All posts by Wendy Bolm

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: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeJ6j11IQkNjCxJnPNwB3FJ9okEpJVND2hey4N227oyiOPPPA/viewform

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 souvenirbook@wiscon.net

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 program@wiscon.net.

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 program@wiscon.net.

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

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 http://wiscon.net/events/art-show/, and the link to apply is https://account.wiscon.net/artshow-application/.

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: http://wiscon.net/2017/12/01/wiscon-42-trying-something-new/

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 teenprograms@wiscon.net and Kids Program at kidsprograms@wiscon.net.

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 gaming@wiscon.net, 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 gaming@wiscon.net 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.

Call for Submissions: Wiscon Souvenir Book Entries (Due March 15, We Pay $20!)

The Souvenir Book is WisCon’s gift to the community, featuring profiles of our Guests of Honor, pieces highlighting the work of WisCon’s child-organizations, and essays from community contributors. This year, we’re doing things a little differently: we’re specifically looking for 500-1,000 word entries revolving around this year’s theme, “What Does Justice Demand?” We are also changing up the format a bit; this year, the souvenir book and program book will be combined, so you’ll have one less booklet to keep track of. This will not affect the length or number of entries we will be considering.

For souvenir book submissions, we invite essays that explore the meanings, histories, and cultures of “social justice.” How is social justice lived/embodied without becoming a buzzword? And how does this shape feminisms’ relationship to speculative genres (scifi, fantasy, horror, and beyond) both past and present? This theme is an opportunity both for work that deals specifically with social and political questions of justice as they relate to feminist science fiction and for work on the histories and cultures of social-justice-oriented fan communities.

While we encourage everyone to consider this year’s theme, we are also open to considering essays that deal with broader Wiscon-related themes. Previous essay topics have included: an exploration of Working Class Studies, a retrospective of 40 years of WisCon, and an ethnographic intro to WisCon. The only topic requirement for the Souvenir Book’s essays is that they be relevant to the WisCon community.

We encourage everyone to submit their work, whether this is your first WisCon or your nearly-42nd!

Deadline

Submit your essay to the Souvenir Book by March 15!

Guidelines

  • Essays should be 500-1000 words
  • Authors will be paid $20 USD at time of publication
  • All essays or questions should be sent to souvenirbook@wiscon.net (Please use the subject line “WC41 Souvenir Book Submission: [Your Name]”)
  • Submit essays as .doc or .rtf attachments

Call for Proposals for The Gathering Activities

There are at least three of you out there who have already started a bag of clothes to bring to the clothing swap. Yeah, we love you, too.

While there’s a hum of activity and familiar faces in the Concourse starting around Wednesday, the Gathering is the official start of WisCon. Doors open at 1pm on Friday. The Gathering is a ballroom event (if you have noise/etc sensitivities, remember to take a break!) with all kinds of activities. In the past we’ve hosted:

  • Nail polish swap
  • Tattoo show-and-tell
  • Fiber arts circle
  • Gadget petting zoo
  • Access crafts
  • Make and take soft circuitry
  • Lock picking tutorial
  • …and much more!

Gathering activities rely on the interest of WisCon attendees hosting and organizing them. That’s you! But how do you run a Gathering activity?

  • Submit a proposal: this year we have a handy, easy form for you to fill out! Proposals made before April 1st will be considered for the coming WisCon—after that we’ll put them in our pocket for WisCon 43! Our gathering planners will let you know if we’ll be able to host your activity shortly after you apply. We particularly welcome activities that de-center whiteness, emphasize inclusion among new WisCon attendees, and highlight our theme.
  • Make it happen: Generally the amount of pre-planning required is quite low, and you can often find help making it happen from cool people on your favorite forms of social media. (Hint—WisCon twitter is always happy to signal boost planning calls!) WisCon may be able to make small purchases of supplies like stickers to make your activity work—just ask! Please note that we are not able to bring in outside food for activities due to our agreement with the hotel.
  • At-Con: Show up between 12 & 12:30pm to set up your activity! We ask that you either stay at the Gathering to make sure that your activity is continuing or recruit some trustworthy friends to help out. This is a great way to talk to new people and meet new faces, if that’s your thing! And time spent running your activity counts towards your volunteer refund hours.

