Committee and staff

Bid Chair: Judi Hodgkin

Treasurer of Concussion in 2006 and Chair of Dysprosium in 2015, and initially of Ytterbium in 2019, Judi has been involved in fandom since her childhood in Australia where some early Swancons might not have happened if her family hadn’t provided the venue.

Twitter: @ytterbiumcon
Facebook: @Ytterbiumcon

Chair (Communications): Farah Mendlesohn


Farah Mendlesohn has worked on conferences and conventions for twenty years. She was head of Programme for Anticipation, the Montreal World Science Fiction Convention, and chaired Concussion in 2006. She has received Hugo nominations for several of her books, and recently won the World Fantasy Award with Michael M. Levy for Children’s Fantasy Literature: An Introduction. Her current book is a complete change of direction, looking at children’s literature about the English Civil War, which meant that she was particularly excited to read Guest of Honour Frances Hardinge’s newest book, A Skinful of Shadows.

Co-Chair (Site): Phil Dyson

A grizzled veteran of the London and Helsinki Worldcons not to mention the Edinburgh Festival, Phil is in the middle of a PhD in UK defence policy history. Other hobbies include contemporary insurgency theory, cats and loud, angry, 90s American guitar music, the last of which he keeps threatening to write a book about.

Treasurer:  Wendrie Heywood

Wendrie has been reading science fiction and fantasy all her life, since starting with her Grandfather’s wide ranging collection. She has dragged her now adult children to many cons since they were babes in arms, and has volunteered at several.

Web Developer: Paul Taylor to October 2018; now Emma Kalson

Despite being relatively new to conventions, Emma is a fan of science fiction and fantasy. She devours paperbacks faster than she can afford as well as being a web geek and a lover of puns amongst other random interests.

Web Manager: Edward James

Edward has been working as Farah’s PA since the first conference she organised, in 1997. His proximity downstairs makes him easy to nag. He edited the journal Foundation for many years, is the Hugo Award winning co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, and winner of a BSFA award for his website Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers in the Great War.  In 2013 he was Fan Guest of Honour at EightSquaredCon in Bradford; in 2017 he was Guest Scholar at ICFA and received the IAFA’s Distinguished Scholarship Award. You wouldn’t know it, but he is a medieval historian: see his website.

Logistics (including Art Show): John Harrold

John has been doing things at conventions since he walked into the 1987 Worldcon in Brighton and asked if he could help; 36 hours later he was helping to run the gopher hole and help out anywhere possible. Since then he has done most things at cons except be a chair, or work in the green room. Mostly doing Ops but helping tech out at times. Art Shows mainly in the last few years and moving things when needed on this side of the pond. Con work has taken him as far as Japan and (as with Dysprosium in 2015) about five miles down the road, all of it interesting and he hopes he has been of use to those he has worked with.

Programme: Virginia Preston and Ali Baker

Ali Baker has served time on registration, in gopher holes and on the bid table at Worldcon 75. She is researching for a PhD on White Working-Class Children in Children’s Fantasy Fiction. She is a fan of all speculative fiction and a keen convention-attender, dragging her partner and 9-year-old stepson along with her. She can usually be found expounding wild fan theories about Harry Potter. She was forced to put some of these on paper for inclusion in an edited book.

Virginia has been a science fiction and fantasy fan since childhood but only discovered conventions in 2012. Since then she has contributed to programme at Eastercons, Worldcons, Nine Worlds, and Octocon. In her day job she has organised many conferences about history and politics. She likes cats and libraries, though can be a little nervous around librarians.

Dealers Room and Launch Parties: Serena Culfeather

Serena Culfeather has been running Novacon art shows and working with artists and dealers for many years. In 2014 she ran Art Show and Dealers with her husband John Wilson for Loncon3 and they will be doing the same for Dublin in 2019.

Volunteers: Sandra Unerman

Sandra Unerman is a retired civil servant, and author of the Crawford nominated novels Spellhaven and its sequel Ghosts and Exiles. She had the misfortune to stand too close to Farah and ask “is there anything I can do?”, thus demonstrating how one gets sucked into this madness.

Online Registration: James Shields

James has been involved in fandom and conventions since the early 1990s. He has helped organise many conventions in Ireland and abroad, including Octocon, P-Con, Shamrokon (Eurocon), Eastercons and Worldcons. He has also been involved in fanzines, fan clubs and fan funds. He is also a fan of LEGO and will attempt to include it in convention programmes at every opportunity.

At-Con Registration: Helena McCallum

Long time fan; avid reader, and enthusiastic knitter.

Access: All queries or requests for assistance should be directed to Farah Mendlesohn

Creche and Childcare requests should be directed to Judi Hodgkin