All posts by Kit Stubbs, WisCon 2022 Co-Chair

Updates on WisCon in 2022

We would like to again thank everyone who participated in Visioning WisCon in May. Visioning WisCon was not intended to replace a full online con and was organized differently from our usual structure.  We’re glad that our community was engaged that weekend across a variety of virtual spaces, and we’re grateful for all of the feedback we’ve received on the event. We’re working to incorporate the lessons we’ve learned as we look towards WisCon in 2022. Speaking of which…

We have some exciting news about our next in-person WisCon in 2022!

  • Our wonderful host hotel, Madison’s Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club, has opened room reservations! We have a group discounted rate that is available from now through April 26, 2022. Please show your support by making your reservation today.
  • Guest of Honor nominations for WisCon in 2023 are open! Anyone is welcome to nominate someone to be a Guest of Honor (GoH) by sending an email with the nominee’s name to gohnoms@wiscon.net. (If you already nominated someone any time during/after WisCONline in 2020, we have your nominations and will include them for 2023. Thanks!)
  • We have Co-Chairs! WisCon is organized by a group of volunteers called the Convention Committee (or ConCom, for short). For 2022, Aileen Wall (she/her), Ira Alexandre (they/them), and Kit Stubbs, Ph.D. (they/them) are co-chairing the ConCom. Aileen is a previous WisCon co-chair who has also served as our Hotel Liaison with the Concourse for the past six years. Ira and Kit co-chaired WisCONline in 2020 and continued volunteering as chairs of the Personnel Committee and the Communications Committee, respectively, throughout 2020 and 2021.While Aileen, Ira, and Kit are all awesome people, they need more volunteers to join the ConCom to help organize the con. If you’re interested in finding out more information about volunteering on the ConCom please let us know (signing up is not a commitment, just a request for info!) Look forward to role descriptions and an online information session coming soon.
We’ll continue to post updates about how con planning is going on our blog and email newsletter.

Spend Memorial Day weekend at the Concourse Hotel

As you know, we’re not able to hold a WisCon in Madison this spring. However! The Concourse Hotel, the longtime home of WisCon, is running a special promotion for members and friends of the WisCon community over Memorial Day weekend, May 27-31, 2021. The promotion includes:
  • $99/night for Concourse Premier Guestrooms for up to 4 nights (Thursday-Sunday)
  • $8 overnight parking
  • Discounts at the hotel restaurant for overnight guests
  • A public space for Gathering, spontaneous discussion, and hanging out with other folks who miss WisCon, following all local guidelines for health and safety.

The Concourse hosted its first WisCon in 1984 and has been our full-time hotel partner since 1995. They are an independently owned and operated hotel and as such have been hit especially hard by the loss of business during the pandemic. This is a fantastic chance to support them, get away from home for the weekend and see some friends in a clean, well-ventilated, socially distant environment.

To make reservations, use this promo code: https://reservations.travelclick.com/6388?groupID=3222387 or call 800-356-8293 and mention WisCon.

The Concourse Hotel’s health and safety plan can be found at https://www.concoursehotel.com/coronavirus (click through for a link to a PDF for the complete list of policies).

For the most up to date information on the Madison & Dane County Public Health guidelines, please visit https://publichealthmdc.com/coronavirus/forward-dane/current-order.

Keep an eye out for an update all about virtual WisCon activities Memorial Day weekend!

Our FOUR Guests of Honor at WisCon in 2022

As we mentioned in our last update, we’re thrilled to have four Guests of Honor planning to attend our next in-person WisCon in 2022: Rebecca Roanhorse and Yoon Ha Lee, who were originally invited to attend WisCon 44 in 2020; as well as Sheree Renée Thomas and Zen Cho, who were originally invited to attend WisCon in 2021.

Below you can learn more about each of our Guests of Honor:

Zen Cho

Zen Cho
Zen Cho
Zen Cho is the author of the Sorcerer to the Crown novels and a novella, The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water, as well as the short story collection Spirits Abroad (joint winner of the 2015 Crawford Fantasy Award). She is a Hugo, Crawford and British Fantasy Award winner, and a finalist for the Locus and Astounding Awards. She edited the anthology Cyberpunk: Malaysia, and won a 2019 Hugo for her short piece “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again”. She was a juror for the Speculative Literature Foundation 2014 Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds grants, served on the Board of Con or Bust and has been a SFWA mentor for emerging writers. She was born and raised in Malaysia, resides in the UK, and lives in a notional space between the two. She is a past WisCon attendee. Connect with Zen Cho on her website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Yoon Ha Lee

Yoon Ha Lee Headshot
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 sequels, Raven Stratagem and Revenant Gun, were also Hugo finalists. His middle grade space opera Dragon Pearl won the Locus Award for best YA novel and was a New York Times bestseller. Yoon’s short fiction has appeared in publications such as F&SFTor.com, and Clarkesworld Magazine, as well as several year’s best anthologies. He lives in Louisiana with his family and an extremely lazy cat, and has not yet been eaten by gators. Connect with Yoon Ha Lee on his website or Twitter.

Rebecca Roanhorse

Rebecca Roanhorse's headshot
Rebecca Roanhorse

Rebecca Roanhorse is a New York Times bestselling and Nebula, Hugo, and Locus Award-winning speculative fiction writer and the recipient of the 2018 Astounding (Campbell) Award for Best New Writer. Rebecca has published multiple award-winning short stories and five novels, including two in The Sixth World Series, Star Wars: Resistance RebornRace to the Sun for the Rick Riordan imprint, and her latest novel, the epic fantasy Black Sun. She has also written for Marvel Comics and for television, and had projects optioned by Amazon Studios, Netflix, and Paramount TV.  She lives with her husband, daughter and dogs in Northern New Mexico. Connect with Rebecca Roanhorse on her website or Twitter.

Sheree Renée Thomas

Sheree Renée Thomas
Sheree Renée Thomas
Sheree Renée Thomas creates art inspired by myth and folklore, natural science and conjure, and the genius culture created in the Mississippi Delta. She is the author of Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an Ancient Future (Third Man Books, May 26, 2020), her first fiction collection. She is also the author of two multigenre/hybrid collections, Sleeping Under the Tree of Life, longlisted for the 2016 Otherwise Award and Shotgun Lullabies (Aqueduct Press), described as a “revelatory work like Jean Toomer’s Cane.” She edited the two-time World Fantasy Award-winning volumes, Dark Matter, that first introduced W.E.B. Du Bois’s work as science fiction and was the first black author to be honored with the World Fantasy Award since its inception in 1975. Her work is widely anthologized and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and received honorable mention in the Year’s Best volumes. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times and other publications.She serves as the Associate Editor of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora (Illinois State University, Normal). She lives in Memphis, Tennessee and is a past WisCon attendee. Connect with Sheree Renée Thomas on her website, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Con Status Update, January 2021

What’s the latest news on WisCon 45 in 2021?
We’ve decided to not have an in-person WisCon in 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic. Some vaccines are starting to become available, but there will not be widespread distribution with enough lead time for us to reasonably plan a convention.

What about our Guests of Honor?
Zen Cho, Sheree Renée Thomas, Yoon Ha Lee, and Rebecca Roanhorse have agreed to be Guests of Honor in 2022.  We look forward to honoring them in person when we can finally all have a WisCon together again!

What will happen instead?
Firstly, we are in the process of planning a much smaller in-person event to occur at the Concourse Hotel in May in order to fulfill the contract we signed with them. This would look something like an intensive workshop event, rather than a convention, and the Workshops department has been looking into how it could work. The number of attendees would also be vastly reduced, in compliance with whatever guidance Public Health Madison & Dane County has in place at the time. We’ll be talking again with the Concourse Hotel this month and probably again later to revisit these plans.

If we can find current or former ConCom members to co-chair, we’d like to plan another WisCONline to occur in 2021. If you’re a current or former ConCom member with the time and energy to help us organize WisCONline, please contact the SF3 Board at board@sf3.org .

What about registrations?
If you registered to attend WisCon in 2021, you’ll receive an email in the near future regarding a refund. You can use this form to tell us whether you would like a refund or whether you would like to donate the money to WisCon; the form will be open until Monday, February 8, at 11:59pm US Central time. If you fill out the form, you can expect either a refund or a donation thanks email within 7-10 days after filling it out. If you don’t fill out the form, a refund will be issued 7-10 days after we close the form.

Registration for WisCONline and the small in-person May 2021 event at the Concourse are not open at this time. We’ll be in touch when they are.

SF3 Annual Meeting October 18, 2020

As many of you know, SF3—the Society for the Furtherance and Study of Fantasy and Science Fiction—is the parent organization for the WisCon convention. The SF3 board engages in long-term planning and recruitment for WisCon, as well as pursuing activities unrelated to the convention.

The 2020 SF3 Annual Meeting is coming up on Sunday, October 18, at 1PM Central Time. This meeting is entirely virtual! Information on joining will be sent to all current SF3 members a few days before the meeting.

If you’re interested in the future of WisCon and SF3, or in our evolving plans for 2021 in light of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, we encourage you to become an SF3 member and attend the Annual Meeting. Annual membership is $24, or $12 at our student/financial hardship rate, which we encourage anyone to use as needed. We take payment by PayPal or check, though if you plan to pay by check we ask that you email treasurer@sf3.org to let us know it’s on the way.  The deadline for joining SF3 in advance of the Annual Meeting is Wednesday, October 14.

