Tag Archives: readings

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 41 Accepting Proposals for Readings Track — Deadline March 13!

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 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 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

For more details about how Readings will work during WisCon 44, see WisCONline: Programming & Events.

  • contact:  readings@wiscon.net
  • Deadline for proposals:  March 15

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 via our online sign-up system. 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.

Note: Before you can sign up for a reading, you must also register for the convention!

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.

 

Readings sign-up open!

Haddayr Copley-Woods
Readings

Readings sign-up is currently open, and we will be accepting proposals through mid-March. (A more specific deadline will be posted as soon as we have it.) Most reading groups have 4-6 authors, sharing a 75-minute slot. Excepting the current GoHs, only one regular-length reading is allowed per author. You can also propose for rapid-fire readings, poetry readings, and open mics. A/V equipment is available for visual readings (e.g., graphic novels, etc.).

For more information, please refer to the main Readings page:
http://wiscon.net/programming/readings/

Readings sign-up will close on the same day as the main Programming sign-up period in mid-March March 29.

If you have questions, email: readings@wiscon.net

Last Call for WisCon35 Programming/Readings Sign-up (and more.)

A final reminder that Friday, March 18 is the last day to sign up as a panelist or moderator for WisCon 35. That’s today (or soon will be).

It’s also the last day to sign up for a reading. Groups and individuals alike are welcome to sign up to read – see the full details on doing a reading on the WisCon35 website.

And it’s the last day to tell us what panels you’re interested in, if you haven’t already done it.

All three tasks can be accomplished by visiting the programming sign-up page. You’ll need to sign-in or create an account using a valid e-mail. Once in, there’s a link for program sign-up and audience interest, and another link for readings sign-up.

We have a few favors to ask:

  • If you’ve signed up to participate in programming – please remember to let us know your availability for programming. We don’t want to assign you to an 8:30 am panel if you’re a late-night party person, or schedule your panel for midnight if you’re in your jammies by 10 pm. The availability link is on the programming sign-up page.
  • Similarly, if you’ve signed up to do programming, please complete the bio sections of your profile on by accessing your account. It helps speed along the process.
  • We can always use a few good moderators.
  • Finally, please help us get the word out by re-distributing this message among your online communities, e-lists, and friends lists. Remember, one does NOT need to have a paid registration to indicate an interest in WisCon programming, nor sign up to be a panelist (though you’ll need a paid registration in order to score a final assignment – there’s a convenient link to registration on the programming sign-up page.)

Thank you for participating – and if you have any questions, please send an email to program@wiscon.net

Reminder – Deadlines for Programming & Readings Signups

Just a reminder that this is the last week you can volunteer to be a program participant, be a moderator, or sign up to do a reading or throw a party for WisCon33.

Note that the sign-up process is brand new and utilizes a new, purpose-built database (we’ve given last year’s hamsters a well-deserved retirement.)

There are three basic steps involved in signing up to participate in programming or to be a moderator: Setting up your account, defining your personal information, and signing up for programs/telling us about your availability. Full details are on the WisCon33 programming page. Look for the “My Account” link in the left sidebar to see your options.

Full instructions for signing up for a reading are also on the WisCon33 website.

Participant sign-up will close on this Friday, March 13, 2009. That’s Friday the 13th. Sign up now, don’t delay. After sign-up closes, we’ll be looking at participant availability and starting to block out programming.