Building WisCon together — take our survey!

Looking for the survey? Go here!

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.

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!

 

 

Updates for WisCon 44

Reservations for both hotels and memberships for WisCon 44 are now open! Our amazing guests of honor are:

Yoon Ha Lee

Yoon Ha Lee’s debut novel from Solaris Books, NINEFOX GAMBIT, won the Locus Award for best first novel and was a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Clarke awards.  Its sequel, RAVEN STRATAGEM, was a finalist for the Hugo.  He has also written a middle grade space opera, DRAGON PEARL, from Disney-Hyperion.  He lives in Louisiana with his family and an extremely lazy cat, and has not yet been eaten by gators.

Rebecca Roanhorse

Rebecca Roanhorse is a Nebula and Hugo Award-winning speculative fiction writer and the recipient of the 2018 Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her short fiction has also been a finalist for the Sturgeon, Locus and World Fantasy awards. Her novel Trail of Lightning (Book 1 in the Sixth World series) was selected as an Amazon, B&N, and NRP Best Books of 2018, among others, and is a Nebula and Hugo award finalist for 2019. Storm of Locusts, the second novel in the Sixth World series, was recently released to critical acclaim. She lives with her husband, daughter and dogs in Northern New Mexico.

Note on Hotel Offerings

We wanted to draw attention to a slight change in our Governor’s Club booking. Beginning WisCon 44, we will no longer be offering rooms for four people on the Governor’s Club level. Rooms for three people (including a rollaway bed) will still be available for WisCon 44.

We know that this is a change! We will continue to work with the awesome folks at the Concourse Hotel to advocate for our membership while respecting the needs of the hotel.
Thanks and we’ll see you next year!

WisCon’s Thursday Night Shuttle

TL;DR: 4:30pm to 8:00pm Accessible Shuttle to and from Room of One’s Own!

WisCon is days away, and we’re darned excited to see you all! For those of you who will be in Madison on Thursday night, we kick off the long weekend with an intimate reception and reading at Room of One’s Own Bookstore with our Guests of Honor, G. Willow Wilson and Charlie Jane Anders. Room of One’s Own is about four blocks away from the Concourse Hotel, our main venue, so WisCon offers a complimentary accessible shuttle to and from the bookstore. Shuttles will start running to Room of One’s Own at 4:30pm, and will be making trips back to the Concourse as late as 8:00pm. This is an as-needed shuttle, so as seats fill up and/or passengers get antsy, the shuttle will depart to its destination. You may wait for the shuttle outside of the Concourse’s main entrance and at the entrance to Room of One’s Own. The vehicle, operated by Union Cab is a large van that is white with red lettering and a Bucky Badger mascot decal. It can fit 2 passengers using wheelchairs, and 6 passengers not, per trip. Tips aren’t necessary for the driver, but are always welcome. (WisCon will be compensating the driver, as well.) Room of One’s Own Bookstore is accessible by sidewalks and curb cuts, if you’d like to head over on your own time.

We look forward to this weekend. Safe travels!

Announcing the WisCon 43 Dealers’ Room!

There are a lot of things to enjoy at a convention — seeing old friends, making new friends, discovering new authors, and having a few days away from the rest of the world. But there’s also the shopping. 😀 Without further ado, the vendors who will be joining us in the Dealers’ Room this year:

