Written by Adrienne M. Roehrich, Manager of Editorial Services
Last year, GeekGirlCon held the excellent panel “The Changing Role of the Character of Color” with panelists Danielle Lee, Kristine Hassell, Lali Derosier, Raychelle Burks, and Stephen Graanade. I had the privilege of attending this panel in its incarnations both at GeekGirlCon ‘13 and Emerald City ComicCon ‘14.
At GeekGirlCon ‘13, “The Changing Character of Color” panel featured three panelists from The Curly Haired Mafia, who review sci-fi and horror films viewable on youtube. The Curly-Haired Mafia examines these movies from the perspective of people of color (POC). How are characters developed? What tropes exist and how are they carried out in these movies? How has screen time for POC changed since really early movies? Has it evolved? Are advances authentic or are they just pandering?
At #GGC13, the panel and attendees went through a number of movies and television from the 1950s to current day, examining them in the light of the previous questions. It was educational and fun! The panel discussed making changes at at source – Hollywood producers and actors. It matters who is attending film school, because they make films with their friends. It matters where films are made (US vs UK).
At both conventions, this panel could have gone for hours and remained as informative, educational, and entertaining as it was for the short 50 minutes allotted.
GeekGirlCon ‘14 is delighted to have panelists Kristine Hassell, Raychelle Burks, and Stephen Granade return, along with Adverbia, Ashlee Blackwell, and Desiree Schell with the panel “Double Others.” This time the panel asks, “What if the character isn’t human? What if they’re non-human and a character of color? Does being non-human (alien, robot, vampire, werewolf, etc.) heighten or negate racial identities?”
They have a whole new slate of movies and television to discuss with these new questions. You don’t want to miss this panel. I sure won’t!
Written by Adrienne M. Roehrich, Manager of Editorial Services
GeekGirlCon’s all-volunteer staff works all-year round to throw a fun event for our community, our annual GeekGirlCon convention. But we also love to contribute to the programming at the con. This is a selection of the panels our staff (and former staff) are contributing to.
We’ve got science coming your way with “Notable Women in Science,” which I am presenting from my role as the chemistry editor at Double X Science.
It’s no secret GeekGirlCon loves comics! Current GeekGirlConnections Manager Susie Rantz and former staff Adrienne Fox and Sabrina Taylor discuss where to start with reading comics in “Curious About Comics? We’ve Got You Covered!”
Andy Munich runs games at GeekGirlCon ’14.
We also love games! Play RPGs with Andy – our Gaming Events Coordinator Andy Munich, that is! New and seasoned RPG gamers are welcome.
Of course the geeks on our staff speak up as consumers of pop culture. Manager of Programming, Meg Humphrey, along with other panelists discuss how to speak out both positively and effectively, using the diversity in the Star Wars franchise as a framework in “Fangirls Find the Force: Star Wars, from Episode VII and Beyond.”
There are no fake geek girls, and Manager of Programming Meg Humphrey, Merchandise Manager Shubz Blalack, Board Member Terra Olsen, and former staffer Tammy Vince Cruz tell us about their project, “The Unicorn Files: Debunking the Myth of the Female Geek, One Geek at a Time.”
Meg Humphrey (left) and Terra Clark Olsen (right) at GeekGirlCon ’13
With the prevalence of the assertion of fake geek girls, there are pros and cons to self-identifying as a geek. No “geek cred” is required to attend the panel “Geek Identity: Exploring What it Means to be a Geek in Today’s Society” with Manager of Programming Meg Humphrey and Board Member Terra Olsen.
Sometimes you want to take the geeky thing you love and do it for a living. Join four geeky women including GeekGirlCon co-founder Jennifer K. Stuller discussing just that in “Geeky Careers: Advice from Four Geek Girls!”
Another group of women are doing that geeky thing they love for a living by creating nerd music. At “Women in Nerd Music,” Merchandise Manager Shubz Blalack is joined by other nerdy artists to talk about getting started with creating nerd music.
Speaking of careers, former staffer Anastacia Visneski presents along with other panelists all about “Careers You Never Knew You Wanted.”
