Tag Archives: readings

WisCon 46 Readings Track Open for Proposals!

Do you have a new book out this year? A poem recently accepted for publication? A work in progress you’d like to share? WisCon’s Reading track is now open to proposals!

To start, form a group — readings are organized into 75-minute sessions of four to six authors, usually with a common theme. Forming a group can be a snap for authors featured together in a collection, critique groups, or a group of friends.  We encourage you to try to form a group in advance, but if nothing’s coming together please sign up for a reading anyway. We’ll do our best to group individual readers.

Open poetry reading and rapid-fire sessions may have as many readers as you can fit into the time period. The WisCon Reading track is typically very popular, and so we must limit everyone to just one reading.  There is one loophole! You may read again during an open mic event.

Much more information on our Readings track (and how to register) is available on our website.

The proposal period for Readings closes on Saturday, March 4. Please note that you must also register for WisCon 46 before signing up for a reading.

We look forward to hearing your work at WisCon this year!

WisCONline: Programming & Events

Just as with in-person WisCon conventions, WisCon 44 will feature a variety of different programming types and events. This page gives information on how to access and participate in our various event types.

For the full schedule of programming during WisCon 44, see the full schedule grid or the list of program items with full descriptions.

Most video content for WisCONline will be available via YouTube. Links to YouTube streams and videos will be sent by email to all registered members, as well as posted to the WisCon Discord server. If you are registered and don’t receive the links, check your spam folder! If you still can’t find them, contact onlinecon@wiscon.net.

Panels

Live Panels will be streamed to the WisCon YouTube channel, but the panel itself will take place via private videoconference using the platform Jitsi; this video conference. (Each Jitsi room will also include a technical producer and someone providing captions, in case you’re wondering why there seem to be two silent participants on each panel!)

For each panel there will also be a dedicated channel on the WisCon Discord server (identified by the official panel hashtag). Discord will be the only forum in which you can ask questions during live panels; both comments and live chat on the YouTube streams have been disabled.

The Discord channel for each panel will be a space for parallel audience discussion, as well as a space to ask questions and submit comments. There will be an Online Chat Moderator who will relay questions from the Discord channel to the panel’s technical producer. The panel-specific channels will open for discussion shortly before the panel begins; the Online Chat Moderator will announce when questions and comments for the panel are open. If a stream fails or is unavailable, the panelists will congregate in the Discord channel for a live discussion in the chat.

After the panel livestream ends, we hope conversations will continue in text on the Discord server! Panelist are likely to join this discussion as well (assuming they weren’t already on Discord during the scheduled panel).

If you aren’t able to attend the panel at the scheduled time (or if you want to re-watch any of a panel that you did view live), it will be available to view on the WisCon YouTube channel until the end of the convention weekend (11:59 PM Central Time, Monday May 25).

For more information on audience participation in live panels, see our WisCon Guide to Discord.

Academic and Readings

Academic Programming and Readings at WisCon 44 will also be streamed on YouTube, but instead of streaming live they have all been pre-recorded. As with live panels, there will be dedicated discussion channels on Discord; presenters and authors will be available during the scheduled time for their presentation for live discussion and questions.

As with panels, these items will remain available to view until the end of the convention weekend (11:59 PM Central Time, Monday May 25).

Gaming

A number of Games have been scheduled for WisCONline. Details of the games available can be found in the convention program grid; signups will take place via the #sign-ups-and-troubleshooting channel on the WisCon Discord.

Virtual Reception (Thursday)
Opening Ceremonies (Friday)
& GOH Speech (Sunday)

Like Panels, Academic programming, and Readings, these events will all be available to watch via the WisCon YouTube channel. Links will be sent out by email to all registered members, as well as posted to Discord.

Gathering (Friday)

The Gathering at an in-person WisCon is an event at the beginning of the convention, where WisCon members come together in the hotel ballroom for a number of in-person activities.

For the online convention, a virtual Gathering will take place on Discord immediately after the Opening Ceremonies, across a number of activity-themed channels. Stop by to explore the Discord server and check in with both new and old WisCon friends!

If this is your first WisCon, check out the #first-time-at-wiscon channel on Discord during the Gathering to help get you oriented!

