I’m running for Vice President of SFWA

Today, I turned in my platform to run for the vice president of SFWA.  I’m running with a slate of other candidates that include:

Here is the letter I posted in the 2010 Election area on the SFWA discussion forums.

Dear SFWA members:

I’m running for the position of Vice President. For the last two years, I’ve been privileged to work with an extremely active and committed board as Secretary of SFWA. We’ve made great strides in organizational issues, such as the new Nebula rules, the new website, and the draft of the new bylaws. I’m excited by the changes that are coming to the organization and I would very much like to continue helping SFWA regain solid footing so that it can continue to inform, support, promote, defend and advocate for our members.

  • I have been an Active member of SFWA since 2007 and served on the board since 2008.
  • In addition to my Board duties, I have also supervised the team which built your new website, sourced and manage the new membership management software, and researched options for health insurance.
  • I was the 2008 Campbell Award Winner for Best New Writer.
  • I’ve sold two fantasy novels to Tor, with my debut novel, Shades of Milk and Honey, appearing this summer.
  • In addition, I’ve sold 30 short stories to markets such as Asimov’s, Strange Horizons and Clarkesworld as well as appearing in several Year’s Best. Last year my short story, “Evil Robot Monkey” was on the Hugo ballot.
  • Besides writing, I am a professional puppeteer and voice actor and have worked in the arts for the last twenty years. I served on the Board of Directors and as the Vice President of UNIMA-USA, the American branch of the international puppetry organization.
  • My work in the arts has give me experience in how effective non-profits function, as well as grant-writing and volunteer management.
  • I live with my husband, Rob, in Portland, OR.

My primary focus as Vice President would be to continue the work that the current board has done to give SFWA organization stability. In addition, to the points in John Scalzi’s overall goals I would like to improve our outreach to industry professionals. Since our new website went live last summer 132 new members have joined SFWA, compared with 98 total in 2008. While this upward trend is good, it is obvious that we can improve our communication to both the membership and the larger SF and Fantasy community.

I look forward to continuing my work for SFWA as part of the 2010-2011 Board of Directors.


Mary Robinette Kowal

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12 thoughts on “I’m running for Vice President of SFWA”

    1. Yay! SFWA will send out paper ballots later. One of the reasons we are reincorporating in California is that Massachusetts (where SFWA is currently incorporated) doesn’t allow electronic voting.

  1. Good luck, Mary! I’m impressed with everything that has been accomplished the past two years. I still haven’t renewed my membership after letting it lapse, but the changes — Nebula reform, communications, reincorporation, CEO — make a strong case for doing so.

  2. Mary – in the interests of “outreach to industry professionals” (which is me), can you give me a boiled-down summary of why I should join SFWA? I was going to say “I know that the A no longer technically stands for America, but even so, as a Brit…” etc, but then I checked the website and found I was wrong, the A does still stand for America. So: as a Brit, are there any reasons why I should join? [In case you were wondering: yes, I qualify by a mile and a half.]

    1. Hi Chaz, sure. Thanks for asking.

      If you sell fiction in the U.S. then you have to worry about the same rights and contracts issues that any author living here does. SFWA’s mission is to inform, support, promote, defend and advocate for our members. This ranges from having members-only areas where you can talk to colleagues to the Emergency Medical Fund to conducting audits on members behalf. More importantly, having a large group means that we can advocate for conditions within the genre in ways that an individual member can’t, such as the work we are doing about the Google Book Settlement. By joining, you contribute your weight to making science fiction and fantasy stronger for the entire community.

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