And if you are a lover of words, join former staffer Anastacia Visneski with other panelists who have careers with words to chat all about those careers at “Women in Words: Presented by the Northwest Independent Editors Guild.”
After finding out all about these careers, you can brush up your resume with “One-on-One Resume Review” with GeekGirlConnections Manager Susie Rantz and other helpful panelists.
Sometimes the life of a geek is not all fun and games. The geek community can be a hostile and exclusionary space for people of size. Visual Merchandise Designer Amber Bushnell and former staffer Rachelle Abellar cover just this topic in “Fatness & Fandom.”
Race is an additional place of exclusion in the geek community. “Is 2014 the Year of the Asian?” presented by Social Media Manager Kristine Hassell delves into Asian and Asian-American representation in media history and the present day.
Raychelle Burks at GeekGirlCon ’13.
What about non-human characters that are also characters of color? How does that affect racial identities? “Double Others” will look at exactly those questions, with Social Media Manager Kristine Hassell and DIY Science Zone Project Manager Raychelle Burks.
Former staffer Donna “Dancia” Prior also discusses making the geek community inclusive and friendly with “Geeks Got Your Back!”
GeekGirlCon staffers cosplay as well! I am joined by other panelists presenting a panel about “Cosplay, Parenting, and the Word ‘Appropriate.’”
Written by Adrienne M Roerich, Manager of Editorial Services
GeekGirlCon ‘14 is getting closer and closer, and the staff is very excited. We work hard all year to put on a fantastic and fun weekend, and we enjoy it as much as our community. One of my favorite questions to ask as the con approaches is:
What are you looking forward to at GeekGirlcon ‘14?
I am looking forward to so much at GeekGirlCon ‘14. The cosplay gets better and better each year! As a member of the copy team, I get to see all the programming as it is prepared for the program book. Let me just say, the panels, gaming floor, the GeekGirlConnections room, the Saturday night entertainment are all superb. We are so lucky to have a community that helps us put forward this amazing convention every year, and I’m excited to talk to so many of you!
“I’m looking forward to having a great time meeting intelligent, creative, passionate geeks and geek-lovers. People really make the con for me, and GeekGirlCon has some truly great people,” says Sheila Sadeghi, Director of Marketing.
“There are countless parts of GeekGirlCon ’14 I’m pumped about, but one panel that stands out to me is “3D Printing 101” with Breanna Anderson and Ericka M. Johnson. I’ve been fascinated by 3D printers forever now, but have never seen one in person. I’m excited to learn more about them and hopefully watch the printing of a geeky item!” contributed Copy Writer, AJ Dent.
“I’d definitely say there are some amazing panels coming up this year, with amazingly talented panelists. I’m also really looking forward to the COSPLAY!!! I haven’t done cosplay myself, and I keep meaning to do so…and then I run out of time. And hours in the day to make things. If I had any talent for photography, I would volunteer to be convention photographer so that I had an excuse to take amazing pictures all day, both days!” declared SG-1, Copy Writer.
“Aside from the fun festive atmosphere created by a sea of people in cosplay, I’m most looking forward to all the different panels. I think GeekGirlCon has the highest quality panels out of any con I’ve attended, and I always end up learning something new, or seeing things in a new light. This year, not only do I get to attend a bunch of panels as part of my copywriting position, I’ll also be able to write about the highlights for the GeekGirlCon blog.” answered Copy Writer, Jess Downs.
“I am looking forward to watching all the hard work by the GeekGirlCon staff unfold. I’m excited to meet the volunteers and hopefully attend some panels. I’m excited to meet more of the GeekGirlCon community.” added Allison Borngesser, Designer.
