Category Archives: WisCon 41

Funding the Fund — $6,000 fundraising goal for the Member Assistance Fund

SF3 Fundraising Committee
& the Member Assistance Fund

The snow is melting in Madison, Wisconsin. The ground is mud, mottled with hard-packed ice, under a patina of exhaust residue. The lakes are still frozen over, but their surfaces are puddled, treacherous. We’re beginning to remember that one day, leaves will grow. That the wind isn’t always unwelcome. That it’s time, finally, to… donate to the WisCon Member Assistance Fund!

What’s the WMAF, you ask? It’s a fund established to assist people attend WisCon by alleviating some or all of the costs incurred by attending. 2016 was the biggest year yet for the WMAF. The donations you gave totaled almost $11,000, from a combination of individual donors and matching donors. We are so grateful for the generosity shown, and our con was much richer for the presence of members who received those funds.

Let’s do it all over again! We’ve set an initial fundraising goal of $6,000 by Friday, March 3. Your donations are tax-deductible, and there’s nothing like giving the gift of WisCon.

Donate to the WMAF when you register for WisCon, anytime on the Fund’s webpage, or using the buttons below. And if you’d like to offer matching donations, reach out to us by writing to We’d love to hear from you!

One-time Donation: WisCon Member Assistance Fund

Recurring Donation: WisCon Member Assistance Fund

How often would you like your gift to recur?
Enter your donation amount

Nominate someone for the Member Assistance Fund — closes Feb. 28

WisCon Member Assistance Fund

Memorial Day weekend can be the best and worst time of year. The best time if you’re in Madison for WisCon. And the worst if — you’re not.

Listen, we know that getting to WisCon is not economically feasible for everyone. That’s why we have our Member Assistance Fund. Maybe you need gas money, or a plane ticket, or a hotel room, or even just dogsitting. We might be able to help.

The Fund is pretty simple — we have a small pool of money and we disburse it to people who need a little assist in getting to WisCon. All you have to do is write us a short email nominating someone. The details are on this page. We’ve tried to keep is as low-key as possible.

And, yes, we absolutely encourage you to nominate yourself. Because you know who we’d love to see at WisCon? YOU.

There’s one more week to nominate people — the deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 11:59pm Central Time. We’ll let nominees know if funding is available for them before the Programming survey closes on March 13.

OPEN CALL FOR GAMES, Game Masters, and Gaming volunteers! Deadline — April 1!

SarahTops & Phredd

WisCon Gaming is looking for board and card games, game facilitators, and gaming volunteers for WisCon 41! On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, from 8pm to midnight, we will host board, storytelling, and role-playing games open to attendees. We are enthused to offer an alternative way to enjoy WisCon evenings in a (sometimes) quieter, more intimate setting… over dice and cards! Interested in playing with us? Read on.

Board and Card Games

WisCon provides several board and card games for attendees, but we also welcome attendees to bring new games to share!

Are you bringing a game you’d like to keep with you, but run at WisCon? Please fill out our online form with details of your proposal. If you’d like your game to be advertised on WisCon’s published schedule, submit the form before our April 1st deadline. Alternately, you are welcome to hang out in our board gaming space and run pick-up games at your leisure. The board gaming space will be located in the Dealers’ Room Lobby on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights from 8pm to midnight.

Are you bringing a game you’re offering to leave with Gaming through the course of the convention, for others to play at the public Gaming Space? Please email us at and provide a description of the game. We will take the best care we can with your game, but there is always risk in loaning games to a public gathering. We will be in touch to arrange logistics for the lending process.

Do you have a game you’d like to donate to WisCon? Please email us at To make sure we have the storage space to accept your offering, please provide dimensions of the box or book, as well as the game’s condition. We are especially interested in family-friendly, kid-friendly games to round out our collection!

Do you have a game you’d like to see at WisCon? Please email us at and share a description of the game, how to find it, and if you’d like to play or run it should a copy be found. We are happy to put a call out for specific games attendees request.

Popular games tend to be those with simpler mechanics or rules and those that take one hour or less. Especially popular are family-friendly games, and we highly encourage all-ages game-playing in our public gaming space. Get in touch to share your ideas!

Game Masters and RPGs

WisCon is looking for people who want to run storytelling and role-playing games! Please fill out our online form if you’d like to run a tabletop RPG or LARP. To help us reserve space for your game, please submit your proposal before our April 1st deadline. (But do feel free to get in touch after; we may be able to cast a Location Spell.) Most games would run in 1-, 2-, and 4-hour time slots between the hours of 8pm and midnight on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, and we are open to discussing alternatives.

WisCon is especially interested in games that fit well within the convention’s themes (e.g., feminism, identity politics, and social and cultural theory). Rules that are familiar or easy for new players to learn tend to be the most successful. We look forward to hearing more about your adventures!

