FWG Forums and Future Plans

As most of you are now aware, we began having a technical issue with persons being unable to access the FWG forums. It is thought that this stemmed from the host’s firewall wrongly banning certain IP addresses. It was found that some could regain access by clearing their browser cache, however, some members still find themselves locked out even after attempting this.

As it stands, the old FWG forums are no longer functional and will have to be abandoned. While this is an inconvenience, the fact is that the forums were already on borrowed time. Come November, we were going to lose hosting for them and, owing to their outdated architecture, they cannot simply be moved elsewhere.

The FWG staff had been discussing this next phase, but these recent problems have forced us to advance the timetable. We would like you, the FWG membership, to share your thoughts on this transition. Do we attempt to recreate the forums from scratch? Although they had been declining in usage for years, they still had utility as a sort of database. Would something more stripped-down suffice for our purposes? Or should we forgo them altogether? Let us know.

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New President & VP

This post is to announce my securing of the Furry Writers’ Guild presidency, a role which I will assume beginning next month. For those unaware, I am Dwale, a longtime FWG moderator and “Coffeehouse Chat” host. I have roughly fifteen years of moderator experience, with about five years particular to the FWG. The Furry Writers’ Guild and its mission statement are important parts of my life and have been for many years now. There is little I would not do for the Guild.

Our vice president will be Mr. Miles Reaver, who says:

I have been part of the FWG since early December of 2016 and in this time the Guild has treated me well. I have been the moderator of the FWG Telegram chat for 3 years as well as part of the Dead Furry Society.

Some of you may know my writing, some of you may not. I’ve met some amazing and inspiring people in this place, full of spirit and ideas, knowledge and drive. I am proud to be a member of the FWG and I want to do as much for it as it has done for me. To educate writers, promote workshops, publishers and their works, and to create a space where furry writers can improve their craft.

Along with Dwale as President, we will do our best to make a long-lasting improvement and make the guild a place that writers can call home.

Chipotle has volunteered to stay on as treasurer and technical adviser. Trale, to our regret, will be leaving at the end of his term. We wish him the best and a happy road ahead.

We do have tentative plans to move the Guild forward, something about which you’ll be hearing more in the weeks and months to come. It is our intention to administrate according to precedent, with transparency, so that the Guild will remain the welcoming and constructive community it has always been. Stay tuned.

The Furry Writers’ Guild and Politics

There have been some accusations of the FWG being “too political” which we would like to address.

The FWG is not, and never has been, a political organization. As much as practical, we prohibit discussions of politics in FWG-branded spaces; as a group, we take no political stances, advocate no ideologies.

But the FWG is also an inclusive organization. Our members come from all over the world, from all walks of life, across many spectrums. The furry fandom is diverse, and so is our community of writers. We’re proud of this diversity. We consider it one of furry’s greatest assets, and one of the FWG’s. As our Code of Conduct states,

The FWG welcomes and supports all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to, participants of any age, experience level, nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, ability/disability, gender identity and expression, sexual identity and expression, or level and type of participation in the furry fandom.

This means there are times we do have to take stands. The Code of Conduct expressly prohibits harassment, including the advocation of hateful ideologies. We oppose—and will take action against—any such behavior. We will not accommodate hate speech, for doing so is no defense of free speech. Instead it silences the speech of others. We cannot and will not turn a blind eye to bigotry, however artfully coded. If you are someone who would denigrate or demean another person based on ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexuality, gender, disability, or lack of means, the FWG is no place for you.

If this opposition to bigotry makes you feel unwelcome, then we trust you know where to find the door.

FWG Blog – April 2019

 

It’s April! We’re not joking about all the accomplishments that are happening in this post.

 

Guild Newsroom

If you missed them, check out our recent spotlights on members Frances Pauli and Leilani Wilson! If you have a recent or upcoming release, or a project you really want to talk about (and you haven’t been a Member Spotlight before, message our Bat Veep, @tralekast on Twitter), to be considered).