“I’m looking forward to so much. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, as I am really so excited for ALL THE THINGS happening at GeekGirlCon ’14. I love the programming lineup we have, the return of the DIY Science Zone, the epic gaming dungeon/floor, the concert, the fantastic contributors to GeekGirlConnections, and all the cosplay. I do have a particularly weak spot for our Exhibitor floor and Artist Alley as well — so many amazing things! Mostly I look forward to our incredible band of Agents, the dedicated and gifted contributors, the tireless staff, and all of the attendees that make up the GeekGirlCon family. I feel truly grateful to be able to be a part of this, and I think 2014 is going to be a great year for GeekGirlCon! Yee, as they say, Haw!” exclaimed Amanda Powter, GeekGirlCon’s Executive Director.
Let us know: what are you looking forward to at GeekGirlCon ‘14?
The Doubleclicks and Marian Call performing together at GeekGirlCONcert ’13
GeekGirlCon will take place on the weekend of October 11 and 12, 2014 at the the Conference Center at the WSCC in downtown Seattle. Our special night time events, such as our annual GeekGirlCONcert on Saturday, and our Closing Celebration on Sunday, always bring the best of music and comedy to you. In recent years, these stellar lineups of geeky entertainment have normally sold out and been one of the most popular attractions of the con. Past GeekGirlCon performers have included Marian Call, The Doubleclicks, Molly Lewis, and Unwoman.
This year we want YOU to be a part of it! GeekGirlCon is looking for musicians, stand-up comedians, performers, improvisation actors, slam poets, and entertainers of all kinds to take part in our GeekGirlCONcert, our closing celebration Sunday night, and potentially other events throughout the con.
We are looking to diversify our performances and musical genres from previous years, so don’t be afraid to apply, even if it is not something we have seen or heard at GeekGirlCon before. We’re especially looking for talent that reflects and appreciates the mission of our convention – to promote, celebrate, educate, mentor, encourage, and empower the female geek. Not a performer but know someone who is? Please pass along this form to them!
Do you have to be a woman to apply?
No, although woman performers are highly encouraged! GeekGirlCon is committed to representing women geeks of all ages, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, creeds, physical and mental abilities, and familial statuses. All performers must reflect this commitment as well.
Do performers get discounted badges?
All performers are eligible for a discounted weekend pass!
Submissions are open until 11:59PM PST on Friday, August 29.
When I went to Star Trek conventions many years ago, they called it the “dealers room”. At Emerald City Comicon, they call them “exhibitors”. GeekGirlCon calls them “exhibitors” as well…and there are some AMAZING exhibitors coming, y’all! I don’t have room to tell you all of them here…but I’ve spotlighted a few for you, our dear GeekGirlCon devotees.
The first one to catch my eye is a vendor I’ve seen before called cutebricks. They make “up-cycled LEGO jewelry”, and I have been drooling over them since my first sighting. (Don’t worry, it was figurative drool–no cleanup necessary!)
Cascade Rainbow earrings, a dark blue chrome heart, and a Battlestar Galactica Viper!
The next vendor on my list–and one I’m saving up to buy something from as soon as GeekGirlCon ‘14 opens on Day 1–is Unicorn Empire. They make screenprinted t-shirts from various fandoms (Doctor Who, Supernatural, and Captain America to name a few!), pillows, paper dolls, and this exquisite clock that I have absolutely no real reason to own, but desperately want!
Do you have a magic wand? Do you need one? Of course you do! If you can’t get to London, Diagon Alley, and Olivander’s Wand Emporium, you can just come talk to the friendly keeper of the Hungarian Wand Shop. They have a selection of wands ready-made in various woods, and with different types of cores, depending on the type of magic you are most likely to be performing. And don’t worry–if they don’t have a wand on hand that responds to you (as a good wand should), they take special orders. You can have any kind of wand you want!
LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) was featured in an episode of Supernatural last year–and those of us who watched that episode (with guest star Felicia Day!) kind of geeked out about it. We saw knights, queens, faeries, and all sorts of other medieval people and creatures. Sinister Metalworks has everything you need to outfit yourself and all of your friends for your next LARP session. From metal crowns of all different kids to custom-made body armor, their work will help keep you safe from swords, axes, and magic spells of all strengths!
Butterfly Frillies has Steampunk costuming supplies–from outer garments to under garments and everything in between. A friend of mine is looking for a custom-made, over-bust corset, and I have sent her the website information; this is the kind of thing they do! They have a selection of ready-made apparel and jewelry, as well. The fabrics are amazing, and the craftsmanship is beautiful.
LuvCherie Jewelry has what you’re looking for in the “elegant geek fandom and nerd whimsy” category. Necklaces, charms, earrings, rings, and many more pieces will grace their booth in the vendors room. Here are a few examples that I can’t wait to see in person:
Looking back at this partial list of exhibitors for upcoming GeekGirlCon ‘14, I realize that I could be in some trouble: there are a lot of items I want to buy from these peeps. And this is only some of them. Here’s the whole list!! I may need a loan…
Last year, we introduced the DIY Science Zone to bring real-live science to con attendees young and old, and we need your help bringing it back at GeekGirlCon ‘14!
What is the DIY Science Zone?
The zone is a hands-on, weekend-long extravaganza that makes science accessible to everyone, whether or not they have their own lab goggles at home. It’s open to all ages, and all levels of experience–and all equipment is provided.
At GeekGirlCon ‘13, more than 350 people participated in experiments ranging from making their own neurons, to crime-scene fingerprinting, to dancing raisins.
This year we’ll mix it up a bit with invisible ink, DNA extraction, dice roll science, slime-making, Cartesian drivers, making light, laser rules, pocket solar systems, and many more!
@_adverbia – general biology, anatomy and physiology, and animal diversity
Nicole Gugliucci @NoisyAstronomer – astronomy, radio astronomy, specifically low frequency radio astronomy instrumentation, CosmoQuest, education
Stephen Granade @Sargent – physics, lasers, quantum mechanics, robot airplanes, and sensors, Dragon Con Science Track Manager
Melanie Mallon @melmall – science communication, CONvergence and Skepchickcon staffer
Raychelle Burks @DrRubidium – chemist and GeekGirlCon volunteer staff
And of course, YOU!
Where do the funds go?
[thermometer height=250 raised=6230 target=6000]
In order to make this drop-in science fun once again available to everyone, we need to raise $6000 to provide travel support for our science superstars to get to the con, as well as for equipment, materials, and prizes.
As if the knowledge that you’re donating to a great cause is not enough, our zone workers will be performing “Acts of Whimsy” at fundraising milestones:
At $500, Raychelle will run the CASA Donut Dash dressed as Wonder Woman, and Chemjobber will do a dramatic reading of a scientific paper.
At $1000, Bethany will run the Boston half-marathon dressed as Batwoman.
More Acts of Whimsy to be revealed as our fundraiser progresses!
Do your part to help make this happen by donating to GeekGirlCon via PayPal!
Reach nearly 6,000 people with ads at GeekGirlCon ‘14. Choices abound! Do you love the feel of a program guide? Want to see your business in print? Ads are available for the programming guide in both color and black and white, anywhere from an eighth page to a full page, and ranging from $40 to $300. (Order by August 15, 2014.) Is the digital world your world? Digital display ads are the way to go! You can buy up to 10 ad placements (40 ad placements x 2x/hour display) for $50 each. (Order by September 19, 2014.)
Crowds at GeekGirlCon ’13. Photo by Tyler Pruitt and used under Creative Commons license.
Why would you want to advertise to the GeekGirlCon community? Our first GeekGirlCon in October of 2011 sold out in our small venue at the Seattle Center, seeing over 2,000 attendees in two days. At our second GeekGirlCon in 2012, we welcomed close to 4,000 attendees over two days in August at The Conference Center, a larger venue centrally located in downtown Seattle. Our third annual convention sold out (again!) with 4,700 attendees over the two days of GeekGirlCon in October of 2013, maintaining steady but sustainable growth in the spacious venue of The Conference Center. This year, GeekGirlCon ‘14 expects continued growth.
If there’s one thing nerds love, it’s stories: reading them, watching them, playing them, and for many of us, writing them. At GeekGirlCon ‘14, we have so many writing-related panels that you will need a Time-Turner to attend them all!