Otherwise Auction (Saturday)

The Otherwise Auction will take place online this year, hosted by auctioneer Sumana Harihareswara and live-captioned via CART. The auction will be streamed via YouTube, and you’ll be able to bid and converse using the live Discord chat.  Donations to WisCon can be made here. Content warning: a few jokes about the pandemic (facemasks & distancing).

The format of the auction will be slightly different this year. The Otherwise Motherboard has decided to use pass-the-hat challenges this year to raise money for the Carl Brandon Society and for WisCon, instead of raising money for Otherwise. For more information on the items available for auction, and the auction format, visit the Otherwise Award website.

Vid Party (Friday)

Details to be announced Friday!

Floomp Dance Party (Saturday)

The theme for this year’s Floomp dance party is ROBOTS, and it’s taking place this year in an all-new virtual format! It will take place across two virtual rooms: the Dance Floor and the Chill Space. Room links will be posted to the #floomp channel on the WisCon Discord server. There will be DJ sets streamed to YouTube during the party (links posted to #floomp), as well as a VJ set streamed for the duration of the party. For more information, see the public information sheet on Google Docs.

Spontaneous Programming + Meetups

What makes WisCon is its members. We hope that you will all find other ways to create spaces for discussion and community during the convention. The #meetups channel on the WisCon Discord is available to post invitations and notices for discussions on other platforms, whether these are purely social or are for spontaneous panels or roundtables. If you would like to set up a video call you are welcome to use any platform, but we have instructions on setting up a private room on Jitsi (the open-source and secure video conferencing system we are using for live panels at WisCONline).

There will be a Spontaneous Programming schedule posted as a Google Spreadsheet, linked on Discord, where you’re invited to share your plans for spontaneous panels, roundtables, or other events. You can use the channel #spontaneity to announce Spontaneous Programming items.

Safer Spaces

When we meet in person, WisCon maintains a designated space at the convention for people of color to dialogue freely and openly, known as the Safer Space for People of Color. In recent years it has been joined by two more safer spaces, one for people with disabilities, and one for trans and genderqueer members.

During the virtual WisCONline convention, we can’t replicate these physically closed spaces, but each Safer Space is developing plans for virtual alternatives and the Safer Spaces may run programming accessible only to their members.

For more information you can contact the Safer Spaces coordinators directly:

For more information about any of our programming items or events, you can contact the relevant WisCon department. For general inquiries about the online platforms and infrastructure, contact onlinecon@wiscon.net

How To Get A Captions File For Your Video

When you upload a video for WisCONline, you’ll also be asked for a plain text file that has a script for what’s being said in the video (either with or without timings).

This is a choose your own adventure! Depending on how much time you have, there are a few different approaches you can use:

Scenario A: You recorded a video, but you don’t have a script that you spoke from. Go to Section A below!

Scenario B: You recorded a video, and you have a script of approximately what you said, but you don’t have time to help with timings. Go to Section B below!

Scenario C: You recorded a video, you have a script of approximately what you said, and you have some time to try getting captions with timings. Go to Section C below!

You should have received a link to the Google Form for uploading your video and captions/script to WisCONline via an email from a ConCom department (such as Academic Programs, Readings, Online Con) or from the Co-Chairs. If you can’t find that email or aren’t sure which department to contact, please email us at info@wiscon.net .

Section A: Just Video, No Script

If all you have is a video, but you don’t have a script, this is the right place to be. In this section, you’ll be uploading you video to a third-party site or transcribing your own file, getting a set of captions, editing it, and then downloading it to submit to WisCon.
There are three options:
  • Option 1: Use YouTube to get captions
  • Option 2: Use Otter.ai to get captions
  • Option 3: Transcribe your video yourself (or use some other third-party service)

