07.30.14 // Back In the Day…

By GeekGirlCon Copy Writer Sarah “SG-1″ Grant

It continues to amaze me how far the human race has come technologically in the past 20 years. I was in an interview not long ago, and the interviewer (who appeared to be a middle-aged woman) started talking about the way they used to do things in her office. She mentioned mimeograph machines, carbon copies, and using the actual US Mail to get information where it needed to be.

This got me thinking, way back to when I was just a girl…you know, the 1980s.

My grade school didn’t have computers other than the one in the secretary’s office–and that was just a word processor. Nobody had even heard of the Internet in my Wisconsin hometown (population 21,069) at that point.

My parents bought our first computer (an Apple IIGS) when my mom went back to school, which would have put me in late middle school (we called it “junior high” back then).

The first video game of any kind I ever played was the 8-bit version of Oregon Trail. I died countless times on the way to Oregon with my family. It was a little disturbing.

8-bit death sentence

8-bit death sentence

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I learned to type (sort of) on a typewriter. I don’t think it was even electric.

Our telephone was connected to the wall with a twisted-up cord.

The first computer I ever owned was one my dad bought me in 2005 when I decided to go back to school to be a pharmacist. I’m not a pharmacist…and I’ve only bought one more computer since then.

I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 25. Yes, I said twenty-five (25!!).

I knew exactly what this meant as soon as I saw it:

You may or may not get this...

You may or may not get this…

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Now, I am aware that everyone has this feeling (nostalgia, to put it politely) to some extent, especially people my age and older. My parents have told stories of their lives before their families even owned a television–and the ones they eventually had were black and white and weighed A LOT.

This feeling is something I’ve really been dealing with for the past couple of weeks. For the moment, my home Internet is off, so the only access I have to the outside world at home is my cell phone. I can’t jump on the computer and edit a GeekGirlCon blog post, or work on the program book for our upcoming convention. I can usually get some spotty Internet on my phone–just enough to read fanfiction until way too late at night. Of course, inside my apartment, that’s pretty much all my smartphone is good for: I get little to no cell reception in my apartment (which has nothing to do with my Internet connection and everything to do with the age and building materials of my apartment building). I’ve been spending a lot of time at my local branch of the Seattle Public Library, and the coffee shops in my neighborhood are becoming quite familiar as well–but I have to spend money to use their Internet. Although, the Barnes and Noble at Northgate Mall has free wifi–no need to buy anything. (Not false advertising–the poster on the window says it!)

The other good thing about having to leave my house to get Internet (especially in recent weeks in Seattle) is that all these places with Internet also have AIR CONDITIONING. I do not function well in the heat at all, so being “forced” to head to the library isn’t much of a hardship. Going home while it’s still 90 degrees in my apartment? THAT is a hardship.

I have read many insightful articles (mostly via my smartphone) regarding the obsession with cell phones, the Internet, and computers. Most of them come to the conclusion that while all this technology tries to foster connectivity with the rest of our species (Facebook, YouTube, etc.), we seem to be more isolated. Is the Internet the cause of my sense of isolation, or is it the cure? Will I feel better when I can truly get online at home again? If I can’t watch television on my phone or computer, what the heck am I going to do with all my time? Thor knows, I’m NOT going to clean anything! I guess I’ll just find the best spot in my apartment to get the fanfiction on my phone, and read until I fall asleep.

Do you think the Internet isolates us, or brings us closer together?

 

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07.24.14 // Want over 11,000 eyes to see your business? Ads for GeekGirlCon ‘14 are the way to go!

Reach nearly 6,000 people with ads at GeekGirlCon ‘14. Choices abound! Do you love the feel of a program guide? Want to see your business in print? Ads are available for the programming guide in both color and black and white, anywhere from an eighth page to a full page, and ranging from $40 to $300. (Order by August 15, 2014.) Is the digital world your world? Digital display ads are the way to go! You can buy up to 10 ad placements (40 ad placements x 2x/hour display) for $50 each. (Order by September 19, 2014.)

Crowds at GeekGirlCon '14. Photo by Tyler Pruitt and used under Creative Commons license.

Crowds at GeekGirlCon ’13. Photo by Tyler Pruitt and used under Creative Commons license.

Why would you want to advertise to the GeekGirlCon community? Our first GeekGirlCon in October of 2011 sold out in our small venue at the Seattle Center, seeing over 2,000 attendees in two days. At our second GeekGirlCon in 2012, we welcomed close to 4,000 attendees over two days in August at The Conference Center, a larger venue centrally located in downtown Seattle. Our third annual convention sold out (again!) with 4,700 attendees over the two days of GeekGirlCon in October of 2013, maintaining steady but sustainable growth in the spacious venue of The Conference Center. This year, GeekGirlCon ‘14 expects continued growth.

