I’m late to posting about this, because I had a surprise bout of summer malaise (!), but this year, Sirens raised money–or perhaps more accurately, the fantastic community that surrounds Sirens raised money–to fund some scholarships. Some of the scholarships are scholarships in the traditional sense, and have been awarded to conference presentations of particular merit and their presenters; I wish we could have had more to give. Other scholarships have been provided to Con or Bust, an organization that works to helps people who are not white attend speculative fiction conventions (three scholarships have been claimed; one additional scholarship, donated separately, remains), and to Sirens specifically to help people for whom attending the conference represents a financial hardship.
The last, for financial hardships, requires a very brief and non-invasive application for the upcoming random selection. That application is due today! Apply here.
I hope this is something we’re able to keep doing in years to come. In the past, staff donated to organizations when we could, and awarded scholarships when we had donated registrations, but we thought, I think rightly, that a collective effort would not only help people attend, but that the collective effort would work to welcome potential scholarship recipients, and raise awareness among regular attendees of ways they can help support community year-round. I really am, always, humbled by how much attendees of Sirens want to welcome others into the fold.