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Announcements: SFWA Publications & Websites

Good Morning,

I have a variety of announcements to make regarding the various SFWA publications and websites:

THE ALL NEW BULLETIN: As the public face of SFWA, the Bulletin needs not only to represent our organization, but recruit new writers to our organization and showcase our membership for the general public. The Bulletin is about to be reborn with a new look and feel intended to update its image and attract new subscribers and aspiring writers. To that end, the Bulletin is undergoing a radical makeover, including:

• A six (6) issue/year schedule, with one issue always coinciding with the Nebula Awards Weekend and another issue intended to appear at WorldCon. A faster mailing system is also in the works and competitive bids have been solicited from different printers.

• More timely market reports, including posting the reports on the website as soon as they are received, rather than wait for the print edition. Markets with a very short window (typically a month of less) of opportunity may also appear in the Online Update.

• A broader focus, covering video games, graphic novels, anime, media tie-ins and any other subgenre or potential market that offers opportunities for speculative fiction writers.

• More member news and advertising opportunities, including the development of a “people in publishing” section with news, personal events, and more, called The Biz. A new, reduced advertising rate schedule has been developed for regular advertisers, and special rates and a new “business card” size ad are available to SFWA members.

• There will be a special SFWA Business section, devoted specifically to SFWA activities, officer and committee reports, and a modified version of the NAR. The modified Bulletin NAR will only appear twice per year and the listing will only show the title, author, publisher and date published. The listings will be divided into two basic sections: works qualified for the ballot and recommended works. No specific number of recommendations or names of those who have recommended the works will appear. In the case of officer and committee reports, we will – at all times – take care not to print confidential information in the pages of the Bulletin. Any such reports containing privileged information will still appear in the Forum (see below) only.

• Brand new features, such as legal news and a tech spotlight will keep readers informed of breaking news of importance to writers.

• The goal is to make the Bulletin a premier publication with a broad appeal to the membership, and ultimately, the science fiction and fantasy community as a whole. Look to SFF.Net and the Bulletin newsgroup – sff.private.sfwa.bulletin – for more details and stay tuned.

ELECTRONIC FORUM WILL SAVE MONEY/TIME The Forum is also going through some much needed changes. With a price tag exceeding $12,000/year, rising paper and postage costs, and more than 50% of each issue devoted to oft repeated content in the form of the Nebula Awards Report (NAR), it became very clear that it was time to go in a new direction. Knowing that we are already providing an electronic version of the NAR, and that the vast majority of member discussions are taking place in online forums such as SFF.Net, to continue producing the Forum in the same way made little sense from a fiscal or governance point of view. With all that in mind, I have decided that the final printed and mailed issue of the Forum will appear in August, and effective October, 2008, the Forum will go to a quarterly, electronic format. The new electronic Forum will be sent out to the appropriate membership classes via email and made available for viewing in the Members Only section of the website. A very small number will be printed for archival purposes, and members who want to print it out are, of course, more than welcome to do so. The Forum will continue to offer the full NAR report as well as letters from the membership, while the vast majority of officer and committee reports (with the exception of those containing confidential or privileged information) will be moved to the Bulletin. Please make certain that you have given SFWA your current email address.

ONLINE UPDATE OOPS, PLUS CHANGES Some of you may have noticed the flurry of Online Update activity earlier this week. For those of you whose inbox was inundated, I do apologize. That was my fault for not being clear enough in my discussions with Glenn Gillette about some changes to the content and methodology of this particular communications system. One of the most important things, in my opinion, that SFWA can do is keep its membership informed on matters of importance to their career, such as available markets. With that in mind, I’ve asked Cynthia Ward – who handles the Market Watch section of the Bulletin – to pass on to Glenn for use in the Online Update, markets which are on a particularly short time frame and members may not see in time, even with the faster magazine schedule. Barring matters of extreme urgency, however, the Online Update will only be going out on a regular, bi-monthly schedule. Again, I do apologize for not making this more clear to Glenn, who (poor man) was only doing what I told him. It shouldn’t happen again, and hopefully, many members will enjoy having markets included in the regularly scheduled Online Update.