Gaming Volunteers

WisCon needs Gaming volunteers! If you’d like to volunteer in the public Gaming Space greeting attendees and/or running games, or help with Gaming before the convention, please get in touch with

Stay tuned for games we will be offering at WisCon 41, to be announced in April!

WisCon 41 Accepting Proposals for Readings Track — Deadline March 13!


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 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. There is one loophole! You may read again during an open mic or rapid-fire event.

Author groups can be writing circles, authors featured together in a collection, or just a group of friends. We encourage you to ask around on your social media circles! But if you can’t find anyone else to read with, don’t worry: please sign up for a reading anyway! We usually have a few other individual authors searching for a group, and we might be able to find someplace to slot you.

We encourage non-standard readings, such as visual/comics readings, non-fiction, dramatic presentations, and readings with musical accompaniment. A/V equipment is available! Please inquire if you are interesting in doing something innovative, and we’ll see if we can make it happen.

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

The proposal period for Readings closes on Sunday, March 13. Please note that you must also register for WisCon 41 before signing up for a reading!

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

WisCon 41 Panel Sign-Up and Interest Survey Is Open!!! Deadline to Submit Survey — March 13


Panel Surveys are open until March 13. Now’s the chance to give YOUR feedback on what panels will run during WisCon 41. 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
  • Gaming

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.

Once you’re logged into your account, 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.

Wiscon 41 Art Show Call For Artists!

Art Show

Applications for this year’s WisCon Art Show are open until February 28th.

The WisCon Art Show focuses on art exploring themes related to SF and feminism/social justice, work by women, and work by Midwestern artists. We’re interested in seeing work in any medium. In addition to painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and jewelry, past shows have also included comics, fiber art, glass, art dolls, and ceramics, among others.

This will be our second year in a larger space on the first floor of the con, with room for more artists and more art!

We prefer and encourage that artists in the show also attend the con, but mailing in art is an option if you are comfortable with us hanging and handling your work. The Art Show operates like a gallery or store — you set the prices for your work and customers can purchase it during the show’s open hours (Saturday through Monday during the con). WisCon takes a 4% commission on all sales (8% for mail-in art).

Our artists page has more information and the application. Completed applications (including images of your work or a link to a website with images) must be submitted online by Tuesday, Feb. 28 (11:59pm Central Time).  Artists will be notified of acceptance in mid-March.

WisCon 41 Con Suite — Seeking staff & at-con volunteers

WisCon Co-Chairs

Did you visit the Con Suite last year? Do you want to see WisCon’s Con Suite continue to be a place where people choose to eat and spend time?

Then we need you!

But there’s a catch.

Our intent is to specifically address the racist and misogynist abuse toward Con Suite staff and volunteers that we saw at last year’s con, so we are putting emphasis on recruiting Con Suite staff and volunteers who are white and male identified.*

What’s the difference between being Con Suite staff and a Con Suite volunteer?

Just a matter of scope and commitment.

Staff become part of our Concom prior to the convention, comprise a team under our Con Suite leads, are required to go through ServSafe training and certification (fees paid by WisCon) and to help to guide the work of volunteers, and will be asked to commit to a minimum of two three-hour shifts during the convention. Tasks will include setting and resetting the Con Suite space, preparing and portioning foods, maintaining and monitoring inventory, helping to order supplies, and unpacking and repacking equipment, among other things.

Volunteers are encouraged to go through ServSafe training and certification (fees paid by WisCon) though it isn’t required, must follow guidance from Con Suite staff and leads, don’t need to commit to any minimum number of hours, and are not part of the Concom. You can let us know that you intend to volunteer to help out in the Con Suite now or at any point before or during the convention. Tasks will include keeping the Con Suite clean and ready for visitors, directing foot traffic, assuring that everyone in the space is wearing shoes, helping staff to portion and set out food, helping staff to reset the space between mealtimes, and other things.

What will you get out of stepping up to become Con Suite staff, or volunteering?

The most crucial reward will be that we will continue to have a Con Suite where you will enjoy spending time and eating! We’ve had wonderful feedback — and very very high demand — for the Con Suite over the past two years. That means that the WisCon community loved what our Con Suite lead, Julia, created so much that she is no longer able to keep up with it. As a community we need to make sure that she and her successors lead a team that is both large enough that no one has to spend the entire convention working and capable enough that they can all rely on each other.

If pride in a popular Con Suite isn’t the reward you’re looking for, we’ve got more! All staff are automatically eligible to opt for a WisCon membership rebate of 40% of your registration fee, meaning that if you register for WisCon as an adult, you can opt to receive $20 of your $50 membership back after the con ends. Volunteering? You can get the same rebate deal as long as you volunteer at least six hours and ask the Con Suite lead to confirm those hours (ask how at the Registration Desk!).

