Thursday, February 26, 2015

Your Brain on Fiction

A writer friend on a mailing list linked to an article called Your Brain on Fiction, which talks about how the brain responds when one is reading fiction.

It seems that reading vivid adjectives or active verbs stimulates the same parts of your brain that activate when you're actually experiencing the adjective or doing the verb. For example:

Researchers have long known that the “classical” language regions, like Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area, are involved in how the brain interprets written words. What scientists have come to realize in the last few years is that narratives activate many other parts of our brains as well, suggesting why the experience of reading can feel so alive. Words like “lavender,” “cinnamon” and “soap,” for example, elicit a response not only from the language-processing areas of our brains, but also those devoted to dealing with smells.

In a 2006 study published in the journal NeuroImage, researchers in Spain asked participants to read words with strong odor associations, along with neutral words, while their brains were being scanned by a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine. When subjects looked at the Spanish words for “perfume” and “coffee,” their primary olfactory cortex lit up; when they saw the words that mean “chair” and “key,” this region remained dark.

This also works with social interactions. Reading about characters going through emotional experiences and relationships makes readers more able to understand other people, empathize with them, and navigate social situations.

It is an exercise that hones our real-life social skills, another body of research suggests. Dr. Oatley and Dr. Mar, in collaboration with several other scientists, reported in two studies, published in 2006 and 2009, that individuals who frequently read fiction seem to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them and see the world from their perspective. This relationship persisted even after the researchers accounted for the possibility that more empathetic individuals might prefer reading novels. A 2010 study by Dr. Mar found a similar result in preschool-age children: the more stories they had read to them, the keener their theory of mind — an effect that was also produced by watching movies but, curiously, not by watching television. (Dr. Mar has conjectured that because children often watch TV alone, but go to the movies with their parents, they may experience more “parent-children conversations about mental states” when it comes to films.)

Although that last bit made me wonder. It sounds weird that kids would pick up more about social interaction from movies than from television, and I don't really buy the "going to the movies with parents" thing. When a little kid is really into a TV show, they're going to want to talk about it, whether or not Mom or Dad knows who all Spongebob's friends are. And what about watching movies on TV? Maybe they meant to differentiate between watching television and going to a movie theater, rather than between TV shows and movies. It still sounds iffy; I'd have liked to get more info on that.

Still, this is pretty cool. Definitely click through and read the whole thing.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Vanessa MacLellan, one of the contributors to the 2015 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide, has been posting interviews of other writers who have stories in that book, and my interview went up today.

As with the anthology itself, the emphasis in the interview is diversity in fiction. I write diverse characters because I want to accurately reflect the world around me in my work, but it goes farther than that. Click through to see why.

Thanks to Van for doing these interviews!


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Anthology Markets

If you've just wandered in off the internet, hi and welcome. :) I do these posts every month, so if this post isn't dated in the same month you're in, click here to make sure you're seeing the most recent one.

Markets with specific deadlines are listed first, "Until Filled" markets are at the bottom. There are usually more details on the original site; always click through and read the full guidelines before submitting. Note that some publishers list multiple guidelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.

NOTE: The deadline for Dreams from the Witch House has been extended to 1 March.


28 February 2015 -- Silver & Gold -- ed. Amanda Jean; Less Than Three Press

All love faces challenges, but one of the most difficult can be time. The distance of generations can be a hard one to cross, and judgment is frequent and heavy when a lover is too old or too young for society’s tastes. But love is also precious, and timeless, and worth all obstacles. Less Than Three Press invites authors to submit stories of people not afraid to bridge the span of time.

Editor’s Note: No stories about vampires, etc., where the age difference is hundreds of years.


== Deadline is February 28, 2015 (give or take, we won’t kill you for sending it off the following morning).
== Stories should be at least 10,000 words and should not exceed approx 20,000 words in length.
== Stories must feature a MAY/DECEMBER relationship, budding or established. This means an age difference of at least ten years.
== Stories may be any pairing except cisgender heterosexual M/F (trans* M/F, M/M, F/F, poly, and all permutations thereof are acceptable).
== Stories must have a happily ever after (HEA) or happy for now (HFN) end.
== Any sub-genre is gladly accepted: sci-fi, mystery, contemporary, steampunk, etc.
== All usual LT3 submission guidelines apply.

Silver and Gold is a general release anthology, which means authors will receive a flat payment of $200.00 once LT3 has a signed contract. Authors will receive one copy each of the ebook formats LT3 produces and two copies of the paperback compilation.