  • Angry Fox – Anime stuff, keychains, charms, pride stuff, figures, plushes, cat ears, artist goods, snacks.Unfortunately, Angry Fox can’t join us this year. We’ll see them next year.
  • Aqueduct Press – We publish feminist science fiction that stretches the imagination.
  • Book Lynx – Recent and vintage used SF, fantasy and cool books.
  • Charles Ott– Author.
  • Craft Brewed Suds – Handmade bath and body products for lovers of laughter, word nerds, and the geekily inclined!
  • Darlene P. Coltrain – Fine art craft jewelry in precious metals, precious and semi precious gemstones, and hand painted silk in fantasy and science fiction themes. I also have greeting cards featuring those silk paintings and the art of past WisCon artist guest of honor, Steven Vincent Johnson.
  • DC in 2021 Worldcon Bid – We are bidding to bring the Worldcon in 2021 to Washington, DC.
  • Dottie and Dad Soap Makers – Dottie and Dad Soap Makers make high quality glycerin soaps that are unscented, paraben and sulfate free, and packaged in home compostable cellophane. Their designs range from elegant to whimsical and include fantasy creatures, gay pride soaps, and other themes that would tend to appeal to the WisCon crowd. Unfortunately, Dottie and Dad can’t join us this year. Hopefully they can make it next year.
  • Dragon Abbey Jewelry Design – Hand made jewelry in a variety of materials including wire, stones, and glass.
  • Dylan Edwards – I sell book collections of my queer and trans comics, including sci-fi/fantasy, non-fiction, and contemporary fiction. I also sell my all-ages monster artwork, Feeping Creatures. This includes original art and sculpture, enamel pins, jewelry, and clothing.
  • F-BOM – F-BOM stands for “Feminist Book of the Month”. We are an online membership platform that lifts up the voices of indie SFF authors who identify as women. Our members get exclusive editions of each book we feature. Do you want to support more diversity in the SFF Genre? Join Today!
  • GlitterShipGlitterShip is a small magazine and publisher which sells anthologies of LGBTQ short stories as well as related queer books by authors in attendance.
  • Frugal Muse Books – Frugal Muse is a brick and mortar store entering its 25th year of business in Madison. We have hundreds of thousands of books on every subject.
  • Kat’s Magical Creations – Formerly known as Fused Glass by Kathie, I create and sell fused glass jewelry and gift items, along with acrylic and oil paintings. My jewelry has won Best Jewelry at last year’s Windycon in the Chicago area.
  • Kinda Nerdy Housewife – Howdy! I’m a kinda nerdy crafter who makes pixel art with fuse beads! My wares include both fan art and original pieces. I make bead sprites, bows, pins, magnets, wall art, and coasters – all of which are lovingly hand-crafted one fuse bead at a time!
  • Let’s Be Legendary Podcast – We are an actual play queer focused Dungeons and Dragons podcast with a focus on storytelling and character development. Set in a wild west steampunk fantasy setting, our story currently follows a werewolf-shifter nonbinary gunslinger and a bisexual grave domain cleric of the god of death. The podcast is audio based however we have worked hard to bring in the visual element with beautifully done artwork and supplemental writing, through our online presence. We strive to tell the stories that we wished we would have had when we were growing up!Portable table, just outside the main Dealers’ Room.
  • Lioness: ornament for people and places – Art jewelry (a.k.a. the shinies) with names, often used as inspiration by writers and other artists. Also offers grab bags of jewelry and components, and an anthology of written works inspired by the jewelry (“Glass Bead Games”). If you like the Tiptree tiara, this is where to find other such items by the person who made it and donated it for use in the Tiptree awards.
  • Maps and Scraps – I make bags, blankets and other goods from T-shirts, remnants and a unique mix of textiles. Each piece is one of a kind and quality made.
  • O Human Star – Blue Delliquanti is a cartoonist and the creator of the webcomic O Human Star and the graphic novel Meal (published by Iron Circus Comics).
  • The Black Sheep’s Friend – I sew and machine embroider home items, jewelry, bags, patches, and more! Custom commissions are also available.
  • Ooooh Pretties – I hand-craft jewelry using beautiful and interesting stones. My work ranges from simple beading to larger hand-fabricated pieces with something for every budget.
  • Owl Post Greetings – Handmade greeting cards, vinyl decals and gifts inspired by fandom and fantasy.
  • Penguin & Pear – Penguin & Pear is a creative, fun business that enjoys sarcasm, adventure, and wit. We offer a variety of items, including tee shirts, tote bags, can coolers, decorative items, and more.
  • PM Press – PM Press is an independent publisher of fiction and nonfiction books and media to educate, entertain, and inspire!
  • Posh Geekery – Posh Geekery is all about expressing your fandom with style. We specialize in resin jewelry and can create custom items. Our current best sellers are book lockets that have a permanent and durable resin finish.
  • Rad Magpie & Speculative Literature Foundation – Rad Magpie’s mission is to support underrepresented creators and radical interactive media.
    We Enable development through funds, equipment and space.
    We Mentor for success, to send strong developers and leaders into the community to create and make bold change.
    We Champion these radical, diverse projects in an industry that desperately needs them.
    Speculative Literature Foundation’s mission is to promote literary quality in speculative fiction.
  • A Room Of One’s Own Bookstore – A Room Of One’s Own is a WisCon partner, hosting our Guest of Honor reception Thursday night, and endeavoring to carry titles from as many authors in attendance as possible. It’s a special place, and the Dealers’ Room recommends that you visit them both at the convention and in person at their bookstore, just a few blocks from the hotel.
  • Rosarium Publishing – Rosarium Publishing is a five-year-old venture, specializing in comics and science fiction with a multicultural flair.
  • r. r. campbell – r. r. campbell is an author, editor, and the founder of the Writescast Network, a podcast collective for writers, by writers. His sci-fi debut, IMMINENT DAWN, is the first installment in the epic EMPATHY science fiction saga. NYT-bestselling author Matt Forbeck has hailed IMMINENT DAWN as “an incisive techno-thriller that gets more tense with every page,” and author M.A. Hinkle has called it “freaking sci-fi GAME OF THRONES.”
  • SeWeird Galactic Accessories – One stop cosmic shop for out of this world items of holding. Each piece is handpainted, unique, and made of durable canvas. They are water and stain resistant, washable, and sewn with original patterns.
  • Artwork by Shauna Aura Knight – Shauna Aura Knight’s artwork is inspired by the stories of heroes and magic, of myth and mysticism, gods and goddesses, fairytales and fantasy. Her paintings use lush colors, metallic paint, and raised textures that include acrylic paint, textured paper, and jewels. Her imagery includes swords, angels, butterflies, keys, crowns, the tree of life, dragons, unicorns, phoenixes, ravens, wolves, stags, roses, dragonflies, and much more. As both an artist and an author, her work is inspired by shadow work and personal transformation.
  • Sign of the Unicorn – My hand-sculptured jewelry (mostly one-of-a-kind) is designed in feminist, mythic, science fiction and fantasy themes. The technique is lost-wax casting; the materials are sterling silver, bronze, 14k gold, and semi-precious stones. The jewelry includes a group of rings, earrings and pendants in feminist designs.
    In addition, I am showing and selling both the books and the photographs of Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes and Familiar Men: A Book of Nudes, and my photography project Women of Japan (all works done in collaboration with social change activists and feminists).
  • Small Beer Press – Small Beer Press is an independent publisher based in Western Massachusetts.
  • tentacle-made studios – tentacle-made studios is a mixed media, conceptual art and illustration studio specializing in Participatory Culture and narrative pieces in a variety of mediums from purely illustrative works to small-scale sculpture to buttons.