We know this is a busy and difficult time for many of you. We hope the WisCon and SF3 community can be a source of support in these times, and it is with that in mind that we hope some of you will join us on October 18. If you have questions or concerns that you’d like to bring to the SF3 board, but you aren’t able to attend the Annual Meeting, please feel free to contact the board by email at board@sf3.org.

Meet our Guests of Honor for WisCon 45 in 2021: Sheree Renée Thomas & Zen Cho!

As we announced at WisCon in May 2020, we are thrilled to have Sheree Renée Thomas and Zen Cho as our Guests of Honor for WisCon 45 in 2021!
Sheree Renée Thomas
Sheree Renée Thomas
Sheree Renée Thomas creates art inspired by myth and folklore, natural science and conjure, and the genius culture created in the Mississippi Delta. She is the author of Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an Ancient Future (Third Man Books, May 26, 2020), her first fiction collection. She is also the author of two multigenre/hybrid collections, Sleeping Under the Tree of Life, longlisted for the 2016 Otherwise Award and Shotgun Lullabies (Aqueduct Press), described as a “revelatory work like Jean Toomer’s Cane.” She edited the two-time World Fantasy Award-winning volumes, Dark Matter, that first introduced W.E.B. Du Bois’s work as science fiction and was the first black author to be honored with the World Fantasy Award since its inception in 1975. Her work is widely anthologized and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and received honorable mention in the Year’s Best volumes. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times and other publications.She serves as the Associate Editor of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora (Illinois State University, Normal). She lives in Memphis, Tennessee and is a past WisCon attendee. Connect with Sheree Renée Thomas on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Zen Cho
Zen Cho
Zen Cho is the author of the Sorcerer to the Crown novels and a novella, The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water, as well as the short story collection Spirits Abroad (joint winner of the 2015 Crawford Fantasy Award). She is a Hugo, Crawford and British Fantasy Award winner, and a finalist for the Locus and Astounding Awards. She edited the anthology Cyberpunk: Malaysia, and won a 2019 Hugo for her short piece “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again”. She was a juror for the Speculative Literature Foundation 2014 Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds grants, served on the Board of Con or Bust and has been a SFWA mentor for emerging writers. She was born and raised in Malaysia, resides in the UK, and lives in a notional space between the two. She is a past WisCon attendee. Connect with Zen Cho on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Ways to the WisCon ConCom, or to find out more!

The time after the con ends is often the quietest for the WisCon organizing committee (the ConCom) but we’re still starting to look towards our next convention in May 2021, when we hope we’ll return to Madison and the Concourse hotel for WisCon 45.

Like many conventions, WisCon is 100% fan run. None of the events at the convention would be possible without the generosity of some of our members volunteering their time throughout the year to make it happen!

To keep the organization of WisCon sustainable, we’re always looking for new people who are willing to get involved. If that’s something that interests you—or even if you’re just curious about how the ConCom operates!—we’d like to invite you to join us for the post-convention ConCom meeting, which will take place via conference call on Saturday June 20 at 1PM Central (Madison local time, GMT-5). Email volunteers@wiscon.net for information on joining the meeting.

As we said in an email at the end of WisCon, the ConCom often undergoes some reorganization over the summer, but some of the WisCon departments that are definitely looking for new volunteers are Access, the Consuite, Gaming, our Safety department, and the Workshops programming department.

In general, some ConCom roles are primarily busy during the year, before the convention, while others are busiest during the convention itself. You can find out more about volunteering on the ConCom at http://wiscon.net/volunteer/concom/, but you can also email volunteers@wiscon.net if you’re interested in volunteering but aren’t quite sure what role would work best for you!

Our parent organization SF3—the Society for the Furtherance and Study of Fantasy and Science Fiction—is also looking for people interested in joining its Communications committee, which handles communications for WisCon as well as for SF3 more broadly.

The SF3 board will also be electing new officers for the Vice President and Treasurer positions at its annual meeting in Fall 2020; if you are interested in standing for either of those positions, you can contact president@sf3.org, or visit www.sf3.org to learn more.

And if you’re interested in seeing how the ConCom functions but can’t make it to the meeting on June 20, send us an email and we’ll let you know once our first Fall meeting in September is scheduled.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday Night Special Event: The Doubleclicks!

We’re thrilled to announce that after our Virtual Reception on Thursday night, we’ll be streaming a pre-recorded concert by The Doubleclicks starting at 9:00pm CDT!

The Doubleclicks, photo by Kim Newmoney

 

The Doubleclicks are a nationally-touring, Billboard-charting pop band with a cello, a meowing cat keyboard, and songs about anxiety, queer identity, dinosaurs, cats and board games. Their YouTube videos boast over 3 million views and have been featured on NPR, BoingBoing, and io9. Find out more at http://thedoubleclicks.com.