Attention, all members on Twitter! When making posts about your writing, be sure to use the hashtag #furrywriting so that we can keep up with your work and share it with the world!

 

Member Highlights

Some highlights from last month, as featured from our FWG Member News section on the forums:

  • Michael H. Payne‘s poem “The Protest: Ant Work Ethic”, which appeared in vol. 3 of Civilized Beasts, has been nominated for a Rhysling Award, which are given out annually by the SFPA.
  • James L. Steele has released Dangerous Experiments, the second book in his Archeon Series.
  • Madison Keller‘s short story, “The Widehorn Herd”, has been accepted to ROAR vol. 10. Also related to that anthology, Madison will be the new editor of ROAR moving forward.
  • Jaden Drackus has had a story accepted to “Foxers or Friefs”, and anthology to be published by Armoured Fox Press. They’ve also been accepted to attend RAWR in June.
  • Miriam “Camio” Curzon has a paper that will getting published through the new LGBT magazine at Brown University. They’ve also been accepted to attend RAWR in June.
  • Alison “Cybera” Cybe has had stories accepted in the “Even Furries Hate Nazis” and “Movie Monsters” anthologies. They’ve also been interviewed by AwooNews for their series, “Realms of Valeron”. Lastly, they’ve been selected to edit a new anthology by Thurston Howl Publications, “Trans-fur-mation: Tales from Transgender Furry Voices”. See our Marketplace section for details.
  • S. Park has had two short stories accepted—one to the “Even Furries Hate Nazis” anthology, as well as another into the “Burnt Fur” anthology from Blood Bound Books.

 

Our usual reminder to all our member that have had something exciting happen in the past month not featured here: be sure to keep up with your FWG Member News thread on the forums! Not only is this how we get our information, but these threads are able to be viewed by any person logged into the forums. Share your achievements with the rest of the writing community!

 

The Marketplace

For those of you looking to submit, keep an eye on the open markets on our website. For those of you who just forget, The Marketplace is your reminder for all things open for submissions!

Short Story Markets:

Publisher Title Theme Deadline Pay
Zooscape  Zooscape Zine General furry Fiction Ongoing $0.06/word (maximum $60)
Thurston Howl Publications Trick or Treat: A Furry BDSM Anthology Furry erotica featuring BDSM May 1st One copy of the anthology (non-paying)
Thurston Howl Publications The Haunted Den: Furry Ghost Stories Furry ghost stories June 1st One copy of the anthology (non-paying)
Thurston Howl Publications Give Yourself a Hand Furry erotica featuring masturbation June 15th $0.0050/word plus one copy of the anthology
Thurston Howl Publications Pawradiso: The Ten Spheres of Furry Heaven furry stories based around the spheres of Heaven (in reference to Paradiso) July 15th One copy of the anthology (non-paying)
Furplanet The Reclamation Project Furry stories in a shared, post-cataclysmic future August 31st $0.0050/word plus one copy of the anthology
Thurston Howl Publications Trans-fur-mation Furry stories with strong trans pride themes November 1st $20.00 plus one copy of the anthology

FANG Vol. 10 will be updated on our paying markets page shortly, once the theme has been announced. We can tell you, however, that submissions will open on May 1st, 2019.

 

Novel Markets:

  • Thurston Howl Publications is open to novel/novella submissions, with no planned date for submissions to close.

 

Special Events and Announcements

While most of these are the same announcements as last month, we feel that they are still relevant and should be repeated.

Goal Publications/Fanged Fiction has announced that they will be opening for novel/novella/Pocket Shot submissions on July 1st, 2019. Look forward to that!

Australian publisher Jaffa Books has announced that they will be closing their doors at the end of 2019. Thank you to Jay for all you’ve done with it, and we hope this gives you a chance to work more on your writing!

