WisCon 43 Report
WisCon 43 was held May 24-27, 2019 at the Concourse Hotel in balmy Madison WI, with Charlie Jane Anders and G. Willow Wilson as guests of honor. There were 940 full memberships sold, plus 51 teen/youth/child memberships (including many donated and assisted memberships). Programming offered 109 panels, solo presentations, and roundtables, focused on SF/F literature, diversity, feminism, disability, criticism, and more. There were 14 group readings plus GoH readings for a total of 61 author readings, several book launch parties, an expanded gaming track with 12 planned tabletop sessions, and ten academic paper presentation sessions with 19 papers presented. The surrounding neighborhood offered plenty of eateries, cafes, and pubs. The con designated safe spaces for various groups, and created spaces where spontaneous socializing could happen, plus the new “Introvert Corner.”
Highlights included the Gathering/Opening Ceremonies; the popular Dessert Salon which sold out as it does every year, with a new take-a-number system to help with the long lines; the ever-popular Floomp dance party, themed “Under the Sea”; inspiring guest of honor speeches; the Tiptree Award bake sale; the People of Color dinner with 65 attendees; 16 parties; the art show with 41 artists and art show awards determined by attendee votes; the dealer’s room with 32 vendors; and the “SignOut” mass signing, also a busy social mixer. There were 30 different workshops this year, five of which were writing critique sessions with different pros including Charlie Jane Anders. There was also a Writing the Other workshop with K. Tempest Bradford and Nisi Shawl.
Gabriela Damián Miravete was crowned as the 2018 Tiptree Award winner for short story “They Will Dream in the Garden”, with a special honor to translator Adrian Demopulos.
Fundraising efforts included the Tiptree Auction, with Sumana Harihareswara as auctioneer. Funds are utilized for “fellowships that support and recognize new voices who are making visible the forces that are changing our view of gender today,” as well as the Tiptree Award prize, the Fairy Godmother Awards, and more. The Carl Brandon Society raised around $500.
WisCon 44 will take place May 22-25, 2020 at the Concourse Hotel in Madison WI, with Rebecca Roanhorse and Yoon Ha Lee as guests of honor. More info at <www.wiscon.net>.
This report and more like it in the July 2019 issue of Locus.
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