Archive for February, 2004
Message from SLF Director, Mary Anne Mohanraj:
Welcome to the first SLF newsletter! Thank you again for your support!
Generally, we’re progressing nicely on our goals. Our first award, the $1000 Fountain Award for excellence in short fiction, is up and running, with nominations coming in and jury selection close to finalized. I’ll let Karen Meisner, our Awards Administrator, fill you in with more details.
The website is also up and running, with information of use to academics, readers, writers, and editors; Shannon Palma, our Website Coordinator, will be telling you some of what we’ve added to it this month — please remember that we always welcome your suggestions for further additions.
Membership is growing; Chris Wallish is your contact for any membership-related questions, at email@example.com. We currently have a little more than thirty members, and are hoping to grow to fifty paid members in the next few months. You can help — if you have time, we encourage you to spread the word about the SLF, and let people know how they can join. The best advertising is word-of-mouth — and not spending money on advertising lets us save our funds for more awards and grants.
Our newest project is the Small Press Co-operative, a forum where editors and publishers can exchange information and work together on mutually beneficial deals. There’s no charge to join the co-op this year; all you have to do is drop Mary Anne a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know you’d like to sign your small press up.
Two other projects are currently under development; a mentorship program for writers, and a small grant for older writers (the latter dependent on our receiving sufficient funds). We’d love to hear your suggestions on other projects we might consider; please send those suggestions to Mary Anne. And again, we can always use more volunteers, so do drop her a line if you’d like to sign onto our staff!
Thanks again for your support of the SLF!
From Karen Meisner, Grants & Awards Coordinator:
To introduce myself: Hi, I’m Karen. I’ve been swimming in the spec fic pool for a while as an enthusiastic reader and am currently writing a novel. I attended the Clarion workshop in 1999, I’m an editor at Strange Horizons, and I’m the Awards Coordinator for the SLF.
Status of the Fountain Award as of mid-February: Nominations have been tricking in slowly but steadily since we first announced the Fountain Award. Because this is our first year running this, we’re still working out all the organizational details, so everything is taking a little longer than expected. Also, most people haven’t heard of it yet! Mary Anne and I are in the process of writing to a number of editors to let them know about the award, and we’re getting a good response, so I expect we’ll be receiving many new entries soon. We’re going to extend the deadline for submitting entries to March 15th. (The Ides of March!) I’ll start mailing stories to jurors as planned after the end of February, though, so they can get started on their reading.
We currently have four out of five jurors lined up, and should hear from our final juror soon. So far: WOW! what an awesome panel! Kelly Link, Maureen McHugh, Larissa Lai, and Heinz Insu Fenkl have all signed on to be jurors for the Fountain Award this year.
From the Editor: A Short Recap:
Hello! This is your Editor, Dave Lunde. Welcome to the SLF Newsletter. I may as well introduce myself, as Karen did. I’ve been hooked on SF since I was a kid, like many of you I imagine. I published my first story, a collaboration with Jim Sallis, and a couple of poems in New Worlds back in 1968. Yup, that’s how old I am. I’ve published two collections of speculative poetry, but I’m primarily a mainstream poet and translator.
Frankly, I am astonished at what we have accomplished so far. I’m a web novice, and until now I never understood the power of the internet. The idea that people scattered all over the country could come together on a volunteer basis, pooling their skills and talents, to create a Foundation in less than five months boggles my mind. Here is a summary of what we’ve done:
On September 22, 2003 (10:44:20 AM), Mary Anne Mohanraj sent the following message to several writers’ organizations:
“I’ve thought for some time that the field could use a literary arts foundation, of the type that exists for mainstream/academic lit, that would work to develop exciting new (and perhaps experimental) voices, to raise money for awards and grants, to help authors and small presses find additional funding, to operate a clearinghouse website providing information of interest to such writers and presses (answering questions like: Which academic MFA programs are open to genre fiction? Where can I apply for writing grants? Where might I find workshops useful to me? What about affordable writing retreat spaces? Where are the best market lists? etc.). I think this could provide a great service to the field, and I’m interested in working on it.
I want to emphasize right here that this group is in no way meant to be opposed to SFWA, or Broad Universe, or any other primarily-commercial writer’s organization. Rather, it would be designed to serve a different side of what genre writers might need; ideally, it would work in harmony with the existing organizations, complementing the services they already provide.