To apply to join Con Suite staff, contact:

To let us know you plan to volunteer in the Con Suite, contact:

*Wait! You aren’t male identified, or you aren’t white, and you want to join the Con Suite team? Fantastic! We want to have you on the team as well, and we’ll work with you to make sure that your Con Suite experience is a good one. We are optimistic that we will not see a repeat of the poor behavior toward the Con Suite team last year, but we also assure you that behavior is a violation of our Code of Conduct, and will not be tolerated if we see it again.

WisCon 41 Concom opportunity — Dealers’ Room lead

WisCon Co-Chairs

The WisCon Dealers’ Room is a marketplace of books, toys, posters, artwork, magazines, cards, jewelry, and all sorts of other science fiction and fantasy related merchandise as well as items relevant to explorations of feminism, gender, race, class, and disability.

We are looking for someone to step into the role of lead for the Dealers’ Room for WisCon 41, as part of the Concom. To fill this role you do not need to be local to Madison, but should be planning to attend WisCon 41. We particularly welcome volunteers from traditionally underrepresented or marginalized identities.

The Dealers’ Room Lead role involves some planning prior to the convention, doable in a few hours a month during March, April, and May. During that time, you would review applications from vendors as they come in, determine the final list of vendors from the applications you receive, and maintain a waitlist if necessary. The Dealers’ Room lead is also responsible for answering questions from potential vendors, assigning them tables, and confirming that all table fees and memberships have been processed by the payment deadline.

During the convention, the lead also needs to be on hand while vendors are loading in to the space (Friday 10am-2pm), as well as for opening and closing the Dealers’ Room space every day, for checking in throughout opening hours, and for being on hand as vendors load out from the space on Monday (after 2pm).

The Dealers’ Room lead is part of the WisCon Concom and is automatically eligible to opt for a WisCon membership rebate of 40% of the registration fee, meaning that if you register for WisCon as an adult, you can opt to receive $20 of your $50 membership back after the con ends.

If you are interested in joining the concom as the Dealers’ Room lead, please contact

WisCon 41 Concom opportunity — Gathering lead

WisCon Co-Chairs

For people new to WisCon, the Gathering is their very first look at what WisCon is like — and for folks who have been to WisCon before, it’s a welcome time to find people they haven’t seen in a year, to catch up, and to relax with one of the diversions that the Gathering has to offer!

Those experiences make the Gathering, the official start of the convention, an important event at every WisCon. A defining event, just as much as our Opening Ceremonies.

WisCon is a feminist convention, and we believe that means not just “diversity,” but inclusion and centering marginalized identities, including identities around race, gender, class, and ability. The Gathering must reflect that as well.

We are currently seeking a lead for the WisCon 41 Gathering. The Gathering lead is part of the WisCon Concom and is automatically eligible to opt for a WisCon membership rebate of 40% of the registration fee, meaning that if you register for WisCon as an adult, you can opt to receive $20 of your $50 membership back after the con ends.

You need not be local to Madison, but should be planning to attend WisCon 41. In particular, we are seeking applicants from traditionally underrepresented or marginalized identities.

Your role will include some planning prior to the convention, doable in a few hours a month during March, April, and May. You will determine what activities will be held from the applications you receive, communicate with the people running those activities, and solicit other activities as necessary. During the convention you will be on hand when the Gathering space is set up Friday morning and will be present during the event itself.

To apply to be Gathering lead, contact

WisCon in solidarity with its community — a letter from our Anti-Abuse Team

WisCon Anti-Abuse Department
(And endorsed by the entire Concom.)

Dear WisCon Community,

We on the Anti-Abuse Team have been in a state of shock and horror since November 9, when the U.S. Presidency was won by a candidate who campaigned on a platform of explicit racism, misogyny, ableism, and autocracy. He and his supporters ridiculed, traumatized, and dehumanized Mexican-Americans, immigrants and undocumented people, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinx, Native Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders, Muslims, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, Jews, survivors of sexual assault, women, Palestinians, prisoners of war, and their allies. Since the election, we have seen and heard about countless examples of racist, misogynist, homophobic, and transphobic abuse across the U.S., from diverse urban neighborhoods to rural towns. We have never needed the ability to imagine and enact a feminist, anti-racist, anti-ableist, anti-fascist future more. We have never needed WisCon more.

This May, when we come together in Madison to strategize, speculate, and celebrate the feminist science fiction whose imagination now feels so desperately urgent, we know that things are going to be fraught. We know that for many members of our community, the idea of coming to a small, majority-white city in a state that (however narrowly) voted for Trump in the election, feels terrifying, for reasons that are far from unjustified. We want you to know that the Safety and Anti-Abuse Teams are here for you before, during, and after the convention. Whatever we can do to help you feel supported, we will do. While we recognize that we are not able to control the climate in Madison outside of the Concourse Hotel, we will do whatever we can to mitigate that risk: we can walk with you and stand with you so that if anything does happen, you will not face it alone.