Planning Ahead? Here Are The Con Suite Menus!

The Con Suite is WisCon’s hospitality suite. Its mission is to provide good, nourishing food in order to improve convention accessibility for everyone attending. When we talk accessibility in relation to the Con Suite, we mean several things. The Con Suite improves financial access, helping attendees who are stretching their dollars. It improves mental and emotional accessibility, allowing attendees who just want to take food somewhere quiet to do so with minimal interactions in the process if they need that. It improves physical access, allowing attendees to get meals without walking additional distances. And the Con Suite improves dietary access by providing a range of foods with gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and vegetarian options, as well as posting information about the presence of common allergens and other ingredients.

We do all of this with volunteers, and we need your help! See what volunteer shifts are available here: https://signup.com/go/LCshkGa If you have any questions about volunteering in the Con Suite, please email us at consuite@wiscon.net.

On to the menus!

First up: The Grab & Go Space! This one is easy because it doesn’t really have a menu. There will be portions of many of our side dishes available there on ice throughout the convention, and this is also where any leftover donuts and bagels will go after breakfast each day, once we have individually wrapped them. The Grab & Go is also where you will find coffee, tea, sodas of many descriptions, a variety of chips, cookies, granola bars, string cheese, and more. The Grab & Go opens Friday at noon and every morning thereafter at 8am, and it closes at midnight Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and then at 5pm on Monday.

And the main event: The Con Suite Commissary Space! The Commissary is only open and serving at mealtimes, but is a seating-only space 9pm-1am Friday and Saturday, and 10pm-1am Sunday.

Friday Dinner 5:30pm–7:30pm

  • Shredded BBQ Chicken, served as sandwiches or on rice (GF*)
  • BBQ Tofu, served as sandwiches or on rice (V, Veg, GF*)
  • Various side dishes (see list at end of menu)

Saturday Breakfast 8am–10am

  • A selection of bagels from Gotham Bagels; toast; gluten-free bagels and toast; a variety of topping choices (varies, but includes GF)
  • A selection of donuts from Greenbush Bakery; gluten-free donuts (varies, but includes GF)
  • Hard-boiled eggs (GF)
  • Bananas and other fruit (V, Veg, GF)
  • Yogurt (Veg, GF)

Saturday Lunch 11:30am–1:30pm

  • A selection of meat, cheese, condiments, and bread for sandwiches (GF*)
  • Chickpea salad sandwiches (V, Veg, GF*)
  • Chips (varies)
  • Carrots and celery with a variety of dipping choices (varies)

Saturday Dinner 5:30pm–7:30pm

  • Beef chili; cheese and sour cream available (GF)
  • Black bean and quinoa chili (V, Veg, GF)
  • Rice
  • Various side dishes (see list at end of menu)

Sunday Brunch 8am–11am

  • A selection of bagels from Gotham Bagels; toast; gluten-free bagels and toast; a variety of topping choices (varies, but includes GF)
  • A selection of donuts from Greenbush Bakery; gluten-free donuts (varies, but includes GF)
  • Hard-boiled eggs (GF)
  • Bananas and other fruit (V, Veg, GF)
  • Yogurt (Veg, GF)

