I am pleased to announce my endorsement of Mary Robinette Kowal for President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America!
Some folk might ask why I endorse? As the leading Hispanic voice in Science Fiction, it’s crucial to make my stance heard on this very important matter for science fiction writers. It’s important for marginalized voices like mine to be heard and to be a part of directing the future of sci-fi.
Ms. Kowal is a writer’s-writer, a true champion of the craft, with an open mind, and a genuine spirit to help other writers get ahead. Whereas a lot of the industry seems to try to hoard what it’s got in fear of precious readers finding greener pasture, Kowal uplifts other writers and understands that as the fruits of labors grow, as does the readership and customer base.
She also understands that a guild like SFWA is not meant to be an exclusionary political club nor extremist ideologies to push out others. Writing is for everyone. And I’ve confirmed via conversation with her a very important aspect of why I endorse Ms. Kowal—she opposes discrimination within the guild over political affiliation.
I’ll get more to that later as I’ll go through her excellent platform and why it’s crucial for SFWA if it wants to regain its stature as a relevant organization in today’s publishing climate.
First – health care. I thought this was already a thing with SFWA. It’s one of the primary reasons I’ve wanted to join is to have access to a health care co-op for insurance. That by itself is a very valuable service I thought they offered, and is 100% crucial in today’s world, but it looks like it’s not actually part of their scope. This needs to change quickly as it’s one of the most important benefits to authors who are independent contractors.
But beyond that, her points:
New opportunities to help our members diversify their income streams
This is very important in the modern world. It’s what I’ve been championing. I’ve had a lot of success on alternative income streams over the past year, one that’s allowed me to qualify for SFWA 50x over. I offered to share some help with the officers over the past year personally, and have been met with being ignored or derision each time. It’s very odd, as shouldn’t professionals in a position representing all SF/F Writers of America be supremely interested in revenue streams and how to accomplish them?
Fortunately, Kowal is. If we can see change here, and we have a president like her who is open to new ideas and fresh innovations, it can help all the writers all the way down the line who can benefit from information like I have which could move a lot of writers from poverty and not being able to actually do this professionally, to having real income streams.
Strengthening the Nebula Conference as a professional development conference
This is crucial as well. Writing Conferences need to be more about business, how to help authors get ahead just like in point one. We don’t need to spend hours endlessly debating whether Tolkien was racist like happened at the conference in 2018. How does that help anyone? In fact, trying to hurt the reputation of the genre unjustly like that only turns potential professionals and readers AWAY, because they rightly view this as a toxic outrage culture center. And no one needs more of that, we all have Twitter already.
If the org had classes on how to properly utilize ads and social media, building mailing lists, outreaching toward readers, and focused there, it would be imminently helpful toward writers who have to master these skills if they want to be competitive. Ms. Kowal, when you win, and if you read this – I volunteer to assist with these efforts!
Protecting our rights for free speech
This is super important especially to marginalized authors like myself. So many conservative-libertarians live in fear of what will happen if they make their positions known. I have author after author say they’re afraid to speak up against the mobs out of fear they’ll get shouted down, kicked out of groups, bullied, and harassed out of the guild and/or different publishing houses for even centrist beliefs. They approach me in confidence because they know I will defend their rights as artists.
The type of stories that are allowed to be published are imminently one-sided, and it’s been a detriment to science fiction publications as a whole. I look forward to Ms. Kowal’s defense of conservative ideals and our abilities to speak without fear. That’s what being an artist is all about.
Outreach to underserved and underrepresented writers in the SFF community
Again, the most important aspect of this, as the most underserved and underrepresented writers in the SF/F community are conservatives and Christians. These groups feel like they’re not welcome anywhere within the sphere of publishing, and it needs to change.
I’m confident Ms. Kowal will enact change here, which is the primary reason for my endorsement. I also volunteer to act as an ambassador to the conservative/Christian writing communities on her behalf, as many writers feel they can safely speak with me in confidence, when their concerns might get them ostracized or their businesses hurt if they voice their issues elsewhere. With me in such a role, we can repair the bridge in fandom so we can make it about books again, and selling for authors, and not about petty political squabbles.
Ms. Kowal has demonstrated to me personally that she is sincere in this effort by attempting to assist me with Worldcon 2018 when they horribly discriminated against me last year because of my outspoken beliefs, and because I was under threat of physical harm being done to me at their convention by extreme left-wing agitators. The cycle of victim blaming must stop, and Kowal has assured me SFWA will not be an organization that will treat conservative authors as 2nd class citizens. This is a human rights issue and very big for me!
But Kowal also puts her money where her mouth is. When I was coming up and needed promotion as a writer, Kowal featured me on her blog not just once—but twice, and the second after I’d already become a prominent outspoken conservative within the community. She cares about books FIRST – and this is what sets her apart from others.
I’m excited for her tenure so I can finally join the professional guild (as is my due) without being shut down and held to standards others within SFWA are not.
Taking full advantage of our 501c3 status to apply for grants that will allow SFWA to be a more active and useful organization for our members
This is great. I love charity and my wife and I have organized many successful charity events in the past. It’s all about helping others in our time on this planet, and I look forward to helping out with these initiatives as well. When God blesses us with gifts, it’s our duty to use those gifts for those less fortunate.
This platform has me energized like very few moments before in my career. I am excited to stand with Mary Robinette Kowal for a brighter future, one that would have been envisioned by the greats like Heinlein or Asimov, one where we can grow both as writers and as humans together. We will make science fiction fun again!
Speaking of making Sci-Fi Fun again, if you haven’t checked out my short story collection, you’ll definitely want to! It’s got a wide variety of fun adventures and you’ll love it if you love classic sci-fi. Read it here!
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