With all the application details ironed out and membership fee paid, I’m proud to say that I’m now a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).
Big deal, you say. Well, yeah, my excitement is probably out of proportion to the actual thing. But you know, I don’t care. Here’s why.
One, I’m qualified to join an organization that includes several New York Times bestselling authors, plenty of Hugo and Nebula award nominees and winners, and writers I’ve read since I was a lad. Know that bit about the company you keep? I’m in fine company indeed. And many folks within this group are quite generous with their time and advice, which is quite valuable to a n00b like me.
Two, I just voted for the Nebula Awards. That’s just cool, you know?
Three, and perhaps most importantly, I’m part of an organization that, in my experience, really has writers’ backs. Back when I was a journalist for The Associated Press, I was a member of the Newspaper Guild. Yep…I’m union strong. I’ve seen the strength writers have when we come together, and it can be really impressive.
Of course, SWFA isn’t a union, but it is an incredible advocate of authors’ rights. With that whole Hydra/Alibi kerfuffle over the past week, it was SFWA that led the way in an unequivocal denunciation of the contracts offered by these Random House ebook imprints. The resulting bad press that ricocheted around the Internet led Random House to offer standard royalty-based contracts alongside their “profit-sharing” deals that pushed huge publishing costs onto authors.
Yeah…never get into a publicity spat with a group of folks who use words for a living. You will lose.
Anyway, just thought I’d throw this out there, because it makes me happy to have joined. You should totally check out the SFWA site, because it has a ton of great resources for genre writers as well as readers and fans.