The DUFF Post-Pandemic Update for 2021

Hello everyone, I am Erin Underwood, the current DUFF delegate. Thank you to everyone who voted for me. It is my honor to work to connect U.S., Australian, and New Zealand fans in-person and virtual during my term in this role.

Last year, as the newly appointed DUFF delegate, I was slated to travel to New Zealand to represent the U.S. at ConZealand, the 2020 Worlcon. For obvious reasons, this didn’t happen due to Covid 19 and the pandemic, which basically shut down the world for travel and large gatherings.

As the world begins to open up again and as people tentatively resume getting on planes to attend conventions and other in-person gatherings, it’s time to take a look at what the future holds for DUFF and for me as the DUFF delegate.

The current DUFF delegate plan will be for me to travel to the Australia/New Zealand region and to represent U.S. fandom in 2022. My hope is that by then, we will see fan conventions reopen in this region since there are still lingering travel restrictions and uncertainty about when large in-person gatherings will be permitted and how soon the local conventions in New Zealand and Australia will get going again. Since my trip to Australia/New Zealand is being pushed off until at least 2022, the next DUFF race will most likely happen in 2023. I will keep everyone updated on how this timing works out as the pandemic recedes and convention details unfold.

In the meantime, I don’t see any reason not to pull together some fun virtual activities meant to stimulate communications and connections within the DUFF community. So, be sure to keep an eye on the DUFF blog and to follow DUFF in social media.

If you have any questions, please be sure to let me know.


Erin Underwood wins DUFF

The Down Under Fan Fund is pleased to announce that Erin Underwood has won the Down Under Fan Fund race and will become the new North American Administrator to the fund.

60 ballots were cast. One of the ballots did not contain any voting information and the donation was just counted as a donation to the fund. Erin won an outright majority on the first round, with 37 first place votes.

Candidate Round One Votes
Erin 37
James 10
Shaun 8
Richard 3
Hold 1
None 1

Over $900 was raised in the voting season.

With ConZealand being a virtual Worldcon this year and Corvid-19, Erin will not be traveling to New Zealand this year, but hopes to travel to Australasia in the DUFF tradition in 2021, health and world events permitting.


Patrick Nielsen Hayden
John Reiher
Michael David Kennedy
Claire Rousseau
Jen Zink
Adrienne Travis
Jo Van Ekeren
Leslie Turek
Elizabeth McCarty
Christine Taylor-Butler
David Axler
Vincent Docherty
Michael Lowrey
David Goldfarb
Chadwick Ginther
Vanessa May
Catherine Sharp
Steven Silver
Robert Lichtman
Rebecca Evans
Corey White
Pamela Burr
Robin Hill
Sten Thaning
Richard Duffy
David Grubbs
Robert Kuhn
Sean Fagan
Steven Lee
Jim Mann
Melita Kennedy
William Wright
Laurie Mann
Cora Buhlert
Donna Marie Hanson
Andrew Porter
Chris Levesque
Gillian Polack
Garth Nix
Chip Hitchcock
Janice Gelb
John Hertz
Alicia Smith
Geri Sullivan
Mark Herrup
Theresa Renner
Rick Kovalcik
Anthony Lewis
Suford Lewis
Gay Ellen Dennett
 Tim Szczesuil
Joann CoX
Kelly Persona
Judith Bemis
Ann Broomhead
Sharon Sbarsky
Mary Fitzgerald
Juan Sanmiguel
Donald S Fitch


Who may vote in DUFF?

Sean Eric Fagan asked, in one of my pleas for votes and donations for DUFF:

Yeah, your rules are very confusing. How do I know whether I’m enough of a fan for you to accept?\

The ballot and long established rules of the Fan Fund is to have someone who has been in “Fandom” for a while. As the ballot says,  “active in Fandom before January 2018” but what does that MEAN? I know the iceberg rule: if Sean is confused, many others are confused too.

As your North American Fan Fund Coordinator, for me, it’s pretty simple, but let’s lay it out there and say it.

Do you read SFF? Do you talk to others about SFF on social media? Blog? Podcast? Youtubber? Write Goodreads reviews? Attend conventions? Then you are active in fandom and qualify to donate and vote, and we, the Down Under Fan Fund, would be proud and delighted for you to vote.

I want as many people to donate, vote and participate. I want all lovers of SFF who can financially do so to support the Down Under Fan Fund and our candidates.

What DUFF winners do and why to support them

Adapted from the GUFF (Get Up and Over Fan Funds Page)

What happens on a DUFF trip? You meet other fans from the places you’re visiting, let them know more about you and your fandom, and enable fans at home to vicariously share in your travels! In this case, the winner will be expected to attend Worldcon in Wellington in July/August and strongly encouraged to travel and meet fans where they will represent their country’s fandom and generally be a good ambassador for it. This tends to involve helping out as much as possible at conventions, which can include taking part in the programme, possibly presenting an award if there’s an award ceremony, helping with fund raising for future DUFF trips, and generally being as visible and friendly as you can. Before and/or after the convention, travelling to meet other fans in different places is expected; the winner will usually plan some extra time for this, taking in specific events where possible.

On my own DUFF trip in 2017, I not only went to Lexicon in New Zealand and Continuum in Melbourne, but I met a variety of fans and genre people in New Zealand, Melbourne, Canberra and beyond.


What is expected of the winner after the trip? After the trip, the winner will become the new North American DUFF administrator. It will be their duty to raise and manage DUFF’s money in North American, gather and count the North American votes for the next two races and take the lead role in administering the next trip to North America (This is not as hard as it sounds, since previous administrators are generally available to help and advise.) During this time, the administrator should ideally also be writing a report of their trip, to publish and sell to raise additional money for the fund.

In that regard, in 2017, I wrote my report,. “What I did on my Summer Vacation: The 2017 Down Under Fan Fund Report” which you can still buy at my website. I also have participated in a number of auctions at various cons, gotten people like Seanan McGuire to donate signed merchandise, and researched various fan organizations to obtain donations. By all of these methods, I have helped strengthen and replenish the fund. These are the sorts of activities my successor should also do.

Person X is standing. There’s no way I could beat them. What should I do? One of the important fundraising methods for DUFF is the money people pay to vote. To get people to vote there needs to be a strong field of candidates. The fund needs people to stand and then to do their best to win by encouraging more votes, since this all contributes to fundraising. Standing as a candidate can be a lot of fun even if you don’t win, and good practice for standing again (by which time you might be the favourite). However, do make sure you’re prepared to make the trip: there’s always the chance of an upset victory!

But isn’t it just a popularity contest? Being popular and well-known throughout SF fandom certainly helps, but that might not be enough to win by itself. In the past very popular candidates have been beaten by candidates who put a lot of work into their campaigns, including active support from their nominators, which encouraged a lot more people to vote. And candidates can become more popular as part of standing for DUFF.

2020 DUFF Ballotrevised12020


The 2020 DUFF Race Candidates are announced

The Down Under Fan Fund, administrated by Paul Weimer and Marlee Jane Ward, are pleased to announce that there are four candidates for the 2020 Down Under Fan Fund race, which will send a fan from North America to ConZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction convention in Wellington, New Zealand.

The Four Candidates are:

Richard Auffrey

(nominators include: Dan Rabarts, Ed Tisdale, Gillian Polack, Fred Kiesche, Paul Moore)

Shaun Duke

(nominators include David Annadale, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Jen Zink, Beverly Bambury, Joyce Chng)

James Davis Nicoll

(nominators include Sean Fagan, Mike Glyer, Elaine Walker, David Goldfarb, Jo Van Ekeren)

Erin Underwood

(nominators include: David McDonald, Jim Kelly, Garth Nix, Nancy Holder, Janice Gelb)

The revised and improved official ballot along with the candidate platforms is here:

2020 DUFF Ballotrevised12020


Note that the DUFF ballot is fillable and savable.

Voting will take place until March 27th, 2020.


2020 DUFF Race is now Open!

Paul Weimer and Marlee Jane Ward, Administrators of DUFF, the Down Under Fan Fund, announce that the 2020 Race is now open, to send a fan from North America to ConZealand, the 2020 Worldcon in Wellington New Zealand and become the North American Administrator of the Fund.

Nominations are open from 1 December 2019  until 17 January 2020 (23:59 Eastern Standard Time) and candidates will be announced soon after. Voting will then run until 23:59 on 27 March 2020  with the winner announced online as soon as possible after voting has closed.

Nominations should be sent via email to  (Paul Weimer) AND (Marlee Jane Ward).  Send the nomination request to us both. (We’re busy people and want to make sure your nomination is seen).

You will need three North American and two Australasian nominators (who will each need to independently confirm their nominations to us via email), a platform of no more than 100 words to appear on the ballot, a bond of US$20/CAN$25 [The bond can be sent by PayPal to ] and a guarantee to attend the 2020 Worldcon in New Zealand if you win.


No 2019 Race

The Down Under Fan Fund, currently administered by Paul Weimer and Marlee Jane Ward, announce that there will be No 2019 delegate

2019 is an awkward year for a Down Under Fan Fund race from the US to Australasia given that 2020 is slated to be Worldcon in New Zealand, and a 2020 race from Australasia to North America is not likely to have the time and energy given that Worldcon. As a result, there will be no race in 2019. However, there will be a race for 2020, with the expectation that the 2020 DUFF delegate will travel from North America to attend Worldcon in Wellington, New Zealand, and other fannish events and meetings as possible in the spirit and mission of the Down Under Fan Fund.