cost of your WisCon registration.

So please be sure to submit your manuscripts by April 15, and join us at 9am on Friday, May 27.

Assistance Fund matching fundraiser — this one goes to 11

Chris Wallish
SF3 Communications Committee

We had an amazing week last week with Wrdnrd’s matching fund drive, raising $1,500 for our Member Assistance Fund in just two days.

This week we have even more incredible news:  Our Member Assistance Fund is about $5,000 away from being able to fund everyone who qualifies, and Jed Hartman wants to help make that happen.

From now until the end of the day (11:59pm Central Time) on Saturday, Feb. 27, Jed is matching dollar-for-dollar all donations up to $2,500.

This is an unbelievable opportunity that would give us the chance to help more people than we’ve ever been able to help before.

This week, if you have just $10 to donate to the Fund, thanks to Jed that means $20 into the Fund.  And so, bit by bit, maybe we can make it all the way to $5,000.

What do you think, everyone?  Can we do it?