Wiscon: SFWA

Panelists: Ann Leckie, Gra Linnea, David Levine, Vylar Kaftan, Gary Kloster

Question: Are you a member of SFWA and why?

David: Since 2002. Good to have an organization. Identity as writer.
Gary: First I was an associate member. Then I was active. I support unions. It helps me be aware of markets. Also, Writer Beware is a valuable service.
Vylar: SFWA member and volunteer.
Ann: Logical to join a group. Also a union person.

Question: Five favorite things about SFWA?

Gary: Grieve con. Emergency medical fund.
David: Northwest writers series. Possibly Merrie Haskell is starting a Midwest Writers series.
Gra: Arbitration of disputes. Legal fund. Directory of names. Writers Beware. Pressure in situations like Nightshade. Informative magazine. Sample contracts.
Vylar: Learning who people are.

Question: The recent unpleasantness?

David: Noise. Old white guys shouting at clouds. Yelling about organization becoming too progressive. Small loud minority. We need to point out that imbalance.
Gra: Queer liberal anarchist white male. What I want is an organization that represents a vast diversity of people. Does your need limit the needs of others?
Gary: Outreach blows up.
Ann: I was the secretary, so I can say much. I resigned, not because of this, but to take care of myself.

General comment: It looks like 10 percent of the organization voted for an appalling candidate. No. 10 percent of the people who voted. This vocal minority does not remotely represent SFWA.

Vylar: Buy a membership. Vote. That’s okay.

Question: Should a new writer join SFWA?
Yes, join. Increase voice, increase diversity.

Comparisons with RWA. RWA supports and nurtures all along.
Gotta be this tall to ride this SFWA.
What do you have to do to stay in SFWA?
RWA accepts publishing by self as a pro thing.
RWA has more resources.

California incorporation of SFWA means some things can change.

Internet time versus real time.
Board members not used to working on that time.

SFWA is its members. Be the diversity you want to see in SFWA.
Some younger, hipper people on board now.
Friction between old and new members.
Need more outreach.
Also need to not eat your volunteers.
Also need more PR.

Some discussions on volunteers, membership requirements, self publishing, code of conduct.