new free memberships: VividCon, August 2017, Chicago

Fans of color/non-white fans: the following free memberships are available now, first-come first-served:

VividCon, August 4-6, 2017, Chicago, IL, USA. VividCon is an annual convention for anyone who enjoys fanvids – watching them, talking about them, or making them.

VividCon has donated three memberships to Con or Bust.

To learn how to request assistance, see the Request Assistance page. For the most up-to-date list of cons to which assistance is available, see the Upcoming Cons page.

Thanks, and please spread the word!

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looking for memberships to CONvergence

June 15: found, thank you!

Do you have a membership to CONvergence that you can’t use? Con or Bust is looking for two donated memberships to transfer to specific fans of color/non-white fans who missed out on the recently-announced one. (The con previously generously donated four.) If you have a membership available, please email [email protected] to arrange the donation.

Thanks very much, and please spread the word!

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Con or Bust Newsletter for June 7, 2017

[Crossposted from Tinyletter. Get future newsletters delivered to your inbox by subscribing.]

Dear all,

Welcome back to the Con or Bust newsletter, which, approximately twice a month, updates you on Con or Bust events and deadlines and brings you news related to diversity in SFF fandom (scholarships, workshops, calls for submissions, awards, and the like). Your email address will always be kept private and you can unsubscribe at any time, at the bottom of the email.

Con or Bust News

Upcoming Deadlines

  • June 15, 2017: request membership to Westercon 70, July 1-4, 2017, Tempe, AZ, USA.
  • June 15, 2017: request membership to NorthAmeriCon ’17, July 6-9, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA.
  • June 23, 2017: request membership to The Locus Awards Weekend, June 23-25, 2017, Seattle, WA, USA.

New Conventions

Memberships to the following cons were recently donated to Con or Bust:

Here is the full list of conventions to which memberships are available, and here is how to request a membership.

Fandom News

And finally, here is a picture of a cat straight out of Le Guin’s Catwings series.

Thanks for reading! See you in a couple of weeks.

Kate Nepveu

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last-minute memberships: Locus Awards Weekend, CONvergence, others

Fans of color/non-white fans: the following free memberships are available now, first-come first-served:

(new!) The Locus Awards Weekend, June 23-25, 2017, Seattle, WA, USA. The Locus Awards Weekend includes not only the awards ceremony but also readings, a kickoff party, panels, and an autograph session.

Locus has donated two memberships to the 2017 Awards Weekend, to be claimed by June 23, 2018.


(new!) CONvergence, July 6-9, 2017, Bloomington, MN, USA. CONvergence 2017: To Infinity & Beyond is a celebration of all things space opera. Its Guests of Honor are Lois McMaster Bujold, Kristopher Carter, Norman Cates, Eric Chu, Tracee Lee Cocco, Naomi Kritzer, Seanan McGuire, Jai Nitz, Ian Truitner, and Saymoukda Vongsay.

An individual has donated the cost of one membership, to be paid at the door. Previously, CONvergence donated four memberships to Con or Bust, which were claimed.


(new!) Worldcon 75, 9-13 August, 2017, Helsinki, Finland. Worldcon 75 is the annual World Science Fiction Convention for 2017. Its Guests of Honor are John-Henri Holmberg, Nalo Hopkinson, Johanna Sinisalo, Claire Wendling, and Walter Jon Williams.

Now available: two memberships donated by individuals. Previously claimed: 25 attending memberships and 25 hotel room nights donated by Worldcon 75; and twelve memberships donated by individuals.


And these memberships are not new, but are also available now and, in some cases, need to be claimed soon:

Westercon 70, July 1-4, 2017, Tempe, AZ, USA. Westercon is the most prestigious regional science fiction and fantasy convention on the west coast; Westercon 70 is also Leprecon 43 (an annual Arizona con). Its Guests of Honor are Julie Dillon, Tom Deadstuff, Larry Elmore, Connie Willis, Gini Koch, Tim Griffin, and Weston Ochse.

Westercon 70 has donated two memberships to Con or Bust, to be claimed by June 15, 2017.


NorthAmeriCon ’17, July 6-9, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA. NorthAmeriCon is the North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC), which is held only in years when the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) is held outside of North America. Its Guests of Honor are Daína Chaviano, Tobias S. Buckell, Brother Guy Consolmagno S.J., Javier Grillo-Marxuach, George Perez, and Paula Smith.

NorthAmeriCon has donated five memberships, and an individual has donated one membership, to Con or Bust, to be claimed by June 15, 2017.


Nine Worlds, 4-6 August 2017, London, England, UK. Nine Worlds is a geekfest, or a multi media, multi-genre residential pop culture convention.