Find out more information! (pdf)

Purchase an ad today! (webform)

 

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07.21.14 // Writers and Writing at GeekGirlCon ‘14

If there’s one thing nerds love, it’s stories: reading them, watching them, playing them, and for many of us, writing them. At GeekGirlCon ‘14, we have so many writing-related panels that you will need a Time-Turner to attend them all!

Have you ever wondered what geekdom would be like if it weren’t dominated by male heroic-journey sagas? B.J. “Lex” Priester of Fangirl Blog takes us on “The Heroine’s Journey: Moving Beyond Campbell’s Monomyth,” exploring how female-focused sci-fi and fantasy such as The Hunger Games, The Legend of Korra, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Disney’s Frozen differ from the established archetypes, and what that means for the stories they tell.

Kill your darlings! No, not literally; you must have been reading too many classic sci-fi short stories. Instead, join a professional editor and learn “Editing 101 for Writers,” skills that every writer needs whether they are writing for publication or for personal pleasure.

For the YA lover, we have two dedicated programming events. There’s the “Fierce Reads Young Adult Author Panel,” featuring four science fiction and fantasy authors talking about getting their work published. There’s also “Diversity in YA,” which will tackle the dearth of protagonists of colour, and LGBT protagonists (among others) in young adult fiction. For writers–and readers–who want to see more diversity, what are the current issues, and what can we do about it?

Huntress Arc Cover

Photo source: malindalo.com

If your kid is an aspiring writer, or a natural storyteller, you might be interested in “Imaginary Worlds (for Kids).” Author and spoken word artist Danika Dinsmore leads an interactive story time for families, which is sure to inspire young imaginations!

As we’ve mentioned lately on the GeekGirlCon blog, fanfic is going mainstream. No longer the dirty little secret that you stay up indulging after everyone else has gone to bed, it’s now cool to share fanfic recommendations–gasp!–in public, to own up to being an author, even to get work published. But where does the law stand on this? Commercial publishers’ and authors’ stances range from, “I’m flattered when people play in my worlds,” through, “Do it, but I’ll avoid looking at it,” all the way to, “Cease and Desist.” Our panel “Fan Fiction: Sharing, Creating, and the Law” explores the nuances of copyright law for fanfic authors.

In this context, slash fic has its own specific problems. Now that it’s being acknowledged in the works that inspire it, how much of that acknowledgement is genuine recognition, and how much is exploitation, tokenism designed to hush the calls for diversity and meaningful representation? “21st Century Boys: Slash in the Mainstream” delves into these questions.

Finally, in “If You Can Write, You Can Make Games,” discover how easy it is to make interactive fiction using free, open-source programs you can find online. Take your existing writing skills and expand them into a whole new medium.

There’s something for every writer, storyteller, and daydreamer at GeekGirlCon ‘14–we’ll see you there!

 

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07.14.14 // Call for Connections Programming for GeekGirlCon ‘14

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Last year, GeekGirlCon added a new department called Connections focused on leadership development, mentorship, and connecting women with professionals in their desired career fields. The Connections program was such a hit (read more from last year here and here), we’re bringing it back for GeekGirlCon ‘14.

In addition to featuring a Connections Room at the convention—where attendees can interact with companies, universities, and nonprofit organizations—we plan to dedicate a programming room for Connections-specific panels, networking sessions, and workshops. This Connections Programming Room will allow for more intimate conversations with attendees and panelists. And we need your help to make this happen!

Connections Programming at GeekGirlCon ‘14

We are looking for professionals in geeky industries, the arts, and academia, as well as female entrepreneurs. We hope to promote, celebrate, educate, mentor, and encourage women professionally. We are seeking engaging proposals from professionals for panels on topics such as, but not limited to:

 

Feel free to propose something we didn’t think of!

To be considered for acceptance, proposal submissions must reflect the mission of the convention: to promote, celebrate, educate, mentor, encourage, and empower the female professional. GeekGirlCon is committed to representing women of all ages, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, creeds, physical and mental abilities, and familial statuses. Proposals must reflect a commitment to this as well.

Please note: this call for Connections programming is specifically focused on career and leadership development panels. Our broader programming submission deadline has passed.

Submissions are open until 11:59pm PT on July 25.

If you are interested in proposing a panel or presentation please fill out this form.

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07.7.14 // Brace Yourself – July 31 Is Coming

GeekGirlCon ‘14 is coming up very soon–October 11 and 12, 2014! If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, just do it here. We sold out before we opened our doors for GeekGirlCon ‘13, and we’re anticipating another awesome sell-out show. Don’t wait!

