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PeteMC
01-18-2016, 03:29 PM
I'm wondering whether I can justify the fee to join - I qualify, but being in England and a member of the UK's Society of Authors I already have most of the benefits from what I can see (contract vetting, legal support etc). Also I get the impression that SFWA is a lot more geared towards SF than Fantasy, is that correct?

Any insights from members appreciated!

eqb
01-18-2016, 04:08 PM
No, SFWA is not geared more toward SF. The main benefits I see are Griefcom (which arbitrates between individual authors and publishers), the Nebulas (as an active member, you can nominate and vote), and SFWA acting in those cases where it's not just a publisher and one author, but a larger problem (for example, when Nightshade was falling to pieces.)

Cathy C
01-18-2016, 04:14 PM
This^^^ I'm a member and have been for years. There's also the super work that Writer Beware does, and the Hasbro task force that I participated in several years ago, where the committee looked into the allegations of non payment of royalties to a large number of authors.

PeteMC
01-18-2016, 04:23 PM
No, SFWA is not geared more toward SF.

Thanks - my mistake.



The main benefits I see are Griefcom (which arbitrates between individual authors and publishers), the Nebulas (as an active member, you can nominate and vote), and SFWA acting in those cases where it's not just a publisher and one author, but a larger problem (for example, when Nightshade was falling to pieces.)


This^^^ I'm a member and have been for years. There's also the super work that Writer Beware does, and the Hasbro task force that I participated in several years ago, where the committee looked into the allegations of non payment of royalties to a large number of authors.

Got you - this sounds like exactly like the sort of thing the SoA does in England (minus the Nebulas, obviously), it's just that the SoA isn't genre-focussed.

Sounds like they do good work anyway. I'm a fan of Writer Beware, didn't realise it was affiliated to / part of SFWA though I must admit. Guess I've been reading with my eyes shut again :)

Thank you both for the replies!

EMaree
01-18-2016, 04:38 PM
I've looked into it before, but honestly I think the SoA is the best investment for a British author, as it holds events across the UK and vets UK contracts as a specialisation (as well as contracts from across the world, of course). SCBWI British Isles (https://britishisles.scbwi.org/) also has a fairly strong presence in most of Britain (http://britishisles.scbwi.org/local-networks/) for children's writers and illustrators, but sadly they don't have a Northern Scotland network so they're of very little use to me.

(I did offer to join and help create one, but at the time I'd have been the only author in that region, and they needed a bigger group to justify creating a new network. I'm still keeping an eye on things in the hope things will change in the future.)

I'm lucky that there's a strong Writing Development scheme, Emergents (http://www.emergents.co.uk/writing/), in my neck of the woods, using art grants and government funding to provide professional beta reading, free workshops and panels, and various other opportunities for new writers. I haven't seen much like this elsewhere, though Brighton has a very strong programme (http://www.brightonwritersretreat.co.uk/)of mixed for-profit and non-profit schemes in their The Writer's Place building (https://www.newwritingsouth.com/the-writers-place).

PeteMC
01-19-2016, 03:12 AM
Interesting stuff, thanks Em. I've been very pleased with SoA so far - I've had my money's worth twice over just on contract advice, never mind all the other stuff not to mention the Waterstones discount as well.

I very much don't write for children (oh dear gods don't give my book to children!) but I have two young grandchildren, what age range do you write for?

ULTRAGOTHA
01-23-2016, 04:39 AM
I'm not a member of SFWA, but they have started publishing a monthly Market Report. Here is January's. (http://www.sfwa.org/2016/01/market-report/)

PeteMC
01-23-2016, 07:24 PM
I'm not a member of SFWA, but they have started publishing a monthly Market Report. Here is January's. (http://www.sfwa.org/2016/01/market-report/)

That's a useful thing to have, thanks

jjdebenedictis
01-24-2016, 12:37 AM
I believe one of the big benefits for American writers in SFWA was medical insurance, since the US didn't/doesn't have a universal health care system (although that's gotten better in recent years; thanks, Obama!)

If/when I qualify, I really don't know if I'll join. Writers Beware is awesome, and I can see the value in having a representative of many authors helping you resolve a dispute with a publisher or market, but the SFWA has been having issues with sexism literally for decades, and I wouldn't need their medical insurance anyway...

eqb
01-24-2016, 06:18 PM
The annual membership fee just went up. I admit I spent some time wondering if I wanted to renew my membership, but in the end, I decided I would. I don't need the help with medical benefits, but I have used Griefcom to deal with a wonky small press, and I want to support Writer Beware. This is just me, obviously. YMMV.

lizmonster
12-05-2017, 06:23 PM
Not to zombify a thread, but I'm curious about people's recent experiences. I haven't joined for various reasons, but I'm wondering if anyone sees any networking benefit to it at all.

(The legal advice might be enough of an enticement - I always figured I didn't need it because my family is swimming in lawyers, but I've since discovered contracts in the publishing world are weird and arcane, and I can imagine a time when advice from a lawyer with specific experience might be helpful.)

Marissa D
12-05-2017, 06:53 PM
I'm curious too. I was a member, but let my membership lapse. A lot of what I write is YA, and despite the Norton Award YA always felt like a second-class citizen there. Maybe that's changed since I dropped out--it's been a few years. Oh, and yeah to the sexism issues...