Our membership numbers have steadily grown over the past decade, and we’re excited to announce that this year, SFWA has reached over 2,500 members! We hope you’ll celebrate this exciting milestone with us, as it demonstrates not only growth in our organization, but also touches upon what it truly means to be a SFWA member.
Joining SFWA is a benchmark achievement—a demonstration of a writer’s successful pursuit of publication in the speculative fiction mediums. Members of our community also support a deeply rooted practice, one that has followed the organization as it has evolved throughout its fifty plus year history: a willingness to “pay it forward” to other SFF creators embarking on that same dream. Together, we can all support SFWA’s growing services and programs, with a mission of creating stronger, more secure career paths for the whole community.
With that said, we want to show the SFF community what we’ve been up to with your valued engagement and much needed support. We’ve launched or continued a number of beneficial resources and programs this year for the entire SFF community. This is just a small sampling:
- Safety Resources: A series of guides that help event planners and authors navigate questions around maintaining safety and privacy for events and our online presences.
- Indie Pub 101: A hub of information for authors beginning a self-publishing career.
- SFWA Blog series: The Indie Files and Romancing SFF blog series have helped shed light on how these two creator communities lend value to the genres.
- DisneyMustPay: An ongoing endeavor with multiple peer organizations, this dedicated and tireless taskforce is still working behind the scenes to see that creators are getting what they’re owed by one of the biggest entertainment and media companies in the world.
- Givers Fund Grants: Awarded annually, these grants help promote the SFF genre through providing funding to projects like the South African Speculative Fiction’s workshop with the South African Environmental Project, distributing SFF books for free through the Gooding Public Library Foundation, and supporting small presses and magazines such as Space Cowboy Books and Firkin Press. We’ve awarded over $250,000 in Givers Fund Grants since 2014, and we’d love to see those numbers grow.
In addition, our dedicated volunteers and committees have continued their essential work in evaluating and awarding emergency medical funds to creators in need, maintaining and updating our literary estates database, exposing those that wish to do creators harm via Writer Beware, offering best practices on estate planning via the Bud Webster Legacy Kit, and continuing our advocacy work on contracts and legal affairs. We are also fostering networking and peer mentorship through hosting virtual weekly writing dates and monthly events, such as the Narrative Worlds series and the new Romancing SFF expert talks.
In 2023, we’re working on a website redesign, revamping our communications on SFWA’s accomplishments and services, developing a new matrix to better evaluate short fiction markets, and launching the Heritage Author Republication Project (HARP) to assist authors with self-publishing their backlists. These are all essential programs and services vital to the health and stability of our SFF community.
We also recognize that this is a time of uncertainty for the publishing industry, with questions and discussion surrounding AI tools, Amazon’s move to end short story market subscriptions, all the revelations from the failed Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster merger, and more. We are evaluating how this organization can best advocate for creators on these issues going forward.
These are just a few of the ways that SFWA works to sustain the SFF industry and professional creators. This coming year, we’re committed to hosting a hybrid Nebula Conference, and we’d like to continue offering conference scholarships to creators who can’t afford to attend on their own, due to the ongoing cost of living crisis and rising inflation.
With your end-of-the-year donation, we can continue all of this important work and more. If you have the means, now is the perfect time to consider giving to SFWA’s Where the Need Is Greatest Fund. Make your donation at www.sfwa.org/donate or mail your check to SFWA at P.O. Box 215, San Lorenzo, CA, USA, 94580.
Thank you for contributing to SFWA’s mission to promote, advance, educate, and support SFF and related genre writing around the globe. So many of you already give so much, whether through charitable gifts or through the gift of your time. We simply couldn’t do this without you.
At 2,500 members strong, your giving can and does make a difference for each other and for the new storytellers who’d love to join us someday.
May 2023 be a bright year for SFF creators everywhere,
Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association