Part of the Profession

Meet the newest Active member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America: me.

It’s nice to check that off the “writing career” list —

  • First story sale … CHECK (2007)
  • First professional story sale … CHECK (2010)
  • SFWA qualification (3 pro stories or a novel) … CHECK

— especially as my entry into SFWA was a little unconventional. I originally joined as an Affiliate member, based on my work with Baen Books, since I hadn’t yet made any qualifying sales of my fiction. Even my first professional-level story, “Memorial at Copernicus,” didn’t qualify me for Associate membership because Redstone Science Fiction was too new and had not yet been recognized as a professional market.

Of all the professional organizations I’ve joined at various times in my life (e.g., Air Force Association, American Society for Quality Control [now just ‘ASQ’]) SFWA’s entrance qualifications were the hardest to meet. Now that they’ve let me in, I’m reminded of the Groucho Marx bit — wondering if I should be leery of joining a group that would have me as a member — especially as I feel more like a lucky hack than a professional. Maybe it’s something I have to live up to.

Of course, this doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. To paraphrase one of my parents’ favorite sayings, to account for inflation and personal preference: that and a buck will buy me a diet soda.*

So, on to the next thing: finishing the next story.

*Even though “That and 50 cents will buy you a cup of coffee” sounds better, since I don’t drink coffee I’m not sure how many places still sell it for 50 cents.

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