When we created Sirens, we created something big and bold and bright.
A place where women and nonbinary people can gather to discuss, with both great brilliance and great excitement, the fantasy literature that we all love through an intersectional feminist lens.
A place where all attendees’ voices are valid and valuable not in spite of, but because of, their different identities, experiences, and perspectives.
A place where you can never be too much or too little. Never too smart, never too shy, never too ambitious, never too furious, never too anything.
A place where you can squeal about books over breakfast, learn from a renowned scholar over lunch, and present your literary analysis in the afternoon—all before donning your pjs, grabbing your cocoa, and listening to a famous author read from her new book at bedtime.
A place that is as much a community as it is a conference.
SIRENS RUNS ON DONATIONS, VOLUNTEER HOURS, AND MAGIC
When we created Sirens, we planned an upside-down budget where our expenses exceeded our revenue. Part of creating a community is providing opportunities for that community to grow—and sometimes those opportunities, such as the communal meals at Sirens, are expensive. Yet, despite those costs, we remain committed to keeping the price of Sirens as low as possible, so that more individuals have an opportunity to attend our conference and participate in our community.
As a result, the costs of presenting Sirens exceed our registration revenue by over $15,000. In fact, every time someone registers for Sirens, we lose money. Yes, this gives us heart palpitations every year!
And every year, Sirens covers that monetary gap by raising funds, in three ways, from those who can perhaps provide a bit more support. These funds go directly to covering Sirens’s costs and are critical to our ability to continue providing registrations at lower prices so that our community can continue to flourish.
If you can—if you believe in what Sirens does and you have a few bucks, or a skill, or some used books that you can share—we hope that you’ll donate to Sirens.
Each year, thousands of dollars of the costs of presenting Sirens are offset by monetary donations in amounts ranging from $5 to $1,500. The donors are members of the Sirens community, friends and family, and even strangers who simply believe in our mission of providing a space to discuss gender and fantasy literature. All monetary donations go directly toward the elements of Sirens that provide immediate value for attendees: catering, registration materials, audiovisual equipment, event insurance, and so forth.
If you’d like to make a donation, you may do so here. We will acknowledge you on our website, in our program book, and at Sirens.
The Sirens auction has become an unexpected source of funding in recent years, and one that we especially love: while raising money for Sirens, we’re also providing attendees the opportunity to obtain amazing items and services.
Auction items are frequently fun, sometimes one-of-a-kind, occasionally startling, and often a terrific deal on professional services. We’ve featured everything from geeky and fantastic t-shirts, pillows, journals, and jewelry to professional services such as manuscript critiques to query letter reviews, to art pieces such as custom digital artwork, character naming rights for upcoming books, and original watercolors.
The sky’s the limit, and if you are interested in donating an item or two for our auction, please complete our auction donation form by October 1 so that we can plan on including your donation and ensure all relevant paperwork has been completed in time. If you have any questions about what our attendees might find appealing, please email Amy at (donate at sirensconference.org).
A few years ago, Narrate Conferences, Inc., the presenting 501(c)(3) charitable organization behind Sirens, began operating the Sirens bookstore as a fundraiser. This gives us the opportunity to both use the bookstore profits to support Sirens, and in defiance of the commercial market, stock our bookstore with thousands of speculative fiction titles by women and nonbinary authors—a collection that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
In many ways, our bookstore operates like any other bookstore: we acquire new books for sale just like any other store. But in two ways, our bookstore is different. First, our community frequently donates new books, just to make sure that the bookstore includes them in its inventory; sometimes these attendees work for publishers or have authored the books themselves, but more often, these attendees are simply Sirens supporters who want to help make our bookstore as wonderful as possible. Second, we have a used section of our bookstore where we offer gently used fantasy books for $5 each. That section of our bookstore is stocked entirely through donations.
If you would like to donate books to our bookstore, please send those books to the following address, to arrive no later than August 1, so that we can include them in our inventory. And remember, if you’re shipping only books, the USPS media mail option is terrifically cheap, but terrifically slow, so please leave time for your package to arrive.
c/o Narrate Conferences
P.O. Box 149
Sedalia, CO 80135
Narrate Conferences, Inc., the presenting organization behind Sirens, is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Therefore, all donations to Sirens are eligible for tax deduction in accordance with U.S. law.
We want to thank everyone who donates at all, in any amount, any item, for your support of Sirens. So much of Sirens is magic, and we hope you know that your support is magical, too.