What is a Round Robin?
Round Robins are a great a way to meet fellow fans, make new friends and have discussions about your favorite subjects and authors. There are Robins on all kinds of subjects, and more suggested all the time. Following this sheet, there is an updated list of the N3F Round Robins. An updated list is also included in the TNFF. If you would like an updated list sooner please contact the President (firstname.lastname@example.org) or RR bureau head (preferred; email@example.com) and request one.
What is a “Round Robin”? A Round Robin (RR for short), is a packet of letters from fellow Neffers, written on a specific subject in which you are all interested. The RR starts out from its “home” at its Robin Master’s (RM for short), and travels all around the USA (sometimes Canada and other countries), to the RR members on its route sheet. At each stop, the Neffer receiving it reads all the enclosed letters, and writes one of his/her own, puts that letter behind the others, takes out the previous letter he/she added to the Robin, and sends the whole packet on to the next member on the route sheet. Robin members also send a postcard, note or email to the RM, telling him/her that the Robin was mailed to the next person on the route sheet. and includes the date the packet was sent. This way, the RR can be tracked by the RM, to ensure that it keeps going on its journey.
The Route Sheet in the RR packet has all the names and addresses of the members, as well as “how to” instructions for the RR. It is a good idea to make an address card of your own, with the name of the Robin, the name and address of the RM, and the name and address of the person listed after your name on the route sheet. This way if you have not seen the RR in a while, you can write a note to the RM, and ask about it. If you keep track of the dates that you received the RR and sent it out again, this can be invaluable to your RM in finding a misplaced RR.
Round Robins have from 4 to 6 members on each route sheet. It takes at least 4 members to start a Robin rounding, After 6 members it is declared “closed”. This is to facilitate the time the RR takes to round (complete one circuit of the Robin’s members). With a strict 10-day limit at each person’s home, it can take a RR from 1 to 2 months to round. It should take no longer than 3 months. If it does, then it is time to alert the RM that the RR seems to have gone astray. When a subject “loop” (the name for a RR route sheet packet) has 6 members and is closed, then a second subject loop list is started if there are Neffers on its waiting list, and when it has 4 members it will also start rounding. This way, more than one Robin can be started on the same topic.
The Robin Coordinator (RC) is responsible for adding the names of Neffers to RRs that they request to join. You may join as many as you like, but keep in mind there is a time limit for them. I would recommend that you request at least 4 robins initially. Depending on their status at the time of your request, they may or may not be active. Between that and the time they take to round, it is more likely you will see a RR sooner. The RC will then send you a note telling you the status of the RR(s) that you have joined. Make sure to tell the RC if you do not receive the RR in a reasonable time frame. This helps the RC keep on top of all the RRs. This is a case where complaints are appreciated! J There is a time lapse when you first join a RR. Once your name is sent to the RM, she/he has to wait for the RR to round home, so your name can be added. After that you should see the RR regularly.
Anyone volunteering to be a RM will receive a sheet on exactly how it works, and lots of help from the RC. RRs exist for your enjoyment and fun. If and when you ever want to drop off an RR, you simply cross your name off the list, and send it on. It is also that easy to resign from the job of RM. You simply notify the RC, and return the RR (if you have it) to the RC, and another RM will be found, no questions asked.
In March, 2015, the list of Round Robins included:
Cats in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Folklore-Four
Speculative in Films-Four
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the New Generation-Five
Fairy and Folktales-Four
Mysticism and Religion in Science Fiction and Fantasy-Four
Celtic Folklore and Druid Folklore-Five
Harry Potter Books and Movies-Four
Science Fiction and Fantasy in Films-Four
Star Trek: Voyager and Enterprise-Five
Star Trek: Classic/TOS-Five
TV Science Fiction and Fantasy-Three
The Hobbit: Book and Movies-Four
J.R.R. Tolkien/the Lord of the Rings-Five
Comics, Graphic Novels-Three
Science and Technology and Society-Five
Women Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers-Four
The Pretender/John Doe-Three
Comics, Graphic Novels/Animated Films-Four
The Hunger Games-Four
Terry Pratchett/Disc World-Four
General Science Fiction and Fantasy-Four
Jim Butcher/The Dresden Files-Four
High Technology in the Ancient World-Five
Guardians of the Galaxy-Three