MRK’s WorldCon 2018 Programming update

With the challenges surrounding WorldCon 2018’s programming, I offered to bring in a small team to help reimagine the schedule. That team was chosen to address a range of identities, marginalizations, and key stakeholders. Together, we’ve spent the past 48 hours diving into this huge, complicated beast.

One note we would like to add here is that there was an enormous amount of good work done by the existing programming team. We are not diminishing or dismissing the errors that were made or the harm that was caused and we are focused on building a stronger program that addresses those concerns.


We have evaluated the existing programming into three categories: Keep, Repair, Replace.

  • Keep is self-explanatory. We like them. Good job!
  • Repair – The core idea was good, but the panel description, staffing, or title needed attention. Most of our effort was here.
  • Replace – These are getting swapped out for another panel for a variety of reasons.

We have finished Repairing and Replacing.

Our next task is to contact the finalists and Guests of Honor to offer them first dibs on panels. We recognize that, while efforts were made by the committee to reach out to the finalists, communication was a major issue. We are working within the time constraints to make this as seamless a process as possible while ensuring we don’t accidentally miss anyone who should be included.

At 2:45 Central today, I have emailed the finalists. We’ve received a number of bouncebacks. We are working on getting in touch with these individuals but given the extreme time pressure we are operating under, we ask you to please get in touch with us. If you are part of a group nomination and think that one of your co-nominees may not have received this e-mail, please feel free to forward it to that nominee and let us know the nominee’s name and e-mail if you can.

If you are a finalist and did not receive an email with the subject line “[WorldCon76] Hugo finalist programming query”, please contact me:

This weekend, we’ll begin rebalancing panels where necessary with a goal of finishing that by Wednesday.

Readings and Kaffeeklatches will follow after whisk– I mean, after we’ve got the main program back online.

Many thanks to the concom for listening.

And thanks as well to my team. The full team is able to advocate for a wide and intersectional range of lived experience and perspectives. These are the ones who have chosen to be public.

  • John Picacio
  • Sarah Gailey
  • Jason Stevan Hill
  • Nibedita Sen
  • Alexandra Rowland
  • Elsa Sjunneson-Henry
  • Merc Rustad
  • Stacey Berg
  • Julia Rios
  • Ace Ratcliff
  • Derek Künsken
  • Jennifer Mace
  • Nilah Magruder
  • Alyshondra Meacham
  • K Tempest Bradford
  • Steven H Silver

We look forward to seeing you in San Jose for the Hugo awards and a wonderful, diverse celebration of science fiction and fantasy.

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8 thoughts on “MRK’s WorldCon 2018 Programming update”

  1. Jack William Bell

    Based on my experience doing con programming you still need to deal with the most difficult task of all: scheduling. I’ll avoid the egoboo of displaying my knowledge by ‘splaining, since you already know this. But, IMHO, scheduling is what takes the longest and results in the most complaints.

  2. Thank you for all your help over many areas of the convention. That’s a lot of work. I’m a WSFS member and I really appreciate it.

  3. Many thanks to all of you for stepping up. This is amazing, and much-appreciated.

    (And likewise, ::gratitude and appreciation:: to the many hard-working people who did all volunteering on programming to begin with!)

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