I’m a 2020 DUFF Candidate. Vote to Send me to ConZealand!

So, what’s all this about the DUFF and ConZealand? And, exactly, what am I a candidate for?

The science fiction and fantasy fan community is a large and strong group of volunteers that spans the globe, pulling together conventions that celebrate the best of what speculative fiction, art, music, and science have to offer. Our largest convention is Worldcon, an annual convention that takes place in a different city around the world every year. Last year, it took place in Dublin, Ireland. This year it is taking place in Auckland, New Zealand.

There are a couple of fan organization that have arisen to help boost connections between regional fan communities, and one of those groups is the Down Under Fan Fund (DUFF), which sends one fan from North America to Australasian based Worldcons (and vice versa for Worldcons based in North America). Founded in 1972, DUFF has not only created but strengthened links between North American and Australasian fandom since its inception. I would love to be a part of the DUFF community, continuing to help bring our communities together.

What is the Down Under Fan Fund?
“The Down Under Fan Fund was created for the purpose of providing funds to bring well-known and active fans familiar to those on both sides of the ocean across the Pacific. It is a daughter/sister fund to TAFF, which has been bringing fans across the Atlantic since 1953! Since 1972, DUFF has regularly brought North American fans across the Pacific to Australian and New Zealand conventions and Australian and New Zealand fans to North American conventions. It exists solely through the support of science fiction fandom; the continued generosity of fans is what makes DUFF possible. Thank you for supporting DUFF!” (From the DUFF ballot)

Vote for Me! … But Wait!, there are  few things you need to know first about eligibility.
While I would love to have everyone who knows me and who knows how hard I work to promote fandom and fannish activities, not all of my amazing friends are eligible to vote. The gist of it is that “A $5 donation entitles you to vote in the 2020 DUFF Race if you are a SFF Fan, anywhere.” Here are the rules on voting, which are included on the downloadable PDF ballot:

Voting in the 2020 race is open to anyone active in fandom before January 2018 who donates at least $5 (USD) to DUFF (larger donations are very gratefully accepted). Voting is by secret ballot: one vote per person, and you must provide your name on the ballot. You may change your vote at any time prior to the deadline. All votes must reach the administrators by 11:59pm (Eastern US time) on Friday, March 27, 2020.

So, who are the other candidates?
There are four candidates in total, and I am sure that they are all lovely and wonderful people who have contributed in important ways to SF/F fandom. However, please do vote for me! 🙂 Here’s the list of the four DUFF 2020 candidates:

  • Richard Auffrey
  • Shaun Duke
  • James Davis Nicoll
  • Erin Underwood — Me!! 🙂

Candidate Statements
Each of the candidates have submitted a statement along with a $20 bond during the nomination process. You can view everyone’s candidate statements on the DUFF 2020 PDF ballot, but here’s mine for easy reading:

Erin Underwood – Boston, MA
I’m a con runner and fan editor/writer from Boston, Massachusetts, USA, whose passion for science, fandom, and SF/F drives me to bring new voices to publications and convention programs. While I’ve worked pre-con for many Worldcons, I could only afford attending a few conventions that I helped to create. I’d love to attend ConZealand, sharing my passion for SF/F with New Zealand and Australian fans, while also learning from those communities. I’m editing a special edition of the fanzine Journey Planet, highlighting New Zealand and ConZealand, and will promote fandom and DUFF through blogging, social media, and a summary report.

Voting is a 2-step process!
If you are eligible to vote, all it takes is a $5 donation to the 2020 DUFF Race and a completed ballot. And, if you’d rather not vote for anyone and you would really just like to make a donation, you can also vote No Preference (any winner is fine) or vote Hold Over Funds (No Candidate for this year).

Here are the details on the 2-step process:

Step 1: To VOTE, you can CLICK HERE. It will take you to a PDF form that you can download, edit, and save. You will then need to send it to Paul Weimer at jvstin@gmail.com

Step 2: To DONATE, you can CLICK HERE. It will take you to a page with a button where you can submit your credit card payment of $5 … or … you can send your payment via Paypal to Paul Weimer at https://paypal.me/princejvstin

Thank you for helping to support and promote
science fiction and fantasy as well as SF/F fandom around the world.

About Erin Underwood

BIO: Erin Underwood is the senior event content producer for MIT Technology Review’s emerging technology events. On the side, she reads, writes, and edits SF.
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