Readercon 31 Volunteers

Readercon is entirely volunteer-run. Our concom, subcommittees, staff, and volunteers work all year round to make Readercon happen. If you've got a few free hours, we'd love your help! Volunteering is fun, offers the opportunity to meet new people, and earns cumulative incentives including a free membership to the next Readercon when you work 8 or more hours.

In keeping with a virtual convention, our volunteer registration process is also virtual this year. To keep track of everyone and assign volunteers according to their strengths, we ask that you register as a volunteer by filling out this form or by emailing  volunteers@readercon.org. Here's an overview of the core volunteer jobs:

 

Before Readercon At Readercon

Program

Readercon's program committee (progcom) is essential to Readercon, shaping every aspect of the high-level program that makes Readercon such a special and celebrated convention. Tasks include:

  • Considering applications from prospective program participants. (December)
  • Considering suggestions for panels. (January)
  • Considering proposals for talks, workshops, and other special-interest program items. (February)
  • Turning panel ideas into full-fledged panel descriptions that meet Readercon's high standards. (March)
  • Suggesting future guests of honor. (April)
  • Contributing to constructing and refining the program. (May/June)

The progcom has members all over the world, and all work is done online using Airtable (data management), Discord (chat), and email. We encourage and welcome people of all backgrounds to join the progcom, as a multitude of voices makes Readercon's program better. If you're interested in joining or learning more, email program@readercon.org.

Safety

Readercon's safety committee (safecom) is dedicated to making sure that everyone at Readercon is safe and feels safe. During the convention, safecom members take shifts on our 24/7 safety hotline, responding to incidents as needed. After the convention, safecom members form working groups to ensure that each report is handled appropriately and with care. (Our safety procedures detail exactly how this works.) The safecom also annually reviews Readercon's safety policies and procedures and makes recommendations for updates.

Safecom members do not need to be local to the Boston area; all post-convention work is done online. All safecom members receive training. You do not need to have a formal background in first response or harm prevention to volunteer with Readercon's safety team (though if you do have that background, we'd love to know about it!). If you're interested in joining or learning more, email safety@readercon.org.

Publications

Readercon's Publications committee is seeking volunteers for a variety of roles that are done from the convenience of your computer before the convention doors open. You can volunteer your time for one or more of these roles:

Publications Manager (November though July)
Manage the publications volunteer team. This includes ensuring that all roles are covered, all content gets where it needs to go, the schedule is met, and the Pocket Guide and Souvenir Book are printed on time for the convention. With Program Chair and Designer/Production Controller, create publications schedule. Work with relevant publications team members and concom area heads to ensure final books are picked up and paid for.

Content Manager (November through May)
Make sure that all of the content for our books is acquired, ready, and up-to-date:

  • Reach out to authors and artists to request appreciation pieces about the Guests of Honor. Follow up to make sure their contributions are received on schedule.
  • Ensure Guest of Honor bibliographies and panelist bio-bibliographies are received.
  • Work with other volunteers to ensure content is copyedited on schedule.
  • With Design, coordinate cover art, and any swag art, if needed.
  • Report regularly to publications manager and concom about the status of content, and need for assistance reaching out or generating ideas.
  • Ensure that con policies and standard content are reviewed and updated by appropriate concom members for the printed books.

This role can be separated into multiple coordinating and contacting roles, if needed.

Designer and Production Controller (primarily March through July)
Help make sure our books get designed and printed!

  • Communicate with printer on cost estimates and scheduling, and get approval from concom for cost, printer choice, and quantities.
  • Coordinate with Publications Manager about overall publications schedule based on printing and design needs.
  • Coordinate with Content Manager about receiving content.
  • Flow copy, art, and ads into layout for Souvenir Book and Pocket Program Guide, adjusting pagination and design as needed.
  • Provide press-ready PDFs to printer specification.

Does not require a pre-existing InDesign subscription, but familiarity of the software, as well as PDF creation, is required. This role can be separated into multiple design and production roles, if needed.

Ad Manager (November through June)
Reach out to publishers, conventions, and other events in the greater Boston area, as well as local businesses and restaurants to solicit ads in Readercon publications. Ensure ads are received by publication deadlines, and work with layout team to make sure that files meet minimum requirements. Ensure that Readercon ads are arranged and sent to other venues.

Copywriters (February through April)
Adapt, create, and update copy for other content, such as the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award section, other awards, and parts of the publications as needed.

Copyeditors (April and May)
Join a team of volunteers to help copyedit Souvenir Book content, including panelist bio-bibliographies. Must be available in April and May and able to meet short deadlines. Existing familiarity with Chicago Manual of Style is a plus. Includes light fact-checking.

Proofreaders (May and June)
Proofread Souvenir Book and Pocket Program Guide for critical errors (page numbering, type-setting, missing elements, etc). Must be available in May and June and able to meet very short deadlines.

Please contact publications@readercon.org about any positions you are interested in. Tell us about your experience, abilities, and enthusiasms.

Zoom Facilitators

The main tracks of programming will panels—panelists will gather in a Zoom meeting hosted by a staff member, and that Zoom meeting will be streamed to YouTube for attendees to watch in Discord. Your role will be to start the Zoom meeting, invite the participants and do microphone/camera checks before the panel begins, address any technical issues that come up during the panel, forward questions from viewers in Discord to the panelists, and close the meeting down at the end of the panel. You will not be participating in the panel discussion itself. We do ask that you have a recent computer system and a stable video-capable network connection for this. Training will be provided.

Discord Facilitators

We need people who are willing to monitor viewing channels and hangout channels. You will be gathering questions from attendees to pass on to the Zoom Facilitator, and foster discussion about the content. For the talks you would post YouTube links to the talks and readings in the correct channel and, again, foster discussion about the content. And finally be able to answer questions, provide timely information, and otherwise make the convention a wonderful place for others. Familiarity with Discord is requested. Training will be provided.

Blood Drive Support

Readercon has hosted a Heinlein Society Blood Drive since 2009. At-con assistance is needed with recruiting donors and in making the donor experience enjoyable. Whether or not you are able to donate blood, you can have fun helping to make the blood drive a success!