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.

Participatory Programming

At Foolscap, we create the program at the convention. Before the convention, our programming team creates a schedule, and fills in a small number of key events — things like Guest of Honor presentations, a game show, or a radio play. The events we set in advance are those that require complex setup or planning ahead of time. We leave much of the weekend schedule open — to be filled in at planning sessions Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. We won't know in advance everything that 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 has a voice. We invite you to propose program items. We provide forms for you to write a description of your program item. At the planning sessions, we set out all the written descriptions for people to look at. Then everyone vote the items they'd like to see. We take as many of the most popular items as we can fit, and organize them to fill in the blanks on the programming 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 do a reading or a strut.

To build programming, 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.

Saturday Writing Workshops

Foolscaps writing workshops are an opportunity for members to learn from some of the many skilled authors in our community, and a great way to include in your weekend some creative work.

Foolscap’s 2019 Writing Workshops are Saturday, Feb. 3, with one session in the morning and one in the afternoon. We’re delighted to welcome A.J. Hackwith and Spencer Ellsworth as instructors this year.

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.