World Fantasy Convention 2020 Goes Virtual!
We at World Fantasy Convention hoped we would not have to make this announcement. Like many other gatherings in these unprecedented times, we are cancelling the in-person convention in Salt Lake City this year and are hosting an online convention instead.
We’ve monitored the COVID-19 situation, as has every other mass gathering in recent months. Our primary goal has been, and will continue to be, the safety of our members. Because our convention is still many months away (29 October – 01 November 2020), we hoped for a return of a measure of normalcy and safety that would allow us to gather with our friends and professionals in the fantasy and horror genre. That decision was made for us last week when our hotel cancelled all in-person meetings for the rest of 2020.
We have worked with The Little America Hotel closely in recent months, and though it saddens us to lose the opportunity to show off our beautiful city and this wonderful facility, we believe the hotel’s executives have made the right decision, the only decision that ensures the safety of everyone.
So…World Fantasy Convention is going virtual!
The membership fee to participate in this year’s virtual World Fantasy Convention is $125. Plans have already begun to transition many of the traditional physical experiences you’ve come to expect from World Fantasy Convention. We’ll be ironing out the details in the coming months, but we hope to provide a variety of online offerings, including:
A full schedule of panel discussions by professionals in the fantasy genre
Readings by your favorite fantasy authors
Demonstrations by fantasy artists
Spotlight interviews with our honored guests: Stephen Gallagher, David Cherry, Anne Groell, CJ Cherryh, Cindy Pon, Stephen Graham Jones, Brandon Sanderson, and Tracy and Laura Hickman
The ability to interact in a small group setting with some of the authors, editors, agents, and artists who participate in the World Fantasy Convention program
Lots of time to chat with other World Fantasy Convention members online
An exhibit hall with links to our dealers
An art show, with the opportunity to purchase artwork directly from fantasy artists
A collector’s item souvenir book that includes high-quality artwork by our artist Guest of Honor David Cherry, fiction by our honored guest authors, appreciation articles, bios, World Fantasy Convention history, and more
The World Fantasy Award ceremony, which recognizes outstanding people, fiction, art, semi-professional and professional contributions in the fantasy and horror genre
We’re even working on ways to get autographs for your favorite fantasy books!
All that for $125? Yes! We believe this transition to a virtual World Fantasy Convention presents unique opportunities to a broader audience of fantasy and horror enthusiasts, and we’re excited about moving forward.
For details on how reimbursements and cancellations will be handled, please see THIS PAGE ON OUR WEBSITE.
We share the disappointment many of you feel as you read this announcement. We wanted to throw a party – a huge, fabulous, fun party! – with 900 friends who share our love for the literature and artwork of fantasy and horror. We’re going through a period of grieving as we watch our plans crumble. But we are in a unique position to do something really inventive, really innovative, and really, really fun in a virtual World Fantasy Convention. We hope you’ll join us!
Chairperson, World Fantasy Convention 2020
17 March 2020
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and we at WFC 2020 are no different. As of now, we are moving ahead with plans to host the 2020 World Fantasy Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. We are monitoring the situation on a daily—often hourly—basis. We’re in communication with our venue, The Little America Hotel, and are satisfied with their aggressive efforts to ensure that the facility is sanitary and virus-free. They have adopted the CDC’s recommendations in the usage of instant kill cleansers and sanitizers in all areas of the hotel and continue to be proactive in their approach to provide a safe environment for all their guests.
We are doing the same. WFC 2020 is still six months away. Every day brings new developments and, we sincerely hope, progress toward controlling and conquering the virus. We have every hope that the current crisis will be over long before 29 October. Besides our own continuing discussions and plans, we’re monitoring the efforts of other conferences and similar gatherings, and will adapt all measures that make sense to keep our membership safe. We know this is a difficult time, and everyone’s plans are in a state of flux. Be assured we have no plans to raise membership rates during this worldwide emergency.
We’ll keep you posted with updates as we make them. In the meantime, we hope to see you in Salt Lake City!
Ginny and Dee Ann
Update 07 May 2020
We at World Fantasy Convention 2020 continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and evaluate its effect on our convention. At the current time we do not intend to cancel the convention. We are moving forward with plans to host a spectacular convention in Salt Lake City.
Though that is our goal, we are also taking proactive steps to identify alternative options in the event we need to make changes to the convention’s format and offerings. Our primary concern is the safety and comfort of World Fantasy Convention members. With that in mind, we are looking at various steps that might be taken, including:
If governmental restrictions force us to cancel the in-person gathering, hosting a completely virtual convention
Hosting an in-person event that takes social distancing into account, with changes to convention elements and language in our code of conduct that will help us all provide a safe environment
Adding a virtual element to an in-person event
Our desire is to be completely transparent in our communication and plans. The truth is, we don’t know what will happen. We are working hard to identify every option, so if the time comes to make a decision to change our standard convention, we will be prepared to move quickly. Again, please understand that we will do whatever is necessary to ensure the safety of WFC members.
We welcome your comments, questions, suggestions and feedback. Please feel free to contact us.
The World Fantasy Convention 2020 Co-Chairs