- Guest of Honor: Margret-Ann Millerby Bagel GarrisonWith Bagel as conchair, you KNOW there has to be some needle felting! I am honored and thrilled to announce our next guest of honor. Check out our auction for a piece she has graciously donated!Margret-Ann Miller, a Toledo, Ohio native, started needle felting in 2011 and was teaching the art form by 2013. She has been featured in several international fiber arts and doll magazines, including Art Doll Quarterly, Fiber Art Now, and International Doll Artists. In addition, her needle felted dragons and dolls have been exhibited in galleries, museums, and international art exhibitions and competitions.“I am honored and excited to have been asked to be a Guest of Honor at Penguicon again!” She refers to her 2020 GOH appearance, which was canceled due to COVID. “Let’s hope the second time is a charm. I’m looking forward to finally attending this event!”
- Cyber Monday Auction Fundraiserby Bagel GarrisonHello, Penguicon! We’re trying something I don’t think we’ve ever tried before. We’re going to try having an online auction, pre-con! Starting on Cyber Monday (November 27), we will be hosting an auction with items donated by our generous congoers, makers, authors, and artists. It will run up to 11:45PM on Thursday (November 30). You can go check out what’s already been donated, at GiveButter. This platform is free for Penguicon to use, minus payment processing fees, and it is funded entirely by tips made along with donations. You can get registered now, so that you are all ready to bid, when the auction opens! If you have something you would like to donate, please fill out This Form and email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We are accepting new items, handmade items, collectible items, books, as well as gift cards, subscriptions, experiences, and services. This is part of our attempt to front-feed funds to cover the Penguicon expenses that come many months before the con itself.
- 2024 Financial Transparencyby Bagel Garrison
Now that things are buzzing again a bit, I want to have a Real Talk.
ConChair 2024 here. Have a seat. I’m about to be SUPER transparent. Don’t worry. You’re not in trouble. And Penguicon isn’t in any trouble that we can’t get out of. We’ve got this.
Have we been struggling financially a bit the past few years? We have.
These conventions cost a relative fortune to host, especially when you are trying to work in “post”-COVID conditions, with pre-COVID expectations. Our long-time hotel was used to being able to charge $X for things, and so they did, despite half-attendance. Attendees are used to certain things that are part of what make PenguiCon our favorite event. These things ARE part of Penguicon, but they also cost money that isn’t necessarily scaled to the attendance as much as we would like. The ConCom has worked hard to keep PenguiCon as amazing as possible, while tightening its PenguiBelt.
Here’s the honest truth.
Going into 2020, PenguiCorp (the organization) was already struggling. We’d gone through a few years of hotel charges we hadn’t anticipated, and ended up chewing through savings. 2020 was to be run on a lowered budget, and we would have recouped, been prepared for the additional hotel fees, and we would have been in really good shape afterward! We had this.
However. 2020. Happened. And all that that implies.
I am still more grateful than you know to everyone who donated or offered to roll over their badges that year (I was conchair for 2020). It literally saved PenguiCon.
But yearly expenses are not minimal. Savings took a hit.
And then 2021 had to be virtual, as well. It ran on a zero budget, with any expenses being entirely donated. The storage cube still had to be paid for. PenguiCorp still had yearly expenses to cover. Savings dwindled again.
2022? We were being literally held to the hotel contract that PenguiCorp signed in 2019, with very few compensations made. PenguiCon’s expenses go up exponentially, the fewer hotel rooms we sell. And we were nowhere near our contracted number of rooms, despite all of the amazing attendees who booked double! PenguiCorp spent almost the entire rest of its savings to prevent even MORE expenses from outright bankrupting us.
PenguiCorp still had yearly expenses to pay for, on top of the hotel and con costs.
In 2023, we were finally able to get a revised contract, though it was still going to cut it VERY close. The hotel was still accustomed to us being able to afford certain things. Thanks to our amazing attendees, we covered costs and we still exist! But Penguicon only JUST covered costs, despite running on absolute pennies, pleas, and practicality. There was no income over and above what it cost. And there was nothing left over.
In fact, extremely generous board members have paid a lot of the the last 6 months of expenses out of their own pockets, just so that Penguicon can still exist.
So far this year (post-2023 event), we have raised almost $3400 in badge sales and donations. We have started to rebuild our finances. We know what’s coming, and are (almost) prepared. Unfortunately, the hotel contract this year includes partial pre-payment requirements, at $5,000 a pop (not uncommon for working with a new hotel). The Storage Cube continues to cost monthly fees. We will need to pay for Sched so that we can properly schedule programming and save on printing fees. And our Event Insurance bill comes due early next year, and is another few thousand dollars. All of this comes sooner than our bank accounts would like. The earlier you purchase your tickets, the less we have to stress over covering the pre-con expenses.
