The party won’t start til YOU sign up!

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

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

WisCon 42 Gaming Update


WisCon’s Gaming Department is gearing up for an awesome con!  Here’s what we have in store for gamers and the gaming-curious.

pile of board games
The Gaming table at the WisCon 40 Gathering.

Our Open Gaming Space will be open each evening from 8pm to 12am in the second floor lobby in front of the Dealers’ Room doors. We will teach and play a variety of modern games open to casual drop-in players. Most games will be suitable in theme and content for players of a variety of ages from children on up. New players are welcome and encouraged to join us! This year, we are excited to share new additions of Braille-marked accessibility kits to our collection, for the popular Pandemic and 7 Wonders board games, as well as a Braille RPG dice set that can be loaned out for scheduled (or impromptu) role-playing games.  We welcome you to bring games to share with fellow attendees, or to choose a game from our collection to play.

Reserving Seats

WisCon 40 Gaming sign
The Gaming sign-up / notice board at WisCon 40.

Reserve a seat to ensure a spot in one of our scheduled games! Reservations are not required, but they are recommended, especially for role-playing and storytelling games. Reserve a seat today by emailing us at At the con, a board outside of the Dealers’ Room will feature that evening’s featured games along with sign-up space, or you can sign up at the Gaming table at the Gathering on Friday. Throughout the weekend, we will advertise games that are looking for players, so stay alert for posters, tweets, and whispers.

Scheduled Games at WC42


  • Participants: 3-6
  • When: Friday: 2:30-5:15 pm
  • Location: Room 641
  • Larp

Sign is a silent game about being understood.

In 1977 fifty deaf children from across Nicaragua were brought together to an experimental school to teach lip reading, but something far more remarkable happened. At this time in Nicaragua no sign language existed, so the children did the only thing they could — they created one. In Sign, players experience a small piece of their journey of struggling to be understood and finding ways to share what is important to them.

Sign is equally fun to play if you are new to games, you’ve never signed before, or you are fluent in a sign language.


  • Participants: 3-5
  • When: Friday: 6:30-9:30 pm
  • Location: Room 641
  • Roleplaying Game

Fiasco is a storytelling game inspired by cinematic tales of small-time capers gone disastrously wrong, with powerfully ambitious characters who lack impulse control. A game of big dreams and flawed execution, Fiasco is an award-winning, GM-less game for 3-5 players, designed to be played in a few hours with no preparation. During the game you will engineer and play out silly, disastrous situations, usually at the intersection of greed, fear, and passion. It’s like making your own Coen brothers movie, in about the same amount of time it’d take to watch one. This game is particularly welcoming for those new to role-playing games. Players will choose among several “playsets,” some of which are family-friendly, to create a story in a customized setting.


  • Participants: 5-6
  • When: Friday: 10 pm-12 am
  • Location: Room 641
  • Larp


It is July third, 1950. The Korean War is eight days old. National Security Council Report 68 is sitting on Harry Truman’s desk, a grim outline of the Cold War that is to enfold the world for the next 40 years. Alan Turing’s paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” is circulating for review. Cinderella is a box office sensation.

And you have invented a computer that can see the future.

Employing cutting-edge Ward-Takahashi identity derivations outside their quantum-theoretical framework, JUGGERNAUT processes enormous data sets, ostensibly in the service of code-breaking once the technology is proven and refined. The unstable geniuses behind the math have reached some curious conclusions that only experimental evidence can confirm. By the numbers, JUGGERNAUT —given enough resources— should be able to crack ciphers before they are even invented.

JUGGERNAUT is a live-action game about free will that plays like a creepy Twilight Zone episode and requires almost no prep. Replay value is high and it is always weird and intense To play.

Dream Apart

  • Participants: 2-5
  • When: Saturday: 9-12 am
  • Location: Room 641
  • Roleplaying Game

GM-less, mechanics-light storygame set in a fantastical 19th century Eastern European Jewish village, based on Avery Alder’s Dream Askew.

