Week 4 Write-a-thon Partner: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association!

We’re halfway through the summer’s Write-a-thon activities, and we are thrilled and grateful to hear from participants who have been inspired and motivated by our classes, sprints, and Discord community. It’s never too late to join — sign up here.

This week, we’ve got an excellent new line-up of activities put together by our Week 4 partners, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA). Make sure to refer back to our Write-a-thon schedule to check out the new Zoom gatherings just added!

We’re happy to share an interview and message of encouragement from SFWA’s Director-at-Large, Monica Valentinelli:

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association is proud to partner with Clarion West for Week 4 of the Write-A-Thon! 

What is the mission and vision of your organization?

SFWA’s purpose is to promote, advance, and support creators in science fiction, fantasy, and related genres. We educate and inform the general public, advocate for creators and their rights, empower them to be successful in their careers, and recognize excellence during our annual Nebula Conference and awards ceremony. As a mostly volunteer-led organization, this effort would not be possible without the help of our 2,300+ members, committee chairs and members, donors, and elected SFWA Board directors and officers.

How long have you been doing this amazing work?

SFWA has been advocating for creators in science fiction and fantasy since 1965.

What is the coolest thing that has happened recently for your organization?

Recently, we updated our name from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association. This is exciting for us! Not only is the change more reflective of our membership, it’s also more welcoming to creators based in non-U.S. countries.

What do you see as the role of speculative fiction across media such as literature, TV, games, comics, film, etc. in making our world a better place?

Speculative fiction holds immeasurable power, because it contains our truths and perspectives nestled in breathtaking worlds. This lush narrative fabric helps us feel connected, empowered, and understood no matter what’s happening in our personal lives. It also facilitates what I love most about genre storytelling: powerful, emotional responses to characters we know and love. I can’t imagine what our world would be like without the creative visions, heart, and talent of so many wonderful storytellers.

How can Write-a-Thon participants get involved with your organization and your programming?

If you’re interested in joining our organization, I encourage you to review our recently updated membership guidelines. Our new guidelines better reflect the diversifying income streams for speculative creators than our previous rules, and provide a single, clear path toward membership. Please don’t be afraid to ask questions about the new requirements. Memberships offer a ton of benefits — including an active community of creators who are all invested in supporting the speculative fiction genres.

Another great way to connect is through our Nebula Conference. You can still register for the 2022 ongoing conference online to gain access to our panel archives, weekly writing dates with special guest hosts, live tapings of our Narrative Worlds series hosted by Kate Elliott, and additional upcoming professional development opportunities. If you’re interested in next year’s hybrid event, be sure to bookmark events.sfwa.org for more information.

If you are working with nonprofit or other speculative fiction-oriented groups, make sure you also check out our Givers Fund Grants. The Givers Fund supports organizations, activities, and public interest programs that further SFWA’s mission. It is open to everyone and the application is easy to fill out. You do not need to be a SFWA member to apply on behalf of your organization. Typical awards are $1,000 to $2,000, and the application deadline is October 1, 2022.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Write-a-thon community?

I wish you the very best of luck in the Write-a-thon! May you hit those word counts and courageously face the dreaded blank page. You’re in wonderful hands.  

Monica Valentinelli
Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association

You can find SFWA online at all the places below:

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