July 9–11, 2021
Hosted online! (See our latest announcement for more.)
Readercon is entirely volunteer-run. Our concom, subcommittees, staff, and volunteers work all year round to make Readercon happen. If you've got a few free hours, we'd love your help! Please fill out our new volunteer form.
Readercon's program committee (progcom) is essential to Readercon, shaping every aspect of the high-level program that makes Readercon such a special and celebrated convention. Tasks include:
The progcom has members all over the world, and all work is done online using Airtable (data management), Discord (chat), and email. We encourage and welcome people of all backgrounds to join the progcom, as a multitude of voices makes Readercon's program better. If you're interested in joining or learning more, please fill out our new volunteer form.
Readercon's safety committee (safecom) is dedicated to making sure that everyone at Readercon is safe and feels safe. During the convention, safecom members take shifts on our 24/7 safety hotline, responding to incidents as needed. After the convention, safecom members form working groups to ensure that each report is handled appropriately and with care. (Our safety procedures detail exactly how this works.) The safecom also annually reviews Readercon's safety policies and procedures and makes recommendations for updates.
Safecom members do not need to be local to the Boston area; all post-convention work is done online. All safecom members receive training. You do not need to have a formal background in first response or harm prevention to volunteer with Readercon's safety team (though if you do have that background, we'd love to know about it!). If you're interested in joining or learning more, please fill out our new volunteer form.
Readercon's Publications committee is seeking volunteers for a variety of roles that are done from the convenience of your computer before the convention doors open. You can volunteer your time for one or more of these roles:
Publications Manager (November though July)
Manage the publications volunteer team. This includes ensuring that all roles are covered, all content gets where it needs to go, the schedule is met, and the Pocket Guide and Souvenir Book are printed on time for the convention. With Program Chair and Designer/Production Controller, create publications schedule. Work with relevant publications team members and concom area heads to ensure final books are picked up and paid for.
Content Manager (November through May)
Make sure that all of the content for our books is acquired, ready, and up-to-date:
This role can be separated into multiple coordinating and contacting roles, if needed.
Designer and Production Controller (primarily March through July)
Help make sure our books get designed and printed!
Does not require a pre-existing InDesign subscription, but familiarity of the software, as well as PDF creation, is required. This role can be separated into multiple design and production roles, if needed.
Ad Manager (November through June)
Reach out to publishers, conventions, and other events in the greater Boston area, as well as local businesses and restaurants to solicit ads in Readercon publications. Ensure ads are received by publication deadlines, and work with layout team to make sure that files meet minimum requirements. Ensure that Readercon ads are arranged and sent to other venues.
Copywriters (February through April)
Adapt, create, and update copy for other content, such as the Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award section, other awards, and parts of the publications as needed.
Copyeditors (April and May)
Join a team of volunteers to help copyedit Souvenir Book content, including panelist bio-bibliographies. Must be available in April and May and able to meet short deadlines. Existing familiarity with Chicago Manual of Style is a plus. Includes light fact-checking.
Proofreaders (May and June)
Proofread Souvenir Book and Pocket Program Guide for critical errors (page numbering, type-setting, missing elements, etc). Must be available in May and June and able to meet very short deadlines.
If you're interested in any of the roles described above, please fill out our new volunteer form.
Our at-con volunteers help with Registration and Information, keep an eye on the Programming, staff the Con Suite and Green Room, and perform a multitude of other tasks that are essential to keeping the con running smoothly. Volunteering is fun, offers the opportunity to meet new people, and earns cumulative incentives including a free membership to the next Readercon when you work 8 or more hours.
If you're interested in volunteering for Readercon, please fill out our new volunteer form—or you can just volunteer at the convention, though the most interesting jobs may be taken by then. Here's an overview of the core volunteer jobs:
These are Readercon's hospitality suites. Con Suite serves all attendees while Green Room is for program participants. Restocking of snacks and beverages and cleaning up are the fundamental tasks in both rooms. Working in the Con Suite is a great way to connect with the folks of Readercon while providing much needed help. The Green Room is where the panelists go to recharge and relax, so volunteering involves helping to keep the room a haven from the bustle.
Registration requires a lot of volunteer support to hand out badges and packets to pre-registered attendees, process at-con registrations, manage lines during peak times, restock materials, and sell advance memberships to the next year's con. Plenty of opportunities exist for both experienced and new volunteers.
Track managing is one of the best ways to help out and still see lots of the great literary programming that is our raison d'être. Track managers do the following:
Training is provided.
This job involves checking on the set-up and schedule of the kaffeeklatsch room at the beginning of each time block and then with each work station supervisor to identify unmet needs and keep things running smoothly. This is the ultimate "gopher" job.
This job involves fielding queries from attendees, contacting the appropriate concom to address needs or problems that arise, and restocking hand-outs. Essential information is provided.
Readercon is complicated and busy, and people need to know where to go. Help out by putting up signs, stuffing information packets for program participants, and keeping everyone on track.
Our sound equipment specialist requires help with setting up, monitoring, maintaining, and taking down his equipment. Training is provided.
These tasks include schlepping boxes to and from vehicles, packing and unpacking, setting up signage, organizing/collating materials, handling equipment, errands, etc. Not everything is heavy lifting; people of all ability levels are encouraged to participate.
Readercon has hosted a Heinlein Society Blood Drive since 2009. At-con assistance is needed with recruiting donors and in making the donor experience enjoyable. Whether or not you are able to donate blood, you can have fun helping to make the blood drive a success!