VISIT NEBULAAWARDS.COM – YOUR INPUT NEEDED Work is continuing on the NEBULAAWARDS.COM website. This site will continue to be an evolving process as we add content and features, while at the same time, strive to make the site accessible to as large an audience as reasonably possible. If you have a blog or a website, please consider adding the site to your links and/or discussions. And please keep sharing your ideas and suggestions for content and design improvements.

NEW SFWA.ORG WEBSITE PROGRESS UPDATE I am working to put together the team of designers and content editors to build a new SFWA.ORG website, and I think we’ve made a good start. This site will not go live until it has been tested in beta by a number of users for feedback and improvements. One of the key steps will be finding content editors for specific subject areas of the site, so we’ll be looking for volunteers in the very near future for that. The current site will stay up in the meantime and we will be simultaneously working on several sections of it to fix broken links and applications, as well as to take down and archive away information that is no longer needed or accurate. If you find a non-functioning link or application, please don't hesitate to email Jane Jewell or Chris Hansen about it.

SFF.NET UPDATES As indicated earlier, I completed a review of the status of various newsgroups within the sff.private.sfwa area on SFF.Net, and found a substantial number that were no longer in use and had essentially been quiet for a year or longer. Those newsgroups and the messages contained therein have now been archived (nothing lost), so the first “housekeeping” step for our newsgroups has been taken. If one of thse, for whatever reason, needs to be restored, please email me directly. The next step, which will be done in conjunction with the development of the updated SFWA.ORG website, will be to create a more logical hierarchy of groups, principally by broad subject area. If anyone needs to create a new newsgroup in the sff.private.sfwa area, please send either myself, Jane Jewell, Elizabeth Moon or Mary Robinette Kowal an email; until we complete the process of streamlining SFWA communications, we would appreciate limiting the creation of new newsgroups.

As always, these are steps being taken to streamline SFWA services, allowing the organization to be more effective, functional and flexible. I am certain that with these particular announcements, there may be questions or concerns, and I'll be happy to answer them. This announcement will be cross-posted in the Lounge and on the SFWA Live Journal.


Russell Davis


If the Bulletin would come to replace, LOCUS, I wouldn't be terribly upset. These all sound like welcome changes.

I am a little concerned about the FORUM, though. Right now, I regularly get the dead tree version, but if I ever got my SFWA user name and password, it's buried somewhere in my email archives. Is there going to be a seamless process for getting online access?
Thank you for the question.

If you don't have your user name and password, you can certainly email Jane Jewell and she'll track it down for you. Also, if we have your email address on file (and we have them for the vast, vast majority of members) the Forum will be sent to your email. In other words, it will be sent by email automatically *and* available on the website for viewing.

In the event you do have problems, simply drop Jane a note and we'll get it straightened out.

Don't fear Eva. The electronic Forum will be sent out to the appropriate membership classes via email. It will also be made available for viewing in the Members Only section of the website for reference.
When I was a member, the out-datedness of the publications was an ongoing disappointment... things would arrive in my mailbox long after the market info was useful. It made me sad.

I'm happy to see that's going to change! From watching this community, it really seems like the new leadership is going in a great direction.
I like all these changes. They are a step (hell, a giant leap) in the right direction.
These are all great changes - especially the market updates switching to an online format. (Since I live in the UK, the market reports in the paper Bulletin, by the time it reaches me, have always been far too out-of-date to be relevant.)
These all sound like good steps.

Will there be another edition of the Handbook? If so, when?
Yes, there will be a new edition of the Handbook. It's in process now and we hope to have it out within a year, possibly less.

A broader focus, covering video games, graphic novels, anime, media tie-ins and any other subgenre or potential market that offers opportunities for speculative fiction writers.

This is a very promising thing!

I just spent the day at a local anime con. Anyone who thinks either fandom or the SF/fantasy readership is aging and shrinking should attend one for a while--crowded rooms filled with fans so excited about their passions you could feel it in the air (and hear it in their shrieking). Our genre is very much alive, just in different places than before.


Very exciting news indeed. This is the type of stuff I've been hoping SFWA would do!
Sounds like positive, reasonable changes to me! Looking forward to getting more out of the streamlined services.

March 2015



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