Our Early Bird Pricing ENDS JULY 31, 2014! “Screaming deal” prices through July 31 are:

2-Day Adult passes: $35

1-Day Adult passes: $20

1-Day Kids 6-12 passes: $10

Kids 0-5: Free!

 

After the Early Bird Pricing ends, prices for all Adult passes will increase:

2-Day Adult passes: $45

1-Day Adult passes: $30

Kids’ passes will not increase.

There will be a very limited number of passes for sale in local shops; those will remain at the Early Bird pricing until they’re gone. We’ll update you with locations when we have them!

 

Did you hear? The Volunteer Application for GeekGirlCon ‘14 is LIVE and waiting for you!

GeekGirlCon ‘14 is an entirely volunteer-run organization. We have an awesome staff, but we can’t do what we do without our fabulous army of volunteers every year. If you’ve attended GeekGirlCon in the past, our “Agents” are the people in charge of seating in panel rooms, wrangling lines, setting up and tearing down the convention, directing traffic, and being the best people around. When you are accepted as a volunteer, you’ll get an official, exclusive GeekGirlCon Agent t-shirt in exchange for working parts of the convention. Go to the Volunteer Application today and sign up–and don’t delay: the application deadline is July 31. No applications will be accepted after this time.

You have no idea how excited we are to see you all at the Washington State Conference Center on October 11 and 12. Buy your tickets, sign up to volunteer, and we’ll see you there soon!

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04.15.14 // Propose Your Presentation or Panel for GeekGirlCon 2014

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Today begins our official Programming Call for Submissions for GeekGirlCon 2014! If you are interested in proposing a panel or presentation please fill out the submission form.

GeekGirlCon is committed to representing women geeks of all ages, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, creeds, physical and mental abilities, and familial statuses. Proposals must reflect this commitment as well.

Proposals will be accepted until 11:59pm PST on May 31, 2014. We are looking to diversify our programming from previous years, so be innovative! Accepted panels will receive discounted passes for themselves and any additional panelists for the entire weekend.

More details here.

 

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03.24.14 // It’s That Time of Year Again!

Time to think about GeekGirlCon ‘14 programming! In a few short weeks, our programming call will go out and submissions will be open for our community to submit panels and workshops to be run at GeekGirlCon ‘14. The call remains open only two months, so if you want to see something at GeekGirlCon ‘14, now is the time to think about it.

How does GeekGirlCon get its programming? From our community! That’s you! The vast majority of our programming is submitted by our community and all of it is driven by you. That means our awesome panels that we had at GeekGirlCon ‘11, ‘12, and ‘13 were all submitted by folks like you.

Is there something you’d love to see at GeekGirlCon ‘14? Are you an expert on it? (Or can you assemble an A-Team? We love it when a plan comes together!) Then submit it!

What kind of programming is GeekGirlCon looking for? GeekGirlCon programming reflects our community. If it is of geeky interest to you, then submit it. Past programming has run the gamut of fandoms, from Buffy to Dr. Who, Star Trek and Star Wars, Harry Potter, My Little Pony, Modern Comics and Indie Comics, Steampunk, Video Gaming, Board Gaming, Role Playing, Literature, Science, all the way to geek culture in general. These fandoms and culture were discussed from a myriad of angles, such as parenting, crafts, academic discussions, working in the fields, etiquette, cosplay, equality and social justice, race, disability, and sexual orientation intersecting with our fandoms.

We’d love to see old favorites and new fandoms, and discussions from all sorts of angles on them and geek culture.

It must be in line with our mission:
GeekGirlCon celebrates and honors the legacy of women contributing to science and technology; comics, arts, and literature; and game play and game design by connecting geeky women world-wide and creating community to foster continued growth of women in geek culture through events.

What do you need when you submit your programming? To help answer this, we have a handy checklist:

How can I have a better chance of being selected? We are looking for a wide range of topics and presenters. Panels that include diversity in gender, sexuality, race, body type, socioeconomic status, experience, and other areas of diversity are key to supporting our mission. We have a deep commitment to intersectionality and actively encourage and welcome diverse voices.  We are looking to sustain last year’s level of programming, which means we are not able to accept every programming submission we receive. However, do NOT let this discourage you. We love to receive a lot of programming submissions to make GeekGirlCon ‘14 as spectacular as our previous conventions.

YOUR panel will pack our conference room! Photo credit: HayCutter

Do you get a discount on your pass if your submission is accepted? Yes! We are happy to be able to offer two tiers of discounts on a weekend pass, including a substantial one. We would never want the cost of our con to be a barrier to presenting, and we are happy to work with anyone that has financial need as well as offer a choose-your-own level of discount. We are a 100% volunteer-run organization; the proceeds of the passes go directly into the convention. We want you to enjoy the convention before and after your presentation.