Stories should be complete before submitting, and as edited as possible—do not submit a first draft. They can be submitted in any format (doc, docx, rtf, odt, etc) preferably single spaced in an easy to read font (Times, Calibri, Arial) with no special formatting (no elaborate section separation, special fonts, etc). Additional formatting guidelines can be found on the above-linked submissions page.

IMPORTANT: This anthology is being coordinated and edited by one of LT3’s senior editors, Amanda Jean. To submit, please send your manuscript to Include the following in your email:

== Put SUBMISSIONS in the subject line! Emails without this subject line run the risk of not being seen or read, so please, do not forget this!
== Your real name, pen name (if you use one), and preferred email address.
== The approximate total length of the completed story.
== A brief summary of the story, not to exceed approximately 200 words in length.
== Attach the complete manuscript in .doc, .docx, or .odt format.

Any questions/concerns should be directed to the Editor, Amanda Jean, at


28 February 2015 -- Triangulation: Lost Voices -- ed. Jamie Lackey; Parsec Ink

Theme: Lost Voices

Word Count: We will consider fiction up to 6,000 words. There is no minimum word count.

Genre: We are a speculative fiction market. We accept science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories. Please do not send stories without any speculative element.

Compensation: We pay 2 cents per word. Authors will also receive an e-book and print version of the anthology and wholesale pricing for additional printed copies (typically 50% of cover price).

Rights: We purchase North American Serial Rights, and Electronic Rights for downloadable version(s). All subsidiary rights released upon publication.

Submissions: We do not accept reprints, multiple submissions, or simultaneous submissions. If we reject a story before the end of the reading period, feel free to send another.

We love creative interpretations of our themes, but we do require that stories fit the current theme.

We will run mature content if we like the story and if the mature content is integral to the story.

We will not accept fanfic, even if it’s of a fictional universe that has passed into public domain.

How To Submit: Electronic submissions make our lives easier. Please upload your story via Submittable. If this is your first time submitting to a publication that utilizes Submittable, you will need to create an account with them. It’s free.

Manuscript Format: Please use industry standard manuscript format. We’re not testing you to see if you can follow each and every niggling detail, we just want a manuscript that is easy for us to read.

We accept manuscripts in the following formats:

== .doc or .docx (MS Word)
== .rtf (Rich Text Format — generic document format that most word processors can create)

Editorial Process: We will aim to read submissions as they are received. If a story doesn’t work for us, we’ll reject it. If we think the story has great potential but isn’t quite there yet, we might do a rewrite request. If we love it, we’ll accept it. If we can’t make up our minds, we will request to hold onto it for a while for further consideration. If we send you a hold request and you have something else that would fit the theme, feel free to submit it. After a story is accepted, the only changes that we will make will be minor line edits and formatting fixes.

Response: We aim to make final decisions by March 31st.

Eligibility: All writers, including those who are known or even related to the editorial staff, are permitted to submit to the Triangulation anthology. That doesn’t mean we’ll automatically publish them; just that we’re willing to look at their work.


1 March 2015 -- Swords v. Cthulu -- ed. Molly Tanzer and Jesse Bullington; Stone Skin Press

Stone Skin Press is proud to announce our newest anthology, Swords v. Cthulhu. As you might have guessed from the title, this project is a spiritual successor to our previous Shotguns v. Cthulhu, but while Shotguns featured mostly modern or futuristic settings for its action-heavy eldritch tales, this tome will collect stories of a historical or fantastical bent. Molly Tanzer and Jesse Bullington will be co-editing the project.

If you're simply an excited reader then there's nothing more to report at present. But! If you're interested in potentially submitting a story, there will be an open reading period for a few of the slots in Swords v. Cthulhu. Read on for the full guidelines…

The brass tacks (or red nails, as the case may be):

We are paying five (5) cents a word for original works of fiction of up to 5,000 words.

No poetry. No reprints.

No multiple submissions. No simultaneous submissions.

The open reading period for story submissions will be from February 1st to March 1st, 2015. All submissions will be answered by the end of March.

During the reading period, all submissions should be sent as a double-spaced word document in standard manuscript format to Please address the subject line SVC Submission: "Story Title." Any stories submitted before or after the open reading period will be deleted unread.

To fulfill the promise of the title, we want at least a few adventure romps in which sinewy muscle and cold steel are pitted against the minions of the Great Old Ones. That said, we'd also like some stories combining movement and violence with the existential despair at the heart of Lovecraft's work. What we want to see is the cerebral cohabitating with rowdy action sequences.

