Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Encouraging Promising Conrunners

I do take transit when it's convenient, and tonight it was, as I had to meet David Clark and Tom Whitmore at The Other Change of Hobbit bookstore in Berkeley this evening, so after work, I headed over to Union City and caught a BART train up to Berkeley, arriving just as they were closing the store, and we headed around the corner for a meeting over dinner. The three of us are the SFSFC SMOFCon Scholarship Committee. SFSFC will be awarding two $300 scholarships to help pay some of the costs to attend SMOFCon 23 in Portland, Oregon. (Just in case anyone reading this doesn't know, SMOFCon is an annual convention about running science fiction conventions. It moves around and is hosted by a different group each year.) Our committee's job was to evaluate the applications we received and to prepare our recommendations for a special meeting of the SFSFC Board of Directors scheduled for this weekend.

As was the case last year, the only real challenge for our committee was finding the time for the three of us to get together and discuss this without distractions. Once we'd done that, working through the applications and coming up with our recommendations was relatively easy. I of course can't say who we're recommending yet because (a) the SFSFC board has to ratify the selection and (b) the people we select have to accept. (Between the time we offered the scholarships and now, their plans may have changed, and they may not be able to accept.) Once both these things have happened, SFSFC will issue a press release announcing the award.

Last year, SFSFC paid part of the cost for Tomoko Shintani Stocksiek and Deirdre Saoirse Moen (Wolfgang Coe was originally selected, but had to later withdraw, and he's no longer eligible because SFSFC elected him to the board of directors) to attend SMOFCon 22 in Washington DC.

As with last year's award, these scholarships are not intended to be all-expenses-paid holidays to the destination cities, but are instead aimed at people who would attend a SMOFCon if it were held in the Bay Area, but can't afford the trip to wherever the convention is being held. Think of it as a "level playing field" grant for promising conrunners. (For instance, if SMOFCon were in the Bay Area, we wouldn't offer the scholarships at all, as presumably travel to the convention would not be a barrier.)

The nice thing about this is that we generally get a number of good applications. I was really happy to see so many people from FanimeCon (site down as I compose this message) applying. The bad thing is that we have to only pick two people out of it. Last year, I encouraged all of those who didn't get an award to re-apply, but none of them did so. Looking at the batch we have this year, I will make a similar statement to the people who applied this year.
Tags: sfsfc, smofcon

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