SFWA Middle Grade and Young Adult Writers
SFWA Middle Grade and Young Adult Writers is a special interest group supporting SFWA’s middle grade and young adult author members. Formed in June 2012, the group is currently in the midst of a six-month trial period. Membership guidelines are below, and any interested SFWA members should consult the guidelines to determine if they are eligible to join the group.
SFWA Middle Grade and Young Adult Writers is guided by a three-person steering committee. Those committee members are:
Malinda Lo, chair
Janni Lee Simner
To contact the steering committee, send an email to [email protected]
SFWA Middle Grade and Young Adult Writers – Member Guidelines
Working Draft, approved Aug. 22, 2012
Purpose of the Middle Grade and Young Adult Writers Group
The primary purpose of this group is to create an integral community within SFWA that is comprised of MG and YA SFWA authors for mutual support and knowledge sharing, recognizing that MG and YA SFWA authors work in markets with demands that are different from adult SF/F/H. Secondarily, this group aims to provide information to the broader SFWA membership about MG and YA via educational outreach on the SFWA blog, the SFWA discussion forums, the SFWA Bulletin, and at SF/F conventions.
Appointment of MG & YA Chairperson
The SFWA president will appoint a steering committee chairperson, acting with the consent of the Board, for a one-year term.
The president may, with the consent of the board, appoint the committee chairperson for a second one-year term.
Appointment of the Steering Committee
The committee chair will request two additional steering committee members by asking for volunteers from the MG/YA listserve members. If more than two members volunteer for these positions, a vote will be held online among the listserve participants to fill the two vacancies. Steering committee members are expected to serve for one year from July 1 to June 30.
The responsibilities of the steering committee include but are not limited to:
(1) acting as liaisons with the rest of SFWA, including the sfwa.org website, the SFWA Bulletin, and the Norton jury;
(2) moderating the discussion on the listserve, which is co-owned (as “owner” is defined by the hosting listserve) by the steering committee chair and a member of the board designated by the president;
(3) nominate a replacement chairperson to the President for a vacancy for any reason. The President is obligated to consider but not to accept or appoint the nominee.
(4) other responsibilities as agreed upon by the members of SFWA MG & YA Writers.
The steering committee may be contacted at:
Listserve Membership Eligibility
It is anticipated that the SFWA MG & YA writers will primarily congregate and communicate through the established listserve. The following SFWA members* are eligible to join the listserve:
a. Active Members who have at least one MG/YA** publication credit in an SFWA-qualifying market***.
b. Associate Members who have at least one MG/YA publication credit in an SFWA-qualifying market.
c. Affiliate members who work with MG/YA fiction professionally. It is not required that affiliate members have publication credits in MG/YA.
Institutional and Estate members are not eligible to join the listserve.
* If an SFWA member is not eligible to join the list under one category but believes he/she is eligible in another category, the member will be admitted to the list if he/she meets the SFWA member qualifications for that other category. For example, if an Active member does not meet the eligibility requirements above but believes he/she would meet the Affiliate requirements, the Active member must also qualify for SFWA membership under SFWA’s Affiliate requirements.
** A work of fiction is categorized as middle grade or young adult if the publisher of said work categorizes it as middle grade (generally ages 8-12) or young adult (generally ages 12-18). For example, a novel published by Tor is not categorized as YA, but a novel published by Tor Teen is. Additionally, if a work is voted onto, and deemed eligible to appear on, the Andre Norton award ballot, then it will be considered middle grade or young adult for the purposes of this list. All other ambiguous cases will be decided by the steering committee.
*** If a work of MG/YA fiction is not published in an SFWA-qualifying market, exceptions may be made in the following cases: (1) if the publisher of said work is listed in the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market; (2) if the publisher is a non-U.S.-based children’s publisher that would normally not be listed in CWIM, but would otherwise be considered a qualifying professional market (as defined by SFWA here: http://www.sfwa.org/join-us/sfwa-membership-requirements/#qualify).
In the case of (2), the SFWA member requesting membership in the listserve should send relevant publication details to the list’s steering committee ([email protected]) for consideration.
How to Join the Listserve
1. Email the steering committee ([email protected]) with the following information:
- Your Name (If you write MG/YA under a penname, please list both your SFWA member name and your penname)
- The title, publisher, and publication date of your most recent or forthcoming MG/YA work of fiction
2. After the steering committee confirms membership eligibility, the list administrator will issue you an invitation to join the SFWA-MG-YA google group.
Addendum from John Scalzi (SFWA president) and Rachel Swirsky (SFWA vice president):
For now, the SFWA YA/MG list is open to SFWA members whose published credits in young adult and middle grade fiction mirror the membership requirements for SFWA. This means that not all members of SFWA will be able to be part of the list. This is an experiment on our part to offer those members of SFWA with a YA/MG focus a laboratory to discuss issues and concerns specific to their field.
It is our intention to make this group useful to the SFWA membership as a whole, including those members who do not currently qualify for membership. The workgroup aims to share information about YA/MG publishing with the general membership, as well as giving advice to those hoping to break into the field.
Young adult and middle grade authors make up a thriving and growing portion of science fiction and fantasy publishing, and it is our hope that this list will help to address the needs of this underserved population of SFWAns. We also hope that it will appeal to young adult and middle grade authors who qualify for SFWA membership but do not see the organization as addressing their needs.
If this experiment proves both successful and useful, we may see the formation of other information-sharing workgroups that focus on other fields, including self-publishing and electronic publishing.