Option 1: Use YouTube to get captions

  • Log into a Google account (or create a new, throwaway Google account). Go to youtube.com. In the upper right, click the Create button, then click Upload videos. Choose your video file.
  • We aren’t actually going to publish this video anywhere. Put something in the Title field (or you can just leave the filename). Click “No, it’s not made for kids.” Click More Options.
  • Under Language, subtitles, and closed captions (CC), select your video language.
  • Uncheck “Publish to subscriptions feed and notify subscribers”
  • Under Comments and ratings, choose “Disable comments” and uncheck “Show how many viewers like and dislike this video. Click Next.
  • Click Next.
  • Under “Save or publish”, click Private. Click Save. Your video is saved!
  • At this point, in the background, Google will start automatically transcribing your video. Unfortunately how long it takes depends on a lot of things — try coming back in 30 minutes or an hour (longer depending on the length of your video). You will know it’s ready when, from the Channel Subtitles section, the number of languages from your video goes from 1 to 2.
  • When that happens: click on the drop-down arrow next to the “2” under Languages. You’ll see a line that says “(Automatic)” after the language name. Click on the part of the row that says “Published / Automatic”. This will bring up a subtitles editor.
  • Under the Actions dropdown menu, under Download, click “.srt”. You’ll be prompted to save a file called “captions.srt”. Go ahead and save it. Bingo, there’s the plain text file that we need!
Option 2: Use Otter.ai
  • If you don’t have a Google account or don’t want to create one, you can use a free account on Otter.ai. Go to https://otter.ai/ , click the Sign Up button, and create a new account. You’ll need to verify your email address.
  • Once you have a new account and you’ve signed in, you’ll see a home page that says “Welcome to Otter”. Click “Import audio/video” in the upper right. Select your video file. (If you used OBS and have an mkv file, you’ll need to go back to the last step of that document and get an mp4.) Once upload is complete, click Done.
  • Now you’ll see My Conversations with the name of your file. Click on the name of the file. You can make Edits if you want/have time.
  • In the three dots menu in the upper-right, click “Export text” then choose “TXT”. Click “Continue”. Save the resulting file. That’s what you’ll upload to WisCon in addition to your video.
Option 3: Transcribe what you said yourself
  • If you don’t have a Google account or don’t want to create one, and you don’t want to use Otter or another system, you’ll need to transcribe your audio another way, either just doing it yourself or via some other service that we haven’t used. In any case, make sure to save your script as a plain text (.txt) file, and now you’re ready to upload your video and script.

Scenario B: Video with (Untimed) Script

So you’ve recorded a video, you have a script with approximately what you said, but you don’t have time to help make an actual timed subtitles file. That is Absolutely Okay! ConCom volunteers are available to help.

All you have to do is use the upload form and provide your video file and your script. Ideally, we need your script as a plain text (.txt) file. If you’re working from a PDF or Microsoft Word file, Select All and Copy all text in the file and Paste into a text editor (like Notepad on Windows). Convert the document to plain text and Save.

Scenario C: Video with Script & You Can Help Caption

All right! You’ve got a video, you have a script you used (or you made a transcript of what you said afterwards), and you’ve got enough time to help us out creating a subtitles file (captions + timings). Thank you so much!

Use YouTube to add timings to your script

  • Log into a Google account (or create a new, throwaway Google account). Go to youtube.com. In the upper right, click the Create button, then click Upload videos. Choose your video file.
  • We aren’t actually going to publish this video anywhere. Put something in the Title field (or you can just leave the filename). Click “No, it’s not made for kids.” Click More Options.
  • Under Language, subtitles, and closed captions (CC), select your video language.
  • Uncheck “Publish to subscriptions feed and notify subscribers”
  • Under Comments and ratings, choose “Disable comments” and uncheck “Show how many viewers like and dislike this video. Click Next.
  • Click Next.
  • Under “Save or publish”, click Private. Click Save. Your video is saved!
  • Now, to get the captions added: Make sure you’re in the “Channel videos” screen. Hover over the file you just uploaded, and click the Details button (shaped like a pencil)
  • On the left-hand side, click Subtitles. Then on the right (across from the language you selected earlier), click “Add”. Click “Transcribe and auto-sync”.
  • Copy your script, and paste it into the text box (where it says “Type what’s spoken here”). Don’t worry about trying to play the video.
  • Once your script is in the box, click “Set timings.” At this point, YouTube will start processing your video behind-the-scenes to come up with a set of timings for the captions you provided. You’ll see a page with your video on the left, and on the right you’ll see under My Drafts, the language you selected with “(setting timings)” next to it. If you click the little refresh icon on the right and YT hasn’t finished analyzing, you’ll get an error message; just click Exit.
  • When it’s done, click the first item under My Drafts. Now you’ll see what you had typed in previously. This is a more sophisticated captions editor. You can edit what’s in each caption and use the rectangles over the audio wave file under the video to change how long each subtitle is displayed. You can play the video on the right, and see how the caption timings look or edit as needed. When you’re finished, click Save changes.
  • Now you’ll see a video preview again with a line under “Published”. Click that again to open the editor. Click the “Actions” dropdown menu, and then under Download click “.srt”. You’ll be prompted to save a file called “captions.srt”. Go ahead and save it. This is the timed subtitles file that you should upload to WisCon along with your video file.

