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SAFETY DISPATCH: Don’t Get Hooked by Phishing and Scams

by the SFWA Safety Committee Listen, so there’s this prince in Nigeria who really needs— Hey, wait, where are you going??? I’m joking, of course. If there’s one scam we all know, it’s the classic Nigerian Prince swindle, a modern iteration of the even more classic Spanish Prisoner scam that dates back to the 19th […]


For many years, Writer Beware hosted a Thumbs Down Agents List and a Thumbs Down Publishers List, identifying the agents and publishers about which we’d received the largest number of serious complaints. With the exception of three UK-based vanity publishers that are unfortunately still in operation, all of these agents and publishers have gone out […]

The INDIE FILES: Measuring Your Success As an Author

By Steven Radecki During the more than a decade that I have been involved in indie publishing, I have worked with more than three hundred authors. One thing I have discovered is that, just as publishing is not a one-size-fits-all process, neither is how individual writers conceive of their success. Managing your own goals and […]

Making the Most of Your Con Budget

by Cat Rambo Writers are often told that they must go to conventions and conferences in order to network and move their careers forward. It’s good advice, but only if you approach your con experiences with some smart planning. You’ll also find that the costs add up fast. Here are some suggestions for making the […]

Safety Dispatch: How to Establish and Use a Pen Name

by the SFWA Safety Committee Have you ever considered writing under a pen name? Some authors use pseudonyms to separate works under different genres, reboot their careers after a dry spell, or replace the names of multiple authors on the cover. These are all great reasons, but some authors want to use a different name […]

The LGBTQ+ Speculative Experience: Part 3

(Kind of like the Star Trek Experience—lots of diversity that some accept, some fight, and others never see) by Elle Ire Continuing Mission Our exploration of the experiences of various members within the LGBTQ+ spec fic community continues in Part 3 of this series (Part 1, Part 2). This part examines the successes and obstacles […]

Work-for-Hire in Short Fiction: An Overview

By Rachael K. Jones Work-for-hire writing jobs are common in novel-length work, especially in the world of tie-in fiction, but rarer in short fiction. If you’re primarily a short fiction author, you might be caught off-guard if approached with this kind of work. You may not have an agent who can give you advice. You […]

What I Learned Cowriting A Novella

By Gareth L. Powell In 2020, I had the privilege of cowriting a science fiction novella called Light Chaser with Peter F. Hamilton, author of more than twenty novels, including The Reality Dysfunction, Pandora’s Star, and Salvation.  If I had to break down the lessons I learned during this process into five key points, they […]

Safety Dispatch: Managing Newsletters

by the SFWA Safety Committee As social media becomes increasingly fractured, more authors are turning toward newsletters as a reliable form of direct marketing. Mailing lists are an invaluable way to keep in touch with readers who actively want to hear more about your work. They can also raise questions about how to properly set […]