Category Archives: SFWA

What I’m Looking Forward to about This Year’s Nebula Conference Programming: An Appreciation of Kate Baker

Back when I was VP of SFWA, Executive Director Kate Baker told me she had a dream. “I want to make the Nebula conference -the- premier conference for professional F&SF writers,” she said. “Something that no one wants to miss. A conference so good that if someone has budget for only one convention each year, that’s the one they know they’ll get the most value out of.”

It seemed like a pretty good goal to me. After all, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America is over fifty years old, has close to 2000 members, including some pretty impressive names, has and continues to do major work in the field protecting professional F&SF writers, and gives out one set of the industry’s major awards as well as the recognition of the SFWA Grand Mastership.

It’s five years later, and in my opinion, Kate’s done what she set out to do. She didn’t do it alone, of course. She had the help of a whole lot of amazing SFWA staff and volunteers, including the amazing Terra LeMay and Steven H Silver. Mary Robinette Kowal got turned loose on programming the last couple of years and has been doing a stellar job. And others have made their mark with additions, such as the Nebula Award Alternate Universe Acceptance speeches or the mentoring program led by Sarah Pinsker or (I’d like to think) two I’ve contributed: the volunteer appreciation breakfast as well as the spouses and partners reception that have been regular features (and I hope will continue to do so!) Or the Book Depot, because I don’t know of ANY other con that takes as much care to make sure that its authors — including the indies — can sign and sell their books there.

We’ve only got a small fraction of the schedule so far, with plenty of new stuff getting added every day, but here’s some highlights.
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What Does the SFWA President Actually Do?

My last day is June 30, 2019, wheeeeeee, after which I will have been SFWA Vice President for one year, and President for two two-year terms, adding up to the sum of five consecutive years on the SFWA Board. Thank goodness for term limits. The Elections Committee asked me to do a write-up of what the role involves and I thought that might be of general interest as well. So here’s an expansion of what I sent Fran Wilde, our Elections Commissioner.
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More on The First Chapters Project

If you don’t know what the SFWA First Chapters project is, it’s an effort to collect first chapters from F&SF novels published throughout the year in a single compendium. This should help with reading for awards in that you have … Continue reading

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Promises for the 2018 SFWA Presidency

I will not threaten any countries or national leaders with veiled (or direct) references to my boobs. Or vulva. I will continue not to be involved with SFWA controversies, slights, feuds, grudges, mishaps, bureaucratic screw-ups, gross incompetences, and other scandals … Continue reading

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Three New SFWA Programs

One of the nice things about having a lot of pots bubbling away, particularly when other people are supervising some of them, is knowing what’s coming up on the menu. So here, in no particular order, is a deeper look … Continue reading

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Talking About Fireside Fiction’s #BlackSpecFic Report, Part 2 of 2

In Part One I presented a discussion between writers Steven Barnes, Maurice Broaddus, Tananarive Due, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Tonya Liburd, and Nisi Shawl about Fireside Fiction’s reports on black writers in speculative fiction. In this part I want to talk about SFWA and what it can learn or has already learned from both the report and the discussion, along with listing some of the action items I’m taking away from it.
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Talking About Fireside Fiction’s #BlackSpecFic Reports, Part 1 of 2

A few days ago Steven Barnes, Maurice Broaddus, Tananarive Due, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Tonya Liburd, and Nisi Shawl were kind enough to let me record their conversation about Fireside Fiction’s reports on blacks in speculative fiction. The discussion centered specifically on what SFWA can learn from the report in order to improve/expand existing efforts as well as things it should or shouldn’t be doing.
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SFWA and Independent Writers, Part Four: What Lies Down the Road

This is the final part of a four part series. In this part, I’ll talk about plans down the road and make some predictions for what SFWA will witness over the next few years. Overall, I think it’s going to be nothing but positives and that SFWA will continue its tradition of helping authors.

The series so far:

  1. Part one describes the organization and its history.
  2. Part two talks about the decision to admit independent and small press published writers.
  3. Part three talks about what happened when the independents were first admitted.

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SFWA and Independent Writers, Part Three: Launches and Lurches

This third of a four part series about the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s decision to admit independently published writers talk about the first wave and SFWA’s efforts to add value for those members. Here is Part One: History of the Organization and Part Two: Bringing in the Indies.
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SFWA and Independent Writers, Part Two: Bringing in the Indies

In part one of this series, I talked about the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writes of America (SFWA) prior to the move to bring in the independent writers. This section will discuss the decision and the process, as well as some of the reactions. My sources in putting all of this together are my own faulty memory, my personal notes, and the Internet. The discussion of the indie admission took place in a number of venues, including e-mails, blog articles and comments, social media, and the SFWA discussion forums. In drawing on the latter, I have tried to ensure that I did not violate their confidentiality rules, quoting only with permission.

Nomenclature has varied, but when I refer to independently published writers, that is the same group that others have used self-published, self-pubbed, indie, and other terms to describe. Self-publishing has been conflated with vanity publishing in the past; I believe them two distinct things.
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