This is interesting news in light of the number of professional writers who have quietly been leaving SFWA:
Steven Gould, President of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and Jeffry Dwight, President of Greyware Automation Products, Inc. announced that they are severing the formal ties between the writer’s organization and the legacy SFWA discussion discussion boards still hosted at SFF Net (a Greyware service).
Gould said, “SFF Net was the host of SFWA’s online home for many years. We are incredibly grateful for the years of support from Jeffry and his team. When SFWA moved over to managing its own domain at sfwa.org in 2009, the organization continued to maintain the old discussion boards for a transition period. The SFWA board of directors were discussing the appropriate time to separate when I received Jeffry’s email on the same subject.”
Dwight said, “SFF Net initiated this separation. We have no immediate plans to shut off the private.sfwa hierarchy, nor to remove access from those who already have it. SFF Net will continue to offer discussion areas to professional writers, but based on each individual’s writing credentials rather than membership in SFWA or any similar groups. Our goal is for the transition from sff.private.sfwa to sff.private.pro to be both gradual and gentle, so that no one is disenfranchised.
It’s a smart move by SFF Net. Being tied to SFWA prevented non-SFWA writers like me and many others from participating on SFF Net’s formerly active pro writing forums. And many of the most experienced writers who were already there simply never migrated to the SFWA forums, which were mostly infested by the activist junior members who don’t actually write or publish much science fiction.
It won’t be surprising if within six months, there are two- or three-times as many pro writers active at SFF Net than there are in the SFWA forums. Even though their individual credential requirements will probably be more stringent as well. And thus SFWA’s slide into further irrelevance begins….
UPDATE: This book feature from SFWA.org says it all about the modern SFWA. It’s now the Romance Writers of America’s little league.
FEATURED BOOK: “Post-apocalyptic biopunk romance from the RWA RITA Award nominated author of GHOST PLANET. Coming from Tor in April 2014.