GeekGirlCon Blog

GiveBIG Today!

Today is the day!

GiveBig is an annual day of giving in Seattle. Hosted this year by 501 Commons, GiveBig supports local nonprofit organizations. GeekGirlCon is participating again this year to help raise funds for the 2019 convention on November 16 & 17.

We wouldn’t be able to host the convention each year without your support. We are a community, and we are all extremely passionate about GeekGirlCon’s mission to create a welcoming, safe environment for people of all backgrounds, colors, sexualities, and genders. Everyone should be able to tell their story, and we want to hear yours.

By donating to GeekGirlCon, you are supporting this mission. You are enabling us to create that space, and we couldn’t do it without the support of our community.

You can follow along on social media and return to this post for live updates. We’ll also be livestreaming every hour throughout the day starting at 8 a.m. PST on Facebook.

Current Total From 30 Donors: $14,203 of $10,000 Goal

last updated May 9 at 9:30 a.m.

To learn more about GeekGirlCon, take a look at our mission statement and read some staffer testimonials.

Thank you for Giving BIG and showing continued support for GeekGirlCon!

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for live updates throughout the day. You can give your gift online today. If you are interested in becoming anindividual or corporate sponsor for GeekGirlCon, check out our sponsor benefits and reach out to us at

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

GiveBIG to Support GeekGirlCon

We’re less than 24 hours away from GiveBIG, Seattle’s annual day of giving! Hosted by 501 Commons, GivBIG is an online fundraising marathon that supports local nonprofits, including GeekGirlCon.

Two girls wearing headphones play a video game while seated at a table at GeekGirlCon. Source: GGC Flickr.
Two girls wearing headphones play a video game while seated at a table at GeekGirlCon. Source: GGC Flickr.

You’ll have all day tomorrow, May 8, to give live, and we’ll be streaming updates throughout the day to record our milestones and stories about GGC. However, if you don’t want to wait, you can also schedule your tax-deductible gifts today.

Why support GeekGirlCon? Built on the belief that everyone deserves a safe space to be their true selves, GGC is a labor of love from start to finish. Our 100% volunteer staff works hard year-round to pull off both our annual con and other events throughout the year, and we rely on your support to create these opportunities for underrepresented groups to come together and celebrate the things they love.

So, schedule your donation early, if that’s your jam, and check back in tomorrow to see how we’re doing and hear more about the things our staff and community love about GGC.

Thank you for helping us build something great.

Caitlin Foskey
“Rock On!”

Why We Give to GeekGirlCon

GeekGirlCon 2018 at Washington State Conference Center in Seattle, Washington, on Sunday, October 28, 2018. Photo by Sayed Alamy. More info at

We are officially less than one week away from GiveBIG! Mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 8th, or schedule your gift ahead of time here!

For those of you who aren’t familiar, GiveBIG is an annual day of giving, hosted by 501 commons, that benefits local nonprofits like GeekGirlCon. The support generated by GiveBIG helps us at GeekGirlCon create the most inclusive, accessible convention possible, bringing you (our incredible supporters and community members!) more exceptional panelists, exhibitors, featured contributors, workshops, meetups, and so much more each year.

For all of us at GeekGirlCon, this kind of support is personal. As volunteers, we each have our own unique story of why we give and what GeekGirlCon means to us. Read on to hear our stories, and be sure to add your own. This GiveBIG, let us know what the GeekGirlCon community means to you and share your support for our mission.

Alyssa Jones | Director of Interactive Programming

I support GeekGirlCon because…

It’s important to support ALL WOMEN!

Geeks come in every shape, color, orientation, ability, and gender identity

There aren’t enough safe spaces for marginalized geek

And cause it’s a DAMN FUN WEEKEND

Kalyna Durbak | Copywriter

I support GeekGirlCon because I wish such an organization existed when I was younger. GeekGirlCon sends a message to the world that everyone of ALL ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, sizes, abilities, ethnicities, nationalities, races, creeds, religions, familial statuses, physical and mental abilities, alien species, earth species, education levels, science specializations, fandoms, etc., deserve a safe place to be a geekno minimal “Geek Cred” required!

Allison Borngesser | Senior Designer

Because it’s important to hold space for geeks of marginalized spaces, so they can find community, share their stories and feel seen and heard. Watching all our attendees having a good time, learning, and interacting is the most rewarding feeling when putting in volunteer time and working behind the scenes. 