Have you ever wondered what geekdom would be like if it weren’t dominated by male heroic-journey sagas? B.J. “Lex” Priester of Fangirl Blog takes us on “The Heroine’s Journey: Moving Beyond Campbell’s Monomyth,” exploring how female-focused sci-fi and fantasy such as The Hunger Games, The Legend of Korra, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Disney’s Frozen differ from the established archetypes, and what that means for the stories they tell.
Kill your darlings! No, not literally; you must have been reading too many classic sci-fi short stories. Instead, join a professional editor and learn “Editing 101 for Writers,” skills that every writer needs whether they are writing for publication or for personal pleasure.
For the YA lover, we have two dedicated programming events. There’s the “Fierce Reads Young Adult Author Panel,” featuring four science fiction and fantasy authors talking about getting their work published. There’s also “Diversity in YA,” which will tackle the dearth of protagonists of colour, and LGBT protagonists (among others) in young adult fiction. For writers–and readers–who want to see more diversity, what are the current issues, and what can we do about it?
If your kid is an aspiring writer, or a natural storyteller, you might be interested in “Imaginary Worlds (for Kids).” Author and spoken word artist Danika Dinsmore leads an interactive story time for families, which is sure to inspire young imaginations!
As we’ve mentioned lately on the GeekGirlCon blog, fanfic is going mainstream. No longer the dirty little secret that you stay up indulging after everyone else has gone to bed, it’s now cool to share fanfic recommendations–gasp!–in public, to own up to being an author, even to get work published. But where does the law stand on this? Commercial publishers’ and authors’ stances range from, “I’m flattered when people play in my worlds,” through, “Do it, but I’ll avoid looking at it,” all the way to, “Cease and Desist.” Our panel “Fan Fiction: Sharing, Creating, and the Law” explores the nuances of copyright law for fanfic authors.
In this context, slash fic has its own specific problems. Now that it’s being acknowledged in the works that inspire it, how much of that acknowledgement is genuine recognition, and how much is exploitation, tokenism designed to hush the calls for diversity and meaningful representation? “21st Century Boys: Slash in the Mainstream” delves into these questions.
Finally, in “If You Can Write, You Can Make Games,” discover how easy it is to make interactive fiction using free, open-source programs you can find online. Take your existing writing skills and expand them into a whole new medium.
There’s something for every writer, storyteller, and daydreamer at GeekGirlCon ‘14–we’ll see you there!
Remember those awesome blue-shirted Agents all over the Convention Center for GeekGirlCon ‘13? You can be one, too! Subscribe to the Volunteer Mailing List to get direct information on applications for GeekGirlCon ‘14 volunteer opportunities.
Last, but certainly not least, GeekGirlCon is looking for a few good peeps for year-round volunteer opportunities. Join the staff of GeekGirlCon, and start one of the most fulfilling paths you’ll ever take. Check our staff job page frequently, as we are in the midst of posting new opportunities for someone just like you!
We can’t wait to see you all in October, or sooner at one of our year-round events!
So you’ve finally showered, caught up on sleep, and found places to display all the swag you picked up at GeekGirlCon ‘13. That means it’s time to get ready for GeekGirlCon ‘14!
That’s right—passes are on sale now for next year’s big event on October 11 and 12, 2014. Join us as we infiltrate and celebrate at the same bat-girl place as this year, the Conference Center at the Washington State Convention Center. Buyers beware: this year’s convention sold out (!!!), so act fast and buy your passes now! Take advantage of our early-bird prices of $35 for a two-day pass, or $20 for a one-day pass. Passes for kids ages 5 to 12 are only $10 for the weekend, while children under 5 are free! Check out Brown Paper Tickets for your pass to paradise!
Want to contribute your mind and muscles to GeekGirlCon ‘14 as a volunteer? Sign up to receive information on when the official application comes out. Each year’s awesomeness would simply not happen without our amazing Agents!
Is there something specific you’d love to see or experience at next year’s Con? Have a suggestion for making it go smoother? Just want to love on us for a minute? Take the GeekGirlCon ‘13 survey to make your voice heard.