Nine Worlds has donated twenty tickets to Con or Bust. Sixteen tickets remain available.


CrossingsCon, August 4–August 6, 2017, Long Beach, CA, USA. CrossingsCon is this universe’s first Young Wizards convention, and is two days of panels, readings, transformative works, discussions, meta, and hugs, with some wonderful special guests and a third day of offsite events. Its Guests of Honor are Emily Skrutskie and Mark Oshiro (current Con or Bust President!).

CrossingsCon has donated two memberships to Con or Bust, to be claimed by July 15.


Kitacon Quest, 18th to 20th August 2017, Coventry, UK. Kitacon is the UK’s largest residential, non-profit, anime and geek culture convention celebrating popular fandoms, Japanese culture and geekery.

Kitacon has donated two standard tickets to Con or Bust, to be claimed by July 15, 2017; one remains available.


FantasyCon 2017, 29th September – 1st October, 2017, Peterborough UK. Fantasycon is an essential annual destination for readers, writers, artists, editors, and publishers of all things Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction, run in partnership with the British Fantasy Society.

FantasyCon has donated two weekend memberships to Con or Bust, to be claimed by August 31, 2017.


GeekGirlCon, September 30 & October 1, 2017, Seattle, WA, USA. GeekGirlCon celebrates and honors the legacy of women contributing to science and technology; comics, arts, and literature; and game play and game design by connecting geeky women world-wide and creating community to foster continued growth of women in geek culture through events.

GeekGirlCon has donated ten passes (three still available) to Con or Bust, to be claimed by September 26, 2017.


Imaginarium Convention, October 6-8, 2017, Louisville, KY, USA. Imaginarium is a unique all-genre creative writing convention. Its 2017 Guest of Honor is John Gilstrap.

Apex Magazine has donated one Imaginarium membership to Con or Bust, to be claimed during pre-registration.


OryCon, November 17-19, 2017, Portland, OR, USA. OryCon is Oregon’s premier, fan run, annual science fiction/fantasy convention held in Portland since 1979. Its Guests of Honor are Timothy Zahn; Briana Lawrence (Brichibi Cosplays) and Jessica Walsh (Snow Tigra); David Boop; and Sarah Clemens.

OryCon has donated ten memberships to Con or Bust, to be claimed by October 31, 2017; seven remain available.


To learn how to request these memberships, see the Request Assistance page. Thanks, and please spread the word!

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available now: free membership to WisCon (May 26-29)

Fans of color/non-white fans: the following new free memberships are available now, first-come first-served:

WisCon, May 26-29, 2017, Madison, WI, USA. WisCon is a 1,000-member science fiction convention with a feminist/social justice focus. Its Guests of Honor are Amal El-Mohtar and Kelly Sue DeConnick.

An individual has donated one membership to WisCon. (Previously: individuals donated three memberships to WisCon and two dessert tickets, which have all been claimed.)

For the most up-to-date list of cons to which assistance is available, see the Upcoming Cons page. To learn how to request assistance, see the Request Assistance page. (Reminder: you can request monetary assistance to attend any con now through May 25. However, this does not include monetary assistance to WisCon, because the con will take place before any decisions can be made on assistance, and Con or Bust only provides assistance to upcoming cons.)

Thanks, and please spread the word!

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help wanted: test commenting speed (again)

Hi all,

I am home today with a mildly sick kid (no worries, all will be well) and would like your help in testing the latest iteration in the ongoing saga of Con or Bust’s Commenting Times.

To wit: the post you are on right now is Con or Bust’s original site/main domain/etc. I would really love it if you could please post a comment here and take note of how long it took the comment to post. Hold that thought until step two.

(Feel free to be creative in your test comments, though remaining within the bounds of good taste. Favorite quotes? Song recommendations? Get your pet to walk across the keyboard? But “testing” is fine too, I’m just hoping for as many comments as possible.)

Then, leave a comment on our testing site, where there is also a very quick poll asking for your findings.

Thanks so much!

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request assistance now through May 25!

Fans of color/non-white fans: now through May 25, 2017, you can request monetary assistance to attend any upcoming SFF con. To learn how to request assistance, see the Request Assistance page. For the most up-to-date list of cons to which specific assistance is available, see the Upcoming Cons page. (However, you’re not limited to requesting assistance for those cons; any upcoming SFF con is fine.)

Thanks, and please spread the word!

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Auction interim report and reminder

Now that I’m back from work travel and have caught up on Con or Bust email:

I am pleased to report that the total pledged bids for Con or Bust’s auction total $10,589.00. I won’t know the full amount we raised during this period for a few weeks, because there may have been Giving Fund donations that weren’t for the auction, but I do know that there was another $800 in donations from before the auction even started. I will post updated numbers when I have them.

