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.

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 2022. We welcome questions when something is unclear or uncertain, and you should feel free to contact us via email. We aim to reply to all correspondences within one week.

How do I become a participant?

First complete the program participant interest form. Within a few weeks we will send you the program participant survey. The deadline for you to complete a program participant interest form is April 15, 2022 and you will be notified of your participation status by the beginning of June 2022.

Worldcon typically has more people wanting to be program participants than we have space for on the program and we believe that Chicon 8 will be the same. We have developed a process for choosing who is and isn’t selected as a participant and program staff will participate in this process. Program leadership doesn’t and can’t know everyone, and one of the benefits of having a large team, in addition to the distribution of work, is utilizing the varied knowledge brought by members of the team.

What is the overall program participant process for Chicon 8?

Chicon 8 will be using an opt-in program development model.

  • First complete the program participant interest form by April 15, 2022.
  • Within a few weeks we will send you the program participant survey. This tells us who you are, and gives us an overview of what you hope to contribute to the program. 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.
  • Potential participants will be put through a vetting process to make sure that they are aligned with the values and principles set out in the convention code of conduct and anti-racism statement.
  • 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.
How can I submit my 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 will be considered during our program creation period.

If you are hoping to be a participant, you can enter your ideas on your program participant survey, which you will receive within a few weeks after filling in your program participant interest form.

Alternatively, you can fill in the ideas submission form. 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.

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 program participant survey, which you will receive within a few weeks after filling in your program participant interest form.

We are 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 our program accessibility email and we will do our best to assist you.

Our program participant survey contains a section where you can detail any access needs.

Chicon 8’s Accessibility Services area also has a guide that will help you plan your experience at Chicon 8.

What is programming?

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. You can learn about some of our planned areas.

Will you have a virtual programming?

Chicon 8 is planning on being a primarily in-person convention but it will have virtual components. If you are interested in being a program participant on Virtual items please follow our standard program participant process by filling in our program participant interest form and within a few weeks we will send you the program participant survey.

Will you have children’s programming?

Yes! The details can be found on the dedicated children’s program page.

Will you have an academic programming?

Yes! The details can be found on the dedicated academic program page.

What if I have a program question that isn’t answered on this page?

Please email us and we will answer any questions you might have.