We are SO excited to have siblings Laser (they/them) and Aubrey (she/her) on our virtual program this year! If you aren’t familiar with their brand of nerdy tunes, you could start with Cats and Netflix, which they also recently updated for 2020.

Song requests and questions: Laser and Aubrey are happy to accept your song requests and answer questions about the band, but you’ve got to act fast. Please send your requests and questions to info@wiscon.net OR complete this Google Form on or before Monday, 5/18, at 5:00pm CDT.

If you haven’t registered for WisCon yet and you’d like to see the concert, registration is open until May 20!

Registration for WisCon 44 is open!

Registration for the virtual WisCon 44 is now open!

Registration for the online convention will work a bit differently than our usual in-person memberships. We have four price tiers for memberships:

  • $10 is the default price
  • $0 is a reduced Affordability price
  • $25 is a slightly more expensive WisCon Supporter membership, for those who are able to pay a bit more to support WisCon now and in the future
  • $55 is the most expensive WisCon Supporter: Original In-Person Price membership

All of these memberships get you the same access to all events associated with WisCon 44. While we hope that some of you will be willing to financially support the convention by purchasing one of the WisCon Supporter memberships, we do not plan to create cost-gated spaces in the online con.

REGISTER NOW (open until May 20)

UPDATE (May 7): We have passed 100 registered members for WisCONline, and no more free copies of The WisCon Chronicles are available—though sales of physical copies will open soon! Thanks to Aqueduct Press, the editors of this volume, and to everyone who has registered for WisCon so far.

The WisCon Chronicles Volume 12: Boundaries and Bridges is partnering with WisCon to provide a FREE copy to the first 100 people who register!
The first 100 people to register for WisCONline will receive a FREE copy of The WisCon Chronicles Volume 12: Boundaries and Bridges, edited by Isabel Schechter and Michi Trota, generously provided by Aqueduct Press in PDF, epub, and mobi formats.
Please note that Aqueduct Press is a separate organization from SF3/WisCon and is not required to uphold our Code of Conduct.

We plan to open registration for WisCon 45, which will take place next year from May 27–31 2021, later this month.

More information available on our Registration page!

WisCONline Updates

The ConCom is hard at work planning WisCONline events for Memorial Day Weekend, and we wanted to give you all a few updates.

Workshop Track Cancelled
We’d like to announce that the ConCom has cancelled the Workshop track for this year. All workshop submissions we received will be marked as deferred to next year, when the Workshops department can revisit them.  Please direct any questions or concerns about this announcement directly to the co-chairs (chair@wiscon.net).

Yoon Ha Lee Unable to Attend Virtual WisCon
We’d also like to announce that Yoon Ha Lee, one of our WisCon 44 Guests of Honor, will be unable to participate in this year’s virtual con. We have invited him and Rebecca Roanhorse to attend WisCon 45 in addition to next year’s Guests of Honor, and we look forward to their replies as their schedules become more clear.

The Floomp is ON!
The Floomp is ON for this year — ONline, that is! The Floomp organizing team will be hosting a virtual dance party during our all-online WisCon 44. This year’s Floomp theme will be ROBOTS. The dance is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, with exact time and more details to come.

WisCon 45 Room Reservations Available!

While we’re still hard at work organizing online activities for WisCONline this year, we have some great news: We are thrilled to announce that our host hotel, Madison’s fabulous Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club, has opened room reservations for WisCon 45, May 28-31, 2021.

Please show your support for our fabulous hosts by making your room reservations today. We have a room block with special rates, which expires on April 28, 2021. Visit our Hotel Information page to get started!

We’re Planning An Online WisCon!

As we mentioned in our post announcing the cancellation of WisCon 44 as an in-person convention, we are rapidly pivoting to an online format!

We anticipate holding a number of traditional WisCon events on Memorial Day weekend itself, and we’re coming up with online alternatives for many traditional events and pieces of programming, such as online versions of games and showcasing our artists’ and vendors’ websites. Further details on online programming will be coming as soon as we marshal the necessary resources and planning, but we’d love to hear your ideas in the comments to this post.

We also know that we have people in the WisCon community who have expertise in online events — want to help? Email personnel@sf3.org and tell us what you can help with. We particularly want to make certain that the online version of WisCon is accessible, inclusive, and welcoming.

We tentatively plan to make participation in online programming for WisCon 44 available on a sliding scale starting at $5 or less per attendee. We need the money we were going to use for the regular WisCon 44 so that we can put on WisCon 45 in 2021, so we don’t have much to spare without your help.

You can donate to support WisCon at https://paypal.me/WisCon — thank you for any amount you can chip in!