Washington DC Announces 2021 Worldcon Bid

The Baltimore-Washington Area Worldcon Association, Inc. (“BWAWA”) today declared they are bidding to hold the 79th Worldcon in Washington, D.C. Bill Lawhorn will chair the Bid Committee.

BWAWA ran the 1998 Worldcon in Baltimore. They bid to hold the 2017 con in DC but lost to Helsinki. The group has also run the World Fantasy Convention and Nebula Award Weekends.

The last Worldcon in D.C. was Discon II in 1974.

According to the press release, the DC in 2021 bid has yet to secure a venue or choose its proposed dates.

Site selection voting for 2021 will occur at the 2019 Worldcon.

BWAWA members elected Bill Lawhorn to chair the DC bid. He chaired Capclave in 2009 and 2014, and is co-chair of World Fantasy Convention in 2018. In addition to work on the DC17 bid, he also served as staff at the Chicon 7, held in Chicago, Illinois in 2012, and the 2016 Worldcon, MidAmeriCon II, held in Kansas City, Missouri.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer fandom the opportunity to hold the 79th Worldcon in Washington, D.C.,” said Bill Lawhorn. “It’s been a long time since Worldcon was last here, so we’re gearing up to making this a monumental Worldcon.”

DC’s is the only active 2021 bid. Tim Miller announced at last year’s Worldcon that the Dallas/Forth Worth in 2021 bid had ended because of the death of one of its contributors and the entrance of Boston into the race at that time. And today MCFI announced they will not run a Boston bid for that year.

Update: Corrected info about folded 2021 bids.

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17 thoughts on “Washington DC Announces 2021 Worldcon Bid

  1. Soon Lee … oddly enough that’s how many folks in the Baltimore-DC area also say it.

    Consider the LA area Southern California Institute for Fan Interests which is pronounced skiffy.

  2. I hope they win this time; they certainly have been trying hard and they have the chops for it.

  3. I’d love a DC Worldcon. The one time I was there, it was for a writing competition, and I didn’t get to do any real tourism. Now I have the financial wherewithal to be able to really see the city and the attractions. Mmmm, Smithsonian. 😀

  4. There’s no way you can make it through the Smithsonian and do it justice unless you devote three days for your visit, so plan accordingly.

  5. Having grown up in DC, I’d say that might be an underestimate — it depends on how many of the pieces you want to visit — but 3 solid days could be a bit overwhelming (this from someone who spent a full day in Air&Space shortly after its opening — but I was younger then…), so keep other options in mind (e.g., the spy museum a little north of the Mall). Note that one of the biggest attractions for fans, the Air & Space Museum’s big-things annex (contents include the space shuttle Discovery and Willy Ley’s Hugo), should be accessible by subway (plus a short shuttle bus?) from the main Smithsonian area by 2021.

  6. At least three days to do justice to the Smithsonian, but perhaps best not consecutively. You’d be exhausted and overwhelmed.

  7. The Air & Space, the Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of American History can each take up a full day. That still leaves you with The National Gallery of Art, the American Indian Museum, the Museum of African American History, the Holocaust Museum, the National Archives, and other assorted museums on the Mall. In the immediate vicinity (walking distance) of the Mall are the National Portrait Gallery, the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, the Library of Congress, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. The National Zoo is a short metro ride away, as is the Navy Museum at the Navy Yard.

  8. That list also leaves of the Koshland Science Museum; Building Museum (site of great interactive features such as the Beach); Smithsonian’s Sculpture and Butterfly Garden; Arts and Industries Building, Hirshorn, Freer and Sackler Galleries, and the Castle (plus the East Building of the American Art museum); German-American Heritage Museum of the USA; and the National Museum of the Women in the Arts. And that is just walkable from the Mall/Smithsonian, Archives, Judiciary Square, or Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro stations (some exits are closer to certain museums).

    Go further out and you have the Postal Museum, National Guard Museum, and the DC Fire and EMS Museum (Union Station); Renwick Gallery, Octagon Museum, Daughters of the American Revolution Museum and Event Hall, Art Museum of the Americas (Farragut West); Textile Museum (Foggy Bottom-GWU); National Geographic Museum (Farragut North); the Phillips Collection, National Museum of American Jewish Military History, and Heurich House Museum (Dupont Circle); and the African American Civil War Museum (U Street-Cardozo).

    The DEA Museum is just over the river in Arlington, too. And none of that accounts for the hundreds of statues and historic buildings throughout the city. Or the embassies, or Rock Creek Park–a national park that runs through the city and features walking, jogging and bike paths, as well as picnic areas.

    And, yes, the Silver Line is projected to be completed by 2021 (you can already get to Tysons), which will get you out to the Udvar-Haazy Extension and to Dulles (DCA is already Metroable easily and BWI is a $7 MARC train to Union Station).

    Now, go on, ask me about restaurants, cafes, or other topics.

  9. By the time we get to 2021, and assuming the Republicans haven’t succeeded in their dream of destroying all rail passenger service in the USA (a “savings” that will be lost in a rounding error, but that’s a different subject), I should have enough Amtrak points saved up to pay for taking the train from the west coast to DC. It would be our fourth trans-continental train trip.

    The three previous trips were Montreal, Chicago, and Detroit, all related to Worldcon or NASFiC. The Chicago was was particularly fun as about a dozen Bay Area fans were all on the same train. We had a kind of mini-con-suite in one end of the Sightseer Lounge car and I was able to (very briefly) show them my home in Fernley NV as we passed it shortly after the train left Reno.

  10. @KevinStandlee Zephyr to Chicago and then down to Union Station on the Capitol Limited?

  11. The Silver Line will take you out to the Dulles Airport terminal, From there I think you can already take a shuttle bus to the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy facility elsewhere on airport property. Be warned, however, there is a technical inaccuracy in the 2nd Transformers movie. (I know, it’s a shock.) Behind the museum there is not a desert aircraft graveyard. Discovery is amazing up close though. They recently worked on the original NCC-1701 at Udvar-Hazy, but I didn’t see it there.

    But if they do the con in Baltimore, all of DC will be quite a distance away.

  12. @Bomilcar The con will be in DC. I may not be on the committee, but I can promise you that.

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