Questions about these instructions? Email the Online Con department at onlinecon@wiscon.net .

You should have received a link to the Google Form for uploading your video and captions/script to WisCONline via an email from a ConCom department (such as Academic Programs, Readings, Online Con) or from the Co-Chairs. If you can’t find that email or aren’t sure which department to contact, please email us at info@wiscon.net .

How to Record a Video for WisCONline

If you’re participating in the Academic track, Readings, or other asynchronous content recorded ahead of time (like a speech), we will need you to upload a video file of yourself doing your presentation/reading/etc.

You can use any method you want to record a video file, and we’ll accept any of the file formats that’s accepted by YouTube (like mp4, mov, and avi). If you already know how to record yourself to get a video file, you don’t need to use these instructions — this is just for folks who don’t.

If you have a computer with a webcam and you aren’t sure how to use it to record a video file, here are some instructions that use Open Broadcast Studio (available for Mac/Windows/Linux).

If you would like to use a teleprompter to help you read from your script while being able to look more at the camera, you could try https://teleprompt.me (only works on Chrome-based browsers). It’s voice controlled, so the text will scroll as you talk.

Extended instructions based on https://obsproject.com/wiki/OBS-Studio-Quickstart

  • Install Open Broadcast Studio (obsproject.com). By default, it will try to run the Auto-Configuration wizard. Click “optimize just for recording”, then OK. Click “Apply Settings”.
  • Set up your Audio source: By default, it’s set to capture you default desktop audio and mic. If you aren’t using desktop audio, go ahead and mute it using the speaker button to the left of the settings gear under Desktop Audio. (Muting your desktop audio keeps your computer’s various alert sounds from being accidentally recorded in your video.)
    Under Mic/aux, you should see a sound meter moving back and forth when you use the mic. If it’s not capturing the correct mic, click the Settings gear, click Properties, and then choose a different device from the dropdown. Click OK.
  • Add a video source: click the “+” under Sources . This will be “video capture device” for a camera, or Browser or Window Capture if you want to share your screen.
    • For a webcam, click Video capture device, then click Create New and name it (“Webcam”). Click OK. Make sure the correct device is selected.  For Audio Output mode, you can select which audio you want (if you have a headset you’re using); otherwise if you’re using your webcam mic, leave it alone. Click OK. You should now see a small window in red with your webcam feed. You can resize it to fit the black window.
    • If you resize and there are still black bars — there’s a gap between the video and the canvas size — you’ll have to change the settings on the canvas and the video source to make the resolutions match:
      • Click Settings in the bottom right, then Video, then for Base & Output resolutions, choose a resolution that’s closer to what you expect your webcam to be. Jot that down. Click OK.
      • Double-click your Webcam video source. For Resolution/FPS type, choose Custom. Then select the same resolution you picked for the canvas. If there isn’t one that matches, click the closest one, jot that down, click OK, and then go change the canvas size (as above).
  • Check your output settings: This will change where your video file is stored. Click Settings in the lower-right, then Output. Change the Recording Path if you want. We recommend Recording Quality set to High Quality, Medium File Size. Everything else should be able to stay the same. Click OK.
  • Do a test recording: Click “Start Recording” in the lower-right. Say a few words, then click Stop Recording. Open up the folder from the Recording Path, and you can play back the resulting video. Did your video and audio both record correctly? If not, you may need to adjust your settings for your Sources and Audio Mixer.
  • Convert to mp4: Once you’ve done a recording that you’re happy with, it’s a good idea to convert it to the mp4 format. Click File -> Remux Recordings. Select your recording (ending in .mkv), and you should now see Target File ends in .mp4. Click ‘Remux’. When it’s finished, click Close.

