To make a new kind of convention, we start at the very root: What brings people together?
Many conventions have their central idea in their name: they're a comic convention, or a science fiction convention, or a gaming convention. But we're not any of those. We build a community out of people who have the same interests as we do, and those interests are big. We call them the four 'B's.
The Four 'B's
We love ideas, and that's why we play with them. We believe the only kind of overthinking is the kind where an idea stops being fun – but there's a lot of thinking you can do before you get there! People who come to Foolscap like lots of different ideas, and we like to share the ideas we're playing with.
We come to Foolscap to create a community. We're small and welcoming, and we like making friends. That's why we share books and food, and why we ask everyone to take part in deciding what the convention will do this year. At Foolscap we come together as equals; everyone has a voice and everyone will listen.
Foolscap isn't the only community we belong to. We come from book clubs and makerspaces, artists' circles and writing groups, online forums and circles of friends. We bring those identities with us to Foolscap, and we build connections: person to person, group to group.
We come to Foolscap to make the best convention we can each year. To do that, we strive to be unafraid of mistakes. We'll try new things, experiment, and honestly listen to criticism. To be a new kind of convention, we need to be brave enough to admit our failures and to improve on our strengths.
Everyone is Interesting
We've structured Foolscap around the belief that everyone is interesting. Each year we choose our Guest of Honor by looking for someone who will inspire the convention – not someone who is more interesting than other people, but someone who will spark everyone around them to see new things.
Instead of setting our program in advance and asking people we know to organize panels, we create our program collaboratively during the convention. Anyone is welcome to propose topics and events, and everyone is asked to help select which ones will happen. We listen to everyone - from someone there for the first time to someone who's been with us since our first year.
A Fruitful Discussion
We work to make sure everyone has a voice, so we put effort into moderating discussions. We take care to keep the loudest voices from dominating, and to allow even unpopular opinions to be shared respectfully with people who want to listen.
To foster the kind of open communication we want, we've created a code of conduct that we work to improve. Our aim is to create a space for respectful conversations of any sort, where everyone's voice is valued and everyone's integrity is respected.