So. Are we going to continue to ask you to buy badges early and often? Are we going to beg you to book those hotel rooms? Are we going to suggest you hit up our RedBubble to buy nice things? Are we going to ask you to volunteer and sign on as staff so that ConCom can focus on putting more effort into fundraising?
Yes. We are.
Penguicon would love to keep existing. We would LOVE to leave 2024 in a position where 2025 isn’t starting from a deficit. We would love to be able to bring back some things we’ve had in the past, but have had to pause. We would love to keep bringing you bigger and better things as we all pull through this.
I would like to thank in particular: our sponsor Liberty Center One, which hosts Penguicon’s server space. The amount of data we own is not insignificant, and this has been incredibly generous of them.
I would also like to thank our Board members, who have been amazing and are actively working to decrease our expenses, when they’re not paying for them out of their own pockets. Some of these things take time to wrap up, but they’re hoping they might be able to announce a big one early next year.
I would also like to thank you, our attendees. Our staff. Our volunteers. Penguicorp, Penguicon, 2024 ConCom, and everyone else involved thank you. From the bottoms of our penguin-y hearts.
Speaking of penguin bottoms… I’ve started a tracker for this year, and as we raise funds, you get to color in this year’s Penguin! This way, we can all see WHAT we’re paying for, and how far we have come.
Penguicorp and its annual events like Penguicon 2024 are a 501c3, a non-profit. We never look to make a profit. We seek to cover the convention expenses, and the annual Penguicorp expenses, and then if we’re able, bank a little savings. No more, no less.
- Suggest and Event or apply to be on Panels!by Lithie Dubois
HELLO PENGUICON PEOPLES AND FOLKS!Not only have our Programming Submissions Form, Writer’s Block Bookstore Application and Maker Market Applications opened, but we now want to share that you can suggest an event or, you can tell us that you want to be on panels.
SUGGEST AN EVENT!Do you have a suggestion for an event but do not want to present it yourself, please fill out our Programming Wish List here!
This form is for suggested events you want to see at Penguicon but are unable to present yourself.
Do not enter any panel that you want to present on this form. This is for suggestions only.
Deadline: January 15, 2024
WANT TO BE ON A PANEL?Want to be on a Panel? Don’t have a specific event to submit? Fill out this I Want to be on a Panel Application.This form is for anyone who wishes to apply to be a presenter but may not have specific piece of programming to submit and wants to join other events.
Questions about either form? Email email@example.com
If we have any submission that has room, we’ll add you as a presenter!
We can not guarantee that we can add you to any programming, but we will try, if you fill out the form.
Deadline: January 15, 2024. Applicants emailed by Feb. 1, 2024
- The 2024 Penguicon makers Market Application is now open!by Lithie DuboisIt’s that time, Penguicon. The 2024 Penguicon Makers Market Application is now open! Penguicon is a do-it-yourself convention. In keeping with this, we curate a Maker Market, rather than a standard vendor hall. All of our Makers bring goods that they have handmade, or at least self-designed. It is a collection of unique, creative artists who love what they do and share that love with the rest of us. In the interest of transparency, we’d like to share with you a little more info about our 2024 Makers Market. Penguicon 2024 is located this year at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest from April 26th to April 28th. The new location allows us more space and more makers this year! Please read the application carefully. Our Maker Market is just that… Makers. We only accept vendors whose items are handmade, with exceptions being artists who offer prints of their original artwork, and an occasional exception for creators who have more commercially-produced versions of their original designs. We have a STRICT one-artist-per-booth policy. Please be sure to mention anything you may be bringing/selling, and do not bring items you have not been juried in for (at least not without checking with the Head of Maker Market first). Penguicon is requiring Masks for 2024. You can read our Mask Policy located in our Code of Conduct. We tend to get a great deal more applications than we could ever possibly accept, and our vendors are chosen via a jury process performed by that year’s ConCom. What a Penguicon Maker Table provides our Makers:
“Secure Room” tables must be manned during the entirety of the Maker Market official hours, with the room being locked securely when Maker Market is not open. For 2024 our “Secure Room” is expansive and central to all Penguicon Programming. We recommend this area for the most foot traffic during the con.“Hallway” tables are generally in the lobby-type areas, and allow you to stay open longer hours, if you wish. We still request that you stay open during official Maker Market hours. There is no security, and you should break down your tables when Maker Market is not open. Penguicon accepts no responsibility for your merchandise during off hours. For 2024 “Hallway” Makers will be placed in various areas around the hallways. There may not be a central “Hallway” Makers area. If you are looking for a more central location, we recommend utilizing our “Secure Room”All Table Displays must remain within the 6ft Table space and Makers may not utilize the open spaces between tables to place additional displays. Should a Maker’s display be set up outside of their designated table, we will ask such display be removed.Any questions, choices, or other parts of this form are not intended to be a promise of anything to come, and is in no way a contract, either for Penguicon or for the applicants.Applications will close at Midnight on January 15, 2024.
