Since our initial announcement on March 15, the United States has become an epicenter for COVID-19. The Governor of Massachusetts has prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people through at least May 4, as of this announcement. Experts predict that continued social distancing efforts may be required until such time as there is an effective vaccine, a milestone we are not expected to reach in time for this summer.
Because the safety of all our members—and their families—is our top concern, we have decided to postpone Readercon 31 for a year. It will now be held July 8 to 11, 2021 at the Marriott Boston Quincy, and Jeffrey Ford and Ursula Vernon have graciously agreed to remain our Guests of Honor, with Vonda N. McIntyre as our Memorial Guest of Honor.
We recognize that this deferral leaves a hole in all our hearts and schedules. Though we considered postponing Readercon until later this year, it became clear that between the significant challenges of the pandemic and the demands of a tightened schedule, we simply would not be able to meet the high standards you have come to expect from us; both the 2020 and 2021 conventions would suffer for it.
As per our previous announcement, if you have already purchased a membership for Readercon 31 it is still active. If you plan to attend in 2021, you don't need to do anything. Everyone who has a membership now has a membership for Readercon 31 in 2021. Though we are no longer accepting new registrations at this time, we hope to reopen registration in August.
If you have already purchased a membership but will not be able to attend the rescheduled convention in 2021, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org by December 31, 2020 so we may issue you a full refund. (However, like all fan-run conventions, Readercon is facing a financial loss due to this postponement. If you are able to do so, we request that you consider allowing us to roll your membership over to next year.)
If you are a volunteer who earned a membership to Readercon 31 but will not be able to attend in 2021, please contact us so we can transfer your membership to Readercon 32.
If you have already made a hotel reservation, we recommend that you cancel it at this time. Marriott is providing cancellations and a full refund for reservations of every type until June 30, 2020. (Update, 04/20: It's been confirmed to us that cancellations must be made through the general Marriott Reservations Line at 1-888-236-2427 rather than online or through the Marriott Boston Quincy specifically.)
We would like to extend our thanks to the Marriott Boston Quincy for allowing us to cancel our 2020 event without a penalty. We will post a link when the hotel is ready to take reservations for 2021.
Our program committee is hard at work brainstorming ways in which members of our community might still come together and connect during this strange and difficult time. We've created a Discord group chat server to provide a home for the vibrant conversations that are such an important part of Readercon. Please go to discord.gg/sUHr5hw to join. (If you don't have a free Discord account, you'll be prompted to make one.) This virtual space doesn't (and couldn't!) replace the convention but will continue to exist alongside it, giving us a way to be together from anywhere year-round. Everyone who feels passionate about speculative literature is welcome, regardless of past or planned Readercon participation.
We appreciate your patience and understanding during these unprecedented events. Our hearts go out to all those affected by the virus and the disruptions it has caused.
Please take care of yourselves and each other,
The Readercon Board and Readercon Convention Committee
Steps to Prevent Illness (CDC)
Hygiene Etiquette & Practice: Coughing & Sneezing (CDC)
Stop Germs! Wash Your Hands (CDC)
Governor's Announcement Limiting Gatherings (Mass.gov)
Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 (Mass.gov)
COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment (Mass.gov)
COVID-19 Updates and Information (Mass.gov)
COVID-19 Information (City of Quincy)
Marriott's Updated Statement on COVID-19 (Marriott International)