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Volunteer

Why volunteer for SFWA?

SFWA is a volunteer-driven 501(c)3 organization. We depend on volunteers to run many of our programs and services. Additionally, volunteering is a great way to meet people, acquire new skills, and contribute to your community.

We currently have a variety of volunteer opportunities, from helping out for an hour or two at a convention or at our annual Nebula Conference and Awards Ceremony to more long-term options like joining one of our committees or helping with website/database updates. Although some specific volunteer opportunities do require SFWA membership, we have a variety of volunteer needs that do not require you to be a member of the organization.

If you’d like to volunteer for SFWA (even if you’re not a member), please fill out our volunteer survey. The survey collects information that will help us match you to volunteer opportunities. If you have skills or expertise that you think might be useful to SFWA, let us know!

In addition, below are just a few of our current opportunities. If you are interested in helping out with any of these particular needs, please email Volunteers@sfwa.org. Our Volunteer Coordinator will follow-up regarding your availability and volunteer interests. We look forward to hearing from you.

Current Volunteer Opportunities for Non-Members or Members

Grant Writers: SFWA’s Fundraising Committee is seeking additional volunteers to assist with applying for grants to support our many programs and to launch new ones.

Nebula Conference – In Person & Online

The Nebula Conference could not exist without the assistance of our amazing army of volunteers. Not only that, volunteering at the conference is an easy and fast way to meet new people and make friends. Join us!

In 2022, the conference is moving back to Los Angeles with a hybrid model that will incorporate online and in-person events, and we need your help to make it happen.

We have dozens of volunteer roles that need to be filled. Some of these are only suited to individuals who are planning to attend the Nebula Conference in person, but many can be filled by individuals who will only attend the online component of the conference. 

Onsite Roles

  • A/V Tech Coordinator & Assistant: Works closely with the programming team, A/V Ceremony Coordinator, and streaming technical director to coordinate A/V for the live in-person awards ceremony. Will need to interact with our A/V vendor. Must know their way around A/V equipment and be able to coordinate a team of helpers as needed. Local to LA preferred.
  • A/V Ceremony Coordinator: Works closely with producer, stage manager, and streaming technical director to coordinate A/V for the live in-person awards ceremony. Will need to interact with our A/V vendor. Must know their way around A/V equipment and be able to coordinate a team of helpers as needed. Local to LA preferred.
  • Accessibility Coordinator: Should be knowledgeable about a broad range of common accessibility concerns in order to assist with identifying and mitigating accessibility issues at the conference, both in-person and online. 
  • Food & Beverage Coordinator & Assistant: Coordinates with SFWA staff and the Hotel Liaison to plan food and beverage components of the conference, including any meals (breakfasts, box lunches).
  • Local Storage/Receiving: Do you live in Los Angeles? We are always looking for local volunteers to receive and/or store packages for the conference prior to the event.
  • Guest Liaisons: Serve as points of contact for the SFWA Grand Master, Nebula finalists, and other special guests of the conference. Coordinates schedules, confirms arrivals and departures, arranges for airport pickup and drop-off as needed, and be available on-site to help with anything that comes up (within reason.)
  • Streaming Technical Director: Works with the producer to build the live streaming show for the Nebula Awards launch (example: https://youtu.be/O2P52wSH9MI) and the ceremony (example: https://youtu.be/2Uk6uF7dRh0). Must have experience with OBS (or streaming platform of choice), Boxcast, and livestreaming in general. Needs to be available for virtual rehearsals in Feb/March and April/May (one block for each show). Can be located anywhere with an extremely reliable internet connection. Equipment not provided.

May Be Online Only

  • Publications Coordinator: Works with staff and Nebula team leads on conference publications, including paper program grid, awards ceremony program book, signage, and other printed materials that may be needed.
  • Graphic Design Coordinator: Coordinates with SFWA staff, events team, and Nebula team leads to determine graphic design needs for all areas of the conference, then work with SFWA’s art director and graphics volunteers to source or create necessary graphics.
  • Nebula Flightcrew: Are you comfortable with Zoom and similar online meeting platforms? Join the Nebula flightcrew to help out with our online events.

Need an opportunity that would require less of your time? Consider joining one (or more!) of our volunteer teams! Most of these roles would only require a couple hours of your time:

  • Ad Hoc Volunteer Team
  • Gopher Team
  • Move-in/Move-out Team
  • A/V Tech Team
  • Security Assistant / Door Dragons
  • Registration Team
  • Programming Advocates Team
  • Decorations Team
  • Ushers Team
  • Social Media Team  
  • And more!

Some volunteers filling key Nebula Conference roles will qualify for a Nebula Conference volunteer badge, granting access to the event at no cost. If you would like more information about volunteer badge requirements and restrictions, please contact events@sfwa.org.

Volunteer for the Nebula Conference. Email volunteers@sfwa.org today!

Current Volunteer Opportunities for SFWA Members Only

You must be a member of SFWA to serve as a volunteer for the following opportunities:

Romance Steering Committee: The SFWA Board of Directors is seeking a committee chair and committee members to launch a steering committee for the Romance writers’ community within SFWA. The committee will serve as an advocate for SFWA’s science fiction and fantasy romance authors and coordinate with other committee members to drive SFWA’s programs and services in support of SFF Romance writers.

Legal Affairs Committee: The Legal Affairs Committee is looking for volunteers for 1–2 hours per week. Some legal training and interest in copyright law is necessary. Duties will include participating in committee subforum discussion and helping to write white papers, Copyright Office comments, amicus briefs, and blog posts.

Contracts Committee: The Contracts Committee is looking for volunteers for 1–2 hours per week. Experience with a variety of publishing contracts is a must. Formal legal training is helpful. Duties will include participating in committee subforum discussion and helping to write model contracts, contract alerts, and blog posts.

Financial Advisory Committee: Duties include reviewing monthly and annual financial statements, budgets, and asking questions when appropriate. Sometimes the committee also weighs in on policies for good fiscal management, sending their majority opinion to the Board. The time commitment for this volunteer position is low: typically an hour or two per month to review and reply to email about various financial documents.

Healthcare Committee Communications Liaison: SFWA is looking for a volunteer to help with our Healthcare Committee. Knowledge of the BIHIP program and partnership with LIG Solutions is a plus but not required (SFWA will help with onboarding). Volunteer would then respond or redirect incoming queries—either by answering questions directly or forwarding them to LIG or to the SFWA operations staff for an answer.

Game Writing Committee Chair: The Game Writing Committee is seeking a committee chair to provide leadership to this steering committee. In this role, you would serve as an advocate for SFWA’s game writers and coordinate with other committee members to drive SFWA’s programs and services in support of game writers. Individuals interested in taking on this role should be self-starters and good communicators, able to take initiative to keep the committee work moving forward. The committee just finished a Game Writing survey and has a list of projects they would like to complete for outreach and community building.The SFWA Board of Directors also relies on the Game Writing Committee for occasional guidance and recommendations to ensure SFWA is serving the community’s needs.

Volunteer Survey: If you haven’t yet, please fill out our volunteer survey. The survey collects information that will help us match you to volunteer opportunities that might be of interest to you. You can also use the survey to update your volunteer interests and to let us know if you are no longer available to volunteer. You can find the survey here: Volunteer Survey.