That’s it! Really pretty easy stuff and always, always appreciated. We look forward to the fresh, fantastic ideas that you all come up with every year, as well as the activities we anticipate year after year! So click over to the proposal page, sign up, and we’ll see you in May!

WisCon 42 Is Trying Something New!

Because WisCon has always challenged us to take our own activism and geekdom to new levels via the evolving philosophies of Feminism, the Programming Department decided to try something new for WisCon 42. For this upcoming WisCon, the Programming Department came up with a theme to be tied into our activist discussions and activities.

Theme: 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 endeavour 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?

We’re excited to have other departments adding their own unique flavors to this year’s theme.

I’m Curious. How Exactly Will The Other Departments Be Participating In The Theme?

Glad you asked! Some of the departments provided us with some information as to how they plan to participate.

From the Art Show Department:
We often have artists in the Art Show who deal with issues of social justice directly or indirectly in their work, but this year we’ll be specifically inviting applicants to make art for the show addressing the question of what justice demands (although it won’t be required). Applications for the WisCon 42 show will open in January 2018, and we welcome new artists to apply (see http://wiscon.net/events/art-show/ for details).

From the Gaming Department:
The gaming track will also work to engage the theme What Does Justice Demand. If you have ideas for board games, tabletop roleplaying games, larps, or even video games that explore ideas of justice that you’d like to run, please keep an eye out for the call for games in early January. 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 gaming@wiscon.net and we’d love to work with you to find something you’d be excited about running.

Please note that participation in this theme is not mandatory. We would simply like to invite you to reflect on this theme. If you so choose, we welcome your panel suggestions that you believe would tie into it.

This Sounds Really Cool! Can I Start Submitting Panel Ideas Now?

That you can! Program ideas submissions are open! The Wiscon 42 programing department looks forward to receiving all of the awesome ideas YOU have to offer!

We invite you to submit programming ideas for WisCon 42 through January 19, 2018. To submit an idea, please click on “Submit your ideas for programming!” link on right-hand side of main page or go straight to the program idea submission form. We can’t wait to see your suggestions!

Please note starting this year, there will be a hard stop for accepting program idea submissions. Unfortunately, the WisCon 42 program committee will no longer accept any program ideas after the January 19, 2018. Make sure to submit your ideas before the deadline!

What If I Want To Submit An Academic Paper?

The call for Wiscon Academic Papers is open until February 1, 2018. Submit your proposal using the online form. You will be asked for a 100-word abstract, which will be printed in the convention’s program, and for a more detailed proposal of up to 500 words. If you are proposing something other than a traditional paper, please make sure you describe the format of your proposed program item. A projector and screen will be available; if you have further technological needs, please let us know in your proposal.

If you have any questions, contact the Academic Programming chairs at academic@wiscon.net.

Support WMAF this Giving Tuesday!

If you’ve heard of Giving Tuesday, odds are you’re a generous person and you’ve got lots of organizations asking for donations from you already. Thank you for that! Generosity toward others in our communities is increasingly necessary to us all.

If you haven’t heard of Giving Tuesday, it was conceived a few years ago as a balance to the Black Friday phenomenon — a day centered around supporting nonprofits by making donations. We suspect you’re a generous person as well, and we salute your remarkable ability to stay off donation mailing lists!

We know that most of the people in our community are spread thin, and that when our friends and neighbors need help with day-to-day expenses, contributing to WisCon’s Member Assistance Fund (WMAF) can feel like a low priority.

We believe that WisCon is a vital space to regroup, to strategize, to take a break, to do work that advances justice, and to envision the future. Because of that, we feel that it’s more important than ever to support folks who want to attend but face financial challenges to their participation. The WMAF makes awards of between $50 and $500 to folks who apply for assistance, but we can’t do that without your donation. Your $5 (or more!) can help us to have a vibrant, inclusive WisCon this May.

Please give at paypal.me/WISCON!

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS — WISCON INVITES SCHOLARS TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS FOR WISCON 42 ACADEMIC TRACK

***SUBMISSION DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO 2/14***

One of the things that sets WisCon apart, besides being the first feminist science fiction convention, is that we place many types of fannish interactions side-by-side in our programming. We have panels dedicated to exploring a single book or film as well as panels that look at, say, race across all of science fiction. We have author readings, discussions of fanfic or fanvids, and conversations about games and gaming.