Sunday Supper 3pm–5pm

  • A selection of pizzas from Ian’s Pizza (varies, but includes GF)
  • Various side dishes (see list at end of menu)

Monday Breakfast 8am–11am

  • A selection of bagels from Gotham Bagels; toast; gluten-free bagels and toast; a variety of topping choices (varies, but includes GF)
  • A selection of donuts from Greenbush Bakery; gluten-free donuts (varies, but includes GF)
  • Hard-boiled eggs (GF)
  • Bananas and other fruit (V, Veg, GF)
  • Yogurt (Veg, GF)

Side dishes are from Willy Street Co-op; a selection will be available at each dinner, as well as between meals in the Grab & Go room. They include: curried chickpea & spinach salad (V, GF), two bean quinoa (V, GF), emerald kale salad (V, GF), corn & black bean salad (V, GF), sun dried tomato pesto pasta (Veg), cole slaw (Veg), cheezy pasta (V), and chicken parmesan pasta salad.

WisCon will endeavor to keep the commissary nut-free. WisCon will endeavor to prevent any cross-contamination. If you have concerns about potential allergens, please contact a member of the Con Suite staff. A list of ingredients highlighting common allergens will be available in the commissary.

GF = gluten-free
GF* = gluten-free if served with gluten-free bread or rice
V = vegan
Veg = vegetarian

Still have questions? Shoot us an email at consuite@wiscon.net.

Introducing Introvert Corner!

This WisCon 43 will be the convention’s first year offering Introvert Corner, a “pop-up” space for shy folks to meet and make friends during convention downtime. In past years, attendees have provided feedback requesting such a space, and this year, we’re making it happen.

Mealtimes and evening parties can be socially daunting whether you’re new to the con, attending alone, or otherwise shy. The lobby during mealtimes can be overwhelming, over-stimulating, and chaotically confusing. The Introvert Corner seeks to provide some relief for wallflowers, fluttershys, and anxious androids, while creating opportunities to meet new people who could become convention friends.

The Introvert Corner is a kind of “pop-up,” temporary space that will be utilizing the Spontaneous Programming room when it’s not in use for programming. This is located at University D on the far end of the 2nd floor hallway, to the left when facing the Registration table. This Corner is tucked away from crowds, but is still not far from the action. Look for signage at the convention.

We envision Introvert Corner both as a meet-up spot and a hang-out spot. It provides a meet-up spot from which to venture out with new acquaintances during meals or parties. It can also be hang-out spot with other introverts, whether you’re chatting, or simply sharing space in a semi-social and absolutely acceptable fashion. If Spontaneous Programming is happening inside the room during downtime hours, look for fellow wallflowers metaphorically shuffling our feet just outside the doors. The space will be completely self-directed, so some bravery will be required for breaking the ice and taking lead in decisions on where to eat together, what party to attend together, etc., should you decide it. You’re also welcome to bring quiet, fidgety, semi-social activities, like coloring books, knitting projects, or similar, to simply “be” in the space with other folks around. We welcome people who use this space to talk with each other, get to know one another, and hopefully make some friends, but, of course, socializing is optional.

The Introvert Corner is a work-in-progress, and if you have ideas or want to help take lead on this new “pop-up” space, please reach out to access@wiscon.net.

