A third programming room for Foolscap, a science fiction convention for people who love books and art, and for people who create them.
Foolscap is a small science fiction convention in Redmond, WA. This year, we're getting together from September 16–18 at the Redmond Town Center Marriott. We gather every year for a convention focused on the two things that matter to us: flat stuff and funny hats.
Flat stuff and funny hats?
That’s right: Flat stuff and funny hats! Flat stuff: books, art, comics — that sort of thing. And funny hats: hats like this.
It's a lot of fun.
The program schedule
Foolscap works because we plan out a weekend's worth of interesting conversations: topics to discuss, presentations, icebreakers, workshops, plus time and places for people to just sit and talk and take a breather. That schedule is the convention program, and it's the tool that enables us to bring more than a hundred people together for a highly interesting weekend.
One of the things that makes Foolscap interesting is our community-based approach to the program. At other conventions, the programming committee decides on a list of events to hold, and recruits people to be panelists, presenters and moderators. At Foolscap, the community brainstorms a pool of interesting panel ideas, and the programming team sends the list of those ideas to everyone we know who might be coming. That means that at Foolscap, any member of our community can become a panelist, simply by telling us which panels they're interested in being part of, and what expertise they have to share. This is how we discover things we'd never have known, and how the events at Foolscap are guaranteed to be interesting and diverse.
This year's programming survey is online. Anyone interested can go fill it out, and tell us what discussions and events we should have at this year's convention.
Too many panels, not enough space
Once we have the results of the programming survey, there's a second step: we need to find places in the convention to hold each of the events that people want to go to. In the past, we've only had two rooms to hold panels in: one small, and one big. This means that, we're forced to give up on good panels at this point; panels that people are interested in and we want to hold, but for which we, quite literally, don’t have any room.
The magic of the third room
Last year we cleaned out our basements and held a garage sale to raise enough money to get a third room for one day. The results were wildly successful: the panels held in all three rooms were vibrant, well attended and interesting, and we were able to cover more diverse programming than we could with only two rooms.
The effect was bigger than just one more room would imply. One more room means one more choice of things to do at any time: it means that we can be talking about three things at once, and there are fewer times when people look around and say "there's nothing that interests me right now." One more room means that topics that are interesting to a few people on the survey can happen at the convention, and those people can find each other and have an interesting conversation. One more room means that there's one more place with interesting discussions spilling out and making the rest of the convention livelier.
Last year we sold our stuff to prove that the idea worked. This year we're looking for the community to pledge support, and help us make the third room a permanent part of the convention.
What we need
We need $700 to rent the third room from the hotel for the whole convention. That's enough for us to open the room this year and fill it with interesting programming from when the convention opens on Friday afternoon until we shut down on Sunday night.
More than that, and we can make sure this happens in the future: we can grow the convention, and talk about more of the interesting things that the community suggests.
Where you come in
We're on Kickstarter for a reason. We need $700 to make the financial side of this programming plan come together. Every dollar you pledge gets us a step closer to making that happen.
But even if you can't give us money to help, there are ways you can support our efforts to make this a bigger, more inclusive Foolscap.
If you share this with other people — online and off, with people who are part of the SF community and with people who are interested in talking about books — you can help us find the people who want to help us. Our community grows by word of mouth.
And of course, the most direct way to support Foolscap is by being there. Come to Foolscap, and bring your friends with you. Every person at the convention supports more interesting programming twice: First, by buying a membership, and second, by attending and being part of the programming. It's also one of the best ways we can think of to spend a weekend in September.
If you're coming, you can also support us by staying at the hotel. When enough of us are overnight guests, we can negotiate discounts with the hotel, which means we can do more with the money we have and provide more for our members.
What we're giving you
In return for your pledges, we're giving you Foolscap — a full weekend of discussions, conversations, workshops, friendships and interesting experiences. But we're going to give that to everyone at Foolscap. If you pledge your support to help us bring you more awesome programming, we'll find a way to give you even more.
We're going to recognize you publicly, of course: Everyone who donates will have his or her name put on the door of this third room, and in the program book, as our thanks for helping us make this happen. Anyone who pledges $25 or more will also be thanked on video, in one of the videos we'll be making to show our appreciation for all the help it takes to make this happen.
We've also got some tangible rewards we'll be giving you: T-shirts and tote bags with the iconic Foolscap Jester, jester's hats to wear proudly — and for a few generous supporters, some one-of-a-kind articles of haberdashery, decorated by the members of this year's Foolscap.
And, of course, we'll recognize people who can be exceptionally generous to us with exceptional generosity of our own: We've only rarely bestowed lifetime memberships on anyone besides our guests of honor. But if you can help us make this happen, we think that kind of support is a good reason to make you a part of Foolscap forever.
