Our busy weekend of participatory programming means that just about anything can happen — and usually does. But we do anchor the weekend with some pre-set events that everyone can count on.
At Foolscap, we create the program at the convention. Before the convention, our programming team creates an empty schedule, and fills in a small number of key events — things like large presentations, a game show, or a radio play. The only events we set in advance are those that require complex setup or planning ahead of time. The majority of the schedule is left open to be filled in once everyone is there. We can't tell in advance what will happen, but previous conventions have included programming like Powerpoint Karaoke, How to Fan Without Killing Each Other, and Creative Artificial Intelligence. Take a look at some more past schedules to get a sense of the topics that can show up at Foolscap.
Everyone gets a voice. We invite every member of the convention to propose program items. We give a brief description to everyone there, and put out a written description for people to look at. Then we all vote on which items we'd like to see. We take as many of the most popular items as we can fit, and organize them in the blanks on the schedule.
We welcome creators to share. We've extended the convention tradition of readings into something we call struts. They're a chance to "strut your stuff" — to share whatever it is you've made, written, or are passionate about. We've set aside a comfortable corner of the convention space as the Strange Attractor, and we hold struts there. We'll give a 15-minute slot to any member with something to share. Just sign up at the convention.
To participate, all you need to do is show up. We organize the programming twice during the convention, to give more people a chance to get involved. The first Open Space planning session is held on Friday afternoon, to determine Friday evening and Saturday morning programming. A second meeting Saturday morning sets topics for the rest of the weekend. Come with ideas for discussions you'd like to see, something to share in a strut, or just show up at the planning to vote on other people's suggestions. You might find you have a new idea on the spot!
Our programming reflects our belief that everyone is interesting. Instead of looking for experts and planning the event around them, we welcome everyone to share what they know. We never know what we'll get, but it's always a pleasure to find out together.
Many Foolscaps open on Friday with a series of writing workshops during the day before the convention kicks off. They're a chance for members to learn from some of the many skilled authors in our community, and a great way to start the weekend by creating something.
Foolscap’s 2016 Writing Workshops are Friday, Feb. 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. We’re delighted to have Jennifer Brozek, Cory Skerry, and Randy Henderson leading sessions on fiction writing and John Lovett offering a class on screenwriting plus opportunities for individual screenplay critiques.
Visit the workshop page at Foolscap.org to register for the workshops and see detailed session descriptions and instructor bios.
Bite of Foolscap Banquet
Sunday around noon we gather for the Bite of Foolscap. It's a friendly brunch buffet with a surprise or two. Bring your appetite and your wits, and buy your banquet ticket in advance to guarantee your seat!
Proceeds from the Foolscap auction enable us to underwrite community outreach activities and offer low-cost student memberships. Come bid on jewelry, artwork, rare books, and SF, fantasy and geek-themed items — or just come to watch the show! We've put rubber chickens, a tiny pool table, and even the con chair's dignity on sale in the past, but you'll have to be there to find out what surprises we have in store this year.