to join or not to join?
September 13, 2012 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Should I join SFWA?

I just made my third short story sale to a qualifying market. But $80 a year is a non-trivial amount of money for me, and I'm not sure I'll get much out of it besides the ego boost of being a Real Writer. Are you a SFWA member, and if so are you glad you joined?
posted by nonasuch to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Current SFWA president John Scalzi is a fairly active poster here on Metafilter. Maybe you should memail him?
posted by Wretch729 at 11:57 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Scalzi posted on his blog earlier this week that he is heads down in crunch time on actual writing work and that he probably won't be answering email for the next couple of weeks. So you might want to watch his blog for when he is open for business again.
posted by COD at 12:18 PM on September 13, 2012

Other pro writers on metafilter:

cstross (Charlie Stross)
ArtW (comics)
The Whelk

I'm unsure if any of them other than Mr. Stross are eligible for membership in SFWA, and if so if they've chosen to become members, but it may be worth checking with them.
posted by kavasa at 12:24 PM on September 13, 2012

Hugh Howey is also a mefite. You could try sending him a PM, as his Wool series fits within what I'd call speculative (or science) fiction. (BTW if you haven't read Wool, and you like sci-fi, I recommend it.)
posted by tuesdayschild at 12:58 PM on September 13, 2012

Best answer: Writing from my phone so excuse typos--joined SFWA this year after qualifying as an active member. I debated it quite a bit because of the expense but since it was one of the first writing goals I ever set for myself I decided to do it. The same week I joined, sfwa member and ya author malinda lo started a special interest ya group that has been awesome and very active-but you need to fulfill certain criteria to qualify. If it weren't for the ya group I probably wouldn't renew next year. Now I definitely will. Ymmv
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:03 PM on September 13, 2012

Oh and otherwise it wouldn't appeal bc the forums are deadish/redundant to other online resources. I know of at least one antho that only took ages members but I do more with longformfiction anyway
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:06 PM on September 13, 2012

Only took SFWA members, rather. The antho was (if I recall correct) Coins of Chaos--but that's just something I heard through the grapevine and can't find any corroborating info online so don't quote me on it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:30 PM on September 13, 2012

I serve as editor for an SFWA market and am an SFWA member myself. Without sounding too cliquish, my ears definitely perk up when I get a submission from an author who mentions they are also an SFWA member. So there's that.
posted by 256 at 2:38 PM on September 13, 2012

Response by poster: I've got a YA novel I'm trying to find an agent for, so that's good to know, PhoBWan. Thanks!
posted by nonasuch at 4:41 PM on September 13, 2012

I'm a former member... maybe I should re-up. I've got a YA I'm peddling as well... a couple, in fact.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 5:44 PM on September 13, 2012

Just a note that, I believe, the YA special interest group asks that you have a young adult or middle grade sale, in either short or longform fiction. I wouldn't want you to join and be disappointed that you were ineligible for the group (though it's very much worth joining once you have that qualifying sale; seriously, the mailing list has been great).

Honestly, if it weren't for that, though, I'm not sure that I would be "using" my membership at all. While it's great that 256 gives props for membership, I have some slush reading/editor friends and I'm not sure that SFWA membership is esteemed above a solid history of pro sales, if that makes any sense. That's not to dissuade you if it's something you really want to do. It's hard to say, and I suppose it depends on your own personal goals.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:01 PM on September 13, 2012

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