Pre-Recorded Content Guidelines

Readercon 31: Pre-Recorded Content Guidelines

Thank you for contributing to this year's virtual Readercon by agreeing to pre-record a talk, reading, interview, performance, or other program item. We're thrilled to be able to showcase your incredible work.

Expectations for All Program Participants

We of course expect all program participants to abide by Readercon's Code of Conduct, and this extends to pre-recorded content that will be shown during the convention. Please refamiliarize yourself with the Code of Conduct, as it has been updated to reflect this year's virtual setting.

All program content will be hosted on YouTube, so all program participants must also abide by YouTube's content guidelines. Those guidelines are more restrictive than Readercon's in one particular way: sexual content. It's perfectly fine to be clear that you're talking about sexual topics and erotic literature, and to use adult language, but we recommend caution around using sexual images or reading erotic passages from a text. You can familiarize yourself with YouTube's guidelines on sexual content here.

If you want to run your script or slides by us in advance, feel free. If we have any concerns once we see the finished video, we'll let you know right away.

Making Your Video

Please use whatever video recording method you are most comfortable with. If you're not sure what options are available to you, we have a couple of suggestions.

For a talk or solo reading:

For an interview or group reading:

  • Set up a Zoom meeting with the person you're interviewing. Begin recording the meeting and proceed with your interview.
  • Set up a Zoom meeting with the other members of your group. Begin recording the meeting and proceed with your readings. We recommend having group members keep their cameras and microphones off until it's their turn to read, but if you want to do something more creative, that's up to you.

As you're setting up to record, please make sure to position your camera view and yourself to leave space at the bottom of the screen for captions. Also make sure your file is set to save in one of the formats that YouTube finds acceptable. (If you need to convert your file to a new format after recording, we suggest using one of these video converters. Some of them also allow for trimming the video length, which may be useful for removing any futzing with equipment or settings at the beginning or end of your recording.)

Don't forget to begin by introducing yourself and providing the name of your work or talk. (E.g., "Hi! My name is Mary Shelley and I'll be reading from my upcoming book, Frankenstein." "Hello! My name is Jules Verne, and welcome to 'Don't Push That Button: Creating Realistic Time Machines in Fiction.'") This includes each member of a group reading as they take their turn. We will preface each video with a title card that shows the title of the program item and the names of all participants, so you don't need to do that.

The time slot for talks and interviews is 50 minutes. The time slot for solo readings is 25 minutes and the time slot for readings with two or more readers is 50 minutes. If you're doing a talk, that 50-minute time slot will consist of the recorded talk itself and a live text-chat Q&A in Discord afterward. How you divide the time between the two is entirely up to you, but we recommend aiming for a 30-minute recording and 20-minute Q&A.

Sending Us Your Video

Once your recording is ready to go, upload it to this Dropbox folder. If you are doing a talk, please also upload your script, a list of names and special terms, and/or any other written material that will help us correctly caption your video. If you are doing a reading, you must send us a copy of the text you're reading from.

Make sure all file names, including for supplementary materials, clearly identify you and the name of your recorded item. (E.g., "Mary Shelley - Frankenstein Script.docx" or "Jules Verne - Don't Push That Button - Slides.ppt")

The video description on YouTube will include any relevant content notes. A list of content notes we'll be using is at the bottom of this page. If any of them apply to your recording, email us at to let us know, or include that information in an uploaded document. There's absolutely nothing wrong with creating content that requires a content note; it's just there so our attendees know what to expect. Attendees who don't wish to read the content notes (to avoid spoilers, for example) can watch the video without reading that section of the description.

If you're recording a talk or interview, please upload your video and all supplementary materials by June 7, 2021.
If you're recording a reading, the evening entertainment performance, or an awards ceremony, please upload your video and all supplementary materials by June 28, 2021.

