Running for SFWA Office (but NOT President)

After a great deal of thought, discussion with my family, and a good, hard look at my schedule and priorities, I just posted the following in the discussion forums of the Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America.

One way or another, I hope members will vote in the upcoming election. Because if there are no votes, I think the bylaws state that Lee and I have to fight some sort of a duel. Something about rubber chickens and key lime pie…

Jim C. Hines
Platform Statement for South/Central Regional Director

I joined SFWA as an associate member in 2001, and upgraded to active as soon as I made that third short fiction sale. SFWA wasn’t only a goal and a source of validation, but also a valuable resource. Even before that first qualifying sale, I followed Writer Beware religiously. I have no doubt that SFWA saved me from a number of mistakes in those early years. Later, I learned about the Emergency Medical Fund, got first-hand experience with the Grievance Committee, and watched SFWA promote an industry-wide change in “professional” short fiction rates.

I’ve served on SFWA’s exploratory copyright committee, assisted with the drafting of a potential harassment policy, and volunteered at the SFWA table at Worldcon, but after twelve years, I’d like to give more back to the organization by serving as South/Central Regional Director.

First and foremost, I believe a Regional Director must listen to and represent the membership. I’ve been very active with the SF/F community, particularly working writers, both those who are members of SFWA and those who qualify but, for a variety of reasons, have chosen not to join the organization. I believe my online platform will make me accessible to our members, and give me a platform to hear and respond to their concerns.

I would like to see SFWA continue to move forward. To me, the biggest priority is to complete the reincorporation process. I would also like to see SFWA reach out to those eligible writers who have turned away, believing—rightfully or wrongfully—that we have nothing to offer, or that we’re too narrow in the writers we welcome and celebrate in our ranks.

As an author, I’ve published more than 40 short stories, and my ninth novel from DAW will be out later this year. I was honored with a Hugo award last year for my online writing about the SF/F community. (And yes, I’m the guy who did those half-naked cover poses to try to promote discussions of sexism in the genre.)

In my day job as a manager working for the State of Michigan, I’ve received a crash course in managing priorities, responding to multiple demands on my time, and reviewing input from a variety of often contradictory sources. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned how to keep good ideas from stagnating, and to do the work to push those good ideas forward.

I have nothing but respect and gratitude for Lee Martindale and the work she’s done for SFWA. But I also think the membership is better served when there are multiple candidates, and I believe I have a lot to offer the organization.

I would appreciate your vote for South/Central Regional Director. But more importantly, I hope you’ll vote, period.