Now that you’ve got your video file, it’s time to make sure you also have a script to submit.

Questions about these instructions? Email the Online Con department at onlinecon@wiscon.net .

You should have received a link to the Google Form for uploading your video to WisCONline via an email from a ConCom department (such as Academic Programs, Readings, Online Con) or from the Co-Chairs. If you can’t find that email or aren’t sure which department to contact, please email us at info@wiscon.net .

WisCon 40’s Reading track is now open for proposals!

Readings

Hey, author.

Do you have a new book out this year? A poem recently accepted for publication? A work in progress you’d like to share? WisCon’s Reading track is now open to proposals!

Whether this would be your very first reading or your fiftieth, you should give our Reading track a try. A reading can be an exhilarating way to introduce your work to a new fans, and WisCon has an engaged community that turns out as a welcoming audience that’s passionate about good stories.

To start, form a group — readings are organized into 75-minute sessions of four to six authors, usually with a common theme. Open poetry reading and rapid-fire sessions may have as many readers as you can fit into the time period without using time travel. The WisCon Reading track is typically very popular, and so we must limit everyone (except Guests of Honor) to just one reading. Yes, this does mean you can’t read as part of a group and as part of a rapid-fire reading. There is one loophole! You may read again during an open mic event.

Forming a group can be a snap for writing groups, authors featured together in a collection, or just a group of friends. It can feel terrifyingly lonesome, however, if you’re just you! We do encourage you to try to form a group in advance, but if nothing’s coming together please sign up for a reading anyway! We’ll do our best to group individual readers.

Are you interested in giving a visual reading, such as for your graphic novel? A/V equipment is available!

Much more information on our Readings track is available on our website.

The proposal period for Readings closes on Thursday, March 17. Please note that you must also register for WisCon 40 before signing up for a reading!

We look forward to hearing your work at WisCon this year!

Readings

  • contact:  readings@wiscon.net
  • Deadline for proposals:  March 4

WisCon attracts many talented writers and poets. Regular readings are organized into 75-minute sessions of four or five readers. Open poetry readings and rapid-fire sessions may have as many readers as you like.

To give a reading at WisCon, you must propose your reading by logging on to Your Wiscon Account (left sidebar at the Wiscon46 home page). If you don’t have an account, click on  “New user or forgot your password” and follow the instructions. 1. On the front page, once you’re logged in, under “Do you want to be a panelist and/or moderator?” select “Yes” and click Update.  2. Select Submit a Session in the top menu. 3. On the Submit a Session page, in the first dropdown (Please select a division), choose “Readings.” Note: If the session is for multiple readers, all of their names should be included in the submission. Each reader needs to create an account at program.wiscon.net so they can be included in the program, but only one reader should submit the reading. If the reading should be scheduled online (as opposed to in-person), make sure to mention that under “Additional Equipment Needed / Alternative Format.”

If you have any questions,  contact readings@wiscon.net. We very much prefer people to organize themselves into groups; we will group individual readers who sign up based on availability. Solo readers, please expect a time slot of 10-12 minutes.

Midnight readings sessions are available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night for any groups who would like to tell bedtime stories, ghost stories, erotica, or any other midnight-appropriate material.

With exception of the current Guests of Honor, the rule is ONE READING PER AUTHOR. Due to the sheer number of participating authors, we will be counting rapid-fire readings and poetry readings as “full-length” readings. The only exception to this rule is open mic readings.

Reading locations include the Concourse and local coffee shops. Michelangelo’s Coffee Shop has been especially gracious about letting us schedule readings in their back room.

Because the coffee shop presents accessibility issues for some readers, we may need to reserve the Concourse room for groups who require it. If your group does not require accommodation, please consider reading at the coffee shop. It’s a cool venue, and it has easy access to caffeine and snacks.

In many years we have more people who want to read than we have space for. We therefore give priority to authors and groups who have a new or upcoming publication that they’re promoting. We also try to prioritize well-organized groups of authors.