Dream Apart gives us demons and wedding jesters; betrothals and pogroms; mystical ascensions and accusations of murder; rabbi’s daughters running away to be actresses or bandits or boy soldiers; the sounds of the shofar ringing through cramped and muddy streets, of cannon fire, of the wolf’s footfalls in the snowy pine forest; asking “What do you do next?”

In Dream Apart you play a Jew of the shtetl, a little mostly-Jewish market town in the Eastern European countryside. In the cities, the industrial revolution has begun. Prussia, Russia and the Hapsburgs have devoured the small countries between them. Surrounded by an often hostile Christendom, by wild forests in which anything might creep, and by the invisible creatures of the Unseen World — angels, demons, ghosts, and dybbuks — the Jews of the shtetl try to outwit or outlast those who would do us harm. We feud and reconcile, bargain and gossip, celebrate and mourn, and snatch a little joy and love while we can. Life in the shtetl is sweet as raisin pastries and bitter as horseradish: may it be the Divine Will that it endures another season…

Deep Forest

  • Participants: 2-5
  • When: Saturday: 1:00-5:15 pm
  • Location: Room 641
  • Roleplaying Game

In this map-drawing game you collectively explore the struggles of a community of monsters, trying to rebuild and heal after driving off the human occupiers. It’s a game about community, difficult choices, and decolonization. When you play, you make decisions about the community, decisions that get recorded on a map that is constantly evolving. Players work together to create and steer this community, but they also play devil’s advocate and introduce problems and tensions into the game.


  • Participants: 3-6
  • When: Saturday: 6:30-10:30 pm
  • Location: Room 641
  • Roleplaying Game

Dread is an elegant survival-horror game that runs on a very simple mechanic: Jenga! Pull a block to succeed, or refuse and fail— but when the tower falls, somebody dies. No dice needed. Game facilitator will provide all materials. 2 scenarios will be available, and players will choose which one to play based on interest. One is a classic AI space horror called Only the Food, the other is Stranger Dread (based on, guess what: Stranger Things). Warning: This is a horror game and characters will die! However, we will use safety mechanics such as the X card to avoid specific triggering topics.

Pokémon Go!

  • Participants: 1-100
  • When: Sunday: 10-11:15 am
  • Location: Meet in the hotel lobby
  • Video Game

Pokémon Go! is a fun Augmented Reality game in which players go out in the world and catch pokémon either alone or in a group! Urban areas such as the area around the convention hotel are excellent places to catch pokémon, battle gyms, and even join together to take on large raids.

I would like to bring a group of Pokémon-catching enthusiasts on a short expedition out and around the square near the capitol (bordered by Doty, Fairchild, Dayton, and Webster Streets at most, but probably staying right around the capitol itself). This is intended to be a social outing + game, so players should plan to come and chat about their favorite pokémon, what they need to complete their pokédex, etc.

The game is all ages, but as it involves leaving the premises of the WisCon hotel, children must bring their guardian with them.

Players should bring: comfortable walking shoes and/or any mobility aids, a device capable of playing Pokémon Go! and connecting to the network (or a friend willing to provide a hotspot), water, and sunscreen.

Accessibility: I intend to stick to sidewalks and will avoid any extremely difficult to maneuver areas (for instance, construction). The game does involve some movement and some standing/staying in one place to capture pokémon.

Group size: Although there is no theoretical limit to group size, I am hoping to recruit 1 or 2 other people to be potential “group leaders” just in case the group is extremely large. Although a very large (more than 20 people) will be good for a pokémon raid, it will result in logistic problems as we move around the square. If we have enough people to split into groups, I would like to send the groups in different directions so that we don’t clog the sidewalk.

Dialect – Mars Colony

  • Participants: 2-5
  • When: Sunday: 1:00-3:45 pm
  • Location: Room 641
  • Roleplaying Game

Have you ever wanted to create your own language for a creative project? In Dialect you can live that dream by building a unique vocabulary for a Mars colony. Dialect is a story game about a Mars colony that loses contact with Earth. Players tell the story of the colony and it’s dialect growing and changing without Earth’s influence. When contact with Earth is re-established, our story ends. This engaging and beautiful game is perfectly suited to first-time storytellers of any age.

