Grants, medical assistance and dues relief available to SFWA Members
Mary Robinette Kowal, president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) today announced relief efforts to help members of the science-fiction and fantasy (SF/F) community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including a combination of dues relief, grants, and other programs.
“These are unprecedented times,” Kowal said. “Many of our members are facing painful and difficult circumstances. For creative artists, in particular, the pandemic has brought the cancellation and suspension of much of our usual access to revenue. Uncertainty about the future is in the air, and bills continue to come due.”
Many SFWA members have seen their income sharply reduced, as publishers delay anthologies and novels, advertising vanishes in the flood of news, and public events like conventions and tours are canceled or postponed. Many bookstores and other distributors have shuttered, and readers have less money for buying books.
To respond to these challenges, SFWA today announced a series of measures to support its members.
COVID-19 RELIEF GRANTS
The SFWA board has allocated $100,000 to a COVID-19 relief effort. This initiative will help SFWA members who are struggling to afford necessary expenses due to lost revenue from COVID-19 illness or related restrictions. This receipt-based grant will allow members to apply for up to $1,000 of emergency funding to cover the cost of essential needs, such as housing and food, due to lost income from the pandemic.
To apply visit: https://www.sfwa.org/covid-19-relief-for-sfwa-members/
Effective immediately, SFWA is implementing a deadline extension for all of its membership renewals, as a way to offer targeted relief for members. SFWA’s board unanimously approved this extraordinary measure to support and encourage its members to remain a part of the organization while minimizing its financial burden. Renewal notices will go out on a normal schedule, and those who are financially stable and able to pay on time are encouraged to do so to allow SFWA to continue its mission.
Any members who are facing financial hardship related to the pandemic, however, may request a six-month due-date extension. No action is required for current members; they can wait until their renewal notice arrives to decide how to proceed.
The funding from dues allows SFWA to work on behalf of its members by promoting, advancing, and supporting SF/F writing. It drives our educational outreach and allows the organization to empower SF/F writers through programs like Griefcom, Writer Beware, the Emergency Medical Fund, and our new COVID-19 relief effort.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL BILL GRANTS
SFWA’s Emergency Medical Fund exists to support members who are facing medical expenses for which insurance does not cover. SFWA members who are facing medical issues that interfere with their ability to write are encouraged to apply to the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund.
For more information and to apply, visit: https://www.sfwa.org/about/benevolent-funds/emergency-medical-fund/
HOW YOU CAN HELP SCIENCE-FICTION WRITERS
Today, SFWA also asked for assistance from those who are financially stable to donate to the Where the Need is Greatest fund. Donations help fund all of SFWA’s relief efforts, including helping members in financial distress pay their rent or mortgages, buy essential medication, and acquire the necessary supplies and services to make it through these challenging times.
“Donating is an essential way to help our peers and community. As it currently stands, the fund will only be able to support a fraction of the expected requests for assistance. We are asking our community to please give generously. The world needs stories, especially now, and the storytellers need you.” Kowal said.