"Action sequence" could, among other things, evoke the spirit of:

==The adventures and escapes in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
==Robert E. Howard's two-fisted mythos tales, especially the Kull and Bran Mak Morn tales
==The perils of Jirel of Joiry, C.L. Moore's proto-Red Sonja
==Ashitaka's mounted combat against the demon boar in Princess Mononoke
==The bloody-handed heroics of Charles Saunders's Imaro
==The Clark Ashton Smith school of sword and sorcery (inherited by Jack Vance & Michael Shea)
==Or that of Fritz Leiber
==The sword & planet stylings of Leigh Brackett
==The epic battle sequences from Tolkien or Burroughs (or their film adaptations)
==The doomed hero standing alone against a greater demon in the Dark Souls video game series
==or the tight-knit party beset by hordes in the Dragon Age franchise
==That over-the-top Dungeons and Dragons game you ran when you were thirteen and had just discovered HPL, REH, and the rest of the Weird Tales crew…

These are just a few of the potential interpretations we're hoping to see represented when we compile our Table of Contents. So long as there's an action sequence of some sort and a Mythos element, you've met the minimum criteria. Stories can be set in any real or imagined setting, so long as melee weapons are the order of the day as opposed to firearms and futuristic technology. Prehistory, historical, fantasy, and science fantastical (you know, like Krull) settings are all fair game. Be aware that historical European settings will be a much harder sell than other eras or locales—we’d like to see a diverse array of landscapes and cultures.

And speaking of diversity, Lovecraftiana—historical and modern—has a somewhat-deserved reputation as being a tentacle club, and a fairly pasty one at that. We would like to see that continue to change, and strongly encourage any and all interested women, people of color, LGBT individuals, and other historical outsiders to the Mythos to submit their fiction. While both of the editors are enthusiastic about Lovecraft's writing, we are also committed to doing our part to expand the Mythos beyond Lovecraft's interpretation of who belongs, and in what roles. No matter if your mashup is a cautionary tale, a romance, or a straight-up wish fulfillment fantasy, we want stories that embrace difference, rather than shun or punish it.

Also, while Lovecraft's work has fallen ambiguously into the public domain, the works of other writers who derived from him have not. To steer clear of rights issues, please reference only the stories of H.P. Lovecraft himself or texts that are unequivocally in the public domain. Do not derive from material appearing only in Howard, Lumley, or Campbell, et al.


1 March 2015 [EXTENDED] -- Dreams from the Witch House -- ed. Lynne Jamneck; Dark Regions Press

I will be editing an anthology of Lovecraftian fiction written by women, to be published by Dark Regions Press in 2015.

We have already solicited a selection of established authors to contribute work to the collection. As of 1 October 2014, I am officially accepting unsolicited submissions for an open call period that ends 1 March 2015.

The only set requirement for the anthology is that all submissions must be written by women. Submissions from international, multi-cultural and LGBT/GSD perspectives are encouraged, as this collection will aim to present the diversity of voices within the field of Lovecraftian fiction. All stories must be submitted in English.

There is no restriction on setting, so don't feel like you have to remain within the 1920's/1930's - far future stories, contemporary, steampunk, psychological, horror, fantasy/sf and, of course, historical settings are all welcome.

I am open to a wide interpretation of 'Lovecraftian', but I'm not looking for pastiche work. Nuanced weirdness welcome, as is the overtly strange.

Word count for submissions is set between 2000 and 10 000 words. If you would like to submit something shorter or longer, please query.

No simultaneous submissions or reprints.

Payment for accepted stories will be 5c per word up to 5k, then 3c per word over 5k.

Email submissions in Word .doc or .rtf file, formatted to standard manuscript specifications to:

witchesdreams AT gmail DOT com


31 March 2015 -- Only Disconnect -- Third Flatiron

Presentism as a theme: the pitfalls of distraction, overstimulation, attention thieves. Too much to do, too little time, fear of the singularity. Advantages of being bored or being "in the present." Are we becoming ADD? Should we disconnect--or connect even further?

Stories should be submitted in either Microsoft Word (using double spacing), RTF, or plain text. They should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words. Flash humor pieces (Grins and Gurgles) should be short, around 600 words.

Please don't send simultaneous or multiple submissions. If a story has been rejected, you can then send another.

Submit by email to either as an attachment (Word) or in the body of the mail (text).