News for WisCon Tiptree Bakers

Greetings from Kit and Renay, your Bake Sale co-leads this year! You’re receiving this email because at some point you told WisCon you were interested in participating in our Bake Sale to benefit the Tiptree Award. (Yay! Thanks!)
Once again this year, the Bake Sale will be on FRIDAY from 1-5 pm in room 627 (during and after the Gathering).
We’re continuing to push for better food safety practices at the Bake Sale, so please review these guidelines before you start baking a treat:
  • DO bring a single batch or pan of whatever treat you’re making. If you want to make more than one type of treat, that’s fine, but we don’t want large batches of any one item.
  • DON’T bring a treat that requires refrigeration. This is a food safety issue: Non-perishable treats only, please!
  • DO bring pies if you have a sturdy recipe that will hold up to travel well. However, make sure they’re not dairy-based, because we CANNOT accept treats that require refrigeration. Fruit pies = yes. Pumpkin pie/cheesecakes = no.
  • DO cut up brownies or bar cookies ahead of time.
  • DON’T bring a store-bought treat. We really want the Bake Sale to be mainly items that we’ve made in our own kitchens to raise money for the Tiptree Award. (If you’re traveling from out-of-town or your before-Con baking time is running short, consider volunteering during the Bake Sale instead!)
  • DO bring your treats in a disposable plate or container, covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap if the container doesn’t have a lid. (If you absolutely can’t bring a disposable container, label your container with your name AND Con phone number.)
  • DO bring a list of ingredients for each treat you bring. WisCon has many members with food constraints, and we want as many people as possible to enjoy tasty baked goods! When making your list of ingredients, be particularly aware of the following allergens: wheat/gluten, eggs, dairy, soy, tree nuts, peanuts. The more information you can provide, the better!
  • DO follow basic food safety guidelines when preparing and handling food items: baking in a clean kitchen; hand-washing before touching baked goods or containers; storing in a cool, dry place; etc.
  • DO NOT BAKE if you or anyone in your household (including kids) is sick (especially with stomach- or digestive-related ailments, or with a viral infection). We will still love you, and will happily eat, er…, sell whatever you bring next year.
Dropping off your treats: Please bring your treats to University A (AKA “The Green Room”, on the second floor, through the double doors near the elevator lobby) during the following times:
Thursday: 3pm-10 pm
Friday: 8 am-12 noon
Please make every effort to drop off your treat during those hours; it’s more difficult for us to accept items once the Bake Sale is underway.
What should I make? Make whatever YOU like! Every year we see cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, fudge, and so much more. We love to see a huge variety of goodies come across the table, especially colorful or unusual items. (Chocolate treats are always popular!)
THANK YOU to everyone who’s willing to contribute treats for our Bake Sale! If you have other questions about baking, don’t hesitate to contact us at bakesale@wiscon.net .
Traveling from out of town or not sure you’ve got time to bake this year? In addition to bakers, we’re looking for volunteers to staff the Bake Sale for 1-hour shifts from 12:30pm to 5:30pm on FRIDAY (during & after the Gathering). Any time volunteering entitles you to our volunteer gift — ask about it at the Registration Desk. Six hours or more of volunteering entitles you to a 40% rebate on your WisCon membership; to claim this, ask for a volunteer rebate form at the Registration Desk.
Be a Tiptree Hero: Everyone who bakes OR volunteers at the Bake Sale can stop by the Bake Sale to receive a Tiptree Hero button!
Thank you again for your support of the Bake Sale and the Tiptree Award! We look forward to meeting you in Madison. If you have any questions about baking or volunteering, contact us at bakesale@wiscon.net.

Volunteering Roundup for WisCon 43!

WISCON IS NEXT WEEK!! Where does the time go? That’s a question that’s probably unanswerable, but we have one we can answer: Who makes WisCon happen? Answer: YOU! <3

We can’t have a convention without you there, and we have an even better convention with a little help from you. If you volunteer at least six hours total and fill out one of the blue volunteering forms you can find at the registration desk, you are eligible for up to a 40% rebate on your membership, if you choose. And if you volunteer less than six hours, you’ll still be eligible for our volunteer gift, available for pickup from the Registration Desk beginning Monday morning. Come join us! J O I N U S S S S.

Questions? Email personnel@sf3.org and we’ll be thrilled to answer them.

Make First Contact at Registration!
We have a variety of times and duties available beginning Thursday evening, and running throughout the convention. If you’ve never helped out with Registration (or just want a refresher), we will offer group training Thursday afternoon, and individual training as needed before shifts. If you have experience with registration, or are simply willing to take on a bit more responsibility, you can also sign up for a shift as a Table Manager. Table Managers handle all sales, and also are the first point of contact for any complications or inquiries from online orders. Visit https://signup.com/go/xRrpoFp to grab some shifts!

Bake Sale Needs Bakers & Volunteers
Our sale of tasty treats to benefit Tiptree will be on Friday during the Gathering! If you like to bake, now’s a great time to check out our guidelines and plan your recipes. We’re also looking for volunteers to help serve our delicious, member-made delicacies. Sign up and get your volunteer hours out of the way early in the con!

Blue Tape Volunteers Needed!
WisCon’s Access department is looking for Blue Tape volunteers. We have several shifts open throughout the con to tape and re-tape marked seating in convention spaces. The job may require bending down on hands and knees to tape floors, ability to lift and move chairs and tables (with help), and social flexibility and patience when working around hotel staff as they set up.To sign up for a shift, please visit https://signup.com/go/eDwuPQH or email SarahTops at access@wiscon.net.

Con Suite Needs YOU!
We know that WisCon’s Con Suite is a crucial part of making the con affordable, accessible, and low stress, but making it happen takes people. Can you help? We need folks for food prep tasks (including some you can do sitting down), setup & breakdown shifts that happen before or after the rest of the con, meal service, and, of course, cleanup. Many hands make light work, as they say, so come be a Con Suite hero! See what volunteer shifts are available here: https://signup.com/go/LCshkGa If you have any questions about volunteering in the Con Suite, please email us at consuite@wiscon.net.