We also have an entire track dedicated to scholarly investigations of feminism and science fiction — open to scholars of all descriptions.

The proposal period for WisCon’s academic track programming is now open!

WisCon’s track of academic programming, framed by the convention’s intersectional feminist principles, encourages submissions from scholars in all fields, including interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary areas, and from amateur and independent scholars as well as graduate students, postdocs, and faculty. One of the benefits of this track is that it strengthens the links between the wider feminist science fiction community, students and other scholars working on feminist science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy and related fields.

Given WisCon 42’s theme: “What Does Justice Demand?” We invite papers and panels that explore the meanings, histories, and cultures of “social justice.” How is social justice lived/embodied without becoming a buzzword? And how does this shape feminisms’ relationship to speculative genres (scifi, fantasy, horror, and beyond) both past and present? This theme is an opportunity both for work that deals specifically with social and political questions of justice as they relate to feminist science fiction and for work on the histories and cultures of social-justice-oriented fan communities.

Further, we invite proposals from anyone with a scholarly interest in the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, and disability with science fiction — broadly defined — in literature, media, and culture. We encourage contributions that emphasize WisCon’s focus on how science 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 discrimination, or outright bigotry. We especially welcome scholarship on the work of 2018’s Guests of Honor Tananarive Due and Saladin Ahmed.

An incomplete list of possible subjects:

  • What Does Justice Demand? How is social justice lived/embodied? How does social justice shape feminism and genre work (scifi, fantasy, horror, and others) both past and present?
  • Gender, sexuality, race, class, and disability in individual works of science fiction and fantasy, especially in the works of our Guests of Honor, Tananarive Due and Saladin Ahmed
  • Feminist, queer, critical race, and critical disability analysis of science fiction and fantasy in media (film, television, music, video games, online culture)
  • Speculative aspects of feminist and social justice movements
  • Race, colonialism, and speculative fiction; Afrofuturism and related cultural movements
  • Feminist pedagogy and speculative fiction in the classroom

An incomplete list of possible formats:

  • 15-minute paper presentations, with or without visual accompaniment
  • Groups of presentations submitted together as panels
  • Presentation of scholarly creative works, including digital scholarship
  • Discussion-based panels and roundtables on scholarly research, teaching, or service
  • Screenings and discussions of short films or videos

The deadline for submitting an abstract for WisCon 42 is midnight Central Time on February 14, 2018.

Please submit your proposal using this form (wiscon.net site profile is required). You will be asked for a 100-word abstract, which will be printed in the convention’s program, and for a more detailed proposal of up to 500 words. If you are proposing something other than a traditional paper, please make sure you describe the format of your proposed program item. A projector and screen will be available; if you have further technological needs, please let us know in your proposal.

If you have questions, please email: academic@wiscon.net.

Donate to the Member Assistance Fund – Put WisCon Within Reach!

Last May, during WisCon 41, political turmoil was dominating national and world attention. We know it had a dramatic impact on the conversations we had during the convention — not only as a topic, but also in shaping the membership. We know that as a convention in the midwest, in Wisconsin, in the United States, our environment became less welcoming — and in many ways more hostile — than ever before. And we know that hasn’t changed.

We feel that it’s important to counter that hostility while continuing our work right here in Madison. WisCon is not simply a convention: every Memorial Day weekend we create a space to organize, to push back, to have restorative conversations, to make connections, and to build our dream of a better future.

As an intersectional feminist convention, 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. Our most concrete step toward inclusion and equity is WisCon’s Member Assistance Fund (WMAF).

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. It’s vital that we ease the way for as many people as possible to join us, bringing their opinions, their ideas, and their knowledge. WisCon builds and tests ideas, exploring gender, class, race, and ability in science fiction and fantasy, and through that process, we build our culture and our world in a way that isn’t limited to the con.

We need your donations to make this happen. Any amount you donate to WMAF makes a huge difference — our goal is to raise $8,000 by December 31, enough to help at least sixteen people, and probably many more. Donations to WisCon are tax-deductible in the US.

Please give now to help us put WisCon within reach.