In the Subject: line of the email, please put flatsubmit:Title_of_Your_Work to avoid being deemed a canned meat product based on ham.

If the work is for the humor section, please note that in the body of your email. A brief bio and a one- or two-sentence synopsis in the body of your email would also be helpful to us.

Your story must be original work, with the digital rights unencumbered. Accepted stories will be paid at the flat rate of 3 cents per word (U.S.), in return for the digital rights to the story for six months after publication. All other rights will remain with the author. We no longer offer royalties. If your story is selected as the lead story, beginning July 1, 2014, we will pay a flat rate of 6 cents per word (SFWA professional rate), in return for the permission to podcast or give the story away as a free sample portion of the anthology.

Third Flatiron will price and market your story to various e-publishing venues. We will format the story for the most popular electronic readers and platforms. You agree that we may distribute a sample (portion of the story) to potential customers.

For non-U.S. submissions, we prefer to pay via PayPal, if you have such an account.

Authors selected for publication will also be entitled to one free online copy of the anthology.


1 April 2015 -- Women in Practical Armor -- ed. Gabrielle Harbowy and Ed Greenwood; Evil Girlfriend Media

With the ever-increasing scrutiny the fantasy and gaming genres are receiving regarding gendered roles and its treatment of women, the time is right for a series of anthologies that celebrates the empowered woman in the fantasy universe. She is no longer just the love interest, just the damsel in distress, or just the prize. She is strong, independent, and she knows that the armor depicted in video games wouldn’t stop anything but traffic.

It’s true that the kind of female warrior who would be on the front lines in practical armor, without hiding or apologizing for her gender, has little historical precedent in the medieval societies on which much fantasy is based, but fantasy doesn't need to have its basis in real world European history.

Evil Girlfriend Media is committed to breaking stereotypes and pushing the boundaries of speculative fiction. We encourage you to use this opportunity to do just that. Your secondary world can be based on some other culture or created out of whole cloth. It can be your proprietary universe in which you have set other works. We ask only that the protagonist be a female character who is already empowered. There are plenty of works out there about women who are struggling for acceptance or to build their self-identity. In this anthology, we would like to focus on the kinds of challenges that empowered, powerful, seasoned warriors would face.

If you do not receive an invitation, we may have plans to invite you for future anthologies in this series. However, if the theme inspires you, please submit a story! Also, the anthology is open to all regardless of gender, this is not an exclusively female author anthology.

We are accepting new works for consideration, and reprints if the rights are currently unencumbered. We are able to offer an advance of 6 cents per word up to 5,000 words for original fiction, and 1 cent per word for reprints, along with one author’s copy (of each available format) per contributor and an author discount on additional copies. Advances will be payable upon publication. Due to budget constraints, we will not be able to offer additional compensation for original stories that check in above 5,000 words. 2,000-5,000 is our ideal range. We are asking for non-exclusive anthology rights, and the authors can reprint after a year.

Before submitting, please be aware the anthology is contingent on funding from a Kickstarter project. The first month of publication all royalties will be donated to a PTSD charity of Evil Girlfriend Media’s choice that focuses on providing services for all individuals regardless of sex, gender, race, age, sexual preference, or disability.

IMPORTANT: Submit your story in standard manuscript format to


30 April 2015 -- Hidden Youth (Long Hidden 2) -- ed. Mikki Kendall and Sofia Samatar; Crossed Genres

Crossed Genres Publications will publish Hidden Youth: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History (expected release January 2016). Below are guidelines for submitting stories to Hidden Youth. Please read the guidelines carefully before submitting.

Direct all queries to Please do not query asking for an exception to the guidelines. Do not send story submissions via this email – see below for how to submit without using the form.

We welcome stories by authors from all walks of life. We especially encourage submissions from members of marginalized groups within the speculative fiction community, including (but not limited to) people of color; people who are not from or living in the U.S.A.; QUILTBAG and GSM people; people with disabilities, chronic illness, or mental illness; and atheists, agnostics, and members of religious minorities. The protagonists of your story do not have to mirror your own heritage, identities, beliefs, or experiences.

We also especially encourage short story submissions from people who don’t usually write in this format, including poets, playwrights, essayists and authors of historical fiction and historical romance.

Submissions are due April 30, 2015. If it’s still April 30 in your time zone, you’re good. Acceptance notices will be sent by October 1. The anthology is tentatively slated for a January 2016 release.