Lovecraft Letter

  • Participants: 2-6
  • When: Sunday: 4:00-5:15 pm
  • Location: Tables outside the dealers room
  • Board Game

Lovecraft Letter is fast moving, quick to play card game, in which players seek out dark secrets, risking their very sanity. But not really. Lovecraft letter is a game of risk, deduction and luck that uses the award-winning love letter engine.

Individual games move very fast (as little as 10 minutes), so far more people than six can sign up and get a chance to play. Players can drop in and out throughout the time slot.


  • Participants: 3
  • When: Sunday: 6:30-10:30 pm
  • Location: Room 641
  • Larp

Since 1992, approximately 28,000 Danish soldiers have gone to war abroad. Distance is a scenario about some of their wives who were left at home. Jesper, Simon, and Kenneth are stationed in the Danish army in Afghanistan. They will be there for six months and all communication with their loved ones will take place through unstable telephone lines and bad internet connections. Meanwhile, Anne-Mette, Camilla, and Josephine take care of things at home. The three women have formed a support
group where they share their experiences.

Distance is a tragic story about how the three marriages are affected by the husbands’ absence. The scenario is played out through short stand-alone scenes showing highlights spread out over all six months. The story focuses on the wives and life at home. There are snapshots of busy days and anxious nights waiting for a phone call that never comes. There is awkward Skype sex and confrontations with judgmental friends. There are episodes of meeting new men, sometimes in the form of unwanted sexual advances, other times igniting new sparks of attraction.

AV & Hand-Staffed Panel Requests – Do You Need A Special Request For Your Proposed Panel?

AV Requests for WisCon 42

As you who is reading this probably know, the Panel Surveys are currently live and will close on March 19th. However, some of you fine folk put in requests for special AV equipment when you submitted your proposed panel ideas. In order to best accommodate all parties, we ask that those of you who submitted requests for AV equipment outside of the standard microphone set up confirm that you still require said equipment.

To confirm, please email us at with “AV Request – Your Submitted Panel Name” in the subject line, and what type of equipment (e.g., a screen, projector, etc.) you require in the body of the email by March 19th.

only those who submitted the panels which made the survey email us with these requests. To view the entire list of panels, please log in to your WisCon account, click “Sign Up For Programming”, then click the full list of proposed panels link.

Hand-Staffed Panel Requests for WisCon 42

You may have noticed that certain panels allow for only a “I would like to attend this panel” option. That is because the suggesters had requested that these particular panels be staffed with those folk who best fit with the marginalized identities about which the panels will discuss. If you have not already contacted us about hand-staffing your proposed panel, please email us at with “Hand-Staff Request – Your Submitted Panel Title” in the subject line, and who you would like to be on your panel in the body of the email by March 19th.

Questions/Concerns/Feedback can be sent to

Thank you for your continued attendance, feedback, and support of WisCon as we finalize panels for this year.

Later Days,

Jackie Gross, Lead Panel Programming
JP Fairfield, Panel Programming
Jennifer Cross, Panel Programming

Support the WMAF, and…wear an awesome shirt!

Yes, you read that correctly—we’re asking for your donations to WisCon’s Member Assistance Fund (WMAF) in TWO DIFFERENT WAYS!

You’ve always been able to support the WMAF via our Donate page, during the Registration process, or by using our direct Paypal link.

But now you can take care of your own need for clothing and benefit the WMAF at the same time! Sam Haney Press has designed artwork based on an idea from Nicasio Andres Reed (inspired by Woodie Guthrie) and we’re making it available on t-shirts! (And on a tote bag, which you will probably need to…carry the multiple t-shirts you are going to want to buy.)


What’s more, you (yes, YOU!) benefit from our indecisiveness, as we have made this amazing artwork available printed in as many colors as we could manage onto as many colors and cuts of t-shirt as we could manage, while confirming that the garments are made ethically and that we can provide as broad a size range as possible.

We’re selling these shirts (and tote bags) via Teespring for a limited time: just until the end of WisCon 42, on May 28. 100% of the revenue we generate there goes into the WMAF.

