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SMOFCon Scholarships

02/10/2007. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions has awarded scholarships of $500 each to Maurine Starkey and Eemeli Aro to help them attend the SMOFCon convention-runners convention in Boston MA this year over the weekend of December 7-9, 2007.

Maurine Starkey has been attending conventions regularly since 1992, and is currently one of the organizers of SiliCon (, an annual SF/F convention in San Jose. She says that while she and her partner Dann Lopez have been running SiliCon for seven years, "we are still new to a lot of the nuances of con-running [and] are at the point of wanting a little extra guidance."

Eemeli Aro has been involved in running the last two Finncons (, the Finnish national science fiction convention. He found fandom in 2001 , and his goals in coming to SMOFcon include finding out about conrunning in the US, meeting other conrunners, learning about how Worldcons are organized, and publicizing Finnish SF fandom.

SMOFCon is an annual convention about organizing science fiction conventions. Subject matter ranges from managing small conventions up to the unique challenges of World Science Fiction Conventions. The convention is held in a different city each year. The 2007 SMOFCon will be in Boston MA at the Hilton Boston Logan Airport, December 7-9, 2007. More information about this year's SMOFCon is available on their web site,

This is the fourth year that SFSFC has issued scholarships to allow promising convention runners to attend SMOFCon. SFSFC issued two SMOFCon scholarships (one recipient was unable to attend due to illness) to attend SMOFCon 24 in Kansas City in 2006.

Applications were judged by the scholarship administrators, who for 2007 were the three directors of SFSFC who have chaired Worldcons: David W. Clark, Kevin Standlee, and Tom Whitmore.

The name "SMOF" stands for "Secret Masters Of Fandom," and is a humorous reference to the people who organize and manage science fiction conventions. Another term sometimes used for such people is "conrunner."

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