Do You Like to Work with Kids?
Kids’ Programming needs volunteers during all daytime programming hours. You might be assisting with materials for a craft activity, building Lego or jigsaw puzzles with the kids who don’t want to do the main activity, or firmly redirecting the energies of a kid who doesn’t want to do the main activity and is trying to have a swordfight in that space instead. Choose the activity you would like to assist with at https://signup.com/go/PrtYSkg

Help Out with the Art Show
The Art Show needs people to set up on Thurs-Fri, to staff the sales desk on Sat-Mon, and to tear down on Monday. If you haven’t worked in the Art Show before, we’ll show you what to do! Check out the available shifts and sign up at https://signup.com/go/CxcQjqT

Swap, Swap, the Clothing Swap!
Our Clothing Swap is back this year on Friday during the Gathering, and we’re in search of people who can:

  • Help hang, sort, and set out clothes 11am-1pm (help for twenty minutes or the whole time!)
  • People who can help keep things organized between 1-4pm (help for twenty minutes or the whole time!)
  • People who can bag any leftover clothing for donation starting at 4pm (this needs to get done so we can use the room for programs, so we’d be very grateful if you can help until the task is complete!)

Please email personnel@sf3.org if you can commit some time to help us out.

Make Someone’s First WisCon a Friendly One!
Every year, we help to orient new folks to WisCon by assembling groups of people to venture forth from the hotel to go out to dinner together. We need people to lead those groups! The only qualifications are that you’ve been to WisCon at least once before, and you’re interested in meeting new people. You can choose a restaurant ahead of time, and we can suggest a few for a variety of budgets and preferences if you like — and you can even take a group to dinner at the Con Suite if your budget doesn’t stretch to dining out. Contact access@wiscon.net or personnel@sf3.org to let us know that you’re interested, and we’ll tell you more! P.S. Leading a group for the First Dinner counts for three hours toward a volunteer rebate and qualifies you for this year’s volunteering gift!

Get Your Gaming On
WisCon is looking for volunteers to help run open gaming on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, from 8 pm-12 am. Responsibilities mostly revolve around WisCon’s game library; getting it out at the beginning of the night, putting it away at the end of the night, and making sure none of it wanders away in between. In addition, volunteers will play games and help make the open gaming space welcoming and enjoyable! Please email gaming@wiscon.net if you are interested in helping out in this way. Even just a couple of hours would help a lot!

Hosts Needed for the Trans/GQ/GNC Safer Space
Trans/GQ/GNC safer space needs hosts so we can stay open through the convention. We’re asking for people to consider doing one or two ninety-minute shifts. Contact tgqsaferspace@wiscon.net for more information.

Make a High-Visibility Fashion Statement Volunteering with Safety!
You’ve probably seen Safety volunteers in past years, because we do our best to make them hard to miss. They walk around the convention spaces carrying a binder while wearing an eye-catching (and stylish) high-visibility neon vest. It’s a great way to meet new folks and to see the whole convention — a Safety shift means you’ll move around the con, dipping in and out of parties, events, panels, workshops, readings… You’ll be asked to be observant, to listen respectfully to folks for whom the convention or other people have created stress, anxiety, or anger, to hand out taxi vouchers, to point out the restrooms, and to contact the appropriate person if you discover a problem that can’t be solved with a quick chat. Safety welcomes folks who use mobility devices, or who can only make time in their schedule (or spoons budget) for a single shift.

Sign up now to let us know when you are available to lend a hand by visiting this form: https://signup.com/go/wBOZNSs

The Gathering: Clothing Swap, Tiptree Crowning, and MORE!

We’re grateful and happy to share that A Room Of One’s Own bookstore is sponsoring The Gathering this year! They’ll be hosting the Thursday night Guest of Honor Reception in-store at 315 W Gorham Street, and will be in the Dealers’ Room throughout the convention, carrying books by as many of the authors attending WisCon as they can. A Room Of One’s Own is a beautiful, welcoming physical store and is a pleasure to browse. Thank you, A Room Of One’s Own!

Whether you’re a WisCon regular or this is your first time, The Gathering is a must for kicking off your convention weekend! Held from 1-4pm in the Wisconsin/Capital Ballroom on the second floor, The Gathering is a great spot to meet up with friends old and new, snag some new threads, have some fun, and see this year’s Tiptree Award Winner crowned.

Wondering what’s going to be happening this year? Well, wonder no longer.

The Clothing Swap is back, and after suffering a little from its own success last year, we have some new rules as well as some reminders. The bigest reminder is that despite the name, it isn’t really a swap! You are welcomed and encouraged to take any clothing that strikes your fancy home, and you don’t need to bring any to give away in order to do so. In fact, we’ve always had too much donated and too little taken away, so please feel free to shop (for free). Anything that’s left at the end of The Gathering will be donated to a local nonprofit, but please have mercy on our volunteers who will have to carry the leftovers away, and adopt more clothes!