- Penguicon 2024 will provide a 6′ table, 2 chairs, and one membership/badge. (For either “Secure Room” or “Hallway” tables)
- A second membership may be purchased for a discounted vendor price.
- Any further badges must be purchased at full price.
- A dedicated Maker Profile with a link to your website, on our Sched.com scheduling app provided to every attendee.
- Maker Profiles in our digital Penguicon Souvenir Book.
READY to APPLY? Complete the Maker Market Application here!Questions? Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgThe deadline for application will be January 15, 2024. Jurying will be processed by February 1st.
- Announcing our first Guest of Honor, Stefani Goerlich!by Lithie DuboisGood morning, Penguicon. You did it! You got those first programming submissions in! And so, it is my great pleasure to introduce you to our first-announced Guest of Honor for Penguicon 2024. Stefani Goerlich describes herself as an expert on the edges and a bridge builder between the margins and the mainstream. An expert in working with Gender, Relationship, and Sexuality Differences, as well as with those from minority religious traditions, Stefani is a Certified Sex Therapist, a Board Certified Diplomate of Sexology and an expert voice for Cosmopolitan, The New Yorker, The New York Post, Shape, Women’s Health, Marie Claire, The American Spectator, and many more. Her most recent book is With Sprinkles On Top: Everything Vanilla People and Their Kinky Partners Need to Communicate, Explore, and Connect. We absolutely look forward to all of the amazing variety of programming Stefani will be bringing to Penguicon.
- Penguicon 2024 Hotel Room Booking and Registration is now live!by Lithie DuboisHey everyone, we have some exciting news to share! Penguicon 2024 will be held at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest from April 26th to April 28th! The cost per night for the hotel is $165 (before taxes and fees). Registration is now open too! The cost for registration is $75 (before the processing fee) until December 1st, 2023, after which it will increase to $80. Additionally, when purchasing a registration, you have the option to donate to Penguicon. If you feel led to donate, we’d really appreciate it because it’ll help us have a bit of a cash cushion to ensure we put on the best Penguicon possible. Anyone who donates will receive a shoutout in the 2024 program book. We’re also actively working on the 2024 website and should have more information on that soon.Please direct any questions to email@example.com.
- The Writer’s Block Bookstore Application is now Open.by Lithie DuboisGreetings Penguicon! Authors of Penguicon, we come to you with news! We’ve heard your feedback that in past years we’ve opened applications for our Writer’s Block Bookstore late in the planning phase. We agree! We’re thrilled to announce that the 2024 Writer’s Block Application is open!!!What is the Penguicon Writer’s Block?The Writer’s Block is a convention hosted bookstore devoted to the promotion and sale of books by our Guests of Honor, Featured Guests, and attending authors. Authors will Staff the Writer’s Block in 50 minute shifts to be on hand to help readers find just the right book. Authors must take on 2 shifts, at minimum and present one event at Penguicon (Author Reading counts), in order to have their books in our Bookstore.The 2024 Writer’s Block will be located in the Elizabeth Ann Ballroom. The room will be set up on one side with furnishings to allow for a cozy bookstore experience, and on the other side, long tables and additional tables which will display the books for sale. It’s an official, cozy Penguicon Bookstore! Authors and literary fans are encouraged to hang out; the room will serve as a gathering spot for lovers of words and fans of Penguicon’s participating authors.If you are an Author and want to participate in our Writer’s Block bookstore and even host your own Author Reading/Signing, you can now apply to do such. This application is open to any creatives who want to sell their books in our co-op bookstore; Novels, Novellas, Anthologies, Graphic Novels, Comics, etc. If you wrote/created it, you can apply! Please check out our Writer’s Block Bookstore Application for detailed information and to apply!We are so excited for you to see the new space our Writer’s Block Bookstore will be in (Hint: First Floor – woooooooo) Penguicon has amazingly talented Authors and we look forward to their Bookstore in 2024! If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- First Postby James GamblePardon our mess. The website is under construction.