Science Fantasy Writers of America

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An self-help organization for pros which seems to never have quite gotten off the ground in the early 50s. (It appears to be entirely unrelated to the later SFWA.)

From Harry Warner's A Wealth of Fable:

First, on p346 regarding Norwescon (the 1950 Worldcon):

"The fans demonstrated slightly more tolerance to the first major effort to form an organization of science fiction pros. An organizing committee was named to construct the projected Fantasy Writers of America, named in the pattern of the Mystery Writers of America. Ted Sturgeon was named provisional national chairman. Regional representatives were also chosen: Groff Conklin for the East, Bob Tucker for the Midwest, and Forrest J Ackerman for the West. Backers of the idea claimed it possessed the signature of every pro present on a manifesto. Goals included higher word rates and bigger royalties, elimination of unfair publishing policies and social benefits."

Later, on p357, speaking of Chicon II (AKA the TASFIC, the 1952 Worldcon), he writes:

"The pros continued to use worldcons in their efforts to organize themselves effectively. Earlier that summer, a group known as the Science Fantasy Writers of America had been formed at the fifth Westercon in San Diego. During Chicon II, the new group staged its second meeting, naming Forrest J Ackerman secretary, and deciding to form local chapters after the custom of the Mystery Writers of America. Pros who spoke in favor of a promotional drive included Tony Boucher, John W. Campbell, Jr., Joe Gibson, August Derleth, E. Everett Evans, Judith Merril, Frank Robinson, Philip Jose Farmer, and Hans Santesson. The new group had the prestigious Ray Bradbury as its president."

Finally, on p 374, speaking of SFCon (the 1954 Worldcon) he writes:

"Boucher...made such announcements as the fact that the pro organization which had been created three years earlier still hadn't become active."

This seems to have been the first attempt to create a professional writer's association. Later ones included the unsuccessful SFWPA and SFWA.



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