Candidate for Overseas Regional Director: Sean Williams

Dear SFWA members:

I am standing for the position of Overseas Regional Director, which went unfilled in the last election. As Australian members of SFWA now outnumber any other nationality (except those from the UK) I’ve been encouraged to stand in order to provide a strong international voice on the committee. I offer my experience as both a working writer and an advocate for writers while we negotiate this time of consolidation for the SFWA and great upheaval in the publishing industry worldwide.

Something about myself, for those who don’t know me:

  • I have been a member of SFWA since 1993 and a full-time professional writer since 1999.
  • 2010 sees the publication of my thirtieth novel and seventy-fifth short story.
  • I write science fiction and fantasy for kids, young adults and adults. Although most of it is original, I have worked for licensed properties, including Star Wars and Doctor Who. My novelisation of The Force Unleashed was the first computer game tie-in to debut at #1 on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list. I am also a published poet.
  • My work has been nominated for the Seiun (Japan) and Philip K Dick (USA) awards. I am a multiple winner of Australia’s Ditmar and Aurealis awards, and in 2009 I received the Peter McNamara Award for service to Australian speculative fiction. I am also a former winner, and now judge, of the Writers of the Future Contest.
  • I firmly believe in the principle of paying forward. In addition to teaching and mentoring new writers through schools, universities, writers’ centers and festivals, including two stints at Clarion South, I actively participate in organizations devoted to the betterment of the writer’s lot.
  • To that end, I have served eight of the last ten years on the board of Australia’s longest-running writers’ centre, including stints as Treasurer and Chair. I am currently the Assistant Treasurer of the Big Book Club Inc., a national arts organization committed to the promotion of reading and literature, and I sit on the Executive of the Board of Management of the Australian Society of Authors.
  • I have also served terms as on the Australia Council Literature Board, Arts SA’s Literature Assessment Board, the SA Youth Arts Board Project & Development Grant Advisory Committee, Adelaide Fringe’s WORD Festival Advisory Committee, and the Tertiary and Further Education (SA) Professional Writing Industry Assessment Group. (A full CV is available at my website.)
  • I have a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide, where I am currently a PhD candidate.
  • I am a regular guest at Australian cons and attend at least one overseas convention a year, most recently Denvention in 2008 and World Fantasy in 2009. I will be Guest of Honour at the 2010 New Zealand natcon, and will naturally be at the Melbourne Worldcon in August. I will be travelling through Europe in the middle of 2010.
  • I live with my wife Amanda (an English professor) in Adelaide, South Australia.

As a member of the Scalzi/Kowal ticket, I offer you the very same assurances: if elected we will continue the hard work begun by the current committee to place the organization on a more stable footing, while at the same time recruiting and retaining members from across the world.

As Overseas Regional Director I am naturally interested in conducting outreach in Australia, but that will not remotely be the full extent of my involvement in the committee. I am keen to participate as a full board member answerable to the entirety of SFWA’s membership. Under new by-laws, and with no immediate precedent to follow, I will pursue my duties as dictated by the needs of you, the industry professionals that make this organisation so strong.

I look forward to working with you as part of the 2010-2011 administration.