We pay USD 6¢/word for global English first publication rights in print and digital format. The author retains copyright. Payment is upon publication.

==Length: 2000-8000 words (FIRM)
==Your story must be set before 1935 C.E. (NO exceptions), and take place primarily in our world or an alternate historical version of our world. (Travel to other worlds, other dimensions, Fairyland, the afterlife, etc. is fine but should not be the focus.)
==Your protagonists must be young people (under the age of 18) who were marginalized in their time and place. By “marginalized” we mean that they belong to one or more groups of people that were categorically, systematically deprived of rights and/or economic power. Examples in most times and places include enslaved people, indigenous people, queer people, laborers, women, people with disabilities, and people who do not share the local dominant religion, language, or ethnicity. Many people belong to multiple marginalized groups, and many are marginalized in some ways and privileged in others. Your story should acknowledge the complexity and intersectionality of marginalization.
==Your story must contain a significant element of science fiction, fantasy, horror, or the weird, without which the story would not work or would be a substantially different story.
==All submissions must be in English.
==Please note: while we are looking for stories about young people, this is not specifically a YA anthology. We are interested in work that will appeal to a broad audience.
==No reprints. No simultaneous submissions.

We will not accept any story containing the following:

==Gratuitous or titillating depictions of violence.
==Gratuitous descriptions of bodies or body parts, or people described only in objectifying ways.
==Horror that relies on shocking or grossing out the reader.
==Stories that are all about how someone non-marginalized became an enlightened champion of marginalized people.
==A protagonist from a societally or technologically powerful group who happens to be temporarily or situationally powerless (e.g. a peasant who’s really a prince, a representative of the British East India Company shipwrecked on Ceylon).
==Depictions of marginalized people as being doomed to hopeless misery.
==Depiction of any group, no matter how powerful, as universally, inherently, or irredeemably evil.

If you decide to incorporate one or more of the following elements, please do so with caution and awareness of the ways that they can be problematic or difficult to write about.

==Violence, particularly sexual violence. We recognize that sexual violence is frequently used as a weapon against marginalized people, so we are not issuing a blanket prohibition against it, but please consider very carefully whether you need to include it in your story; and if you decide that you do, please consider very very carefully whether your story needs to show the violent act itself.
==Consensual sexual encounters. We’re not averse to sexual or erotic content, but it needs to further the story and incorporate awareness of the ways real-world power relationships affect sexual behavior and decision-making.
==Stereotypes and clich├ęs.
==Alternate history that drops magic powers or anachronistic technology into a historical setting.
==A protagonist who is the only marginalized person in the story.
==Revenge fantasies.
==A setting that’s already very commonly used in speculative fiction, especially one that’s often associated with stories featuring members of privileged/dominant/colonizing groups, e.g. Victorian England, the American “Wild West”.
==A rewrite of a common YA trope. No Twilight, Hunger Games, Harry Potter reboots please. Yes that means we don’t want to see “If Bella was a Black girl in the 1800’s”.

Your story doesn’t need to have all these elements, but we’re especially interested in stories that have at least some of them.

==Accurate depictions of life on the margins.
==Thoughtful, sensitive incorporation of religion, superstition, and folklore.
==Depictions of historically accurate societal attitudes in the context of an authorial voice that does not condone or espouse bigotry. (For example, your female characters will probably have to deal with societal sexism, but your descriptions of them should not rely on sexist stereotypes.)
==An understanding of how economic, technological, political, and religious influences shape a time and place, especially in alternate historical settings.
==Research bibliographies and suggestions for further reading.
==Integration of friendships, family relationships, and community into the story.
==Protagonists who make conscious choices and take conscious action.
==Side characters who are real people.
==Personal triumphs and successes.
==Making us laugh, think, cheer, and weep.

To submit a story to Hidden Youth, please fill out the form [on our web page.] Be sure to:

==Address your submission “Dear Hidden Youth editors” or “Dear Ms. Kendall and Dr. Samatar” or “Dear Mikki and Sofia”. Include your story’s year and location at the beginning of your submission.
==Attach your story as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file, with your name, the story title, and the wordcount on the first page.
==There will be an email address to send submissions to if for any reason you’re unable to use the form.


UNTIL FILLED -- The Lost Worlds -- Eldritch Press ** First Posted August 2014

Please refer to the Submission Guidelines page for information on how and where to submit.

Include in the subject line of your submission Sub_The Lost Worlds_authors name

Updated Payment: Eight cents a word.

