Frequently Asked Questions
What is the World Fantasy Convention?
The World Fantasy Convention is an annual gathering of professionals, collectors, and others interested in the field of Light and Dark Fantasy art and literature. The main features of the convention are the World Fantasy Awards, presented at a banquet on Sunday afternoon of each convention, and the large Friday-evening autograph reception called the Mass Signing.
An area of the convention that helps define its character is the Dealers Room. Usually there are about fifty tables of merchandise (limited to art and literature), almost all of which are collectible and new publications. There is also a very high quality Art Show, which includes some works for sale as well as displays of art from the top published artists in the field. Entry into both the Dealers Room and Art Show is juried.
I want to see my Favorite Author. How can I do that?
Check the program as soon as possible to make sure you don't miss the item with your favorite author. Each person will probably be on only one program item, such as a panel, a reading, or a kaffeeklatsch. You must sign up for kaffeeklatsches. We will have information on how to sign up closer to the Convention. You can also talk to your favorite authors during the Mass Signing on Friday night as long as there is no line for their autograph.
What is the Mass Signing?
A mass autograph session will be held on Friday evening, November 2, starting at 9 p.m. in the Maryland Ballroom and Atrium of the Renaissance. Each member of WFC 2018 will be provided a name tent so that those who wish may sign autographs at the event. The Mass Signing will continue until midnight, or until the signers and seekers of autographs are content, whichever comes first.
I hear that there are activities outside the Program. How do I learn about them?
A few publishers, authors, and other groups host book launches, parties, or other activities. These activities are generally noted in the program and/or publicized by flyers posted around the convention, or on social media or the Convention web site.
I heard that people dress up at these conventions.
As a professional convention, World Fantasy attendees usually dress in office or casual attire. More formal attire is not uncommon at the Banquet and evening parties.
Is there a Masquerade?
World Fantasy Conventions have no Masquerade or hall costume tradition.
What is the Book Bag?
All attending members of WFC will receive a Complimentary Bag of Science Fiction and Fantasy Books that have been donated by publishers or authors.
Are all Book Bags identical?
Publishers usually do not send enough copies for every bag. We put the same number of books in each bag, but they are in different assortments.
Do I get to pick which books go in my Book Bag?
Contents are luck of the draw. There is an exception to this rule. If you are on site Wednesday and help for at least three hours assembling the books and Book Bags, you may fill your own Book Bag. Furthermore, if you register with a companion, please let the staff know; they may get bags for you from different piles to increase the odds that you will get more variety.
What if I do not like some of the books in my bag or want different books?
A book exchange table will be located near Registration. Put the books that you do not want on the table, and take ones that you prefer.
How do I get my books from the Convention back home?
Fedex has an office on site at the Renaissance. Currently they are only open on weekdays, but we will try to arrange for them to be open some time on the weekend. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is about 4 blocks away at 111 N. Calvert St. The current hours of operation are: Monday-Friday 9:00 am-2:00 pm and 3:00 pm-5:00 pm. They are closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Awards and Banquet
What awards does the World Fantasy Convention present?
WFC will present the following awards on Sunday, November 4, 2018, immediately after the Awards Banquet:
• Life Achievement Awards
• Short Fiction
• Special Award – Professional
• Special Award – Non-Professional.
Can I participate in the Nomination/voting process for the World Fantasy Award?
All WFC members are eligible to nominate books/stories/people for the awards. The nomination ballot is distributed in Progress Reports Two and Three. Progress Report Two will be issued in January 2018 and Progress Report Three will be issued in May. The nomination period will end in May, 2018. Members of WFC 2018 will be eligible to nominate at the next two years' conventions.
I hear that the World Fantasy Awards are presented after the Banquet. Must I have a Ticket to the Banquet to attend the Award Ceremony?
No, after the Banquet, the room will be opened. A general seating area will be provided for those who wish to see the Awards Ceremony.
When is the Banquet?
The Banquet will start Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The Awards are presented after the Banquet.
Is the Banquet included as part of the membership?
No, members must purchase a Banquet ticket separately. Tickets will go on sale in the summer of 2018, and there will be a choice of entree, usually we will arrange for a vegetarian or vegan entree as well as two other entrees.
General WFC 2018 information
Is Smoking permitted in the Baltimore Renaissance Harborplace Hotel?
No. Smoking in public accommodations is not permitted throughout Maryland.
Will the Convention provide Child Care or Children's Programming?
There is no children's programming or other convention sponsored activities for children at the World Fantasy Convention. Contact the Renaissance if you wish to arrange for child care.
Will I be able to Ship books to WFC 2018 that I wish to have Autographed?
You may ship books to WFC before the convention. Details and dates will be announced later. You must be on site by Wednesday evening in order to take charge of your packages when they are brought to the hotel.
If you miss the time frame to ship to WFC or cannot be on hand on Wednesday evening, you may ship a package to yourself at the hotel. The charges for the hotel to accept and hold packages will be listed in the future.
What is the Typical Weather in early November?
