By Marcin “Alqua” Klak: The European Fan Fund (EFF) transports European SF fans to Eurocons.
The purpose of the fan fund is to create and strengthen bonds between European fans and fandoms. Currently in almost every country there is a fandom that quite often has little or no connection to the broader European fandom. Most fans do concentrate on the “here and now” and are not looking for friends in other countries.
Nominations in the race to send a fan to Konflikt (Eurocon 2023 in Uppsala, Sweden, 8 – 11 June 2023; https://eurocon2023.se) are open to any European fan living outside Sweden who was active in fandom prior to January 2021.
If you wish to stand, please contact us at [email protected] You will need three European nominators (who will each need to confirm their nominations), a platform of no more than 200 words to appear on the ballot, a bond of €12/£10 and a guarantee to attend the 2023 Eurocon in Sweden if you win.
Among your nominators there must be at least one fan from your country and one fan from another European country.
If you wish to stand and are unsure about how to go about getting any of these things, what the fund pays for or the duties of an EFF delegate and administrator, then feel free to contact us in confidence.
Nominations are open from 1 December 2022 until 25 January 2023 (British/Irish Time: UTC) and candidates will be announced soon after. Voting will then run until 23:59 on 10 April 2023 (British/Irish Time: UTC+1), with the winner announced online as soon as possible after voting has closed.
Nominations should be sent via email to the current administrator, Marcin Kłak, at [email protected] The bond can be sent by PayPal to [email protected], or contact Marcin for bank transfer details. He will also take cash in person.
The idea of the EFF and the rules are available here.
There is a set of Frequently Asked Questions about EFF following the jump.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can stand for EFF?
EFF is open to any fan active in European fandom prior to January 2021. “Active” is considered to mean participating in common fannish activities such as attending conventions, producing fanzines or writing blog posts, or participating in local science fiction groups. As per the fund rules, candidate should come from a country different than the Eurocon hosting country. It means this year it is open for fans from countries other than Sweden.
Who can nominate an EFF candidate?
Similarly to candidates, nominators must be active in fandom since at least the start of 2021. Please note that the choice of nominators may impact how the voting will go, as people who don’t know enough about a particular candidate may be voting partially based on the nominators.
Fans willing to nominate may of course approach potential candidates and propose the nomination to them.
How can I find nominators in another country?
You might already have friends in fandom in a different country but if that is not the case there are a few options. You may know or find someone through your activities in social media. You may also find someone through your blog, fanzine or a mailing list you participate in. EFF administrators can help with putting you in touch with people, but you still have to convince them you are a good nominee.
The more you know your nominators the more likely they are to actively encourage other fans to vote for you.
Who can vote in EFF?
Anyone active in fandom before the start of 2022. If a voter thinks they might not be known to the administrators, they can include brief information that would help verify their fannish activities (e.g. name of a fannish friend they have in common, link to their blog, information about their fanzine, photo of convention badges etc.).
A 200-word platform for each candidate is printed on the ballot forms, along with the names of their nominators. The content of the platform is up to the candidate, but broadly speaking it should explain who the candidate is and what is their involvement in fandom.
Platforms should be strictly 200 words or under, which does not need to include your name. Of course candidates are encouraged to write more about themselves on their blog, social media, fanzine etc.
Why must a “bond” be paid?
It might seem counter-intuitive that candidates must pay a fee to become a candidate when the fund is for sending them to convention, but this small financial commitment is intended to act as a guarantee that, in all reasonable circumstances, they will make the trip if they win.
Should I openly ask people to vote for me?
Yes! Both you and your nominators are encouraged to campaign. EFF welcomes many forms of campaigning, including in person at conventions and other events, or online, in fanzines, and in other media.
If I can afford to go anyway, should I stand for EFF?
The purpose of the EFF is to create and strengthen bonds between European fans and fandoms. It is not about money but about the willingness to connect fandoms in different countries. You can stand for EFF whether you would be able to afford the trip or not.
Where does the money come from?
There are a few main sources of money:
Everyone who votes in the race pays a voting fee.
The hosting Eurocon may support the trip in a given year
After their trip, each winner is expected to find ways to raise funds, including producing a trip report for sale.
The delegate is generally expected to leave the fund in a similar or better state to that in which they found it. Yet there will be fans willing to help you in that!
What happens on an EFF trip?
EFF aims to send fans to Eurocon in order to allow them to meet other fans. The whole idea is about building bridges between fandoms in different countries. Eurocon is a great opportunity to get to know people, tell them about your local fandom and learn about fandom in other places. As you will be an ambassador of your local fandom this can involve helping out as much as possible at the convention, which can include taking part in the programme, possibly presenting an award, helping with fundraising for future EFF trips, and generally being as visible and friendly as you can.
How long is the trip?
EFF is a young fund and cannot offer trips as long as are known from TAFF, GUFF, and some other fan funds. The trip should last for the length of the Eurocon, but if there are opportunities to stay with nearby fans for longer this is encouraged.
What is expected of the winner after the trip?
Once the trip finishes the winner becomes the co-administrator of the EFF. It means the winner is responsible for managing two next races. It is also their duty to raise and manage the EFF money for future trips.
Although it may sound difficult, there are other fans willing to help with both fund administration and money-raising.
The two years after the trip is also a time when the winner is expected to either produce a trip report or make a fanzine together with fans met at the Eurocon.
Person X is standing. There’s no way I could beat them. What should I do?
One of the important fundraising methods for EFF is the money people pay to vote. A strong field of candidates will encourage fans to vote. Encouraging voters may help you to become a winner. It is historically known that some fans won in races against more well-known fans. There is always a possibility to convince voters to support you: just show them why you would make a good candidate.
But isn’t it just a popularity contest?
Popularity and well-established fannish connections certainly help, but it might not guarantee winning. Active campaigning and great ideas for building bridges across fandoms in different countries may be a deciding factor in any race.
Can more than two people run?
The more candidates run, the more interesting the race is and the more votes it is likely to get (which is very important!).
Fan funds are about fannish collaboration, and competition between candidates is and should be friendly.
Can my partner and I run on a joint ticket?
Although in the past many fan funds have been won by couples (or friends) running on joint tickets, EFF cannot provide such an option this year. This depends on the fund’s financial status, and as this is the first race we need to be cautious about that. Yet we hope to be able to offer such an option in the future.