Category: 2016 Auction

Announcing Con or Bust, Inc. and the 2016 Auction!

I’m excited to announce that (1) Con or Bust is now a not-for-profit corporation with the official name of Con or Bust, Inc., and (2) the annual online auction to support Con or Bust is now accepting items for auction, with bidding to take place from May 25 through June 5.

Con or Bust, Inc.

As you may know, Con or Bust started on extremely short notice in 2009, so short that I literally was using my personal bank account to temporarily hold the funds. Obviously that was not a long-term solution! But I did not want to create a separate corporation at that early stage, and so I was immensely grateful to the Carl Brandon Society when it agreed to act as the fiscal agent for Con or Bust. Con or Bust would never have made it past the very first auction with the CBS’s help and support.

Thanks to that help and support, Con or Bust has kept growing over the years, and here at the start of its eighth year, Con or Bust has become large enough that I and the CBS have mutually agreed that it makes sense for it to become its own organization. As a result, on April 6, 2016, Con or Bust, Inc. was formally created as a not-for-profit corporation, when its certificate of incorporation was filed with the New York State Department of State (search its database).

The inaugural Board of Directors is:

Our application for federal tax-exempt status under 501(c)(3) was submitted on April 17, 2016, and once approved, the tax-exempt status will be retroactive to the date that Con or Bust, Inc., was created. (The IRS says we should expect to hear within 90 days.) As a small charity, Con or Bust, Inc., is exempt from registration with New York State, but we will also be submitting an application to confirm that exemption. You can read all of our corporate documents at the updated About page.

As for the Carl Brandon Society, it is filing the tax returns necessary for its re-application for tax exempt status, and looks forward to having that in place later this year.

Before I move on to the auction, a final thank-you for the Carl Brandon Society for supporting Con or Bust until it was ready to strike out on its own. Be sure to check out the CBS’s ongoing projects: the Parallax and Kindred Awards, which honor works of speculative fiction by people of color and about issues of race and identity; the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship, which enables writers of color to attend one of the Clarion writing workshops; and scholarships to the annual Writing Excuses Retreats.

2016 Auction

Con or Bust is principally funded through its annual online auction. There are (edit) three changes this year, one major and two minor.

First, people cannot submit items to the auction AFTER bidding has started, because under New York State law, having different bidding periods for items opens us to the possibility of having to collect sales taxes. [*] Bidding starts May 25, which gives a little more than a month to offer items; I hope this will be plenty of time.

[*] The state tax department guidance says that “the occasional late addition” is okay, as long as the additions have the same end date (PDF); that’s squishy enough that I prefer to err on the side of caution and save those “occasional” additions in case we are fortunate enough to have (insert very famous person here) offer us (insert too-good-to-be-refused thing here).

Which leads me to the minor changes: as usual, anyone can offer something for auction, by filling out a form on the website–all you need is an email address. This year the form allows you to upload pictures at the same time you submit your auction, which should be more convenient for those of you who aren’t linking to pictures hosted elsewhere. (There are also some backend improvements to make my life easier.) In addition, so that we can send proper receipts to winners, when you submit an auction, you are asked to give a good-faith estimate of the fair market value of what’s being auctioned; this won’t display in the post, it will just be added to the winner’s thank-you email.

You can find out more about offering things for auction at the main auction information page, or go right to the Submit an Auction form. Please note that posts may be a little slow getting approved, as next week my Internet access will be dubious at best; but you’ll get an email with the link to the post once it’s published (from a new address,

Note: because of the later start to the auction, the next period for fans of color to request monetary assistance will be May 27-June 6, rather than the usual May 15-25. There will be more announcements in May.

Thanks again for all your help and support, and please spread the word!

This auction is now over. Check out other ways you can support Con or Bust.


auction news forthcoming; many free memberships available now

Two notes for today:

First, because of various administrative things, this year’s auction will be a little later than last year; I’m still working out details, but it’s likely to be in the second half of May (and the usual request-assistance period will be slightly moved back to compensate). When I have firm dates, I will let everyone know! Thanks for your patience and support.

Second, Con or Bust currently has a boatload (more or less) of free memberships available for fans of color/non-white fans, first-come first-serve. The full list is below. Please see the Request Assistance page to claim them!

  • Contact 2016, 25-28 March, 2016, Brisbane, Australia. Contact is the 2016 National Speculative Fiction Convention in Australia. Its Guests of Honour are Ben Aaronovitch, Jill Pantozzi, Keri Arthur, Kirilee Barker, and Maria Lewis.

    Contact donated two memberships to Con or Bust, and up to $550 AUD toward hotel accommodations; only a membership remains available, which must be claimed by March 23. (EDIT: membership has been claimed.)

  • JordanCon, April 22-24, 2016, Atlanta, GA, USA. JordanCon is a fantasy literature convention founded in honor of the late author, Robert Jordan; in 2016 it will also be hosting DeepSouthCon 54, which is the Southeast’s premiere regional convention for fans of genre literature. Its Guests of Honor are Catherine Asaro and John Picacio.

