All posts by WisCon Communications Team

New Lower Price for Online Memberships

WisCon is just under two weeks away! We can’t wait to see you there, whether in-person or online. If you’ve been waffling about whether to register to attend online, we’re excited to announce a new lower price of $25 for online memberships.

When we started planning for this year, we had reason to be nervous about WisCon’s finances. That led to the #SaveWisCon campaign—but it also led us to set a pretty conservative price ($40) for our Online Memberships, while also focusing on making sure that our online programming this year would be worth that price.

In the months since #SaveWisCon started, we’ve had an outpouring of support from our community. Thank you to everyone who’s contributed, whether by volunteering, donating, or signal boosting our messages! And thank you to everyone who’s already registered—right now we have about 550 people registered, across in-person and online.

We’ll have a bigger update about #SaveWisCon soon, but already we can be a bit more certain about our financial stability. Because of that, we’ve been able to revisit our pricing for the online convention, and we’ve decided to lower the cost of Online Membership to $25. You can still purchase a membership for $40 if you prefer to do so—or simply put the extra money towards a donation, in which case you will receive a tax receipt.

For everyone who already registered at the higher price, we are offering a rebate for the difference in cost. Please fill out this Google Form if you would like that rebate, and we’ll put it in motion for you.

To be clear, all online memberships give exactly the same access to the online convention (and in-person memberships provide access to both in-person and online programming). And we’re really excited about the online programming we’re offering this year, which includes:

  • Nearly 30 all-online panels (held via Zoom), including some of the most popular panels from the panel interest survey
  • Livestreams of readings and speeches by Guest of Honor Sheree Renée Thomas
  • Livestream of the Otherwise Auction
  • Online Readings, Academic sessions, and Workshops
  • Online Parties, including a livestream of the Vid Party
  • The return of the WisCon Discord server
We think we’ve succeeded this year in creating a truly WisCon experience in the online schedule: ensuring that you’ll want to be in two different places at the same time.

The program is visible at https://program.wiscon.net/PublicSchedule.php (scroll to the right for all-online panels in our Ansible rooms, the grid has gotten very wide!). To register for either an in-person or online membership, visit https://reg.wiscon.net/, from now until the end of the convention weekend.

Dessert Salon 2022

There will be a Dessert Salon in 2022! However, things will run differently — most importantly, the desserts will be distributed in takeout containers after the speeches. Also, as in 2019, we are trying to limit the amount of line-standing for everyone.

  • Starting at 5:30 on Sunday, attendees with Dessert Salon tickets can pick up a numbered ticket from Registration.
  • Seating for the speeches will begin at approximately 7:30, and Dessert Salon ticket holders will get priority seating.
  • At the conclusion of the speeches, those without Dessert Salon tickets will depart. Dessert Salon ticket holders will then be called by number in groups of 15 to choose their desserts, to reduce crowding at the dessert tables.
  • There will be a smaller choice of desserts than in previous years, but gluten free, vegan, and nut-free desserts will still be available, it’s still two desserts per person, and the desserts will still be delicious. (There will be nine choices.)
  • There are a limited number of tickets still available. If you would like to attend, please add your Dessert Salon tickets to your registration soon! The Dessert Salon is an important fundraiser for WisCon and we hope to sell out.

To buy tickets to the Dessert Salon, go to the Registration Page and add tickets (as many as you’d like) to your cart, then check out.

 

Gaming at WisCon

Are you interested in running a game at WisCon either in person or online? Let us know at gaming@wiscon.net or fill out this form to help us get you set up! If you’re not sure about your schedule yet, no worries! Gaming this year will be organized similarly to Spontaneous Programming, and we’ll have sign-ups during the con at the Gathering (for in person games) or on the WisCon Discord (for online games).

Want to take part in the Gathering?

We’re still on the lookout for masked activities for this year’s Friday afternoon Gathering!

Previous years’ activities have included tarot readings, a galley sale, and all kinds of crafts.

If you’d like to host an activity table (including supplying whatever materials you’ll need), email gathering@wiscon.net or fill out the form at http://wiscon.net/events/the-gathering/ and let us know your idea and any space and setup requirements.

Sign Up for Our Intro to Vidding Workshop

Do you love the WisCon Vid Party? Are you interested in learning how to make your own vids? Sign up for our Intro to Vidding workshop on Friday, 9 am to noon, with eruthros. There will be eight spots open for the workshop, and you will need to bring your own laptop that is capable of installing recommended software to be used during the session. (You will be sent the technical details via email.)

To reserve your spot for the session, send an email to workshop@wiscon.net. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis; anyone who signs up after the available slots are filled will be added to a waitlist.

Volunteer during WisCon!

WisCon runs on volunteers! Not only are our organizing committee and programming entirely volunteer-based, every department is staffed by volunteers during the convention itself. From helping to make online programming possible as a Production Assistant, to ensuring coffee is fresh in the Con Suite, to helping with the Art Show, you can be part of what makes WisCon possible.

Whether this is your first WisCon or you’ve been attending for years, volunteering during the convention is a great way to get a sense of how things work behind the scenes, and to meet new people. Volunteering during the convention involves signing up for shifts (usually 1-3 hours) with specific departments.

For descriptions of volunteer roles in specific departments, visit wiscon.net/volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering during WisCon this year, fill out this Google form, and departments will be in touch once their volunteer schedule goes live.Update: Shifts for volunteering during WisCon are now available at program.wiscon.net! To sign up for shifts, log in at program.wiscon.net, select the “Volunteer” tab, and click “Add shifts” on the right. This will bring up a list of all Volunteer shifts, organized by time; you can filter available shifts by role or by day. 