If you find you will not be able to submit your recording by the above dates, or do a recording at all, please email us at


In an effort to balance Readercon's educational mandate as a nonprofit organization with our goal to provide a unique experience for our attendees, streams and videos on the Readercon 31 YouTube channel will remain unlisted and shared only with attendees for six months after the convention starts on August 13, 2021. When you go through the program sign-up process, you will be required to grant us permission to host your pre-recorded content and share it with attendees through unlisted links for that six-month period.

You will also have the option to grant us permission to keep your pre-recorded content indefinitely and make it available to the public after the six-month period, as we do with panels. We hope you will grant this permission but also understand if you choose not to do so. On February 13, 2022, all content for which we have this permission will be made available to the public, and all other content will be completely deleted from our YouTube channel.

Our policies require all program participants and attendees to refrain from sharing unlisted links outside of the Readercon 31 Discord and to refrain from downloading or capturing Readercon 31 videos and streams. This policy also prohibits you from sharing unlisted links to your own work outside of the Readercon 31 Discord. If you'd like to share your work with your friends and fans, grant us permission to make it public in January and share the link once it becomes public—or encourage them to buy Readercon memberships.

You retain all other rights to your work.

Thank you!

Thank you again for choosing to be part of Readercon 31 in this very unusual year. If you have any questions at all about any part of this process, please email

Pre-recorded Item Content Notes

As mentioned above, we will be including content notes on videos as applicable. Please use the list below to help us determine which ones might apply to your recording.

Please preface each relevant content note with one of the following:

  • This video contains
  • This video contains references to
  • This video contains depictions of

In the case of readings from fiction, either "references to" or "depictions of" should be used for all items.

Example: "This video contains references to domestic violence."


  • transphobic language or slurs
  • transphobic microaggressions
  • transphobic behaviour
  • threats of violence toward transgender people
  • violence toward transgender people
  • homophobic language or slurs
  • homophobic microaggressions
  • homophobic behaviour
  • threats of violence toward queer people
  • violence toward queer people
  • racist language, or racial or ethnic slurs
  • racist microaggressions
  • racist behaviour
  • threats of violence toward people of colour
  • violence toward people of colour
  • misogynist language or slurs
  • misogynist microaggressions
  • misogynist behaviour
  • threats of violence toward women
  • violence toward women
  • ableist language or slurs
  • ableist microaggressions
  • ableist behaviour
  • threats of violence toward disabled people
  • violence toward disabled people
  • fatphobic language or slurs
  • fatphobic microaggressions
  • fatphobic behaviour
  • threats of violence toward fat people
  • violence toward fat people

Harm to Children

  • parental neglect and/or child endangerment
  • physical abuse of a child/children
  • emotional abuse of a child/children
  • attempts to coerce a child/children into unwanted physical contact
  • child sexual abuse
  • significant harm to a child/children
  • death of a child/children

Eating Disorders

  • disordered eating
  • using exercise as a form of self-harm


  • attempts to coerce someone into unwanted physical contact
  • unwanted physical contact
  • sexual harassment
  • sexual assault
  • non-consensual medical treatment
  • non-consensual hospitalization or institutionalization


  • threats of harm to animals
  • harm to animals
  • pet death

Common Phobias

  • elements of body horror
  • insects and/or spiders
  • snakes
  • needles

Other Violence and Harm

  • threats of self-harm or suicide
  • self-harm or suicide
  • loss of limb
  • threats of intimate partner violence
  • intimate partner violence
  • threats of domestic violence
  • domestic violence
  • threats of emotional abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • vehicle crashes (please specify car, plane, spaceship, etc.)
  • severe or fatal illness
  • mass illness events
  • the COVID-19 pandemic
  • mass death events
  • mass atrocities or genocide
  • graphic depictions of violence or torture

Drugs & Alcohol

  • drug abuse
  • alcohol abuse

Graphic Sexual Content

  • graphic depictions of sexual activity
  • graphic spoken or textual descriptions of sexual activity