Want to bring us some treasures that no longer fit you or your aesthetic? You can bring them to the Wisconsin/Capital Ballroom beginning at 11am on Friday. Please do not bring anything to the Swap later than 2pm, as we will not be able to use it. If you are able to do so, we invite you to come in and help set out or hang up your donations — you will know sizes a lot faster than we will! We are also looking for volunteers to help keep things neat and help people “shop” during the swap, as well as folks who can help pack up anything that’s left over. Time spent helping out at the Clothing Swap can count toward a volunteering rebate, and anyone who volunteers for any amount of time is eligible for the volunteering gift, which is available at the Registration Desk on Monday. Interested? Please email personnel@sf3.org, or wait until WisCon and ask one of the folks already volunteering at the Clothing Swap for guidance on how you can help.

Here’s our revised and expanded set of guidelines for donating clothes to the Clothing Swap:

  • Please donate no more than one large bag of clothing. By large bag, we mean: one Ikea bag or shoe stone bag, or two brown paper grocery bags, or one loosely-filled kitchen-size trash bag, or a half-full large trash bag.
  • Please donate only items that you would gift to a friend – no holes, nothing worn-out, and preferably nothing that you didn’t think was great, for at least a little while.
  • No underwear of any type. No socks, no bras, no binders, no lingerie, no pajamas.
  • Please do not donate any clothing that is strongly scented or covered in pet hair. If you are able, please launder items in an unscented detergent. Donations that are smoky, musty, perfumed, otherwise strongly scented, or covered in pet hair will not be put out at the Clothing Swap.
  • Please do not donate any clothing that is wet. Yes, this has happened. Bags of wet clothing will be thrown away, as we will not even be able to donate them after the convention.

What else is happening at The Gathering this year? We are so glad you asked!

  • Coffee, Tea, and Subversion (yes, this is a fancy title for refreshments.)
  • Fiber Circle (bring your knitting/crocheting/embroidery/whatever!)
  • Tiptree Auction Preview (see what will be featured at the Auction)
  • Zen Doodles (new to The Gathering this year! Create some fun, meditative art.)
  • Gadget Petting Zoo (check out some technology, or share your own!)
  • Gaming Preview (play some games and find out more about games at WisCon)
  • Tarot Circle (bring your deck to show off and do a few readings, or have your cards read)
  • Nail Polish Swap (also not technically a swap, so feel free to drop off bottles without taking any, or take some without leaving any)
  • Renaissance Hair Braiding (fancy braiding for smooth and straight hair types)

And last but FAR from least, The Gathering closes with our Opening Ceremonies, where we might make announcements, and we will certainly honor the winner of this year’s Tiptree Award!

Updates from WisCon’s Access Team

Greetings from Accessland, a magical realm where volunteers work behind the scenes to make WisCon accessible for as many humanoids as possible. We’d like to take a moment to remind our attendees of WisCon’s Access-related policies and opportunities, so we can all make the most of a wonderful weekend. Some of this may be old news to long-time con-goers, but I promise there’s at least one new thing below! We invite you to read more at http://wiscon.net/policies/accessibility/. In no particular order:

(1) Blue Tape at WisCon

WisCon uses blue painter’s tape to mark areas of the convention space for various users, including squares on the floors of panel rooms for wheelchair parking, slashes on chairs near the fronts of panel rooms for those who who need to be close to hear or see, and 6th-floor aisle markings to keep travel lanes clear. It takes volunteer power to mark and upkeep these markings throughout the convention. If you’d like to help as a Blue Tape volunteer, please sign up by filling out our online form, or emailing access@wiscon.net.

(2) Thursday Night Shuttle

WisCon’s first scheduled event each year is an off-site reception and reading at Room of One’s Own Bookstore on Thursday night. The bookstore is about 4 blocks from the hotel. We offer a free shuttle between the Concourse Hotel and Room of One’s Own that can accommodate up to one passenger using a wheelchair or scooter and three passengers on foot. This accessible van from Union Cab will be stationed at the Concourse from 4:30pm to 6:30pm on Wisconsin Avenue, and from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at Room of One’s Own, making multiple trips as needed between the two locations. Look for more details in a future blog post by that Thursday morning.

(3) Minimizing Strong Scents

WisCon asks con-goers to please consider those with allergies or chemical sensitivities by minimizing strong scents at the con, be it perfumes, incense, cigarette smoke, or similar. Unfortunately, the convention space is not a fragrance-free zone, but WisCon takes steps to minimize strong scents, including providing scent-free soaps in the restrooms. Keep these practices in mind when donating clothing to the Gathering’s clothing swap—washing donations with scent-free detergents before the convention will make the swap more awesome for everyone!

