Dear Friends of Readercon,
Every year, as the convention weekend comes to a close, our wonderful program participants and attendees ask us, "Do you know the dates for next year yet?" And every year, we have those dates ready, because we love your enthusiasm for this convention and the special place it holds in so many of your—and our!—hearts.
This year, to repeat the phrase we used so much in putting Readercon 31 together, things are a little different: There will be no Readercon in 2022. But don't panic! We're not going anywhere! We just need some time to recharge and get our house in order.
The last two years have been a doozy for everyone. We all need some rest. And Readercon as an organization needs an opportunity to revamp back-end processes, update and streamline old systems, and recruit new volunteers to fill key positions. Just as you can't fix your car's brakes while you're driving, we can't make all those changes at the same time as putting on a convention. So after much behind-the-scenes discussion, we're officially taking 2022 as a Renovation Year!
Readercon has been around since 1987; this isn't the first time we've had to take the con in for a tune-up, and we doubt it'll be the last. Every long-running convention needs occasional opportunities to renew and revamp so it's in good shape to continue into the future. (We'd love another 30+ years, should we be so lucky.)
We'll miss seeing you all in person next year, but we're excited about this opportunity to make future Readercons even better for our staff and for all of you.
The Renovation Year will also allow us to look at ways to build on what we've learned from creating an online convention. One of the few highlights of this global pandemic and the pivot to more online interactions has been the opportunity to welcome people who might otherwise have struggled to attend events like ours, whether due to accessibility barriers, financial barriers, or simple geography. Of this year's 166 program participants, 27 had never been on our program before! While we look forward to "going back to normal" in many respects, we don't want to lose that increased inclusion, and so we'd like the Readercon of the (very near) future to be a hybrid physical and virtual event. That requires new infrastructure and a lot of planning.
We hope we have your support in this endeavor, and we welcome your suggestions. You know Readercon as well as we do, and we'd love your thoughts on how the convention can grow and improve. Please drop your brilliant ideas in our anonymous suggestion box. And if you have an hour or two to spare, volunteer to join the renovation crew. Our renovation efforts will be headed by Interim Convention Chair Rose Fox (they/them), who invites your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Riding on the exhilaration and energy coming out of Readercon 31, we are getting to work on the renovations and look forward to creating new memories with you in 2023.
—The Readercon Board
Readercon 32 will take place July 13–16, 2023 at the Marriott Boston Quincy hotel in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Watch our website for interim events and updates, including the announcement of our Readercon 32 Guests of Honor!