The job of the Anti-Abuse Team is to challenge and prevent harassment of our members from people within and outside the WisCon community, and to be proactive in keeping our convention spaces diverse, inclusive, and equitable. We want to support our community’s ability to disagree in an atmosphere of mutual respect, without reinforcing the disparagement of people inside and outside our community that Trump’s election has intensified. As we all work through complicated, controversial issues, AAT is here for you to call on if things get out of hand. We also know that you might be doing your political organizing elsewhere and want WisCon to be a place for relaxation and celebration. Our Statement of Principles and Code of Conduct are here to facilitate that too.

The Code of Conduct exists for your protection, and we take it seriously; this includes revising it to make WisCon better. Our mission may involve fostering conversation, providing training opportunities, or facilitating dialog; it may also mean supporting the convention’s provision of safer spaces, facilitating a buddy system, or even helping to provide opportunities for self care. We welcome your suggestions as we plan for WisCon 41.

Together, we can make sure that WisCon continues to be a space that allows us both to engage with politics and to escape from them in a space where our existence and humanity will not be under threat. We look forward to seeing you there.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact us:

If you need to talk with Safety during the convention, please call: 608-957-7233 (957-SAFE)

WisCon 41 Souvenir Book is taking submissions through March 15! (We pay $20!)

W. L. Bolm
Souvenir Book

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. We’re calling on our community members to submit their essays of 500–1000 words for the WisCon41 Souvenir Book! 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-41st!


Submit your essay to the Souvenir Book by March 15!


  • Essays should be 500-1000 words
  • Topics both current and historic that are relevant to the WisCon community
  • Authors will be paid $20 USD at time of publication
  • All essays or questions should be sent to (Please use the subject line “WC41 Souvenir Book Submission: [Your Name]”)
  • Submit essays as .doc or .rtf attachments

WisCon Academic Call for Papers: Deadline February 23

Lauren J. Lacey & Alexis Lothian
Academic Programming

We invite you to submit papers, panels, and presentations for Academic Programming at WisCon 41! Join us for a weekend dedicated to imagining, exploring, and critiquing alternate worlds, technological transformations, and the possibilities and processes for creating the feminist, decolonial, anti-racist, anti-ableist, anti-fascist futures we so badly need.

WisCon has a track of academic programming that is open to undergraduate, postgraduate, and independent scholars. One of the benefits of this track is that it strengthens the links between the wider feminist science fiction community and students and other scholars working on feminist science fiction and fantasy and related fields. The track operates very much like a conventional academic conference, with presentations based on individual or collaborative research. However, scholarly work on all aspects of feminist science fiction reaches an audience at WisCon that gives a kind of passionate and informed feedback that is rare at academic conferences.

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, culture, and politics. We particularly welcome scholarship on the work of our Guests of Honor, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Amal El-Mohtar, and on the histories and cultures of feminist and social-justice-oriented fan communities. We encourage 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.


The deadline for submitting proposals for our Academic Programming is Thursday, Feb. 23, at 11:59pm Central Time.

An incomplete list of possible subjects

  • The political work of speculative imagination in the new age of right-wing populism
  • Speculative aspects of feminist and social justice movements
  • Science fiction and feminist science and technology studies
  • Gender, sexuality, race, class, and disability in individual works of science fiction and fantasy, especially in the works of our Guests of Honor
  • Feminist, queer, critical race, and critical disability analysis of science fiction and fantasy in media (film, television, music, video games, online culture)
  • Race, colonialism, and speculative fiction; Afrofuturism and related cultural movements
  • Fan cultures and communities
  • Teaching feminist science fiction and other aspects of feminist pedagogy
  • Feminist practice and speculative fiction in academic institutions

An incomplete list of possible formats

  • 15-20 minute paper presentations, with or without visual accompaniment
  • Groups of presentations submitted together as panels
  • Presentation of scholarly creative works, including digital scholarship
  • Readings from recently published or forthcoming scholarly books
  • Discussion-based panels and roundtables on scholarly research, teaching, or service
  • Mentoring sessions on academic professional life: graduate study, the job market, tenure and promotion, publishing and presentation, doing scholarship outside conventional institutions
  • Screenings and discussions of short films or videos

Submitting your proposal

Submit your proposal using our online form (requires a WisCon login). 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.

Announcing a new workshop on feminist scholarship!

This year, for the first time, we will be running a workshop on feminist science fiction scholarship as part of WisCon’s Writers’ Workshop, which takes place on Friday, May 26, before the conventional officially begins. The deadline for submitting work will be in April.  Further announcements will be made on the WisCon blog and listed on the Academic Programming page.

If you have any questions, contact us via email: