Maybe you just attended our amazing con and had the time of your life connecting with fellow awesome geeks, maybe you’ve been looking for a way to share your nerdy pursuits with the world, or maybe you’re interested in contributing to an incredible organization that values enthusiasm, geekiness, and inclusion as much as you do. If any of these sound vaguely like you, we want to hear about it! We’re looking for all sorts of cool people to contribute to our GeekGirlCon community by writing for the blog.
While I personally only started writing for GeekGirlCon this past summer, I’ve been involved with attending the con and keeping up with events for much longer than that. Contributing to the blog has taken my experience to a whole other level, though, letting me express my passions and enthusiasms, share cool information with our readers, and generally provide an outlet to talk about all the things I geek out about most.
If you feel aligned with the mission of GeekGirlCon, are excited about supporting and empowering women and other marginalized communities in the realms of STEM, gaming, comics, fandom, cosplay, books, media, and so much more, or if there’s something else you wish you were seeing on our blog, please pitch your ideas to us and think about becoming a guest blogger!
To get started, just submit a short pitch (around 100 words) on the topic you’d like to write about to email@example.com. If accepted, our awesome copy team will work with you to get your piece published on our blog.
We’re excited to hear your voice, so please reach out with your ideas and pitches!
I can’t count how many times in my life I’ve heard video gamers referred to as “lazy.” And I guess I get it–I’ve skipped class to play video games. I’ve found myself staring at a screen instead of taking care of responsibilities. It’s natural to be lazy when something is entertaining you.
But that’s the point: anything that entertains you can be a distraction. I reject the notion that all or even most gamers are couch potatoes that don’t get enough sun or can’t socially function. I reject the notion that gamers are less than athletes, artists, or whatever else one might do with their spare time. And I reject the notion that gamers can’t be athletes, artists, etc., as if one hobby has complete say over their total identity.
Editor’s note: Although this essay discusses specifically being an ally against structural racism in the United States, the concepts apply to many forms of allyship. The author has requested to remain anonymous.
Hi. I am white and I am an ally. I am not a perfect ally—let’s go ahead and get that out of the way. I’m not even sure I could say I am a “good” ally. I would like to be, and I strive to be the best I can. But this isn’t an essay about me. I wrote this essay because I want to encourage other allies to act where they have an opportunity and responsibility to act. This is an essay about one way in which passionate allies—even those who are shy and reclusive—can be effective.
I started writing for GeekGirlCon about three years ago, after I attended GeekGirlCon ‘14 and was hugely inspired by what I had seen at the panels, Exhibitor Hall, Artists’ Alley, DIY Science Zone, and gaming floor. At first, it was sporadic, with just a few pitches here and there when a brilliant idea for a piece hit me. But writing for GeekGirlCon was fun; it was a way to express and articulate my interests in a way that I couldn’t in my other areas of writing (which were mostly academic journals). I wrote about all sorts of things: what it was like to be an Asian geek, how we could understand fictional worlds, geek taxonomy, and ferrets.
Then, a few months later, a position for a copywriter became open on the volunteer page, I applied for it, and here I am.
All of this is a long-winded way of saying that if you’re geeky, have interests that align with our mission or otherwise are passionate about supporting women in games, comics, science, tech, cosplay, and more, consider guest blogging for GeekGirlCon. Or, if there’s content that you’d like to see on the blog that isn’t currently being covered, pitch it as a potential blog post!
Image source: GeekGirlCon Flickr
If you’d like to be a guest blogger, all you have to do is submit a short pitch of about 100 words on the topic you’d like to write about and how you’d write about it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your pitch gets accepted, we will work with you on getting your piece published on the blog. Although we will consider all topics, we would especially welcome pitches from members of underrepresented groups, or on the topics of science, cosplay, or comics.
We’d love to get more voices on our blog, so please consider adding yours to our community!
“Cinderella and the Prince were married with great ceremony. No one approved from the first, and now more often than not there was a gleam of I-told-you-so behind the King’s spectacles, and the Queen’s three chins quivered with bitter satisfaction as her predictions were realized one by one. For Cinderella and the Prince were not happy. No one had really expected them to be. You cannot pluck a kitchen girl from the cinders and set a crown on her head and let it go at that; and small feet are not the only prerequisite of a princess.” –Happily Ever After, Catherine Moore, 1930, Vagabond student magazine.