The average temperature in Baltimore on November 1 is cool (highs about 62°F, 17°C; lows around 42°F, 6°C) and mostly dry with cloudy skies.
In what time zone is Baltimore, MD?
We are in the Eastern time zone (- 5 GMT/UTC).
Will Eastern Daylight Savings Time change to Eastern Standard Time during the 2018 WFC?
Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday November 4, at 2:00 am, clocks are turned back one hour, giving us one more hour of sleep (or partying!).
What Holidays/events occur soon before or after WFC 2018?
November 6, 2018, is a non-Presidential election day. While many schools will be closed, this is not a national holiday. Businesses will be open as usual.
Who is Sponsoring WFC 2018?
WFC 2018 is hosted by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS), a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in Maryland, and the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA) a 501(c)(4) organization, also incorporated in Maryland.
Baltimore is a great location for a World Fantasy Convention. The hotel has rooms enough for everyone and can accommodate all of our programming. Baltimore has many transportation alternatives and has great atmosphere, something for everyone. The Baltimore Harborplace and National Aquarium are located right across the street, the Maryland Science Center is a few blocks walk, many more attractions close by, and the attractions of Washington DC are 30 miles away. There are numerous restaurants in walking distance.
Is the Renaissance Harborplace accessible?
The Renaissance Harborplace complies with all statutes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. All function space is wheelchair accessible. If you need an accessible sleeping room or other accommodation, please contact Dale Arnold, Facilities Liaison, as well as requesting it on your hotel reservation, after hotel reservations open.
Where can I rent a Wheelchair or Scooter?
We will post sources for wheelchair and scooter rentals on the web site. After you arrange for your rental, the rental company will coordinate delivery with the Hyatt.
Whom do I contact about other Accessibility Services?
If you need other accessibility services, contact by September 30, 2018.
Eating and Drinking
What Hospitality will be available?
WFC 2018 will have the traditional, well-stocked Hospitality Suite located in the Presidential Suite, opening on Wednesday evening, and tentative hours will be about 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. The suite will be open after the Banquet on Sunday but will close earlier than previous evenings. The Watertable Bar is located on the same floor as most of our programming, and we will arrange for extra lounge seating in the adjacent large atrium.
What are my Dining Options?
The Renaissance Watertable Bar and Restaurant is on the 5th floor, where most of our programming will take place. There is a Starbucks on the ground floor where the Hotel Registration desk is located. Baltimore has many restaurants nearby, from world class to cheap eats. (The internet is your friend.) For restaurants within walking distance of the Renaissance, we'll be posting an online Restaurant Guide.
What is the current Membership Rate for WFC 2018?
The Supporting membership rate is $50. Attending membership rates can be found on our Registration Page. Supporting memberships may be upgraded to Attending memberships as long as there are still memberships available. There is no guarantee of conversion, and if the membership cap is reached they cannot be converted unless an Attending membership becomes available.
If I Registered, but am not able to attend WFC 2018, can I get a Refund?
Memberships will be refunded only at the discretion of the convention. However, until September 30, 2018, memberships are transferable with a letter or e-mail from the original purchaser.
How can I Transfer my Membership?
If you wish to transfer your membership, send an email to us. Please include your name and contact information (including email), as well as the name and contact information (including email) of the person to whom you wish to transfer your membership.
When is the Banquet?
The Banquet will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, November 4, the last day of the convention. Detailed information and Banquet tickets will be available much closer to the convention, in 2018. We will work with the hotel to make sure that those with special dietary needs are accommodated.
Getting to the Convention and the Hotel
We will post travel information closer to the convention, to insure it is up to date.
Will there be an art show?
Yes, more information will be available in late 2017.
What can I buy or sell in the Dealers Room?
The World Fantasy Convention Dealers Room is devoted almost entirely to books. Exceptions are rare and must be pre-approved.
How can I get a Table in the Dealers Room?
We are not accepting inquiries about the Dealers room until after the San Antonio WFC in 2017. The Dealers Room usually sells out in well in advance of the convention. Each dealer and each member of the dealer's staff must have an Attending membership.
I have never been to Baltimore, MD, what are my Tourist Options?
We will be in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore which is a very tourist friendly destination. For extensive tourist information see the Visit Baltimore.
I have never been to the United States.
Will I need a Visa?
Visas are not required for persons traveling from Canada, EU countries, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and some other countries. See the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) web site.
If no Visa is required, what other documentation do I still need?
In order to travel without a visa on the VWP, you must have authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to boarding a U.S.-bound air or sea carrier. ESTA is the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) automated web-based system to determine eligibility to travel without a visa to the United States for tourism or business. Visit the ESTA page on the CBP web site for more detailed information, to apply for ESTA and to pay the fee.
What if I am coming from Canada?
Canadians require a passport, but do Not require a visa or ESTA authorization.
If I need a Visa, how do I get one?
Information is available at http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1336.html
When I enter the United States, will they take my fingerprints?
Visitors needing a visa to enter the U.S. will have their fingerprints taken as part of that process.