Archive for May, 2004
SLF’s second fund-raising event in San Francisco took place in the more staid but rather more spacious location of the Valencia Street Books store. Space was good, because the event attracted around 80 people in all. As far as I could make out, most of these people were not associated with genre literature in any way. They were mainstream book readers who were prepared to read works that stretched the boundaries of reality in various ways. In terms of outreach, that made the event a great success. The evening also raised $450 for SLF, money that will go towards funding The Fountain Award.
The headline attraction was Pulitzer Prize winning author, Michael Chabon. The number of attendees bearing copies of Kavalier and Clay that they wanted signed was witness to his pulling power. However, the event was also graced by three other fine writers, Claire Light, Terry Bisson and Carter Scholz. All four readings were very well received, and our thanks are due to our guests all of whom, as usual, gave their time for free.
The readings were followed by a discussion panel, the theme of which was taken from Chabon’s introduction to his recent anthology, McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales. Chabon said that he had always wanted to write stories with a sci ence-fictional content, but was strongly dissuaded from doing so by his teachers while learning his craft. Having now made it big, he wants to return to the sort of writing he loves, and perhaps help others do so as well without attracting the stigma of genre. That is certainly a message that the Speculative Literature Foundation can endorse.
As usual the staffing of the event was entirely provided by volunteers. The evening was hosted by SLF members, Charlie Anders (other magazine), who had the audience in fits of laughter with her MCing, and Jeremy Smith (Independent Press Development Fund) who moderated the discussion panel. Huge thanks are due to the staff of Valencia Street Books and Borderlands Books for their help with the organization. Thanks also to Danielle Jatlow (Watchword Press) for supplying and serving the wine, to Kaolin Fire (NFG
Magazine) for help with the set-up, and to Kevin Standlee (Emerald City) for staffing the SLF sales table.
Sponsorship for the event was provided by the following publications and organizations: Zoetrope: All-Story, Borderlands Books, other magazine, Emerald City, NFG Magazine, Watchword Press, and Kitchen Sink Magazine.
Editor’s Note: Thanks are due also to Cheryl herself who helped out at the event as well as providing us
this eyewitness account!
Since our founding in January 2004, the SLF has done quite a bit — we’ve put together a major short fiction award, we’ve started a small press co-operative, and we’ve gathered resources for our community-focused web pages. We have a terrific staff of more than thirty volunteers who would like to do even more! More information available at the following:
We’re a non-profit grassroots organization, and all the funding for our programs comes directly from the community — and almost entirely in the form of annual membership fees from those generous people who support our mission of promoting literary quality in speculative fiction by encouraging promising new writers, assisting established writers, facilitating the work of quality magazines and small presses in thegenre, and developing a greater public appreciation of speculative fiction.
In the month of June, we’ll be holding a membership drive, with the hope of bringing new people into our community and gathering funds which will allow us to do even more for the genre we love. As you can see below, we’ve put together a wishlist of a few of the programs we’d love to add. We have the volunteers to run them — all we need now is your support.
Please consider joining the Speculative Literature Foundation — your $30 membership can make a tremendous difference. Thank you!
Go to: http://www.speculativeliterature.org/
$1500 (50 new memberships)-Workshop Development
$250 each to Clarion, Clarion West, Clarion South, Odyssey, Strange Horizons Workshops, Viable Paradise, the money to be used for the benefit of students, in the form of scholarship funds, infrastructure improvement, instructor’s fees, etc.; if the workshop is showing a profit otherwise, the money should be directed towards needs-based scholarship funds.
$750 (25 new memberships)-Older Writers’ Grant
A merit-based grant to a writer 50 years of age or older; this grant is designed to provide financial assistance to emerging writers who have not yet established themselves at the professional level.
$300 (10 new memberships)-Travel Grant
A travel grant intended to assist writers in ;their research; applicants will submit fiction/poetry based in the location they wish to travel to.
Greg Banks designed two SLF bookmarks featuring our logo on each side and the web address
for the SLF on one side with one of two slogans: “Writing to a Different Spec” or “Where Genres Cross-Pollinate”
The other side bears the address of the SLF Small Press Co-op and either “Let’s Work Together”
or “There Is Strength in Numbers”. Many were handed out at WisCon over the Memorial Day Weekend.
Here are the numbers on the SLF Small Press Co-op at WisCon:
Participating Presses: 14 (roughly)
Total small press income: $991.00
Total SLF memberships sold: 25 (at discounted price of $20 each)
Total SLF income after table cost and discounts on books (we gave 20% to SLF members on books we were selling at the table, which comes out of our profits, naturally, rather than the presses’): $473.00 — I see
a travel grant in our near future
Generally, sales ranged from none (for some large trade paperbacks from one press, some of Kat Beyer’s postcards and greeting cards, and a few zines) to very strong (for my books, the Rabid Transit chapbooks, Kat’s bookmarks, and David Lunde’s poetry
chapbooks). We sold out of my cookbooks and my new Silence collection by the third day; we sold out of our five copies of the Strange Horizons book by the second day.
It was very clear that your items were much more likely to sell when you were working the table yourself. We took shifts, and for example, most of David’s chapbooks sold while he was actually there. And the bulk of the SLF memberships were sold when I was actually there, probably because I was the only one actively asking every person who walked up to the table whether they were interested in learning more about the SLF. We’d also get a run of requests for a title after the author had been on a panel or done
a reading, unsurprisingly — but I was surprised to see just how clear a correlation there was. And finally, cover design clearly played a large part in the random sales that occurred — certain books got picked up and looked at much more often than others, and when I asked why, the response was generally that the cover art or design layout looked attractive or intriguing.
I feel a bit bad a bout the one press who shipped in books that didn’t sell at all; we were planning on shipping them back COD, but I’m going to ask if she’d rather we held on to them and tried to sell them at our table at World Fantasy (assuming we get one). Overall, though, I’d call this a rip-roaring success, and I’m really glad we did it. Next year, two tables!And more help staffing. Though the staffers we had were absolutely terrific — they were reliable, prompt, and made set-up and break-down a breeze. Good job, all!
Editor’s Note: Besides David and Mary Anne, volunteers included Co-op members Tyree Campbell, Kat Beyer, Jason Eric Lundberg, Alan DeNiro, David Schwartz and Kristin Livdahl, and SLF staff member Cheryl Morgan.
What would you like to see on the SLF site? Email your suggestions to: email@example.com.
September 2-6, 2004. Boston, MA. 62nd annual World Science Fiction Convention.
July 2-4, 2004. Toronto, Canada. Science fiction, fantasy and beyond.
World Fantasy Convention:
October 28-31, 2004. Tempe, Arizona.
Press Releases 101:
A primer on the writing and distributing of press releases. GREGORY B. BANKS
**NEW SUBHEADING** YEAR’S BEST ANTHOLOGIES:
Science Fiction: The Best of 2004:
Submission guidelines for annual SF anthology edited by Jonathan Strahan and Karen Haber.
Fantasy: The Best of 2004:
Submission guidelines for annual Fantasy anthology edited by Jonathan Strahan and Karen Haber.
The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror:
Submission guidelines for annual anthology edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, and Gavin J. Grant.
Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter of Romance Writers of America:
Current President is Julie Mensch. Members of FF&P must be members in good standing of RWA. Romance fiction with FF&P elements.
**CHANGES AND ADDITIONS** PUBLISHERS
Publishes science fiction and fantasy novels, exclusively. Currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts that follow guidelines.
P.O. Box 5473; Saginaw, MI 48603-0473. Judith Kerman, Publisher. Books of poetry. Interested in both mainstream and genre work, with a particular focus on Great Lakes Regional poetry and poetry by women. Publisher of Uncommonplaces: Poems of the Fantastic, edited by Judith Kerman and Don Riggs, and Blues for Port City by David Lunde.
1770 Mass. Ave, #278; Cambridge, MA 02140. Cecilia Tan, Editor. Small press specializing in high quality fantasy and science fiction erotica.
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing:
(now including Tesseract books) P.O. Box 1714; Calgary, AB; T2P 2L7 Canada. Book publisher.
175 Fifth Avenue; New York, NY 10010. Publishes mainstream and genre work.
P.O. Box 1403; Riverdale, NY 10471. Science fiction and fantasy publisher.
Sponsored by Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter of Romance Writers of America.
Rustbelt Roethke Professional Writers Conference:
Application form on site. Held at Saginaw Valley State University, this is “a unique summer writing program where you can relax, meet friends, influence people, recharge. The cost is low and the ambiance is high.” Open to speclit writers as well as mainstream. See info on fees, deadlines, dates, etc. on site.
The San Juan Workshops (July 10-18, 2004):
“The workshops are held for one week, each summer, in Ouray, Colorado. In this cozy mountain village, everything is within walking-distance, including the Ouray Hot Springs Pool, Cascade Falls, the local movie theater in the historical Wright Opera House, several fine restaurants, lodging, and the Community Center where workshop events take place.” The faculty changes each year, and their individual preferences would determine whether genre work would be acceptable. Writers of speculative literature should inquire before applying.
Atlantic Center for the Arts:
“Each three-week residency session includes three master artists of different disciplines. The master artists each personally select a group of associates?talented, emerging artists?through a formal application process administered by ACA. During the residency, artists participate in formal sessions with their group, collaborate on projects, and work independently.” Open to writers of all genres.
**NEW SUBHEADING** MEDICAL RESOURCES
Clayton Memorial Medical Fund:
A nonprofit fund dedicated to helping Pacific Northwest writers facing medical emergencies. For professional writers of science fiction and/or fantasy who live in Oregon, Washington, Idaho or Alaska, and who need financial help to deal with an illness or injury. Contact Jim Fiscus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Self-publisher for writers, artists and musicians.
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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