What are you waiting for?! GO BUY SOME SHIRTS. Then come back and read more about the WMAF and donate if you can. <3

The WMAF has a single purpose: to help people travel to and enjoy WisCon. The WMAF awards attendees amounts up to $500, at whatever level they tell us they need to make their attendance possible. Keep in mind that WisCon is not just a convention: every Memorial Day weekend we create space to organize, to push back, to have restorative conversations, to make connections, and to build our dream of a better future.

As intersectional feminists, we know we can’t do that without striving for equity and taking concrete steps toward including as diverse a group of participants as possible in those spaces, conversations, connections, and dreams. A big part of how we foster inclusion and equity is WisCon’s Member Assistance Fund.

We need your donations to make this happen. Any amount you donate to WMAF makes a huge difference, and donations to WisCon are tax-deductible in the US.

Please give to put WisCon within reach!

Call for Con Suite Volunteers

It’s March already, and we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty of planning WisCon. We’ve heard that people would like the opportunity to plan their volunteering early, so that they can make the most of their time at WisCon, so we’re sending you a form for volunteering in the Con Suite now!

The Con Suite takes MANY MANY people MANY MANY hours to create a good space with great food for everyone who needs it — either in order to afford to attend, or to make a hectic schedule of fun times work, or both. In order to make that happen, historically a few volunteers wind up spending their entire convention trapped in the Con Suite.

We don’t want that to happen, ever again.

In order to stop that happening, we want to try to have people work no more than 6 hours in the Con Suite over the course of the convention. (Just enough to qualify for the volunteer rebate, if you opt for it!) That means we need MORE VOLUNTEERS to work FEWER HOURS. 🙂 Please sign up! Without volunteers, we can’t keep the Con Suite open.

Please use this form to tell us what you’d be comfortable doing in the Con Suite, how you’d prefer to do it, and when you’d be available:

THIS FORM DOES NOT COMMIT YOU TO ANY SHIFTS. It just tells us when you could potentially volunteer. We will reach out to you to confirm and make final assignments.

There are lots of ways to volunteer in the Con Suite! Early in the morning, late at night, just on Thursday, one or two hours every day, Monday only…

Thank you for being willing to help out, and we’ll see you in May. <3

Call for Artwork for the Souvenir Program Book Cover

We’re doing things a little differently this year, and the Souvenir Progam Book is currently looking for artwork for its cover. (This year, the Souvenir and Program Books will be combined!)

Dimensions–8×10, 300 dpi
Works in all media that can be easily scanned/laid out in an 8×10 cover are welcome!
Please send a proposal and 3-5 work samples. 
We pay $100!
Deadline for consideration is March 15.
Please send proposals for consideration to

WisCon 42 Panel Sign-Up and Interest Survey Is Open!!! Deadline to Submit Survey – March 19th

Panel Surveys are open until March 19th  Now’s the chance to give YOUR feedback on what panels will run during WisCon 42.  The survey is a big part on how programming is decided every year!  If you want to more about how panel programming, please view this post for a quick overview.

WisCon programming is divided into separate tracks which group related concepts together in order to facilitate interesting and complex discussions.  The current list of tracks are below:

  • Feminism and Other Social Change Movements
  • Power, Privilege, and Oppression
  • Spirituality, Organized Religion and Politics
  • Science and Technology
  • The Craft and Business of Writing
  • Reading, Viewing, and Critiquing Science Fiction
  • Fandom as a Way of Life
  • Interactive Storytelling and Media

You will need to a WisCon account in order to view the survey.  If you don’t have an account, create one at the “Create Your Account” page.  For those with an account already created, go to “Log in to My Account” page.  You should see the link to the survey once logged into your account.  Now, you can choose your panel interests on the panel sign up and attendance interest form!

For your convenience, we also provide a full list of proposed panel items. You may wish to open this link in a separate tab or window for ease of reference.

Questions/Concerns/Feedback can be sent to

Thank you for your continued attendance, feedback, and support of WisCon as we finalize programming for this year.


