This was my first year attending GeekGirlCon, a pop culture and comic book convention held annually in Seattle, Washington. If you enjoy small-to-medium sized conventions, great panels, a great exhibitor hall, and great discussions then this might be the convention for you.
What sets GeekGirlCon apart from other convention is that it mainly caters to female fans, especially those who don’t always fit into the dominant culture. The convention is tailored to create an environment for those of us in one or multiple categories of “otherness”. This is a convention where nearly every panel emphasizes women and diversity in entertainment media.
Though the convention was focused on women and intersectionality, men were also welcome to attend and there were more than a few.
There were two parts of the GeekGirlCon Programming I attended, the panels and the Kick-Off Party.
The Kick-Off Party was an all ages event held the Friday before the convention at Optimism Brewing Company in downtown Seattle. GeekGirlCon provided the event free and even offered a free drink ticket to each guest. There were games, a great DJ and Meet Some Geeks Bingo for a drawing prize. It was a great event to meet and talk to new people, some of who I ran into multiple times over the weekend.
Like the kick-off party, GeekGirlCon 2018 had an awesome panel line up. Unfortunately, due to their staggering schedule and my own schedule as a panelist, it wasn’t possible for me to attend all the panels I wanted to see. In addition to the three panels I was on, I made it to four other panels over the two-day event:
Dissecting Disney 2: The Villains with Samantha Shoecraft and Ashley Primer
This panel took an academic perspective on the Disney Villain Ursula and the villains in Disney’s Descendants films. The panelists discussed the application of the terms “status” and “rank” to the characters and how these things impacted the characters relationships in their fictional worlds.
Just Make It Gay Already! with CB Lee, Taylor Brooke, Lissa Reed, Julia Ember, and Cam Montgomery, and Mallory Cohen
A panel of authors discussed their experiences writing LGBTQ+ fiction. They discussed challenges of getting published and the proving that their books are in demand. The panel also discussed personal experiences of how they ended up writing what they wrote.
Girls Just Want to Write Sci-Fi with Lettie Prell, Diana Pho, Cat Rambo, T.J. Berry, Caren Gussoff Sumption
This panel of authors and editors discussed the history of women in the sci-fi genre and the ins and outs of getting published as a woman.
Afrofuturism 101 with Leslie Light, Brittany Williams, Aliza Pearl, Mx Rian
Afrofuturism 101 took a look at what the term Afrofuturism means and the different ways people might define it. They also looked at examples of past work and where they see the concept going in the future.
I have been to many conventions and have walked out of many boring or ill-prepared panels. This wasn’t the case with any of the panels I attended at GeekGirlCon. Each of the four panels I had the opportunity to see had a well-prepared team who spoke passionately, eloquently and knowledgeable about their own areas of expertise.
As a Panelist
Being a panelist at GeekGirlCon was also a great experience. The GeekGirlCon Team was timely in their responses to panel submissions. Their emails were informative and detailed. Their tech support during panels was quick and knowledgeable. They also assigned volunteers they call “Agents” to each panel where they provided support and assistance. During one of my panels, our Agent was kind enough to deliver prizes to trivia winners.
One thing they could make clear, however, is that panelists need to keep their name cards. Mine was lost after returning it to an agent on the first day because no one seemed to know if we needed to keep them or not.
I had an amazing experience at GeekGirlCon and hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with them again soon.