As you might recall, the inaugural FIYAHCON of last year has been nominated for a Hugo Award in the Best Related Work category! We could not be more thrilled that our staff’s been recognized for their amazing efforts to build such a celebrated and inclusive event.
Every year, the Hugo Awards are hosted by Worldcons which take place in a different city somewhere in the world (weirdly often in the U.S. for a “world” anything, but that’s another post entirely.) This year, the ceremony takes place in December in Washington, D.C. Worldcons—despite what we are sure have become best efforts—are not set up to accommodate team-based honorees such as the full staff of a literary magazine or, in our case, a convention. This leads to the occasional horror show where names are left off of ballots and team members are left out of parties beholden to capacity restrictions. (Look, we get it.)
We’d like to forego the madness and fatigue of events passed where we bemoan the State of Things yet again. We created an entire convention to address those issues. Instead, we’d like to arrange our own mini-meetup to celebrate our nomination with some of our team in person at DisCon III. And we don’t want to take from the convention budget to do it.
We’re seeking to cover travel and lodging expenses for some of our team members to attend the convention in person Dec 15-19, as well as covering the attendance fees for our interested team members who will only be able to attend virtually. Combined, that’s about 15 people. To address the capacity issue of the pre-award party, we’d also like to host our own dinner over the course of the weekend so that we have a formal means of celebrating the work we’ve done together, whether we win the award or not.
Your donation via the form below will help us make this happen. This also seems as good a time as any to remind you that Hugo voting is now open to voting members! Both FIYAHCON and parent organization FIYAH Literary Magazine (Best Semiprozine) are on the ballot along with a list of incredibly talented and dedicated members of the SFF community. You should, at the very least, check them all out.
That’s it! Give what you can. Anything is appreciated. Until next time, we continue the work of amplifying BIPOC and their contributions to your favorite genres.
$2,000 donated out of $7,500 goal*
(Updated 6/22: *donation method changed for accessibility. Fundraiser amount does not reflect initial $2000 raised before this change)
About FIYAHCON (as described in our submission to the Hugo Voter Packet:
FIYAHCON began as a subversive experiment, taking the attention and financial support FIYAH received in the wake of the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd last summer and putting it back into the community. People from marginalized communities had been reporting missing or unkind elements in genre events for years, often being met with excuses as to why these things could not be changed. Accessibility measures were too expensive. BIPOC were non-existent in their capacity to speak on topics of craft instead of oppression. There was simply no way to curb the astronomical expense of a ticket to a convention, virtual or otherwise. Maintaining traditions was more important than practicing inclusivity.
Well, FIYAH has never accepted excuses.
What we managed in 102 planning days turned out to be an incredible weekend of fellowship and celebration for BIPOC and their contributions to speculative fiction. We had two full days of dynamic programming, personalized office hours and writing sprints, invented a game show, and fully integrated a free “Fringe” tier tailored specifically to our international audience in their home time zones. We created and successfully executed the Ignyte Awards out of a desire to see finalists for genre awards treated with respect after the disrespect we received. That part came with even fewer planning days. We comped admission for all award finalists, staff, and programming participants with their ticket fees (should they have already bought them) going to fund the National Bail Fund Network (we are deep in our protest roots) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium who supplied their live jelly and kelp forest cams for our Calm Rooms.
All of this was planned by a group of volunteers organically representative of a number of races, ethnicities, genders, orientations, faiths, disabilities, nationalities, and experiences. And we were able to pay them, too.
We’re a convention, so it’s all a little hard to fit into a voter packet. But after the event last year, I released a Retrospective, outlining the whys, hows, and costs associated with pulling off a virtual convention with the hope that maybe someone would find it useful in crafting or bettering their own show. YOU CAN READ THAT HERE.
OUR ARCHIVES ARE ALSO OPEN TO YOU. Our programming was nothing short of amazing. Instead of tokenizing our BIPOC presence on panels, we started with a baseline goal of 80% (4 out of 5) BIPOC representation per item. The topics started well beyond the 101 level by design, and we made the recordings accessible to registrants for a year.
On behalf of the entire FIYAHCON Team, thank you for your support, and we hope you’ll join our vibrant and growing community in September for round 2.
L. D. Lewis