    JordanCon has donated two memberships to Con or Bust, which must be claimed by March 27, 2016.

  • Penguicon, April 29 – May 1st, 2016, Southfield, MI, USA. Penguicon is a non-profit, community-run convention for open source software and hardware, science fiction, gaming, DIY, and more. Its Guests of Honor are Ann Leckie, Lingjia Tang, Jason Mars, Catherynne M. Valente, Deb Nicholson, and Ann Lemay.

    Penguicon has donated three memberships to Con or Bust, which must be claimed by April 20.

  • Satellite 5, 28th – 29th May 2016, Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Satellite focusses on the interface between science fact and science fiction; Satellite 5 heads back into orbit to look at science and SF relating to space stations, orbiting habitats, floating cities etc. The Guest of Honor is Jaine Fenn.

    Satellite has donated one membership to Con or Bust.

  • ConQuesT, May 27-29, 2016, Kansas City, MO, USA. ConQuesT is an annual science fiction convention held in the Kansas City, Missouri area that is sponsored by the long-running (since 1971) Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (KaCSFFS, pronounced kax-fuss). The convention is held to celebrate science fiction, fantasy, and horror “in all its various forms”, but with a nod toward the literary side of these related genres. The Guests of Honor are Nnedi Okorafor, Julie Dillon, Diane Lacey, and Seanan McGuire.

    ConQuesT has donated four memberships to Con or Bust, which must be claimed by March 30th, 2016. Three memberships remain available.

  • Au Contraire 2016, 3-5 June, 2016, Wellington, New Zealand. Au Contraire is the 37th National Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention for New Zealand (NatCon for short). Its Guests include Stephanie Paul (Iron Sky), Martin Wallace (Treefrog Games), and A.J. Fitzwater.

    Au Contraire has donated one membership to Con or Bust.

  • LepreCon 42, June 23-26, 2016, Phoenix, AZ, USA. LepreCon is Arizona’s Annual Sci-Fi & Fantasy Convention with an art emphasis. Its 2016 theme is “Life, the Universe & Everything” and its currently-announced guests of honor are Jennie Breeden and Ben Woerner.

    LepreCon has donated two memberships to Con or Bust.

  • CrossingsCon, June 24-26, 2016, Newark, NJ, USA. CrossingsCon is this Universe’s first ever Young Wizards convention; its special guests are Mark Oshiro and Seanan McGuire.

    CrossingsCon has donated two memberships to Con or Bust, of which one remains.

  • CONvergence, June 30 – July 3, 2016, Bloomington, MN, USA. CONvergence is an annual convention for fans of Science Fiction and Fantasy in all media: a 4-day event with more than 6,000 members, and the premiere event of its kind in the upper mid-west. Its Guests of Honor are Amal El-Mohtar, Amy Shira Teitel, Cam Banks, Christopher Jones, Daren Dochterman, Joseph Scrimshaw, Khary Payton, Mark Oshiro, and Ytasha Womack.

    CONvergence has donated four memberships to Con or Bust, of which one has been claimed.

  • Westercon 69, July 1-4, 2016, Portland, OR, USA. Westercon is an annual West Coast convention. Its 2016 Guests of Honor and Special Guests are: Writer Guest of Honor: John Scalzi; Special Guest: Charles Stross; Fan Guest of Honor: David D. Levine; Artist Guest of Honor: Theresa Mather.

    Westercon 69 has donated ten attending memberships to Con or Bust.

  • Motor City Steam Con, July 22-24, 2016, Livonia, MI, USA. This year’s guests at Michigan’s steamiest con are Steampunk Eddie, Karianne Gottschalk, James Neathery, Charles E. Manson II, Kevin Steil, Diana M. Pho (Ay-leen the Peacemaker), and Bethalynne Bajema.

    Motor City Steam Con has donated five passes to Con or Bust.

  • CON.TXT, July 29-31, 2016, Arlington, VA, USA. CON.TXT is a media convention with a focus on fanworks; the theme for its tenth anniversary is “Ten years. Five cons. All the feels.”

    CON.TXT has donated two memberships to Con or Bust, which must be claimed before May 2016. In addition, all attendees must be 18 or older on July 29, 2016.

  • Myths and Legends Convention, August 12-14, 2016, Denver, CO, USA. MALCon Denver celebrates our modern myths and legends, and in 2016, is focusing on Firefly, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Supernatural, Game of Thrones, and Dresden Files. Its featured Guest of Honor is Jim Butcher.

    MALCon has donated five memberships to Con or Bust.

  • Salt City Steamfest, August 12-14, 2016, West Valley City, UT, USA. Salt City Steamfest is a steampunk convention in its fifth year. The theme for 2016 is The Festival of Friendship.

    Salt City Steamfest has donated two memberships (Nomad Passports) to Con or Bust.

  • Nine Worlds, 12th-14th August 2016, London, UK. Nine Worlds is about gaming, film, cosplay, fandom, literature, science, geek culture, meeting people and having a really big party.

    Nine Worlds has donated twenty (20) tickets to Con or Bust, of which 13 remain.

This auction is now over. Check out other ways you can support Con or Bust.