(4) The Quiet Room & Safer Spaces

WisCon can be overwhelming at times, so we offer a Quiet Room on the 2nd floor where attendees can get some peaceful respite. We also offer three Safer Spaces rooms for people of color, people with disabilities, and people who are trans, non-binary, and/or genderqueer. Other relaxing escapes are available, like sitting in on a reading or taking a stroll through nearby parks.

(5) Feeding Yourself at WisCon

Don’t let the hanger consume you; consume some of WisCon’s goodies instead! We try to accommodate as many eaters as possible, whether vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or just on a tight budget, we have plenty of options for you. The Friday Bake Sale, Sunday Dessert Salon, and free snacks and meals at the Consuite will have major allergens marked, but are not entirely nut-free if you have severe allergies.

(6) Mindfulness of Sight & Sound

WisCon works hard so that everyone can read and listen how they read and listen best. We offer CART captioning at the Guests of Honor speeches and at select panels, as well as limited ASL interpreting. We  also provide large-print or Braille versions of our Pocket Program Book, with advanced notice, as well as Braille-marked games at our Gaming tables. Larger panel rooms are equipped with microphones, and we remind our panelists not to cover their mouths when speaking, for the benefit of audience members who lip-read. Descriptions of the visual components of panels will benefit audience members who are blind or low-vision.

(7) Elevators & Stairs

WisCon wants to make it as easy to get around the convention space as possible. Because events take place on multiple floors, many attendees use the hotel’s elevators to move around. If you can take the stairs, please do, to alleviate traffic to the elevators for those who need them.

(8) Introducing Introvert Corner!

This WisCon 43 will be the convention’s first year offering Introvert Corner, a “pop-up” space for shy folks to meet and make friends during convention downtime! In past years, attendees have craved such a space, and we’re making it happen. Mealtimes and evening parties can be socially daunting whether you’re new to the con, attending alone, or otherwise shy. The Introvert Corner will be located on the 2nd floor at the Spontaneous Programming room in University D, tucked away from crowds but still not far from the action. We envision Introvert Corner both as a meet-up spot to venture out with new friends during meals or parties, and as a hang-out spot with other introverts, whether you’re talking or simply sharing space in a semi-social and absolutely acceptable fashion. If Spontaneous Programming is happening inside the room, look for fellow wallflowers metaphorically shuffling our feet just outside the doors.

The Introvert Corner is a work-in-progress, and if you have ideas or want to help take lead on this new “pop-up” space, please reach out to access@wiscon.net.

Questions? Concerns? Forget to request an accommodation, or want to make a suggestion? Email us at access@wiscon.net. We look forward to creating a stellar experience with you at WisCon 43!

Tip/Alli Filming at WisCon 43

Hello WisCon,

My name is Rox Samer. I am a Screen Studies professor, feminist science fiction fan, filmmaker, and non-binary femme (among other things—note, also passionate cat parent). I have been attending WisCon since 2011. I often debut vids (OneOfGloriasJudys) at the Vid party, and in 2016 I served on the Tiptree Award jury that awarded Anna-Marie McLemore the TIptree for her incredible magical realist trans romance novel When the Moon Was Ours. One of my greatest WisCon joys (and life joys, truly) was getting to present Anna-Marie the award and play my Moon vid for all of you. Because of these amazing experiences, I am delighted to be returning to WisCon this year with a film crew to begin filming for my forthcoming documentary Tip/Alli, about the life, work, and influence of James Tiptree, Jr./Alice B. Sheldon.

Like many of you Tiptree’s work has been profoundly influential on my thinking of gender and sexuality, including my imagination of what could be and the many challenges we as humans face in getting there. In bringing my small, queer film crew to WisCon and making it our first stop, my goal is to center the story of feminist, queer, trans, and gender nonconforming science fiction fans. I envision Tip/Alli as being both Sheldon’s story and our own. However, I cannot do this without your help. In order to tell fans’ stories I need to interview fans! I would love the opportunity to speak to you about when you first discovered Tiptree’s work and learned of Sheldon’s story; your favorite James Tiptree, Jr. or Raccoona Sheldon story; and how the author’s work and life have inspired your own. If you are interested in interviewing for the film or helping out in another way (among other things, we need b-roll of convention activities), please do reach out and get in touch: rsamer@clarku.edu.

I am also aware that not everyone, Tiptree fan or no, is comfortable or excited to be on camera. The Tip/Alli crew will be very careful to not film anyone without their knowledge or consent. If you have any questions or concerns, please do find a member of team (we should all have black and white Tip/Alli t-shirts on most of the time) and let us know.

I encourage you to read more about the project online. Please follow us on Twitter (@TipAlli), and please shoot me an email before the convention if you’re curious!

Warmly,

Rox