Bonnie Barcellos | Human Resources Manager

I was not encouraged to enjoy geeky things as a child because I was a girl. My parents are amazing, loving people but they held strong views of what girls should do/like and what boys should do/like. I have a memory of my dad and brothers watching a movie – I popped in the room, was told I wouldn’t like it because it was a boys’ movie, and so I left. That movie was Star Wars. Luckily I rebelled as a teen and inhaled fantasy & sci-books, discovered the amazingness of Star Wars and so many other films, and never looked back. GGC celebrates inclusivity and the love of all things geek in such a wonderful way. We provide a safe space for people to unabashedly be who they are, learn new things, and meet awesome people with similar interests. 

I also love our focus on STEM careers for women. Again, that wasn’t an option provided to me. I’m happy in my current career – but if I had gotten more exposure/encouragement in math and science, I would have pursued a career as an economist. I want to provide information and opportunities to women that I didn’t have. GGC does that so well, and it’s an important part of our mission.

Teal Christensen | Copywriter

Something I believe in very strongly is that while virtual spaces can be wildly important, especially to folks of marginalized identities, huge and important parts of our lives still have to happen irl. In order for that reality to be safe and accessible and equitable, we have to do the work to hold space for ourselves and our communities in the physical world. That’s what I think of as the work of GeekGirlCon, and that’s why I support it.

Thank you for supporting GeekGirlCon during GiveBIG, and adding your story to our community of supporters!

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Support GGC at The Gauntlet: Cirque!

Distinguished blog readers, children of all ages — ENGAGE is proud to present The Gauntlet 2019! Gather round Mox Boarding House Bellevue on May 19th to marvel as Team GeekGirlCon dazzles the audience with their extraordinary gaming skills!

This year’s Gauntlet poster. The logo features two stylized black and white circus actors on a red background, with the words “The Gauntlet Cirque! May 19th 2019 Mox Bellevue” in the center. Image from:

The Gauntlet is an invitation-only 8+ hour tournament, consisting of tabletop games from a variety of genres, plus trivia. This year, 16 teams will compete for the shiny Gauntlet trophy.

Our team is excited to play games and raise funds to benefit El Centro de la Raza (The Center for People of All Races), which serves as a voice for the Latinx and immigrant communities in Seattle and King County. Since 1972, El Centro de la Raza has built unity across racial and economic sectors, empowered the most vulnerable and marginalized populations and strives to provide justice to all peoples. From education and youth-focused programs to community building and development, they offer services to aid the Seattle community and beyond throughout all stages of life.

If you can’t make it to the event itself, consider making a donation to our team! Your donations will benefit El Centro de la Raza in their efforts to bring after school programming for low-income middle school children. Giving through our donation page will also unlock power-ups to aid our team in the Gauntlet. We’d love to win that shiny Gauntlet trophy!

The Gauntlet Tournament’s trophy, which features a metal gauntlet (fist up) on a pedestal. The base has the phrase “The Gauntlet: A call to engage” inscribed, as well as three previous winners and the year they won (Team Paizo, 2014; Team Removed From Play, 2018; Team Wizards of the Coast, 2016). Image from

What: The Gauntlet: Cirque!
Where: Mox Boarding House (Google Maps | Twitch Stream)
When: Sunday, May 19th beginning at 11:00 a.m.
Click to donate to our team. Alternatively, you can donate through an individual team member by clicking on their names in the list below.

Captain: Kristine Hassell (Director of Outreach)
5th year participating in The Gauntlet

Player: Alyssa Askew (Manager of Gaming)
1st year participating in the Gauntlet

Player: Reynide Dubreus (Survey and Data Analyst)
1st year participating in the Gauntlet

Player: Julia Kallweit (Assistant Manager of Gaming)
1st year participating in the Gauntlet

We hope you’ll cheer us on at the Gauntlet, and donate to this worthy cause.

Edited to include team member’s names and individual donation pages.

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

GiveBIG to GeekGirlCon May 8th

For the last few years GeekGirlCon has participated in GiveBIG, an annual day of giving in Seattle. Hosted this year by 501 Commons, GiveBIG is a single-day online fundraiser for local non-profit organizations. Starting today, April 23rd, you can schedule your gift to GeekGirlCon before GiveBIG happens in two weeks on May 8th!

As a volunteer-run organization, everyone at GeekGirlCon is extremely passionate about our mission: to create a safe and encouraging space for all people regardless of color, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Our staff embodies this message and we strive make sure that our community is welcoming to all. Everyone at GeekGirlCon has a unique perspective, and we all support this organization because we believe that the world can do better. From STEM to gaming, the arts and popular culture, no one should go without their story being told. Whether you’re a fan, creator, scientist, or a gamer, we can all come together to celebrate our common interests while also celebrating what makes us unique. No two geeks are alike, after all.

But, beyond the dedication of our staff we couldn’t host the convention each year without your support. Individual donations by our community and sponsors give us the ability to organize the best possible event that we can. Your support allows us to bring more panels, events, Featured Contributors, exhibitors, and so much more to the con each year.  

This November, we’ll be hosting our biggest convention to date and we simply could not do this without you.

Over the next couple of weeks stay tuned as we ramp up for the big day. We want to tell you our story—and we want to hear yours, too! Why do you support GeekGirlCon?

Schedule your gift today by visiting us at, and join us May 8th for a day of community and giving.

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

Exhibitors Wanted for GeekGirlCon ’19

This year’s con falls on the weekend of November 16 and 17. We’ll be gathering at our usual haunt, the Washington State Conference Center (across the street from the convention center you’re picturing!). One of the items on our GeekGirlCon ‘19 To-Do List is enticing exhibitors to apply for space in our Exhibition Hall and Artist Alley.

Here’s the application form if you already know your way around these matters, but we also have this super useful FAQ page that’s full of specifics. Before I leave you to the application, there are a few things I’d like to bring to your attention,

First, there’s $10 non-refundable application fee. Of course, we’d love to be able to accept applications without a fee, but charging a bit per person helps keep the burden of expanding this piece of con operations from falling solely on one group. If you’re accepted, we’ll apply the $10 to the cost of your booth/table.

Second, applications are due May 31 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Any applications that come in after that time will be automatically added to the wait-list. We intend to respond to applications by the end of July.

Third, please reach out to if you have any questions or concerns. We’re beyond happy to help.

We’ll see you on the floor!

[Image Description: The Exhibitor Hall at GeekGirlCon ’16. A cosplayer in a yellow dress, orange wig, and yellow crown flips through prints at an artist’s table.] Source: Danny Ngan

Teal Christensen
“Rock On!”

Embracing My Femininity as a Gamer with Love Nikki

I’ve been a pretty avid gamer for a long time—I mean, heck, writing for games is what I chose to do with my life. However, had you told me that I was going to advocate for a dress-up game a little over a year ago, I would have laughed. Hard. But, here we are.

This week is my one-year anniversary playing Love Nikki, a shamelessly feminine dress-up game. You may have seen some horribly inaccurate advertisements over the last year or so posing the game as a girly, quirky dating simulator, but, I swear, don’t let those sway you. The narrative is young, but has quite a bit of depth packed into an app—there’s character death! In a FASHION GAME! I dig it.

The primary mechanic and purpose of LN is to utilize your wardrobe to “battle” against other players and NPCs in styling contests. Each article of clothing or accessory has a specific attribute that gives you more points. Some of these attributes are as standard as preppy, rock, or bohemian, while other attributes are more unique, paying homage to various eras of Chinese clothing (a nod to the game’s origin). There are also Associations, which are much like guilds or clans in other popular MMOs. Association members work together to complete unique suits and other hands-on activities. Overall, it’s actually very engaging, and at minimum, it gives you a short checklist of things to do while drinking your morning coffee.

It’s a great deal of fun and pleasantly progressive—but that’s not all it fulfills for me. LN goes beyond just being a fun game.

I started playing LN back in April. This was a really hard period of time. I’d just started seeing the cracks in my relationship,  was coping with some frustrating career progression, and was about to step into a fit of depression that would carry me well into the fall. Late one night while I was fighting off a bout of insomnia, I was watching a video by Sharla in Japan that was sponsored by the developers and showcased the game. The art was cute, and I’m pretty easy to hook with a good aesthetic, but I was in a gnarly funk, and it seemed like it would be a far better distraction than just passively watching a random video online. So I downloaded it and gave the game a go.

Indigo Boock
“Rock On!”

Improving Depictions of Single Mothers in Movies and Television

By guest contributor Kate Harveston

In a world where we’re becoming increasingly conditioned to question cliches, challenge stereotypes, and come up with more open-minded narratives, there are still quite a few things we still struggle to get right in our media representations. One of these is TV and movie depictions of single mothers.

It’s not a new concept to the cinematic world—or the real world, for that matter. From black and white films to Oscar-nominated blockbusters, single mother characters have been prevalent in movies and television over time. As Jeff Sharp, co-producer of the 2000 film You Can Count On Me said when the movie was released, “This isn’t a fad, it’s a trend that reflects reality.”

According to the CDC, 39.8 percent of annual births are to single, unmarried women, and one in four children under age 18 will grow up with only a mother. Single motherhood is a norm and a reality in our society—and while the strong presence of these badass women in film is encouraging, many movies and TV series have trouble portraying these characters without imposing stereotypes or unrealistic personas.

