Reno Experiments with YA Membership Rate

Worldcon runners are always thinking of ways to make the event attractive to the upcoming generation of science fiction fans. A lot of creative publicity telling them about guests and programming gets released as the con approaches. However, even if something catches their attention, it’s difficult to overcome their resistance to high membership prices. This is especially true of young adults who are students or hold entry-level jobs and have limited resources.

Just as the Worldcon is about to happen, and newcomers are likely to hear about it for the first time, is when the highest membership rate kicks in. Student rates or discounts have been debated for years, but the challenge has been to create a policy that will benefit a significant number of fans without antagonizing those who still have to buy regular memberships at the graduated rates (and thereby provide a big chunk of money needed to run the convention.)    

Next year’s Worldcon, Renovation, will be the first to experiment with Young Adult (YA) memberships. Available to anyone aged 17 to 21 as of August 17, 2011 (the first day of the convention), these memberships will have the same voting privileges and right to receive publications as full attending memberships. YA memberships will cost $100 through April 30, 2010 (when Reno has scheduled its next general rate hike.)

The Reno committee has wisely anticipated some of the issues that come with creating a new class of membership. The website announces that individuals who have already purchased Full Attending memberships, but are eligible for the reduced YA rate, can obtain a refund of their overpayment by contacting Renovation. And they are restricting transfers of YA memberships to people who also meet the YA age criteria.

The full press release appears after the jump.


Renovation Announces Reduced Membership Rates for Young Adults

The 69th World Science Fiction Convention
PO Box 13278
Portland, OR 97213-0278

[email protected]


Monday, February 1, 2010

Reno – Renovation, the 2011 World Science Fiction Convention, announced today that it would be the first Worldcon to introduce a reduced membership rate for young adults, enabling many more young people to participate in this unique event.

Worldcons have traditionally offered discounted membership rates for children, and Renovation is no exception, with a membership price of just $75 for children under 17. This has however left many teenagers, students and other younger fans having to pay the full adult rate – until now.

Renovation’s new Young Adult (YA) membership will be available to anyone aged 17 to 21 as of August 17, 2011 (the first day of the convention). The YA membership will include all of the benefits of adult membership, including all convention publications and the right to vote in the prestigious Hugo Awards, and will initially cost just $100 for the five days of the convention – saving 30% or more on the adult rate.

Existing members in the YA age range will be issued refunds where they have already paid for a full adult attending membership. Contact [email protected] to do this. Full details of the YA membership are available from Renovation’s web site.

Renovation Chair, Patty Wells, said “I strongly believe that we need to do more to attract young people, especially when so many of them are discovering the genre through writers such as J. K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer. Our YA rate will allow these new fans to be part of the Worldcon experience: meeting and listening to writers; exploring our art show, dealers’ room and exhibits; and attending the Hugo Award Ceremony, Masquerade and other special events.”


Memberships for Renovation may be purchased at

For more details on the convention, visit We encourage your input to help us create a memorable Worldcon.

Direct press questions, or requests to be removed from the Renovation press release mailing list, to [email protected]. General queries to [email protected].

“World Science Fiction Society”, “WSFS”, “World Science Fiction Convention”, “Worldcon”, “NASFiC”, “Hugo Award”, and the distinctive design of the Hugo Award Rocket are service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society.

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4 thoughts on “Reno Experiments with YA Membership Rate

  1. I think this is a good idea, but I do find it disquieting to contemplate that, if this policy had been in effect at the one Worldcon where I was a department head, I would have been eligible to buy a “YA membership,” and I wouldn’t have been the only concom member in that position, either.

  2. The obvious solution is to give any potential member under a certain age the option of paying in kind rather than cash. You know, donating blood, carrying authors around in sedan chairs, dressing up as stormtroopers and dancing like monkeys on crack for the amusement of the other attendees…

  3. As a passing obversation, I note that Sam Moskowitz, chair of the first Worldcon, Nycon I, in July of 1939, was born June 30, 1920, making him just barely 19 at Nycon I.

    Judy May was just barely 21 when she chaired the 1952 TASFiC, which was twice as large as any Worldcon before it.

    I was 18 at Worldcon 1977 when I ran a whole bunch of stuff at the Worldcon that year, and 19 in 1978 when I did more.

    And, of course, we could name many many more people who did major work on Worldcons prior to being 22.

    More useful than dancing like monkeys, they were, mostly.

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