Story Length: Up to 20,000 novella length stories.

Rights Requested: One year exclusive rights upon publication.

This will be released in paperback, Limited Hardcover and E-book format.

Cover art will be revealed soon.

Steampunk is a difficult and demanding genre to write in. Therefore we are only accepting the best stories you can bring to the plate. To be published early next year.

"The Lost Worlds" will be a anthology in the Steampunk Horror Genre devoted to the post-apocalyptic theme. Send us worlds rebuilt by steam powered engines and mechanical marvels. Send us characters we can root for as they fight the good fight.

Send us worlds our readers can romanticize about, characters that jump off the page. We want to set the Steampunk world ablaze with "The Lost Worlds." So we only want your best.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Writers' Police Academy

The 2015 Writers' Police Academy schedule has been posted. This is the most exciting event we've ever offered, by far. We even have a full-size Boeing 727 jet onsite where you'll learn to handle unruly and dangerous passengers. There's time on indoor firing ranges (pistol and rifle), a forensic lab, investigating bloodstain patterns, riding in patrol cars as they skid out of control, performing the PIT maneuver on a suspect vehicle as it flees from your patrol vehicle, door breaches and searching buildings for armed bad guys (yes, there'll be actual door-breaching and shooting involved this year), lots of fire, sirens, smoke, interacting with police academy recruits and firefighters, and much, much more. And, as always, there's lots of heart-thumping action, including a few surprises. OMG, this one's over the top!

Registration opens February 14, 2015

Event Registration – $375

Registration fee includes lunch at the police academy on Friday and Saturday, including a Wisconsin tailgate party as one of the meals, transportation to and from the academy and hotel, and the Friday night reception.

Sisters in Crime is offering a discount for members. Details are listed on the WPA "Schedule" page. If you are not a member you should join now to receive the generous discount!

* We again anticipate an overwhelming response once registration is open. Space, even though there's more of it this year, is limited. Therefore, all slots are first-come/first served. You will not want to miss this one of a kind, exciting weekend. Registration begins at 11 a.m. on February 14, 2015. Remember -- the event sold out in 6 hours last year so be ready to sign up the moment registration opens.

Click through for a photo of the event site -- they're at a public safety training center with great facilities.


Monday, February 9, 2015

How Not to Be Awkward Around People With Disabilities

This is a fun video, with lots of great info and some laughs. Thanks to Lee Wind for the link!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Young Explorer's Adventure Guide in Paperback

The Young Explorer's Adventure Guide anthology is finally out in paperback! I have a copy and it looks good -- nice and solid, with decent sized type that's easy to read. If you've been waiting for the paperback, it's here. :)


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

SFWA Opening to Small Press and Indie Writers

The vote is in and by a very nice margin -- six to one -- SFWA members have voted to put in place rules that'll allow writers who publish through small presses that didn't make the old "qualifying market" requirement, or who publish indie, to qualify for either Associate or Active membership, based on sales levels (in dollars, not units sold) within one year.

Specific details will be posted at by the first of March, but the basic standards are $3,000 for novel, or a total of 10,000 words of short fiction paid at 6 cents a word for Active membership. A single story of at least 1,000 words paid at 6 cents a word will be required for Associate membership. Affiliate, Estate, and Institutional membership requirements remain unchanged.

That's great news. It shows that SFWA is recognizing that publishing is changing, and is taking action to catch up with the changes. Props to the members who voted in favor of this reform.

According to SFWA Vice President Cat Rambo, "I’m very excited to see SFWA moving forward and adapting itself to the changing face of modern publishing. SFWA will be much richer for the influx of knowledge and experience that the new members who have focused on independent and small-press publishing will bring with them."

I'm pretty sure I'll qualify for active membership this year under the new rules, but I'm considering whether I'll join. I have people I can ask for contract help (that's the sort of thing you hire a lawyer for anyway), and I have good medical insurance. It's also true that an influx of small press, hybrid and indie-pubbing writers will make SFWA a more valuable resource for info and advice, especially for someone like me who has no interest whatsoever in getting a novel contract from a big New York publisher, but I already know a lot of people who can give me all the advice I'm ever likely to need in that area as well. I don't like some of the things SFWA has said or done in the last few years, but joining to add my voice to the majority of SFWAns who are not racist, sexist, homophobic dipshits ((tm) John Scalzi) could help drown out the loud minority who are.

I have to decide whether that's worth $90/year. It might be; we'll see.

Thanks to Passive Guy for the link.