Now Hiring!
Center for the Study of Science Fiction
AboutSF Volunteer Coordinator

The Center for the Study of Science Fiction's educational-outreach project is AboutSF. University of Kansas student employees have served as AboutSF Volunteer Coordinators since our inception: From 2005-2007, the Volunteer Coordinator was Thomas Seay, who also built the first iteration of; from 2007-2010, Nathaniel Williams held the position; in spring 2010, it was Samantha Simmons; from summer to fall 2010, Kristen Lillvis; from 2011-2012, Benjamin Cartwright; from 2012-2013, Isaac Bell; and from 2013-2014, Meagan Kane and Mackenzie VanBeest. Our first Web Developer/Designer (2011-2012) was Patrick Flor.

Call for applications open now for AboutSF Volunteer Coordinator:
Job Description
How to Apply

These positions are funded by grants and donations to the Center, and all donations go entirely to paying the Coordinator's salary, with a small amount to help cover expenses such as travel to libraries, conferences, and conventions where the Coordinator talks and leads workshops. The position is currently fully funded. If you'd like to donate, please let us know!

The website is the project's resource center, hosting information about and collaboration on SF and education in the field. Among our projects:

  • A speakers' bureau (Speculation Speakers) for futurists, science fiction and fantasy authors, and other experts on speculative thinking.
  • Sharing courses on teaching SF via the Center and the University of Kansas.
  • Facilitating literature donations.
  • Curriculum resources for teaching science fiction at the primary, secondary, and university levels.
  • Hosting a consortium of SF-friendly university programs.
  • Coordinating volunteer efforts across the speculative fiction field.
  • And much more!

AboutSF is a joint project of the University of Kansas Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the Science Fiction Research Association, with generous support from Tor Books, the KaCSFFS ConQuest SF Convention, and several individual donors.

To read the latest news on AboutSF projects, keep an eye on the AboutSF News and Announcements Forum.

Call for Applications:
AboutSF Volunteer Coordinator Position

Are you a KU student who's passionate about speculative fiction? Do you want to get involved in SF while helping keep it vital and growing strong? Then, perhaps you're the person we're looking for!

Who are we?
Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction
What is science fiction?

We are looking for a KU student (graduate or undergraduate) to work within our growing programs and leverage volunteers, educators, librarians, and students across the world. You have the opportunity to shape the position to best serve our mission while ensuring all our existing projects are successfully maintained and kept up-to-date.
The AboutSF Coordinator works to organize educational outreach programs for the Gunn Center. This includes contacting educators, recruiting volunteers, presenting workshops on using science fiction in the classroom to local schools and libraries, presenting panels on SF education at conventions, and regularly updating and enhancing the website and our social-media presence. To succeed, you must be good at self-direction and completing tasks without constant supervision, enthusiastic about making regular contacts with SF professionals and educators, and excited about using your creativity to help educate the world about the possibilities in science fiction.


  • Familiar with science fiction literature, media, and the field. You need not be an expert, but must be willing and able to learn.
  • Willing and able to work at least 10 hours per week, and willing to work up to 20 hours if needed.
  • Strong communication skills, including making regular contacts with new people, keeping the Center's Directors (informal, weekly progress reports and occasional meetings) and Board (formal, semi-annual reports) informed of your progress, and writing the occasional proposal for grants or other fundraising.
  • Good attention to detail (tactical thinking) with the ability to see the big picture (strategic thinking).
  • Self-motivated, self-directed, and able to work creatively toward novel solutions.
  • Excellent at managing time and prioritizing projects. The tasks of this job are wide and varied, some a few minutes long and some long-term.
  • Excited about meeting the movers and shakers in the SF field as well as coordinating volunteers around the nation and world. A successful AboutSF Coordinator stays in regular touch with writers, editors, publishers, donors, volunteers, and many others via phone calls, email, snail-mail, blogs, social-networking services, and more.
  • Excellent at and interested in research.
  • Able to communicate clearly via the Web, email, telephone, and in person, and an interest in maintaining communication.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office and other communication tools.
  • Enthusiastic about traveling to SF conventions and other venues in the area or around the country to meet people, promote our programs, and deliver the occasional talk or workshop.
  • Experienced with or have a passion for developing educational programs and teaching.
  • Familiar with building and maintaining websites, or able to quickly learn how to do so.
  • Open to mentoring and direction, when needed.
  • Familiar with communicating via social networks, blogs, and video sites.

If you have these skills, you're awesome:

  • Experience recruiting and working with volunteers.
  • Experience with consumer-grade video and audio editing software.
  • Experience writing grants.
  • Familiar with Web-development languages including the Drupal platform tool, CSS, and HTML.
  • Handy for working with old pages are .php, MySQL, Javascript, DHTML, XML, and Ajax.
  • Comfortable with graphic-design software such as Photoshop.
  • Familiar with content-editing programs (text, presentations, and so on).
  • Able to work year-round (our funding is Endowment-based, so we are not limited to academic semesters).


  • All the above, plus:
  • Coordinating worldwide volunteer activities in support of science fiction education.
  • Creating content for website, including educational materials, and editing and approving content provided by others.
  • Informative and useful weekly posts to the public via our social-networking tools.
  • Weekly or bi-weekly progress reports to the Center's Directors.
  • Semi-annual, high-level reports to our Board of Advisors and regular donors.
  • Updating the AboutSF website and working with KU Web developers on tasks beyond your programming abilities.
  • Regularly sharing information about programs, resources, and other material of interest via social media, direct contacts, and other means.
  • Working with volunteers and "AboutSF Agents" on various projects.
  • Writing proposals, grants, and otherwise helping secure donations and funding to support AboutSF programs.
  • Sharing educational-SF resources with educators, librarians, and students locally and around the world.
  • Presenting panels locally, with opportunities to travel to science-fiction conventions.
  • Other initiatives: Prior Coordinators have created podcast series, made videos, and lots of other great projects. In additional to meeting all the requirements of the position, what can you contribute to AboutSF's core mission that's uniquely yours? If we approve your idea, you could create something great!

This is a part-time, student-hourly position funded entirely by grants and donations (fully funded), with contract re-appointment reviewed by the CSSF Board each semester.

To apply, you must go through the formal KU Human Resources application process.

Also send your resume and letter (to Chris McKitterick at describing how you fit our vision and why you're passionate about science fiction and education. Explain how you understand the AboutSF mission and how you feel you match our needs - and suggest how you are the right person to extend our reach. We hope to make our hiring decisions ASAP during late September or early October 2014, so sooner is better!

This is a part-time (10 - 20 hours/week), student-hourly position funded entirely by donations (fully funded for at least another year). Contract re-appointment is reviewed by the CSSF Directors and Board semi-annually based on performance, feedback, and clear and regular self-reportage.

Beyond a paycheck, the benefits of working inside science fiction are immeasurable!

updated 9/25/2014

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