I’m looking for people interested in joining a mailing list to discuss what the goals of such a foundation should be, and how we might best implement them. And after discussing and forming our goals, I’ll be looking for some of those people to put in some time volunteering to help put those goals into place-with webmastering, with providing content for the website, with serving on awards/grants committees, with fund-raising.”
Response was immediate, and e-mail discussion commenced with a focus on the purpose and goals of the foundation and the practical steps that needed to be taken to achieve them. It was decided that the organization would be called the Speculative Literature Foundation. After debating the pros and cons of hieratical and consensual organizational structures, a hieratical structure was chosen, but with much consensus involved in decision making. So far, this has worked extremely well.
The creation of a website for the Foundation was our first priority.Volunteers with appropriate web-tech experience formed themselves into a committee and began planning. A Domain name was purchased and Director Mohanraj applied for non-profit, tax-exempt IRS status.
Funding became a new priority, as the Director had been paying initial start-up costs out of her own pocket, and it had been decided that we wished to create our first award as soon as possible. Membership dues were set at $30, a bank account was set up, and Pay Pal was chosen to handle on-line payments. Christine Wallish volunteered to be Membership Coordinator.
Other areas needing to be addressed were identified (Management; Web Content; Outreach; Development; Grants & Awards), and members volunteered, based on their knowledge and interests, and formed themselves into committees for the purpose.
A website design contest was held with a $50 prize for the winner. Members debated the strengths and weaknesses of each and decided upon a design created by Elaine Chen. The Tech committee began working with her to make it a reality.
It was decided that our first SLF Award would be for short fiction. A lengthy debate followed over what to call it, eventually culminating in the “Fountain Award.” The amount of the award would be $1000. Awards Coordinator Karen Meisner created an announcement to be sent to publishers of short fiction.
On January 12, 2004, Director Mohanraj informed us that our preliminary website had been replaced by the fully functional (and very user-friendly) site created by Webmasters Gregory Banks and Kaolin Fire working with designer Elaine Chen. At the same time, a Press Release announcing the official launch of the Speculative Literature Foundation and the Fountain Award was released by the Director. It was subsequently dispersed as widely as possible by all members.
It was also decided in January that the SLF should have a monthly newsletter. David Lunde became Editor.
On January 17, Mary Anne informed us that she had arranged with Café Press to sell SLF merchandise through their website http://www.cafeshops.com/speculative.lit.
Projects currently under discussion and implementation include:
* A Small Press Co-op
* A list of FAQ’s for the website
* Whether or not to have a Board of Directors, and if so, who should be chosen.
* Mentorship for writers
* Mentoring of Forums
* Flyers to be distributed at conventions & other public venues
* A possible award for older writers
Report on new listings from Webcontent Coordinator Shannan Palma:
Lambda Sci-Fi Recommended Reading List
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender themed SF.
The Carl Brandon Society
Lists of SF by people of color.
Great Science Fiction and Fantasy Works: a critical list with discussions
A site dedicated to presenting works in the fields of science-fiction and fantasy–sometimes collectively called “speculative fiction”–that get high grades for literary quality without needing any bonus points just for being science fiction or fantasy.
Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards
Gives complete data on all major awards; a very useful resource.
Weekly web-based magazine of and about speculative fiction.
A quarterly print magazine for Science Fiction stories and poetry.
Stephen Hunt’s SF Crowsnest.com
Online magazine with the distinction of being the most popular SF site in Europe.
Neo-opsis Science Fiction Magazine
Neo-opsis is a quarterly science fiction magazine, published in Victoria BC, Canada.
Website of The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction, with story excerpts, a discussion forum, and more.
Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
Australian SF print magazine.
Oceans of the Mind
A subscription only science fiction magazine distributed quarterly via e-mail in Adobe Acrobat pdf format.
Online Australian SF news & links.
Online magazine of speculative fiction, featuring stories of the supernatural, the unexplained, & the undiscovered.
Print magazine showcasing stories by new and established authors.
Online magazine dedicated to gonzo SF & the bizarre, based in Australia.
Harold Bowes, Editor. An on-line magazine of short poetry, some of it speculative.
Dave Langford’s magazine of news and personal, commentary of happenings in the world of speculative lit. E-mail: email@example.com
An on-line magazine edited by Brandon Totman, publishes speculative poetry.
READING DISCUSSION GROUPS
This is the Yahoo Group for Far Horizons, a local Science Fiction readers group at the Barnes and Noble store in Montrose, Ohio.
