Hailing from near Glasgow, I got into SF Fandom in the mid-1980s via the Albacon series of conventions and started volunteering pretty much immediately: gophering, tech and room monitoring.
Gafiating for a very long time due to life and work, I got back into Fandom via Mancunicon. When an Eastercon is 15 minutes’ walk from your house, it’s pretty much rude not to go, isn’t it?
While away from Fandom I volunteered for a range of other events, predominantly beer festivals in London and queer events in Manchester. The most relevant of these is Queer Up North International Festival, for which I volunteered for 7 years, 2005-2011. I was responsible (often with a very high degree of autonomy) at various times for:
- Membership including maintenance of the membership database
- IT Support including systems for payments / donations / subscriptions etc.
- Front of House, responsible for making sure attendees were supported and received excellent customer service.
- Artist Liaison, responsible for making sure 2-3 artists or artist groups were supported, transported, fed & watered, and kept to schedule.
- Volunteer Co-ordinator, responsible for interviewing, vetting, role assignation, management and welfare of QuN’s team of in-festival volunteers,
- Front of House Manager, responsible for all aspects of the festival’s Spiegeltent FoH operation including developing Health and Safety and Security procedures, recruiting and training FoH volunteers, rota, and sensitively dealing with any issues arising on the day.
I’ve never been a contributor to zines or online fora: impostor syndrome strikes me very hard there. I do though enjoy volunteering at cons: I started at Albacon 84 and volunteered at Albacons for a number of years before gafiating.
More recently, I’ve staffed fan tables for Glasgow 2024 at:
And have hosted events (gin tastings, parties etc.) at several of these.
I was on my first items of programme in 35 years at Satellite 8, and rather enjoyed the experience. If they all come with me winning tablet my dentist might not appreciate it. Since then I have also been on a panel at SmofCon 40: on payment technology for conventions.
Along with my husband David am writing Alan and David’s Fan’s Guide to Glasgow. It should be ready for the Glasgow Worldcon but we’re not 100% certain which one.