We Are ALL SF Refund News

The inaugural We Are ALL SF con didn’t get off the ground in 2016. The con website, Facebook and Twitter accounts have all been shuttered, at least for now. As Quincy J. Allen said on Facebook, “The convention isn’t dead, it’s just delayed for a year while we reevaluate how best to make this crazy idea become a reality.”

Karen Junker has this to say about refunds:

Can you let folks know that I have processed all the refunds I know of from our Paypal account? The WordPress account that had the Reg and donations info on it was where we had all the info and when one of the former officers (who had been given Admin access at one point, but it was my personal account) went in and changed the passwords so that no one from the actual organization has access any longer. So, we may have missed someone. The money should go out from Paypal in the next week or so..and they should have gotten an email to the email address we had..Anyone who registered through Grenadine or donated through Indiegogo will also get a refund through Paypal…so check emails for that too.

My email for the org is WeAreALLSF@gmail.com if anyone needs to follow up in case I missed anyone.

I will also be emailing everyone I have on the list I did have but I just want to cover all the bases.

An unrelated effort to revive an event in Ocean Shores for the same weekend has popped up – “The Great Geek Invasion of the Pacific Northwest” – spearheaded by Cate R. Siguenza.

The ultimate relaxacon for the Sci-Fi Fandom who were planning to attend WAASF con and who still want to follow through with their hotel reservations and have a good time. There won’t be any convention center involved, just a crowd of like-minded Sci-Fi geeks who want to meet up and have a great time in in Ocean Shores, Washington. If there is enough interest, we may make this a regular thing and invade different locations around the Pacific Northwest on a semi regular basis, about once a year or so.

Siguenza also said, “This event is in no way affiliated with the Convention We Are ALL SF Con, or it’s committee. This is just a group of fans who want to get together and try to raise a phoenix from the fire.”

Lou J. Berger commented:

We here at We Are ALL SF are so humbled and pleased that the fan reaction has been so positive! We are currently regrouping to try and build a better planned and better organized convention for 2017 and the future. While we would love to help organize a simple get-together in Ocean Shores during the now-cancelled convention dates, we feel that our energy will be better spent preparing for 2017. If anyone would like to meet at the hotel to celebrate the camaraderie of science fiction, we absolutely encourage them to do so, however, it would not be an official “We Are All SF” event.

We Are ALL SF Con Cancelled

We Are ALL SF Con has been cancelled, but may be revived next year. The message was posted yesterday by Quincy J. Allen on Facebook and also appears on the con website —

Dear Sponsors, Convention Guests and Interested Parties,

There’s no easy way to say this. We are sorry to inform everyone that the We Are ALL SF convention, scheduled for November 2016, at Ocean Shores WA, will be cancelled.

We aren’t going to go into the details, as that is not important at this time. Instead we want to thank everyone who has supported us as we moved from a crazy idea to something larger than we ever dreamed. We also want to say how sorry we are that things didn’t go as planned.

We felt it best to stop now and begin the process of refunding all sponsorship and registration fees for the 2016 convention and regroup.

The convention isn’t dead, it’s just delayed for a year while we reevaluate how best to make this crazy idea become a reality. Refunds will begin to go out as soon as possible. We are truly sorry, and we hope you will give us another chance to prove what a great convention we can be next year.

Thank you.

We Are ALL SF con began with a long list of announced guests of honor. In January, despite a failed Indiegogo funding appeal, the organizers said they were going forward. But in February, Lou J. Berger announced that the con had withdrawn some benefits offered to some guests of honor. This cost-cutting, and public complaints by a few of the guests, resulted in an even wider discussion of the odds on the con ever happening.

More Names of Guests Dropped by We Are ALL SF Con

Cat Rambo writes: “People I know of whose invitations were withdrawn from WeAreAllSF are myself, Caren Gussoff, Kris Rusch, and Dean Wesley Smith. I understand the con is new and that they bit off a lot, and I’ve got no hard feelings. Caren and I are planning on going to Vegas that weekend.

“My impression is that a large percentage of guests got cut.”

We Are ALL SF Con Trims Costs

File 770’s post in January about We Are ALL SF con began with a long list of the announced guests and reported the organizers were going forward despite the lack of response to their Indiegogo funding appeal.

Yesterday, however, Lou J. Berger announced that the con has withdrawn some benefits offered to some guests of honor:

Some emails went out today to a select subset of our Guests of Honor, informing them that we had, in our exuberance, overstepped our ability to host as many GoHs as we had hoped.

Location constraints, including room capacities, make our attendee list limited, and the income that this group can provide therefore has a ceiling. As we mentioned in an earlier post, we have had to cap our attendance at 1,200 members. This is for economic reasons, not because we don’t like the GoHs that received the email.

Folks, we asked everybody we love to be Guests of Honor, and with only a couple exceptions, everybody said “yes!”

It breaks MY heart to have to ask some of our Guests to help contribute toward their own attendance, but we are not in a position (unless we double our membership rates) to afford everybody who agreed. I know that this email ruffled feathers. I know that MY name is on the front of this convention, and I accept sole responsibility for this situation.

Ocean Shores, Washington is a small community. They are SO excited to have us coming in November. They have bent over backwards to be accommodating, and we are grateful to them for their support.

My cell phone number is 303.601.4284. If you received one of these emails, please know that you are STILL a valued Guest of Honor, but that we don’t see a way to completely fund your entire experience.

Please, please call me and yell at me.

This is not a slight against you, and any indication that it might have been was unintentional.

File 770 became aware of the story because Steve Fahnestalk wrote on Facebook how unhappy he is with the situation:

Lynne Fahnestalk and I had been invited to be guests at the We Are All SF convention in November, and they promised us transportation, room and board. I just got an email from a board member of the con saying they were withdrawing the transpo, room and board, but we could get a free membership, and could buy a banquet ticket and possibly get a hotel discount. I didn’t tell her where she could put it, but told her it was extremely unprofessional. We don’t plan to attend.

Curious how many other guests might have dropped out, I compared the names in the January post against those still shown on the We Are ALL SF honored guest page. So far the only name missing is Donna Barr. (Fahnestalk wasn’t on the list there when I wrote in January.) On the other hand, Greg Bear, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Ken Burnside, Satyros Phil Brucato, and the band Telesterion have been added in the last month.

Not all the news is bad. They have sold out the banquet.

We Are ALL SF Con Is Moving Forward

We Are ALL Science Fiction ribbonThe guest list for the first We Are ALL SF convention, November 4-6, currently includes: Jennifer Brozek, Drew Hobson, David Gerrold, Keaton Weimer, Mike Resnick, Chaz Kemp, Beth Meacham, Jody Lynn Nye, Jeffrey Veregge, Nancy Kress, William F. Nolan, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, James Gunn, Raven Oak, Scott Hungerford, Angela Korra’ti, Dara Korra’ti, Sunni Brock, Sebby Aguilar, Jamie Mason, Greg Smith, Donna Barr, Carolyn Kay, Elizabeth Guizettui, Pam Binder, Dr. Vicka Rael Corey, Duane Wilkerson, Jason V. Brock, and Alaina Capoeman.

Karen Junker wants fans to know that work continues on We Are ALL SF Con 2016 although it did not hit the target with its first crowdsourced funding campaign.

Thanks for the mention on File 770 about the Indiegogo campaign for We Are ALL SF Con 2016.

Just an update…we raised 490 of the 9000 we had as our goal.  Indiegogo does fund even if you do not reach your goal, so we will go ahead and do other campaigns soon, as well.

Someone at a party the other day said “Oh, too bad about your con!” and when I asked what they were talking about they explained that they thought that if our campaign did not fund we were cancelling. But we are not.

We are looking for support from fans and the SFF community to help defray expenses. Some of the costs will be covered by Memberships, donations, and sponsors. But the con will not be cancelled. We’ve got our venue already, and I am paying for that as a donation. We have a budget which is graduated to add stuff to the event when we reach certain amounts in our coffers. But even if we don’t, we will be able to cover the costs by personal donations if we need to. We are just hoping that the news will spread and we will get even more support and people will come to the coast and have a great time making history at our con!

So, to dispel any rumors, we’re good. Some of our Guests of Honor and other presenters are paying their own way just so they can be there for our first. They volunteered for this, we did not ask them. It’s going to be one fantastic party, if nothing else — and kids/teens/families will be especially welcome.

The convention website is up and online registration is live.

The con plans to launch the Torus Awards, a juried award whose longlist will be nominated by convention members. The Torus Award categories will be:

  • Art
  • Costume
  • Games
  • Media (TV, Movies, Podcasts)
  • Music
  • Writing

The winners in each category will be selected by an “Academy of Judges” made up of a Guest of Honor in the field and six convention members chosen at random from those who have volunteered to serve as judges in that category.