How does programming for GeekGirlConnections or the DIY Science Zone work? These are program tracks run by GeekGirlCon staff. Please contact the GeekGirlConnections Manager or the DIY Science Zone Manager with questions.

What about programming for the GeekGirlCONcert or other special events? There will be a separate submission call for any musicians, performers, and entertainers who wish to be considered for a spot for our special nighttime events.

Start planning your submission now! Watch our Newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, and website for the call to open and submit through the form. We look forward to your exciting, informative, challenging, and celebratory proposals for programming at GeekGirlCon ‘14!

 

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03.17.14 // To all beings of the planet Earth and beyond:

GeekGirlCon ‘14 is October 11 and 12, 2014, at The Conference Center in Downtown Seattle!

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Some rights reserved by GeekGirlCon

Buy your passes NOW!

Adult 2-Day Pass: $35 (early bird pricing!)

Adult 1-Day Pass: $20

Kids 6-12 1-Day Pass: $10

Kids 0-5: FREE

Remember, we sold out BEFORE THE DOORS OPENED for GeekGirlCon ‘13! Go get your tickets before they’re all gone again.

Want to be a vendor for GeekGirlCon ‘14? Who wouldn’t want to be? Find out how to submit your exhibitor application!

Panelists! Our application for GeekGirlCon ‘14 panelists/performers will be live in March. Subscribe to our newsletter and our email updates to get the news as soon as it is out, and start thinking about what you have to sing, make, or talk about.

How do we run this awesome convention every year? Through donations from people like YOU. If you have the means and want to donate $50 or more, please consider an individual sponsorship. You’ll feel amazing for supporting GeekGirlCon directly, and you’ll get perks for the convention through some of our corporate sponsors!

If you work for or run a company that shares the GeekGirlCon mission, please check out our Community Business Partner page. For information on becoming a Community Business Partner, please email individual.sponsor@geekgirlcon.com.

Remember those awesome blue-shirted Agents all over the Convention Center for GeekGirlCon ‘13? You can be one, too! Subscribe to the Volunteer Mailing List to get direct information on applications for GeekGirlCon ‘14 volunteer opportunities.

Last, but certainly not least, GeekGirlCon is looking for a few good peeps for year-round volunteer opportunities. Join the staff of GeekGirlCon, and start one of the most fulfilling paths you’ll ever take. Check our staff job page frequently, as we are in the midst of posting new opportunities for someone just like you!

We can’t wait to see you all in October, or sooner at one of our year-round events!

Some rights reserved by GeekGirlCon.

Some rights reserved by GeekGirlCon.

 

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03.10.14 // Science Strikes Back: the DIY Science Zone Returns to GeekGirlCon ‘14

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From the mists of time and far reaches of space (aka the GeekGirlCon ‘12 Gaming Floor), there arose questions destined to change the future for all GeekGirlCon attendees:

What if GeekGirlCon had a lab space? One where people could do fast, fun experiments with scientists? Where nerdy, geeky scientists could share knowledge, neural networks, and goo with anyone that attended GeekGirlCon ‘13?

@tereshkova2001 welcomes visitors to the zone!

This simple “what if” became the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Science Zone, making its smashing debut last year. Hundreds of kids and adults explored anthropology, biology, chemistry, and physics in the DIY Science Zone. It was a fantastic success! The question had an answer!

But then a new question arose from the slightly more recent mists of time and the somewhat closer reaches of space:

What about GeekGirlCon ‘14? Would the DIY Science Zone return to delight our attendees?

We are excited to announce the return of the DIY Science Zone to GeekGirlCon ‘14!

“The zone will have something for everybody – adults, kids, expert experimenters, or complete novices,” said Dr. Raychelle Burks, DIY Science Zone Program Manager.

It will be packed with over a dozen scientists from all over the country and across disciplines, lots of experiments, including brand new ones and crowd favorites from last year, and oodles of SCIENCE!

Extracting DNA from strawberries with @lalsox!

Extracting DNA from strawberries with @lalsox!

Get your hands dirty with science — buy your passes for GeekGirlCon ‘14 now!

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03.4.14 // GeekGirlCon and Central Cinema Present The Powerpuff Girls

The Powerpuff Girls at Central Cinema

On March 12, join Central Cinema and GeekGirlCon in Townsville for a TV Dinner featuring sugar, spice, and everything nice . . . with just a dash of Chemical X. Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup fight our villains in two of our favorite episodes of The Powerpuff Girls, while you enjoy a tasty dinner. Our villains could be Mojo Jojo or Him or the Ganggreen Gang or one of the many giant monsters that visit Townsville. Come to Central Cinema to see!

Details:

Contact specialevents@geekgirlcon.com with questions or for more information on this event. To find out more about the Central Cinema, visit http://www.central-cinema.com/.

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