We want to give you this great stuff. We want to make videos about how excellent you are. Most of all, we want to see you at Foolscap this year.
We'll be there with our hats on.
Good heavens, that would be a lot of swag! While we'll be recognizing everyone by name, and making some sort of video for everyone who pledges $25 or more, the other rewards for each level are unique.
Talk to us! We can make some reasonable substitutions; we're reasonable people! And if you want just a little more than some level, and pledge just a little bit more, we can probably figure out a way to make it happen.
Once we've got the extra programming room, any extra money will be put toward the con to help us do things like this in future years. Foolscap has never had a shortage of big ideas - we'll find ways to return your generosity to the community in the form of a better event.
Sept 16-18, 2011 at Redmond Town Center Marriott. For more information, visit our web page at http://www.foolscapcon.org.
pledged of $700 goal
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Aug 20, 2011 - Sep 10, 2011
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Pledge $1 or more
JESTER-IN-TRAINING - Anybody who donates a dollar or more will receive our thanks, your name on the door of this fabulous new room, and your name in the program book.Estimated delivery: Sep 2011
Pledge $10 or more
TYCOON JESTER - You know who your fools are. So we want to offer you either a business-card sized ad in the program book or a poster (plus your name on the door, our thanks, and so on).Estimated delivery: Sep 2011
Pledge $25 or more
JOURNEYMAN JESTER - As a journeyman, you need a hat! So we'll give you a Jester’s Hat and a mention in our Big Thank You Video!Estimated delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $50 or more
PUBLIC FOOL - Show the world you're a Fool with a Foolscap T-shirt and your name in the Big Thank You Video.Estimated delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $55 or more
1 backer Limited (2 of 3 left)
HOSPITABLE FOOL - You’ve been so generous, you get to declare an item in Hospitality – we'll find one item (a brand of soda, a particular type of cookie, a flavor of handmade chocolate, etc) for you. And, of course, your name in the Big Thank You Video.Estimated delivery: Sep 2011
Pledge $100 or more
MASTER JESTER - Books to match your wit! You'll receive a signed book from each of our guests of honor. To accompany them, one of our ConCom will go on a freebie Con Swag hunt just for you, which we'll video on FoolCam and make into your very own, personal thanks.Estimated delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $110 or more
2 backers Limited (3 of 5 left)
GRAND FOOL - You deserve a hat that tells the world what a Grand Fool you are! As one of five Grand Fools, you will receive a Custom-decorated Jester Hat. We'll also film a video thanking you and showing off the features of your one-of-a-kind hat.Estimated delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $145 or more
FOOL-IN-ABSENTIA - While it is clear that you are committed to Foolscap, we know that you may only be able to attend in spirit. We'll send something home with your spirit: a Foolscap Tote filled with Magic Book Box books/swag, and a convention T-shirt. We'll also make a personal video for you, telling you about all the fun your spirit had.Estimated delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $150 or more
FOOL-AT-LARGE - You clearly want to be surrounded by other fools. To make that happen, we'll give you a membership for Foolscap in the year of your choice, along with a ticket to the Bite of Foolscap, our Sunday banquet. We'll also make a video extolling your personal Foolish virtues.Estimated delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $200 or more
TRAVELING FOOL - Get a taste of Foolscap in between cons, in the form of a Panel At Your Place. We’ll travel up to a couple of hours from Seattle in the greater Puget Sound area to bring conversation and amusement to you and your friends in a place of your choosing. And, of course, we'll send a personal video along so you can replay Foolscap at your leisure.Estimated delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $222 or more
TWICE-THE-FOOL - Multiply your joy! Whether you give yourself two years of membership to play with us or share the joy by giving a friend the second membership, you are entitled to two memberships (pick your year), with two tickets to the Bite of Foolscap. We'll also make two videos to thank you!Estimated delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $500 or more
FLAMBOYANT FOOL - Be recognized as the Fool you are by all of the rest of us! We'll deck you out in a Foolscap T-shirt, a jester hat, and a Foolscap tote, then give you two memberships and tickets to the Bite of Foolscap. Could your fabulousness go unremarked-upon in video? We thought not.Estimated delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $501 or more
0 backers Limited (1 of 1 left)
FLAMBOYANT-FOOL-WITH-SINGING - You'll get everything the Flamboyant Fool gets, but your extravagant foolishness entitles you to a singular serenade from Dave Howell, Foolscap Founder and Chair Emeritus.Estimated delivery: Nov 2011
Pledge $1,000 or more
1 backer Limited (4 of 5 left)
FOOLS' GOLD - As a patron of Foolscap, you make the foolishness possible in a big way. In recognition, we're opening our doors to you — for life. You'll join the small, illustrious ranks of people who can walk in through the front door any year and say "I'm here. Did you miss me?" It’s our way of saying a big “Thank you.”Estimated delivery: Sep 2011