We are particularly recruiting people willing to serve as Production Assistants or Discord Moderators for the virtual con! If we fully staff our virtual panels, we can consider streaming in-person panels to online members. If you are comfortable holding a Zoom call, you have the technical skills to be a Production Assistant!

All volunteers are eligible for a volunteer gift (usually a small item such as a pin or waterbottle with the WisCon logo); gifts will be mailed to any remote volunteers. In the past we have had a rebate program for volunteers (refunding a portion of the cost of membership); this program is currently under review and may not be offered for 2022.

Draft WisCon schedule now available

A draft of the WisCon ’22 schedule is now available at WisCon.net! If you filled out the interest survey to participate on panels, please log into the app, view your personal schedule, and accept or reject your assignments by April 9th.

Even if you did not fill out the survey, there are still panels that are understaffed. If you see a panel with three or less people assigned and it’s something you’re passionate about, please volunteer by emailing panels@wiscon.net. And tell your friends!

Volunteers Needed

We are still seeking a number of volunteers for this year’s con; please fill in this form if you can help. Several of these roles can be done fully remotely if you’re planning to attend only the online con.

COVID Safety

3-4 roles
Organize COVID information: Continue to research and organize information related to COVID 19 safety, including event best practices, failures/successes from other cons, and updates from WHO, CDC, and local municipalities.
Contingency planning: Strategize plan to pivot from hybrid to fully online con if conditions dictate (e.g., if Dane County bans large gatherings). If pivot needed, coordinate with hotel, online, and physical location teams.
Convention safety: Take reports of illness at the convention and send them out. Coordinate with other WisCon departments to make sure the convention runs as safely as possible. Plan with Accessibility, Hotel, Panels. Advise departments, make sure enough spacing in rooms, create safe seating charts, etc.

Con Suite Lead

1-2 roles
Logistics: Organize materials, food ordering,
and distributing food.
People: Manage volunteers and assign tasks at con to make con suite happen.

Gathering:

Organize people who want to offer activities at the Gathering, coordinate when/where it will take place, assign tables, and set up (or organize setup of) room.

Readings:

Contact people who want to do readings, check with hotel/panels for space and time blocks, and schedule readings.
Again, if you think you might be able to help with any of these,  please fill in this form.

WisCon Member Assistance Fund now taking applications

The WisCon Member Assistance Fund (WMAF) provides financial assistance to people who would like to attend WisCon but for whom the costs of con attendance are a barrier.  Anyone can apply to request funds that can be used to cover airfare or other travel costs, hotel costs, childcare, or any other prohibitive expense. Members may also nominate friends or others who they know would like to attend WisCon but who may need a bit of help to do so. You can find more information on the WMAF here.

Applications are now open and the form is here: https://bit.ly/WMAFrequest. You can nominate yourself or a friend, and people who have received funds in the past can request them again. The deadline for applying is March 31st. If you have questions or trouble using the form, e-mail fund@wiscon.net.

If you would like to donate to help someone else attend WisCon, THAT WOULD BE AWESOME. You can donate to the WMAF via PayPal, here. (SF3, WisCon’s parent organization, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, so contributions are tax-deductible.) You can also donate via the Registration Page! If you’re not registering, you can simply add “Donate to WMAF” to your cart and add whatever amount you’d like to donate, and pay by the means of your choice. Finally, if you would like to send a paper check, make it out to SF3 with WMAF in the memo line and mail to: SF3 / Attn: WMAFund / P.O. Box 1624 / Madison, WI 53701.

If you request funds, you should hear by mid-April whether we will be able to meet your request.

 

Call for Academic Papers! (Deadline Extended)

Wiscon approaches! The deadline for submission of proposals for Wiscon’s academic track has been extended to March 15th.  We welcome a wide variety of passionate, thoughtful voices about the genres that bring us joy, hope, enlightenment, and reflection about the complex worlds of which we are all part.
Given our current political moment, we invite papers and panels that explore themes echoing the American Studies Association’s 2022 Annual Meeting, “The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire” as well as the National Women’s Studies Association’s 2021 Annual Conference: “killing rage: resistance on the other side of freedom”. With these themes in mind, we encourage proposals to consider science fiction as a site of connection, survival, and protest. For example, how can feminist speculative fiction help us fight for a more just world? What lessons can be learned from Indigenous, Black, POC, and diasporic speculative fiction, to advance decolonial and anti-racist change? How can we use speculative fiction genres to respond to the threats of white supremacy, dispossession, militarization, and extractive capitalism? How might speculative fiction help us come together amidst collapsing structures to enable better futures?
These themes offer opportunity both for work that deals specifically with social and cultural questions about the radical politics of futures as they relate to feminist speculative fiction and for work on the histories and dream making of freedom-oriented fan communities.

Further, we invite proposals from anyone with a scholarly interest in the intersections of gender, gender identity, sexuality, race, class, and disability with speculative fiction—broadly defined—in literature, media, and culture. We encourage contributions that emphasize WisCon’s focus on how speculative fiction has played an important role in the exploration and creation of socially just futures: futures where people of all colors and backgrounds flourish, where women’s rights and women’s contributions are valued, where gender is not limited to one of two options, where no one is erased out of convenience, hidden by discrimination, or experiences bigotry.