There are a handful of people who won and haven’t paid yet; if that’s you, please check out this post to claim your excellent winnings. (I will send emails later in the week, never fear, but it would a kindness if I didn’t have to.)

Thanks to everyone for their help and support!

Bidding is now CLOSED on all items. Here's what to do next.

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the auction’s (mostly) over, now what?

If this post has published when scheduled, it is 4:01 p.m. Eastern and Con or Bust’s 2017 auction is now over, except for items with last-minute bids. This post addresses: (1) how to tell whether bidding on an item is over and if you won; (2) what to do after winning; (3) what to do if you offered an item for auction; and (4) what to do if you need help.

Is Bidding Over? Did I Win?

Bidding gets extended by last-minute bids, so here’s a refresher on whether the bidding on any specific item is over yet:

Was a valid bid on an item posted with a timestamp from 3:50 through 4:00 p.m. on May 7? A valid bid is higher than the last one.

  • No.
    • If the last valid bid on an item was timestamped 3:49 p.m. or earlier, then that bid is automatically the winner.
  • Yes.
    • If a valid bid was timestamped 3:50 p.m., 4:00 p.m., or any time in-between, then bidding on that item is automatically extended until 4:10 p.m.
    • Next, either:
      • no further bids are received timestamped on or before 4:10 p.m., and therefore bidding is over at 4:10 p.m. and the last high bid wins; or,
      • another valid bid is timestamped on or before 4:10 p.m., and bidding continues until 4:20 p.m. Repeat as necessary.

If an item’s bidding period has been extended by last-minute bids, the bidding period will automatically extend until no bids have been received during the last extension period, at which time bidding automatically closes. A moderator ruling is not required for bidding on an item to be extended.

Similarly, a moderator ruling is not required to determine if you’ve won: if you’re the last valid bid within the applicable time period, you’ve won. (I will be happy to confirm, however! Leave a comment on the auction item in question.)

I Won; What Do I Do Now?

Congratulations and thanks very much! Please pay for your winnings; you don’t need to wait for me to notify you that you’ve won. (However, if you can’t quite remember what you bid on, you can comment here using the same email address you would have used for bidding and I will email you when the spreadsheet is sorted out.)

When you pay, please provide the following information:

  • What item or items you are paying for (if you won multiple items, it’s preferable to pay for them all at once);
  • If your email address is different than the one you used to comment, what email address was on your comment; and
  • Your shipping address, if you’re having something shipped. Please note that PayPal no longer provides this information automatically.

If you have a PayPal account and would like 100% of your auction payment to go directly to Con or Bust, please use the below button (which is a link to the PayPal Giving Fund). (Edit: it appears this may not work outside the US; my apologies, this is outside my control.)

If you use the above button, you must then forward your acknowledgment email only to [email protected] with the information requested above. (Please do not send money directly to that address!) The Giving Fund doesn’t allow you to leave notes with your donation and doesn’t notify us immediately that your donation has been made.

If you need to use a credit card rather than a PayPal account, you can also use PayPal to make a one-time donation; your donation will be reduced by a PayPal fee (a lower charity rate of 2.2% + $0.30).




If you’re donating using the above button, please click “Add special instructions to the seller” (below the donation amount) and include the information requested above.

Once I’ve matched up your donation with your winnings on the spreadsheet, you’ll get two emails from [email protected]: a thank-you receipt for your records, and an email putting you and your seller in touch. Please check your spam folders for these emails! (I will do these as quickly as I can, but judging by past experience, there will be dozens tonight alone, and I do have a family and a day job. I promise I will do my very best to be quick and accurate.)

You can also mail a check, but please contact me at [email protected] before doing so.

I Offered Something for Auction, Now What?

Thank you for offering something! If your auction item sold, you’ll get two emails from [email protected]: a thank-you receipt for your records, and an email putting you and your winner in touch. Then make whatever arrangements are necessary!

Finally, I mention this only because some people have asked if they could do it in past years: if bidding was vigorous, you may, where practical and in your sole discretion, offer additional items to people with the high losing bids or who got their bids in late. But that would be an entirely optional exercise of extreme generosity on your part—which means, bidders, don’t importune or I will frown disapprovingly at you over the Internet.

I Need Help!

Comment here or email [email protected]. It is very important to me that everyone who participates in the auction be satisfied that they were treated fairly, and I want to hear about any concerns or problems, at any time.

Bidding is now CLOSED on all items. Here's what to do next.

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