2019 Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Service to SFWA Award Announced

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA, Inc.)
 is pleased to announce that the Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Service Award will be presented to Lee Martindale during the SFWA Nebula Conference awards ceremony on May 18th, 2019.

Lee Martindale has been a member of SFWA since 1999 and served on the Election Committee for three years and chaired the Bylaws committee for six years. Beginning in 2005, she served as the Mediation Specialist on the Grievance Committee and in 2008 she took on the position of SFWA Ombudsman. Martindale was elected as the South-Central director in 2010 and served in that position until 2015, when the regional directorships were redesigned to reflect the organization’s change to a 501c3 public charity. She continued to serve as one of the directors-at-large until 2016.

SFWA President Cat Rambo has reflected on her time working with Martindale, “Lee’s service to SFWA includes driving the creation of SFWA’s accessibility guidelines, which have been used by dozens of events outside SFWA’s own, serving for years on the SFWA board and representing it there and at events with a consistent, fair, and business-minded presence, and her current role as part of SFWA’s Grievance Committee. She was a leader in diversity issues such as accessibility and the size rights movement, publishing a book of essays, Prejudice by the Pound, in 2008. It’s a pleasure to recognize her sharp-witted and devoted service to SFWA with the Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Service to SFWA Award.”

The Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Service to SFWA Award recognizes a member of SFWA who best exemplifies the ideal of service to his or her fellow members. O’Donnell won the Service Award in 2005
The Nebula Awards will be presented during the annual SFWA Nebula Conference, which will run from May 16th – 19th and feature a series of seminars and panel discussions on the craft and business of writing, SFWA’s annual business meeting, and receptions. On May 18th, a mass autograph session will take place at Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills and is open to the public
The Nebula Awards, presented annually, recognize the best works of science fiction and fantasy published in the United States as selected by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, membership in which is open to all professional science fiction and fantasy authors. The first Nebula Awards were presented in 1966
The Nebula Awards include four fiction awards, a game writing award, the Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book, the Solstice Award, the Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award, and the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award.

For more information, please email pr@sfwa.org.

One Response

  1. John Johnston III, Griefcom Chair

    A few words from John E. Johnston III, SFWA Grievance Commitee Chair,
    graciously spoken at the Nebula Awards by John Scalzi:

    Lee Martindale is well known for all of her contributions to SFWA except one –
    her service with Griefcom. I would like to speak to you all about that, from a
    distance while I recover from an accident. Lee Martindale has been an extremely
    talented and valuable member of Griefcom and has ensured that some of the people
    in the audience tonight got paid, that others in the audience got their rights
    rescinded to them, and has done a lot more that I can’t ever share any details
    about. She has done what all members of Griefcom do: heroic deeds on behalf of
    others that must and will remain secret forever. No one but I will ever know how
    many and what monsters she has fought and how hard and for how long she fought
    them for zero pay and zero recognition, for that is the price of being in
    Griefcom. But I do know, and therefore I pass unto you, the following:

    1. Had Lee Martindale never done anything else for SFWA except her work with
    Griefcom she would still more than deserve this award.

    2. No matter how bad or thankless it was, whenever I called Lee with a job to
    be done she said “Yes, sir,”and she got it done. Over many years, Lee
    Martindale never once – not once – let me down, not even in the slightest. More
    importantly, she never once let any of you in the audience down. You got
    justice, and Lee made sure that you got it.

    3. Griefcom lost a vital section head recently. When I was rearranging our staff
    to compensate, Lee volunteered to run two sections of Griefcom until we got
    reinforcements. She has done so magnificently.

    I mentioned how Griefcom gets zero recognition. That’s normally true, but
    there’s a reason that four Griefcom members – her, me, my strong right arm
    Michael Armstrong, and my late best friend the legendary Kevin O’Donnell, for
    whom the award was posthumously named – have all won the award she is receiving
    tonight: in an organization where you, the members, write tales of slaying
    dragons, we have slain them on your behalf, over and over again. This award is
    the only recognition for her dragonslaying that Lee will ever receive.

    The motto of Griefcom is “Fiat justitia ruat caelum” – let justice be done
    though the heavens fall. Tonight SFWA recognizes a woman who has fought and won
    battle after battle on its behalf while living that motto. As the only other
    person who knows what she’s done, I ask each and every one of you here tonight
    to honor her, because she has more than earned it.

    Thank you.