“Cinderella never asked for a prince. She asked for a night off and a dress.” –Tumblr Meme, 2014
In my first column about why geek role models are important, I talked briefly about Catherine Lucille Moore (C.L. Moore), best known for the Jirel of Joiry fantasy series, and who published in early days of the pulp magazines Weird Tales and Astounding Science Fiction. Her very existence inspired me because she proved not only that a woman could write this kind of story and do it well but that she could do it while writing a female protagonist.
While I knew her stories back then, I knew little about the life of Catherine Lucille Moore. What I read at the time was frustratingly brief: that she was born in 1911 and also wrote under the pseudonyms of C.H. Liddell, Lewis Padgett, and Lawrence O’Donnell.
But her life story reads like fiction. Kirkus ran a terrific short biography of her last year. Some highlights:
Moore wrote for the student run magazine at Indiana University, The Vagabond, where the story quoted above was published. She was only 19 years old then but 100 years ahead of her time.
She met her first husband, Harry Kuttner, when they corresponded about science fiction. He was unaware at first that she was a woman. After they married, they collaborated extensively and the pseudonyms I listed were the result of that partnership.
After Kuttner died of a heart attack in 1958, Moore never returned to writing science fiction. Instead, she wrote television scripts.
At the 39th World Science Fiction Convention in 1981, Moore was the Guest of Honor and the final person to receive the Gandalf Grandmaster Award. She also received the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award the same year. Unfortunately, she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and died in 1987.
As good as Kirkus is at detailing Moore’s major life events, it also only scratches the surface of who she was. I’ve read biographies of some of the other early SF/F pioneers — Asimov, Frederick Pohl, Robert Heinlein — but there’s frustratingly little about this woman.
I believe the lack of information and renown surrounding Moore certainly contributes to the fact that many today probably hadn’t heard of her. It also doesn’t help that most of her work is out of print and often hidden in anthologies where other writers are listed first.
In my research, I stumbled across The Vagabond stories and one frustratingly short tale in Project Gutenberg. Amazon currently has a collection of Jirel of Joiry with multiple used paperback copies starting at one penny. I suspect the market has been flooded recently by people with older editions in their basements. But there’s nothing extensive available online.
This makes me sad. Moore deserves to be remembered. I hope this column intrigues some of you enough to check out Jirel of Joiry and raise a glass to a woman who walked through barriers and made the path easier for the rest of us.
Corrina Lawson grew up reading Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine and reading all she could order from the Science Fiction Book Club and everything she could buy from the spinner rack at her local drug store. This might be why she now writes fiction ranging from steampunk to superheroes to alternate history.
We are always looking for awesome geeky blog posts for the GeekGirlCon blog. You could be our next guest blogger!
GeekGirlCon is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the contribution of women in all aspects of geek culture. Connect with GeekGirlCon through social media (Twitter and Facebook) and meet other geeks at events and our annual convention. GeekGirlCon ‘14 is October 11 and 12, 2014.
GeekGirlCon’s audience is mainly composed of geeky girls and women. Here’s a short list of the most frequently used keywords that they would look at:
* Geek Girl/GeekGirls * Conventions *Sci-Fi *Geeky Parenting
* Cosplay * Geek Culture *Crafts * Books
* Gaming * Fantasy *Nerds *Anime/Manga
1. Length: Posts should be 600 to 2000 words and stick to one topic or idea.
2. Title: The post title should be under 60 characters and contain the person or concept featured in the post to help grab readers’ attention. While quirky titles are fun, a straightforward title containing a target keyword can often be more effective than a catchy title.
Please use the following at the top of your post:
Title: Blah Blah Women or Something with proper case 😉
by Your Name, Where People Know You From
3. Beginning: Clearly state your main point at the beginning of your post and include supporting information in subsequent paragraphs.
4. Tone: Posts should be written for a wide audience and steer clear of jargon or technical language. Use conversational language and explain things clearly by providing background information on a subject and by using specific examples to illustrate a point.