Later Days,

Jackie Gross, Lead Panel Programming
JP Fairfield, Panel Programming
Jennifer Cross, Panel Programming

This Just In: WisCon 42 Panel Sign-Up and Interest Survey Opens on February 26!

We’re very excited to announce that the Panel Sign-Up and Interest Survey will go live in 2 weeks! On February 26th, get ready to give us YOUR feedback on what panels will run during WisCon 42.

WisCon programming is divided into separate tracks which group related concepts together in order to facilitate interesting and complex discussions.  The current list of tracks are below:

  • Feminism and Other Social Change Movements
  • Power, Privilege, and Oppression
  • Spirituality, Organized Religion and Politics
  • Science and Technology
  • The Craft and Business of Writing
  • Reading, Viewing, and Critiquing Science Fiction
  • Fandom as a Way of Life
  • Interactive Storytelling and Media (Our Gaming track has evolved, friends!)

You will need a WisCon account in order to view the survey.  If you don’t have an account, create one at the “Create Your Account” page.  For those with an account already created, go to “Log in to My Account” page.  Come February 26th, you should see the link to the survey once you have logged into your account.

So mark February 26th on your calendars!

As always, questions/concerns/feedback can be sent to

Jackie Gross, Lead Panel Programming
JP Fairfield, Panel Programming
Jennifer Cross, Panel Programming
WisCon 42

Promote it at WisCon!

While generally we at WisCon are all about smashing capitalism, we know we’re all complicit in it too. Whether you need WisCon to help you advertise your self published shape shifter erotica or want to sell your handmade epic-fantasy-inspired pendants, we have several opportunities for raising your profile at WisCon. Some ways to promote at WisCon require attendance, and some do not. Some are inexpensive and some are less so—thought we think you will find costs competitive! We hope there is something that will help you no matter how deep your pockets.

  • Sponsorship and Advertising:

WisCon has several sponsorships available—these are more high-profile sponsorship spots this year, a fantastic opportunity for businesses to help the con in a concrete and visible way. We also have several sizes and tiers of advertising in our Souvenir Program Book. You can read more about sponsorship and advertising, as well as glance over our rates sheet, here:

Advertisements are due April 1, and sponsorships will close when they are gone.

  • Dealer’s Room:

Our Dealer’s Room is a smorgasbord of books, toys, jewelry, and and other items relevant to explorations of feminism, gender, race, class, and disability. If you think you’d like a table to sell items, check out our application here:

Applications are due March 15.

  • Parties:

Panels are nice and all, but for anyone who wants a more informal WisCon experience, parties are where it’s at. We are particularly enthusiastic about parties with a history at WisCon as well as parties that are promoting other cons, SF groups, book & author promotional parties, and other events. If you’d like to celebrate a publication, your new publishing business, etc, look into hosting a party:

Applications are due March 15.

  • Freebies:

While we do not give away swag bags at WisCon—due to our sustainability initiative—we do have several freebie tables in our registration area for the placement of fliers, stickers, buttons, advance reading copies, etc. We do not require an application for freebies, though we do reserve the right to review whether to distribute materials based on our guiding principles. You can read more here:

Freebies are accepted from late April through the week before WisCon.

  • Fan Tables:

We have a limited number of free-to-use tables in the high traffic area at the entrance of the Dealer’s Room. Groups sign up for these tables to staff them—preference is given to groups whose projects support marginalized groups or are relevant to explorations of feminism, gender, race, class, and disability. You can read more here:

Applications due March 1.

Join the Communications Team!

Hi! I’m Levi, chair of the Communications Committee. We keep the information flowing—before con, we make sure eCubes go out, blog posts get updated and social media comments get responded to. We also publish the printed materials that allow members to get around at WisCon. I’ve been on the team for three years now. Volunteering for WisCon has brought me interesting challenges, daily small joys (and occasional frustrations!) and given me the opportunity to make friends with and work with truly excellent people. It has also given me fantastic skills and experience that helped me land my dream job in July – no, really!