A mailing list for the Speculative Fiction Book Club at the Barnes and Noble in Bryn Mawr, PA.
This is the Inner Loop region of the Science Fiction / Fantasy Book Group.
Welcome to the Positronic Brains, a Science Fiction Readers Group based out of Barnes & Nobles in Nashua, NH.
Cyberspace home of the Science Fiction Book Group that meets the fourth monday of every month at the Ellicott City Barnes & Noble.
This is the email list for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Group in La Crosse, WI.
Third Thursday SciFan
The home site of the Barnes and Noble, West Bloomfield, MI science-fiction and fantasy book group.
An approximately bi-weekly reading group in San Diego, CA, which covers SF, mystery, fantasy and horror.
Feminist SFF & Utopia Listserves
Online discussion of feminist science fiction, fantasy & utopias.
Madison, Wisconsin. An extremely well-respected and literary convention, which is also the world’s only feminist science fiction convention. Held Memorial Day weekend (end of May), excellent panel discussions on science fiction and fantasy, with emphasis on issues of feminism, gender, race, and class. Highly recommended, run by SF3, a fan group supporting literary and fanzine fandoms in Madison, Wisconsin. The James Tiptree Jr. Award, an annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender, is given by these good folks.
Schaumburg, Illinois. Generally the largest Chicago-area convention, run by ISFIC (the Illinois Science Fiction society) and held the first weekend in November.
Arlington Heights, Illinois. Chicago-area convention, Generally held the last weekend in January.
The National SF&F Convention in Australia, April 23-26, 2004.
Science Fiction Youth Program
University of Kansas resource for teaching SF.
DucKon: Lincolnwood, Illinois.
Chicago-area convention, also a fund-raiser for the Golden Duck Award for Excellence in Children’s Science Fiction; they also donate money for SciTech, an interactive science museum in Aurora, IL. Generally held the first weekend in June.
The Golden Duck Awards for Excellence in Children’s Science Fiction Literature
These consist of three cash awards given annually in the categories of Picture Book, Middle Grades (Eleanor Cameron Award), and Young Adult (Hal Clement Award). Special awards are given when appropriate. Candidates are selected from titles copyrighted in the previous year; however, exceptions may be made for titles published outside of the United States.
COLLEGE / UNIVERSITY
The J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction
University of Kansas resource for studies in science fiction. Sponsors summer writing workshop and intensive SF literature course.
ASSOCIATIONS / CONFERENCES
Fantastic Mailing List
‘Fantastic’ is an email list for academics, students & writers in the field of F&SF; based in Australia but open to anyone worldwide.
Feminist Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Utopia
WRITER INFO / DISCUSSION AREAS
Writers-bbs.com has been on the web over eight years and hosts lively forums for science fiction, fantasy and horror writers, critique, workshop and challenge areas, and a special hosted discussion forum for young speculative fiction writers.
Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild
The site for writers of speculative fiction in Canberra, Australia.
Fantastic Queensland Association Inc.
An umbrella organisation for writers, educators, film makers, computer game producers, publishers, and television interests in Queensland, Australia.
Publishes science fiction and fantasy novels, exclusively. See Submission Guidelines on their website for details. Currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts that follow guidelines.
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing (now including Tesseract books)
Writer’s Workshop in Science Fiction
Two week writing workshop led by James Gunn, sponsored by the University of Kansas. Housing available.
Alpha, the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Workshop for Young Writers
The ALPHA SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers (ages 14 – 19) will be held in the Pittsburgh area July 14 – 23, 2004 in conjunction with Pittsburgh’s science fiction convention, Confluence, July 23 – 25th.
Center for the Study of Science Fiction Summer Writer’s Retreat
Flexible summer retreat for writers, sponsored by the University of Kansas. The retreat coincides with the Center’s annual Writer’s Workshop and Intensive Institute in Science Fiction.
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- FOGcon dealers table: $85
- Older Writers Grant now open for submissions
- the Translation Awards
- 2010 Gulliver Travel Grant Winner Announced
- the SLF wants you
- New convention: FOGcon
- Mary Anne Mohanraj will be GoH at WisCon 2010
- Older Writers’ Grant – nearly 100 applications
- Older Writers’ Grant Deadline is March 31st
- Gulliver Travel Grant Winner Announced