5. Show, Don’t Tell: What does this mean? “Showing” allows the reader to follow you into the moment—to see and feel and experience what you have.
6. Keep Their Attention: People rarely read pages word-by-word. Generally, readers scan a page, picking out individual words and sentences. To help readers find the most important points in your blog, use the following tools:
Short paragraphs and short sentences
One idea per paragraph
7. Link, Link, Link! A strong blog post includes links to other sites and blogs.
8. Multimedia is Good: Whenever possible, incorporate multimedia features, including embedded videos, images, and infographics. The goal is to have at least one visual element per blog post. The shorter the video, the more likely people will watch it from start to finish. We have a strict no-stealing policy, so only legally free-to-share images are acceptable. Please cite all multimedia sources.
9. Closing: Encourage reader interaction by providing a clear call to action, such as asking readers to sign an online pledge, post their thoughts in the comments section, or share the piece with their networks on Twitter or Facebook.
10. Search Engine Optimization: Ensure your post is optimized for search engines through these steps:
Identify your target keyword for each post by thinking about what phrase people would use to search for this topic.
Use a target keyword in your first paragraph and two to three more times in the post.
Instead of writing something like “Learn more” for hyperlinked text, use more descriptive language related to the target keywords.
We encourage creativity when writing for GeekGirlCon, and we also require that all posts be in alignment with our mission statement. We have final say on what gets released on behalf of the organization and reserve the right to edit, reject, and ask for revisions on all posts and ideas.
Hey GeekGirlCon fans! This is Adrienne Fox, former GeekGirlCon copywriter turned guest blogger, reporting on Steamcon IV at Shubz’s request.
Steamcon is a regional convention in the Pacific Northwest dedicated to steampunk. Steampunk, if you are not familiar with it, is a sub-genre of science fiction and fantasy based on steam-powered mechanisms focused in the 19th century, most often during the Victorian era. But, that is a very simple description. The steampunk aesthetic has grown beyond literature to art, music, costumes, clothing, and even Justin Bieber. After four successful conventions, Steamcon shows no sign of slowing down.
I chose to go the monster hunter route so I could vanquish the likes of any vampires or werewolves lurking in the glow of gaslight. It is always better to patrol in pairs so I bought along my friend—and her crossbow.
Even a monocled, gentleman werewolf was not safe from our pursuit.
Batgirl and Supergirl lent a hand to rid the con of evil…
…and mad scientists. (But seriously this extra-capacity brain set up is totally amazing.)
So amazing that I believe another view of that awesome mad scientist is necessary. And check out the antique syringes on the belt.
Lots more families donning the steampunk garb at Steamcon IV. So cute!
Steampunk has a neat aesthetic no doubt, and it’s easy to get caught up in a word of mad science, shiny brass gears, bustles, and buckles. However, because the Victorian era was also one of extreme racism, classism, and sexism, it can be problematic to adopt uncritically the styles, etiquette, and habits of the period. Just as GeekGirlCon strives to create space for everyone, including the often marginalized fans, there is a dedicated group in steampunk working toward inclusiveness. Check out blogs like Silver Goggles, Beyond Victoriana, and Steampunk Emma Goldman for critical insights into the era and the steampunk community itself.
Next year, the Steamcon theme is “Around the World.” I might pull out the ol’ airship mechanic coveralls inspired by Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker for next year. Or do something totally new—who knows. If you were to attend Steamcon V, what kind of costume would you put together?
– Adrienne Fox is a conservationist by day, but by night this geek unwinds on the couch with some Firefly and Hammer horror. Or you might find her cozied up with a stack of comics and steaming cup of Earl Grey. Adrienne came to Seattle by way of a childhood in Pennsylvania and college years in Rhode Island. For as long as she can remember she’s been amassing geek collectibles, like the mail-away for Boba Fett, her 12-inch talking Tick, and recently obtained BSG Top Gun stein. Also a rabid soccer fan, her love of the U.S. Women’s National Team, Manchester United, and the Seattle Sounders knows no bounds. You may see her at Emerald City Comicon, Steamcon, the “Clink,” and random comic shops around town.