Program

Goals

Chicon 8 is committed to creating an interesting and inclusive program.  We will prioritize the participation of underrepresented voices from within the wider speculative fiction community, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We are excited about incorporating Chicago-area participants.  Our process will embrace input from the tapestry of communities that overlap with and are adjacent to Worldcon.  We look forward to hearing everyone’s ideas on what they want to see and do at a Chicago Worldcon.

A focal point of Worldcon is the Hugo Awards, and the program will feature recent and current Hugo finalists and winners.  The program will also highlight our Guests of Honor, exploring their careers and contributions to speculative fiction, fandom, and the wider community.

We are also committed to the inclusion of participants with disabilities and can provide accommodation for a range of access needs.  If you encounter difficulty with forms or other parts of our process, please reach out to us over email at program@chicon.org and we will do our best to assist you.

Clear and frequent communication with our participants and participant applicants is important.  Information about the program development process, including approximate timelines, will be publicly available in 2021.  We welcome questions when something is unclear or uncertain, and you should feel free to contact us via email at program@chicon.org . We aim to reply to all correspondences within one week.

Becoming a participant and the overall participant process

Chicon 8 will be using an opt-in program development model. The first step in the process is for you to volunteer to be on program – if you want to be notified when that information becomes available, please fill out the form below! 

Once the process is underway, the process will proceed as follows:

  • Fill out a prospective participant survey designed to tell us who you are, and an overview of what you hope to contribute to the program. This survey will be available sometime in the second quarter of 2021.  (So don’t worry if you don’t hear back before then!)  Among other things, this survey will include the opportunity to (optionally):
    • Suggest panel topics that you would like to see run at the convention.
    • Propose workshops and presentations that you would like to conduct as solo or duo presenters.
  • Once the program team has completed the initial program development phase, you will be asked to select specific program items that you would like to be on.  You will be asked to provide  information as to why you are a great choice for the topics that you choose.
  • Later on, we will ask prospective participants to inform program staff of their availability.  This will be your chance to tell us all about your scheduling constraints for the convention, like maximum number of items per day.
  • Once we are within a few months of the convention, we will send participants a draft schedule for review.  This is your opportunity to provide feedback on your schedule.  We will have prepared it for you using the information you provided in earlier steps, but it still may need improving!
  • The last step – fairly close to the convention – will be to confirm a “final” schedule after we’ve adjusted for the provided feedback from the draft schedules, before we release the convention schedule publicly. 
  • After the convention, we will ask you to provide feedback about your experience as a participant and will send it to future Worldcons.

We also plan to communicate status updates outside of these milestones, so don’t be surprised if you hear from us on other occasions.

Program participant interest form

Submitting your ideas

We welcome your program ideas for the Chicon 8: The 80th World Science Fiction Convention, as many of our best ideas will come from people just like you! All ideas submitted through this form will be considered during our program creation period.

Worldcon program typically has 650-800 program items that comprise a varied selection of panels, lectures, discussion groups, Kaffeeklatsches and literary beers, readings, demos, workshops, autographings, special events, live entertainment, family activities, and more. Topics include everything from science fiction, fantasy, and horror to comics, writing, reading, music, and gaming.

The Ideas Submission Form is not an application or a request to be on program. It is a collection point for program ideas from people who are interested in sharing their thoughts with Chicon 8. If you are interested in being considered as a program participant and receive a program survey, you must separately fill in our program participant interest form.  If you do not fill in the interest form, you will not receive an invitation to fill in the prospective participant survey.

While we strive to include as many ideas and participants as possible, we cannot guarantee that everyone who submits a program idea will have that item appear on our schedule. Nor can we guarantee that you or the people you suggest will be on a program item that you have suggested. In some cases, we may be able to accept suggestions as written, in some cases we may need to edit the suggestion, in other cases we may choose to go with a similar suggestion instead, or we may combine similar suggestions into a single item. If the idea you have is something that you only wish to suggest if you will be on that program item, such as a solo talk or a workshop, it would be best to instead enter that in the appropriate section of the prospective participant survey that everyone who has filled in our participant interest form will receive sometime in the second quarter of 2021.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Thank you for your help and inspiration

Idea submission form