About volunteering for SFWA
Those of you who aren’t interested in the politics of Science-Fiction and Fantasy can skip this post. For the rest of you, I have some explaining to do.
I’ve volunteered to help SFWA by chairing the Service to SFWA committee, which has been revamped to recruit, retain and reward volunteers. Any service organization, like SFWA, relies on its members to be active participants in supporting its goals. More specifically, it relies on its active members to set those goals.
I have not been happy with a number of things about SFWA lately, however, when I look at the organization as a whole it has accomplished some very good things. Griefcom, the Legal Defense Fund, the Emergency Medical Fund, raising the pro-rate standard from 3 -5 cents… These are good things that volunteers accomplished. At its core, SFWA exists to promote and aid Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writers.
That’s me. I am a science-fiction and fantasy writer.
So my choice is to walk away from the good things or to try and change the things that I don’t like. I want an organization that represents me and that represents my interests. From working with other non-profits, I’ve found that quickest way to be taken seriously is to volunteer. So that’s why I’m doing this.
And that’s why, if you aren’t happy, I think you should consider volunteering. Shift the balance. Help me.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can help your fellow Science-Fiction and Fantasy authors, please fill out the following questionnaire and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave it in the comments here.
1. I am interested in volunteering for SFWA — [short-term/long-term] (ie.a quick one-time job, versus an ongoing position)
2. I can offer [x] hours per month for volunteer work.
3. I am interested in learning more about volunteering to help with
b) Writing related advice
c) Legal advice or issues (ie contracts, copyright, etc.)
d) Outreach (ie, Youth, Speaker’s bureau, Conventions, etc.)
e) Publicity (ie publications, Nebulas, PR, etc.)
f) Operations (ie audits, procedures, run for office, etc.)
g) Grunt Work (ie stuffing envelopes, sorting lists, lifting tables, etc.)
h) Other (ie I got mad skillz you don’t even know to ask about, teleportation, graphic design, an active fan base, FTL travel, etc.)
4. My SFWA membership status is: [non-member, affiliate, associate, active]
Thank you for your time and attention. I look forward to working with you.
Mary Robinette Kowal
Edited to add: You don’t need to be a member to volunteer for anything except those things that involve voting, such as running for office or chairing a committee. All you need is an interest in support science-fiction and fantasy writers, or concern with helping to shape the future of the organization.