If you enjoy writing, graphic design, social media, advertising, or video editing, we would love to have you join the team! All the work can be done from your own home, and most positions require just an hour or two a week. Like all WisCon positions over 20 hours annually, Communications Committee members are eligible for the WisCon membership rebate, as well as volunteer gifts! Please email with questions or to express interest.

Positions available:

  • Social media volunteer

What you’ll do: Work with our chair to keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter, and other outward facing accounts, posting posts and answering questions, being positive, professional, and awesome. Forward questions to chairs or departments. Make sure things like deadlines are advertised. These can be checked on one or twice a day!

Time commitment: 1-2 hours/week

  • Blog post writer

What you’ll do: Work with other departments to get their words out there on the WisCon blog! If you like to write, edit, and work collaboratively, and you work well to deadlines, this is a great job for you. You’ll also get to learn more about the moving parts of WisCon and meet some of the folks who make it happen!

Time commitment: Project-based. Each blog post may take 3-5 hours of writing, collaborating, and editing.

  • Print publications

What you’ll do: Do you love creating in InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop? We’re looking for someone to take over making our printing happen. We need someone to make and design our postcard-sized mailings and dessert tickets, and update designs from previous year’s cons. Additionally, you’ll need to work with our designer to finalize the Souvenir Program Book, work with printers to make sure printed items are to-spec and ready to go, etc.

Time commitment: 12 hours/week December-March, 5-10 hours/week in April

  • Advertising coordinator

What you’ll do: We sell sponsorship and advertising space in our Souvenir Program Book and would love someone with a knack for sales to take on this project. Advertising is a very concrete way you can help make WisCon a success, because the proceeds help us keep WisCon affordable! Our con chairs and committee chair can help produce a rate sheet, the SF3 treasurer takes care of billing, and the actual advertisements go on to our designer, so you’ll just need to go out and get them!

Time commitment: 1-2 hours/week, September through April

  • Video Archivist:

What you’ll do: Do you have some spare time now that the Festivids deadline is past? We’re looking for someone with awesome video editing skills to help us preserve WisCon history! We are in the process of digitizing video tapes of convention material—mostly Guest of Honor speeches from WisCons past. We have a bunch already digitally stored and waiting to be edited, polished, and uploaded to YouTube.

Time commitment: Flexible

Art Show Call for Artists

Hello, artists! If you’re considering attending or sending art to WisCon this year, applications for the Art Show are open. The convention dates are May 25-28, 2018, and the deadline to apply is March 1. Late appliers will be waitlisted unless there is extra space. More information can be found at, and the link to apply is

Please note a few significant cost-related changes: To continue covering the costs of the show, the commission WisCon takes on sales has gone up to 5% attending/10% mail-in. Also, mail-in artists will be required to cover return shipping for their unsold work (preferably by including a prepaid return shipping label in the box).

Finally, the convention has a programming theme this year: “What Does Justice Demand?” We’re inviting artists to consider incorporating the theme into their work for the show, although it’s not mandatory. See the blog post here for more about the theme:

Thank you!

Call for Gaming Proposals

WisCon is now accepting proposals for games!

You can submit games here. The deadline for proposing games is February 28th.

We have a slots available all day in a dedicated gaming room every day of the con, so don’t be shy about proposing games. We’re excited to see your game submissions, be they tabletop roleplaying, larp, board games, or, if you’ve got a way to make it work, video games! We also encourage you to submit games to the Teen Program at and Kids Program at

This year WisCon has a theme to help organize our focus. This year’s theme is: 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 endeavor 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?

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, and we’d love to work with you to find something you’d be excited about running. You can also peruse these places for justice related games.

If you have a game idea that you’re excited about but you’re not sure if it fits the theme, don’t worry! The theme is meant as a tool for inspiration, not as a limit on creativity, and we will be happy to accept your submissions that explore ideas other than justice.

You can submit games here.

Once you have submitted your game proposal you can expect an email from within the next couple days confirming that we received your submission and asking any follow up questions. After submissions close on February 28th a schedule will be created and sent out by early March so you will know your commitments when the call for panelists goes out.