I’m running for SFWA office

Published on January 22, 2019 by

I’ve decided to run for a Director-at-Large position on the Board of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The following is the platform statement I posted on the SFWA forum to announce my candidacy:

I’m Eric James Stone, and I’m running for Director-at-Large.

This is not the first time I’ve thrown my hat into the ring for SFWA office: in 2011, Mary Robinette Kowal encouraged me to run for Treasurer when it looked like Bud Sparhawk might not run for re-election. He ended up running, and I was soundly trounced. I just hope Bud’s not going to run for Director-at-Large this year!

I’ve been an Active member of SFWA since 2004, having applied for membership less than a month after receiving the contract for my third qualifying short story sale. From 2008 until late last year, I served as a member of the Grievance Committee. At Bud Sparhawk’s invitation, I also actively served on the Financial Oversight Committee from 2015 to 2017. I strongly believe in SFWA’s mission of informing, supporting, promoting, defending and advocating for our members. Service through SFWA is one of the ways I have chosen to pay back the SF community that has given me so much.

The publishing industry has changed a lot since I joined SFWA, and I have been pleased to see the organization adapting to those changes. On the whole, I have been pleased with the direction SFWA has been headed under the current Board and its predecessors, and I thank them for their service. I fully support the recent changes in membership criteria to allow self-published authors and game writers to join. I also think the re-incorporation in California as a 501(c)(3) non-profit that can accept tax-deductible contributions was a necessary modernization of the organization. On a few occasions, I have had some concerns about due process and/or transparency and expressed my concerns to Board members. In all but one of those cases, I ultimately agreed with the Board’s actions.

I believe that SFWA should be an inclusive organization, and that members should feel welcome regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, citizenship, immigration status, primary language, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, political ideology, or pretty much any other personal attribute. However, I also believe SFWA, as a private organization, is not required to tolerate members who are deliberately disruptive or who harass other members.

Some things to know about me:

  • My father was an immigrant to the U.S. from Argentina, so I grew up bilingual in English and Spanish, and spent over half my childhood living outside the United States.
  • I have a law degree, which may be either the result of or the cause of my concern for due process. (I let my law license expire long ago due to a career shift.)
  • I have worked in web development and/or systems administration for the past two decades, so I know my way around a computer and the internet.
  • I have spent several years as a financial clerk for my local church congregation, responsible for handling member donations, issuing checks, preparing for audits, and tracking down financial discrepancies.

If elected, I will do my best to work with the other members of the Board to represent the interests of SFWA members, expand the membership, and improve the state of the speculative fiction community.

Thank you for your support.

(I verified my eligibility with the Election Committee.)

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