With just over a week left until our 2023 Nebula Conference, the SFWA Events Team and our many incredible volunteers have been busy putting the final touches on our first hybrid event since 2019.
With this pivot, the organization has faced many unique challenges including the much higher costs of holding the in-person component. In the planning stages for 2023, the SFWA Board and team did everything they could to minimize the financial impact and burden on both our attendees and the organization when researching venue and dates. Teams looked at many different hotels, considering accessibility, price, and location. Negotiations went on for weeks, with our team trying to bring down the costs as much as we could across the event. It was clear from the beginning that properties were only focused on recouping their own losses during lockdown, which forced us to walk away from a few ongoing negotiations.
Like many conferences making their way back into in-person spaces, there are incredible challenges to face. From the current cost-of-living crisis, lower attendance numbers, difficult hotel negotiations and relationships, to the higher cost of travel and expenditures on everything from supplies to audio/visual requirements to every bite of food.
And it’s not happening to just us. We’ve received many reports from beloved genre conventions that we are not alone in all of these challenges.
With that said, SFWA is absorbing the majority of costs this year and only passed on what we absolutely could not carry in the form of registration fees. SFWA has never made a profit from our conference, but has always used all income from ticket sales and sponsorships to fund future Nebula Conference events. As a non-profit, our goal is to make the Nebula Conference budget neutral each year. The organization has been successful in doing so right up until now. The SFWA Board understands the stark reality that despite the organization subsidizing a portion of the costs this year, the ticket price is still unreachable for many attendees wishing to attend in person.
SFWA is committed to making our professional development, career knowledge, networking conference and awards sustainable, attainable, and equitable and going forward, we will be discussing how we can serve all SFF genre writers in the future with our events and programs. Within that conversation, however, there is a very real danger that in its current form, this may be the last time we can do anything like this.
Because there is absolutely nothing left in our funds to pass on to future events.
SFWA is a 501c3 public benefit charity focused on genre writers across the globe. We depend on donations (both monetary and time) to fund our programs and services, which help support worldwide communities. We’re not going to be able to do this again without your help and support.
A donation to SFWA goes a long way and you can donate here: sfwa.org/donate
Similarly, we’re always looking for more volunteers to help keep things running and your time and expertise is just as valuable as any money you can give. If you are interested in helping the organization continue to fulfill its mission, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In-Person Scholarships Now Available
Addressing our current predicament on affordability, the SFWA Board has dedicated some in-person scholarships to those who would otherwise be unable to afford to attend the in-person conference this year. This scholarship is open now to SFF genre writers who wish to attend the SFWA Nebula Conference on May 12-14th.
The scholarship will contain one complimentary conference registration and a three night hotel stay at the Sheraton Anaheim beginning Friday May 12 and checking out on Monday, May 15. There are an extremely limited amount of these scholarships available. The deadline to apply is 11:59PM PACIFIC TIME on Tuesday, May 9. We will be choosing our scholarship winners via a lottery.
Please help us spread the word. If you’re chosen, and if you can get here, we’ll give you a badge and a place to dream.
Apply here to enter: