Giving Back: The Amazing Events Calendar

Amazing Stories launches its new Events Calendar

Being a Fan means, among other things, that you believe that giving soimething back to the community is just something you do.

Paying it Forward is another expression of the same thing – community service – a concept championed by Robert Heinlein, no less.

This idea of devoting time, knowledge, experience, even money, to people and projects with no thought for personal gain or direct personal benefit is baked into the fannish DNA;  it’s the reason we’re able to have traditional conventions; Amateur Press Associations.  It’s the reason John Picacio was able to bring over 50 people to Worldcon76; it’s why a good friend of many here at Amazing (Bud Webster) created and maintained the SFWA estates contact list – he saw a need, he volunteered, he sought guidance, suggestions and assistance from other fans and today, several years after his passing, SFWA (and pretty much anyone who needs it) has access to a resource that, had it been a formal corporate project, would have cost tens of thousands of dollars (and wouldn’t be nearly as good a resource as it is).

It’s the reason why I personally scoff at naysayers who deride concepts like guaranteed minimum income when they say “no one would work”.  Oh no?  Go tell that to the convention volunteer who has to vet the Hugo Award Nominees; the staff who stay behind at a convention to clean up, the folks who run around for three days straight making sure placards are on tables, microphones are working and the water cooler is filled.

It’s also the reason why Amazing Stories has devoted a fair amount of effort to creating what we hope is (or will shortly become) THE most comprehensive convention calendar world-wide.

Yes, there are many, many, many other convention calendars out there, some up to date and some moribund, some fairly comprehensive, some narrowly focused.  And we take nothing away from them by offering our own version of such a thing, but whereas most, if not all other convention calendars are focused on certain kinds of conventions, or certain regions of the country, or primarily reflect the events they themselves are familiar with, our convention calendar is focused on something else entirely.

Our focus is on supporting Fandom.  Not traditional fans, not Browncoats or Whovians, not Trekkies or Potterheads, not Bronies or Cosplayers – Fans.  By which we mean the people who get the idea that it is fun (and educational) to share your enthusiasms, to throw a party or a gathering for like-minded individuals, to travel to distant lands, meet interesting people and learn new stuff about them (and yourself if you are being honest).

We believe that Fans of genre – whether they be broadly or narrowly focused – are a special breed of human who embrace the future and believe that they can contribute towards making it better.  Especially when they get together.

And so we offer this resource in the hopes that knowing there are so many more opportunities to get together than you might have realized, you’ll be encouraged to participate more, contribute more towards making our – OUR – future a better place..

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A few notes on our calendar.

There are currently 573 upcoming events listed, ranging from writing workshops to regular formal conventions.  Those events currently on the list are active events.

There are also currently several volunteers (they may as well be considering how little we’re paying) pecking away at keyboards, entering a host of additional events.

We have deliberately left the ability to add events to the calendar open.  Yes, this poses some risk for abuse (and please let us know if you find what you believe to be an inappropriate listing), but we’d much rather keep the lines of communication as open as we can;  so many events these days are poorly attended simply because potential members had no idea that they were taking place.

It doesn’t matter if your event is a first time one, a long running regional, narrowly focused (like Smofcon or Corflu) or broad and comprehensive (and non-traditional) like SDCC;  one day, two day, five day events, writing workshops, author readings & appearances, artist gallery openings, regular club meetngs (so long as they are open to guests), memorial services, wedding announcement parties – if they are events for Fans (in the broad sense of the word), we would appreciate having you add them to our calendar.

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Using the Events Calendar

The Events Calendar page will open on the current month.  This being October, that’s what you’ll see.  However, you can also select a year and a month in the future to see what is happening then.

Across the top are two drop-down menus – one for Category and the aforementioned calendar selection.  There is also a search bar (enter a convention by name, a city, a guest’s name, etc).

Clicking on “Category” will allow the user to search not only by convention type, but by different regions of the world.  Category options range from “Australia” to “Science Fiction” and include items such as “Dr. Who”, “Anime”, etc.

You can also select to change the entire display and present information either by month, by year, or as a list of events.

If you wish to add an event, please try to include as much of the relevant information as possible – the formal name of the event, the start and end dates, location, the category, etc.

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We hope you enjoy and utilize this resource and we hope that you will let us know your thoughts regarding making it as useful a resource as we possibly can.  (If you run into issues, don’t get frustrated – get in touch!)

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