What can we do to change the perception and portrayal of single mothers cinematically? Here’s what you need to know about the evolution of single mothers in film and how it can continue to improve.

“Rock On!”

A Beginner’s Guide to BookTube

It all started with a simple recommendation from my sister.

“You should check out this YouTuber; her voice are so relaxing,” she said, casually, blissfully unaware of the obsession she was able to create. As someone who exists in a state of perma-anxiety, I will check out anything labeled “relaxing,” no questions asked.

The YouTuber in question turned out to be A Clockwork Reader, i.e. Hannah, a BookTuber with over 200,000 subscribers, an extensive backlog of reading vlogs, reviews, unboxings, “unhauls,” and more. She also co-hosts the webcast series Bookmarked with fellow BookTubers readbyzoe and Hailey in Bookland, is the 26th most followed Goodreads user in the U.S., and does, indeed, have a very relaxing voice.

Hannah from A Clockwork Reader holds the book Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare up so that it covers half her face. Source: The Owlery
Hannah from A Clockwork Reader holds the book Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare up so that it covers half her face. Source: The Owlery

I’ve been a book-nerd my whole life, and am no stranger to the world of the annual Goodreads Reading Challenge, Advanced Reader Copies, and Hogwarts sorting hat quizzes (if you’ve only taken the official Pottermore quiz and not the one with all the questions combined, do you even really know your house?!), but up until now my passion has apparently been incomplete because I hadn’t delved into the magical, comforting, and giddily geeky world that is BookTube.

Without further ado, let me present a beginner’s guide to exploring the tropes, tags, genres, and characters of what is arguably the best YouTube genre:

A gif of a person wearing a long-sleeved dress with a pattern of books on it, that matches the backdrop that they are standing in front of. Source: Giphy

Step 1: Watch as many different BookTubers as possible. Find your niche within the niche! Besides the aforementioned creators, there are so many others to love. Start with Tashapolis, emmmabooks, Peruse Project, booksandquills, ellias, and NayaReadsAndSmiles, and go forth from there!

Step 2: Dive into the over-caffeinated, high stakes world of Readathons. These are generally 24-periods in which the creator attempts to read as much as possible. Will they complete 6 books in one day? Will they fall asleep before they finish that last book? The suspense is real. If you’re super brave (and have time to recover) consider attempting one yourself. GeekGirlReadathon, anyone?

Step 3: Feel comforted by the fact that BookTubers are readers of all sorts. They read different genres, at different speeds, for different reasons, in different formats. Whether you’re an audiobook-only reader, a reader who takes their time to savor a few books, or a voracious speed-reader, BookTubers are here to share their love for all things books, not shame your own particular style.

A gif of Matilda from the movie Matilda, sitting in a chair and laughing while reading a book. Source: Giphy

Step 4: Check out reviews of your favorite books, least favorite books, books you’re curious about, books you’ve never heard of, books you wouldn’t expect to like in a million years, and everything in between. An enthusiastic BookTuber can convince you to add hundreds of books to your Goodreads “Want to Read” list that you’d never expect. Reviews are a great way to delve into all the spoiler-y thoughts, or give you a quick rundown of a book before you dive in, all while virtually bonding with your fellow book-nerd, the BookTuber.

Step 5: Find a bookish tag to watch and then answer the questions themselves. Why not? What a great party activity! Uncover your inner book-lover, and learn more about your friends and loved ones. Will your mom only read British murder mysteries? Has your best friend never gotten over their obsession with Dan Brown? You may never know unless you answer the hard-hitting questions found in a book tag.

Step 6: Repeat the previous steps until you achieve a heretofore unimagined state of relaxation, pull yourself out of a reading slump, buy more books than your paycheck can reasonably sustain, start using the terms “unboxing,” “AU,” and “DNF” in casual conversation, or all of the above.

A gif of Janelle Monae from the movie Hidden Figures, walking with a stack of books and binders in her arms. Source: Giphy

So there you have it, your super speedy guide to BookTube. Happy reading and watching, book nerds!

Hanna Hupp
“Rock On!”

Be An Exhibitor For GGC ’19!

GeekGirlCon has this magic ability to bring out the creativity in all of its participants. From con-goers to panelists, GeekGirlCon lets us share our thoughts, ideas, and amazing sewing skills through costumes and programming. One particular place where the creativity magic is highly concentrated is our Exhibitor space, and we want YOU to be a part of it!

Kalyna Durbak
“Rock On!”

Join The Discussion #GeekGirlCon

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