Friday, July 5, 2013

Convention Boobs

I have deliberately restricted my posts on this blog to the agony and ecstasy of writing as a way of life and steered clear of the swirling controversy surrounding the science fiction "community."

Today, I read a post by Mahenia Delvenni that seemed to conflate SFWA with offensive convention behaviors and obliquely reflected on several parallel discussions with the SFWA community.  I am not defending any point of view but I think the air needs to be cleared a bit for those new to the writing community and/or conventions.

Let's be perfectly clear:  The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) holds only one (1) convention per year and that is the annual Nebula weekend during which we honor the best and brightest writing in our genre.  The Nebula Weekend is the ONLY SFWA-sponsored event that fans can attend.

All, and I repeat ALL other science fiction conventions held around the world are organized, managed, and conducted by groups of dedicated fans.  SFWA members may attend these as guest panelists, to sign autographs, or just schmooz with their fans.  This may give the appearance to the uninformed that SFWA as an organization is somehow involved in the convention. In actuality, SFWA has nothing to do with the way any convention, up to and including WorldCon, is run nor does the organization have any authority over the bad behavior of attendees at these conventions.

Do not distain SFWA for the behavior of a few ignorant boobs.

Those wanting to have a career in the genre would be doing themselves a disservice should they choose not to join SFWA and avail themselves of the many relationships that can be forged there.  The community has a long history of paying-forward by veterans to new writers.  They will also learn that the organization is not an "old-boys club" as some have inaccurately termed it; we have four women and one senior citizen on the SFWA Board of Directors, the Nebula ballot this year was packed with female writers as well as those in non-traditional relationships, of different national origin, and religious dispositions.   SFWA members are a multihued and varied group who are expanding the boundaries of the genre with every word they write. As an often contentious group the members nevertheless talk out their issues, ask the Board to make a decision when they can't, and abide by the results.  SFWA sometimes makes mistakes but when it does, more often than not, we work hard to repair the damage.

That's what a professional organization does.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading my blog!