SFWA Adds Poetry and Translation as Qualifying Works for Membership

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) is now accepting poetry and translated fiction as qualifying works for membership in the organization. Interested individuals are welcome to review the full membership guidelines and submit an application.

Since its 1965 founding and 2014 reincorporation as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, SFWA members have expanded the organization’s recognition of where science fiction and fantasy writers live and work, the different mediums modern authors use to reach their audiences, and even added “fantasy” to what was once solely a science fiction association. Membership eligibility guidelines have evolved accordingly, and adding translation work and poetry as eligible forms of fiction writing is the next step.

In April, SFWA’s Full members voted to reverse previous referendums that had disallowed poetry and translated works from qualifying for membership. The SFWA Board recognized that opinions had changed in recent years, and thus held new referendums on both categories of fiction writing. The overwhelmingly positive results (90% yes for poetry; 83% yes for translated works) affirm that SFWA members are eager to welcome poets and translators into the organization.

“I love seeing SFWA embrace all the mediums creators employ to bring original SFF works into the world. Reversing this old, exclusionary decision was past due,” said Jeffe Kennedy, SFWA President.

SFWA now welcomes poets and translators into the fold, joining prose, game, comics, graphic novel, and screenwriters working on traditional, work-for-hire, self-publishing, and independent career paths.

SFWA Bylaws still require qualifying works to be written in English. Questions about membership may be directed to [email protected].

[Based on a press release.]

SFWA’s 3rd Silent Auction Is Now Open

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is holding its third annual online auction to support its advocacy for and professional development of creators working in the speculative fiction genres. This silent auction opened today and will close June 26 at 3:00pm PT. The auction website is here

The first 20 people to place bids in the auction will receive a free copy of the Sept./Oct. 2021 edition of Asimov’s, signed by auction coordinator Jason Sanford, who has a cover story in the issue. Every winning bidder for a physical item will also receive a free copy of Asimov’s Science Fiction or Analog: Science Fiction and Fact courtesy of Penny Press. 

SFWA says to better serve their expanding membership of 2,500+ writers and advance the genres at large, they must broaden their outreach, and that takes funding. SFWA invites members of the science fiction and fantasy community to contribute through placing their bids on the unique items and virtual offerings of this year’s auction: 

  • Signed books from authors including Annalee Newitz, Cherie Priest, Chuck Wendig, Diana Rowland, Jack McDevitt, Fonda Lee, George R. R. Martin, Jim Hines, Kate Heartfield, Ken Liu, Mary Robinette Kowal, Maurice Broaddus, Michael Swanwick, Peng Shepherd, Sarah Gailey, SB Divya, Victor Manibo, Zig Zag Claybourne, and many more
  • Manuscript critiques from A.C. Wise, Alaya Dawn Johnson, E.D.E. Bell, Eugen Bacon, Holly Schofield, and many more
  • Virtual career advising sessions with Cecilia Tan, Mary Robinette Kowal, Julie E. Czerneda, Premee Mohamed, and many more
  • Online video hangouts with Alma Alexander, Cecilia Tan, David Mack, Eileen Gunn, Gary Phillips, Lydia M. Hawke, Nicole Glover, Wole Talabi, and many more

That’s a veritable treasure trove of amazing opportunities and brag-worthy wins for fans, collectors, and writers alike! If you are unable to bid this year, SFWA welcomes your contribution through sharing the auction website with others who may wish to take advantage of all the great items and opportunities on offer. 

SFWA has partnered once again with Worldbuilders, an organization of “geeks doing good” that supports humanitarian efforts worldwide, to host this auction. A few examples of the work SFWA has undertaken to address the needs and challenges that speculative fiction storytellers face today, and that your bids will support: 

  • SFWA again awarded over 200 scholarships to creator populations in need for this year’s Nebula Conference, for those attending in-person and online. 
  • Writer Beware, the Estates-Legacy program, and the SFWA Blog are just a few of the highly regarded resources for authors, established and starting out, that SFWA hosts and promotes. In the last year, new resources like the Indie Pub 101 and Safety guidance for authors and event planners also debuted.
  • SFWA’s Independent Authors Committee is continuing work on launching the HARP project to aid older and disabled authors in self-publishing their out-of-print oeuvres, and our Short Fiction Committee is making progress on the short fiction matrix that will provide a more thorough measurement of how markets may provide writers with a more professional experience.
  • And SFWA’s benevolent funds—including the Legal Fund, the Emergency Medical Fund, and the Givers Fund Grants—continue to provide targeted, essential support for many creators and organizations in the field. 

If you would like to support SFWA monetarily, direct donations are also welcome. For questions, contact the SFWA Fundraising Committee at [email protected].

[Based on a press release.]

Introducing the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association 

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. has successfully filed to do future business as the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA). The nonprofit organization has adopted this new name for most professional purposes. Doing so allows SFWA to be more inclusive of its many international members. 

Over a quarter of SFWA’s 2,300+ members live and/or work in non-USA countries and territories. Changing the name is not only a part of the natural progression of the organization, it recognizes that SFWA has grown beyond a once USA-centric focus. This is a work-in-progress, but one that SFWA has committed to through the adoption of its new name.

SFWA President Jeffe Kennedy says, “This is an exciting time that we can expand the name of our organization to reflect its core values and true membership. At last our name reflects our mission, which is something many people have been working toward for a long time. This is a milestone moment worthy of celebration.”

SFWA’s website and social media accounts are being updated with new logos to reflect this change. Communications going forward will use “Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association” rather than “Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.” 

In answer to the question “Why didn’t we completely change our name, rather than file to ‘do business as’ The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association?” the organization says:

“Taking this path is a simple and legal solution that also allows SFWA to pay respect to our rich, 57-year history. Additionally, it does not require the monumental effort to change our incorporation status and bylaws with California or within the IRS. Doing business as the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association will allow us to comply with fundraising laws across all the United States and its territories, while also recognizing the contributions of international members to our community.

“SFWA is still SFWA, but with this change, we’re more clearly open to creators of science fiction and fantasy no matter what country they call home and what new dimensions and worlds they can imagine.”

[Based on a press release.]