There are three serendipitous events that lead me to this post. The first was that I recently met Aidan Doyle at one of our Melbourne Writers’ Social Group socials. Aidan is a talented sci-fi/fantasy author who has been published in a number of reputable publications including Lightspeed, Cosmos, and Aurealis.
The second was listening to an episode of Writing Excuses (SE06EP03) where they discussed professional organizations for writers. One key organization, particularly for speculative fiction writers, is the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). This podcast was particularly interesting because at the time of recording Mary Robinette Kowal served as the organization’s Vice President.
This all comes full circle when I visited the website of Aurealis and discovered they have announced their goal to be officially recognized as a professional market by SFWA.
Why is Aurealis seeking recognition by SFWA?
There are a number of important reasons:
- Authors published in Aurealis would be able to apply their story credits toward membership of SFWA. Don’t let the ‘A’ in SFWA fool you–members of SFWA come from all over the world and SFWA’s Overseas Regional Director, Sean Williams, lives in Adelaide. Membership to this service organization will distinguish your work from others in the slush pile, you’ll have access to SFWA’s private forums where agents, writers, editors and industry professionals discuss the business and craft of this industry, and you get to vote in the Nebula Awards among other benefits.
- To meet the membership requirements, Aurealis needs to increase their pay for writers to 5 cents per word. This payment level is a win-win. Writers get more money. Aurealis gets recognition by SFWA and a larger pool of high quality submissions due to this new competitive pay rate. As a result, readers get even better stories to enjoy.
- Australia will finally have its own fiction magazine recognized by SFWA and dedicated entirely to science-fiction and fantasy stories.
What’s the catch?
It’s simple and the solution is easy. In order for Aurealis to pay writers at these rates, they need 1,000 subscribers to meet these increased expenses.
What can you do to help?
- Order a 2013 subscription for yourself!
- Give subscriptions as gifts to your friends and family.
- Tell other people about Aurealis and encourage them to subscribe!