WisCon Panel Brainstorming Post

WisCon Panel Brainstorming Post

A few days ago WisCon opened up the panel suggestion form.  Yay!  I love suggesting panels.  Since the brainstorming post last year was a big hit and led to many good things, I thought I would host another.  Everyone is welcome to contribute.  If you have just an inkling of an idea or a well-formed one but don’t know how best to put it into words, post!  People will hopefully help you flesh ideas out, find new, interesting directions, or lend their wordsmithyness to your existing ideas.

Might also be fun to suggest some different styles of panels.  I know last year they were trying to get some debate-style things going on.  I would love to see suggestions of ways to shake up the panel format instead of it just being 6 people talk at you for 45 minutes.

20 thoughts on “WisCon Panel Brainstorming Post

  1. Maybe a panel on how Nightshade solved their “women in anthologies getting fair cover space” problem?

    Sorry, I’ve caught the snark today.

    Also, I’d like to see a rule where the second time, maximum, a white person says something dumb in a cultural app/race/ally panel, they MUST either STFU or leave. Enforced by the audience.

  2. I have been following the discussion surrounding Elizabeth Bear’s post on cultural appropriation and writing the other(mentioned elsewhere in this blog) with a great deal of interest and have a couple of questions for this group on how to structure a meaningful panel on the topic(s) for WisCon. To state the obvious, this panel has always quickly devolved into white people looking for a certain kind of validation or permission from the WisCon community to do what we want to do in our work, and maybe get some kudos from people of color in the process. Is there anything the programming committee can do to keep this from happening? It dawns on me, that to a large part I am missing the point and the panel I have been looking for personally has been one to help me (as a wanna-be writer) create worlds that look like the multi-racial world in which I sometimes live, or might want to live. Frankly, I can’t imagine anyway a panel that addresses those issues to a predominantly white audience won’t be crazy making. So, here is another question (and I do apologize for any crazy making that my questions generate – not in any attempt to pre-emptively protect my feelings, but in recognition of the fact that people come to Tempest’s blog to commiserate about white cluelessness and I am stepping on a boundary here) but, what are the people of color who come back to WisCon year-after-year and sit through the cultural appropriation panel and leave, understandably and reasonably, hurt and angry looking for? What would be a satisfying experience? What would you like to see that panel address? How would it handle the issues? Of the people likely to attend WisCon and be available – who would your dream team of panelists be?

  3. I was thinking I’d like to see a panel on successfully running an online publication.

    Or, taking off on the recent Clarkesworld interview, how to put together an anthology.

  4. I’ve got one: Magazines that get it right and how they get it right

    Talking about those genre markets that have what could be considered good gender balance along with quality fiction (and even non-fiction). How do these markets achieve this? Are they models that other markets can and should follow?

      1. oh, i just checked back in here. i like the idea of a meet ‘n’ greet like last year. we might benefit from a designated facilitator … but then again, we might not.

        another idea: maybe a general group meeting where we identify topic areas we want to talk about intensively in smaller groups, and then we break out into groups. i just attended a “world cafe” style convening and this might work for a poc meeting if we want it to be more “productive” as opposed to more “community-building.”

  5. I want to see a panel with one colored person and four white people talking about why race is just a construct and white people should be able to write whatever the hell they want to because they are ARTISTES.

    wait, no, i’ve seen that one.

  6. I really enjoyed the Create a World panel. I’d have to dig up the exact title. It was a lot of fun. We came up with a world, characters, and even a plot. Only thing left was the easy part of writing it all down! :)

    I wonder if we could do something similar, but with a focus of specifically creating a shared world for Wiscon.

  7. So, we need another drunken late night panel of BSG. That is mandatory. With deepforestowl on it, natch.

    Otherwise, I’ll riff off others :).

  8. I have an idea that I’ve been working on for months about book distribution within the genre-specific field, but I don’t know whether that’s a convention panel idea, or a workshop idea.

    I’d also have to get my pretty little butt OUT to WisCon, but that’s another story for another time.

    Look forward to following this post with great interest.


  9. Good idea! I’ve tried to write panel descriptions in the past, but I’m never sure if my idea just sucked or I was bad at articulating it in a way that got people interested in signing up for it or voting for it.

    I think there needs to be a Muslim-related panel, because there’s a lot of misinformation out there. I just don’t know a good angle for it.

    1. off the top of my head, a panel about how one is able to be a muslim and a feminist would be good?

    2. There are, I think, some Bangladeshi scifi writers, one of whom is/was a woman who wrote some interesting stuff. Yes this is all very vague, I need to find the citations, I guess.

  10. I’ll be watching the chatter here with interest. I volunteered for the programming committee this year, and we particularly want to be open to doing things we haven’t tried in the past. Sometimes it is hard to propose a new format or style within the confines of the program idea submission form. I’ll be watching here to see if I can catch any of those suggestions and make sure they get directly to the programming committee. This is not to discourage people from using the submissions form, please do, as that saves a lot of work. I’ll be watching for things that people would like to see tried that you can’t figure out how to submit via the form. Tempest, I don’t know how you worked this last year, so I don’t mean to step on your toes, I just want to help.

    1. hey Beth, welcome :) last year we basically just used the comments to hash things out and get ideas, but ultimately people put the final ideas/writing in the WisCon submission form — obviously we don’t want to create extra work for you!

      1. Thank you Tempest. I figured it worked something like that. I’m excited about the venue you’ve provided for getting some great panel ideas. I’m really hoping to pick up some out of the box type suggestions which we can figure out how to implement.

  11. I am so bummed that I probably won’t be able to attend this year (it was WisCon or ComicCon, and I’ve never done ComicCon before), but people on the net are awesome about posting panel write-ups, so at least there’s that.

    I’d love to see a panel to just brainstorm new, awesome female superheroes/heroes. I feel like there’s just a couple types and tropes of the heroine out there right now, and it would be awesome to put some big brains together and reach into the places that haven’t been fully explored yet.

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