The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) is pleased to announce three additions to SFWA’s staff: Kevin Wabaunsee has been named as the new SFWA Managing Editor, Lauren Raye Snow has been named as the new SFWA Art Director, and Beth Dawkins has been named the new SFWA Volunteer Coordinator. The Managing Editor will support the Editor-in-Chief in overseeing the reorganization and production of SFWA’s publications and communications channels. The Art Director will oversee all visual aspects of SFWA, including graphics, branding, and design. The Volunteer Coordinator will work across the organization to ensure that members who want to offer their time and services are placed where they are needed most.
Wabaunsee is a speculative fiction writer and editor. He is a Prairie Band Potawatomi, a Chicagoan, and a former newspaper reporter. Wabaunsee is a graduate of the Viable Paradise workshop and an associate editor at Escape Pod. His short fiction has been published by Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, and PseudoPod. In addition to his SF/F work, Wabaunsee has more than 10 years of experience as an editor, publications manager, and communications director, primarily working in higher education and research communications.
SFWA President, Mary Robinette Kowal said, “I’m not sure that I’ve ever met a more organized, soothing person as Kevin. Watching processes come into place that make SFWA’s communication more efficient has been wonderful.”
As Managing Editor, Wabaunsee will assist Editor-in-Chief Michi Trota in providing oversight and executing production of the SFWA publications and communications that help shape and maintain the organization’s reputation. This critical position is responsible to help facilitate SFWA’s goals and mission statement of informing, supporting, promoting, defending and advocating for its members.
“I’ve long admired SFWA and the work it does on behalf of the science-fiction and fantasy community. I’m thrilled at the opportunity to join Michi Trota, Mary Robinette Kowal, and SFWA’s board and staff in helping to produce SFWA’s publications and sharing them with the world,” Wabaunsee said.
Snow is a designer, illustrator, and arts activist from South Texas. Over the course of her career, she has served as Creative Director for multiple nonprofits and justice movement campaigns. In her personal work, she is inspired by the Symbolists and the Pre-Raphaelites, by the Catholic and Indigenous religious icons of her native South Texas, as well as speculative works of wonder, horror, romance, and beauty in literature and music.
“I have long wanted to have an art director for SFWA to create a cohesive look to the organization’s publications and web presences. Earlier this year, I had asked John Picacio, for a recommendation for a volunteer to do some graphic work for the Nebulas conference. In the first meeting with Lauren, I knew that we had found someone exceptional. When I proposed expanding her role to art director, everyone on the team gave an enthusiastic ‘yes’.” Kowal says.
As Art Director, Snow will provide direction and coordination regarding graphics, art, and other visual elements among SFWA’s multiple channels and content streams. This new position will help strengthen SFWA’s visual cohesiveness.
“I am delighted to serve as SFWA’s new Art Director,” Snow says. “My love for genre fiction runs deep. My father, himself an astronomer by trade and lifelong genre fan, read me Tolkien at bedtime; I spent many an afternoon wandering the halls of the offices of the Planetarium where he worked, marveling at the glowing murals of constellations and playing with his large plastic replica of Ridley Scott’s Alien. To take on the role of Art Director for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America is a dream come true. I can’t wait to work with the SFWA team to bring some fantastical beauty into being.”
Dawkins is a long-time volunteer for SFWA herself, working with the organization at Nebula Conferences and Worldcons, as well as helping out behind the scenes. Her fiction has been published in Flame Tree’s Heroic Fantasy Short Stories, Apex Magazine, If This Goes On, and Analog. She lives in Northeast GA with her partner and two dogs.
“The strength of any service organization comes from its volunteers. SFWA has no shortage of people in the community who want to help. To link them to the work, we needed someone who was organized and responsive to a constantly changing landscape. Beth Dawkins has been doing tireless work matching volunteers to opportunities and we are very fortunate to have her.” said Kowal.
As Volunteer Coordinator, Dawkins will work with members throughout the organization to catalog the need for volunteers and to match up potential volunteers with the jobs and tasks that need to be done. SFWA runs on its volunteers and Dawkins will ensure that it can continue to function and grow.
“I have always believed in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. It is a pleasure to connect people with one another and continue to help grow our community,” Dawkins said.