ROAR editor Mary E. Lowd has announced that, after finishing up the current volume, she will be handing the reigns off to Madison Keller. Thank you Mary for doing such a great job with the anthology, and we look forward to seeing what Madison brings to the table.

FANG editor Ashe Valisca has decided to hand the project to Sparf, who will be assisted by Kyell Gold. Thank you, Ashe, for your hard work with this series, and we wish the best of luck to the new editors.

 

Wrap-up

Our forums are open to all writers, not just full members of the FWG. Check them out here and join in on the conversation. While you’re there, check out how to join our Slack and Telegram channels. Before joining any of these, though, we ask that you please read up on our Code of Conduct! With all the negative going around in the world these days, both furry and non-furry, we want to make sure the guild feels like a safe place to all its participants, free of threats and hate speech.

We have two weekly chats, called our Coffeehouse Chats! Our first one is Tuesday at 7:00pm EST in our Slack channel, and our other is Thursdays at Noon EST on our forums in the shoutbox on the main page. Both of these chats feature writers talking about writing, usually with a central topic. As with the above, these chats are open to both members and non-members, though you must be registered for the forums.

Member Spotlight: Leilani Wilson

On the cusp of her first novel release, we get a chance to sit down with Leilani Wilson and talk about her writing.

 

Tell us about your most recent project (written or published). What inspired it?

Symphony of Shifting Tides has been cooking for a long time! Like, a decade! It was originally going to be a video game. I’m actually glad it ended up being a book instead, though. The story ultimately works much, much better this way!

My inspirations come from strange places. I’ll freely admit that basically none of the inspirations were literary for me—at least at the outset. I grew up playing a lot of classic JRPGs, and the way that they told stories changed drastically over the span of about 15-20 years. I always found it interesting the way that the genre’s stories got stranger and stranger as time went on. The stark difference between Dragon Quest (1) and say, Kingdom Hearts (as a series) is very big. The worldbuilding is often very finely crafted in some of these longer series that share a world. The amount of planning these scenario writers do is ridiculous.

I think there are expectations when it comes to the genre about what the games contain, but often those preconceptions point towards the much older games that were about simple good and evil. Anymore, things have become a lot more complex and nuanced. These are the same stories that inspired Undertale and Deltarune, after all.

Some of these stories have a lot to say about religion, politics and philosophy, as well as non-linear storytelling. Stuff like in the Xenoblade series, and its predecessors Xenogears and Xenosaga. Then there’s behemoths like Suikoden and Trails in the Sky! Those are all the types that inspired me. I tried to hit the sweet spot between ridiculous amounts of lore like those, and more straight-forward stories like in Grandia or Wild Arms.

What’s your writing process like? Are you a “pantser,” an outliner, or something in between? How do you find that this helps and/or hurts your writing style?

I’m almost entirely a pantser. My process is completely sideways, though. With Symphony of Shifting Tides in particular, I actually composed the soundtrack to the book first. I wanted to let the music guide the story, and what that created was actually a huge mess. Don’t know if I’d recommend that creation process!

That said, it did make for a bit of an entertainingly unorthodox trajectory for the story and its characters. I used the music for all my locations and major plot points, and pantsed the gaps. It’s a bumpy ride for the first draft, and at times will lead to spots where you know your destination but have no idea about how on earth you’re going to get there. It definitely has some drawbacks, but it feels like reading the story while writing it.

What’s your favorite kind of story to write?

I like stories about people dealing with their emotions. I love a good setting and I love complex world-building, but I can’t enjoy it without the characters. I like to write about characters who would be side-characters in any other story. I like to focus on people who aren’t heroes. Morally gray stuff is typically my jam.

Which character from your work do you most identify with, and why?

When it comes to Symphony of Shifting Tides, there’s a lot of me in all five of the characters who end up sticking together (eventually). I’d have to say I probably I identify with Cecelia and Verse the most.

Cecelia is very much how I was when I was her age, and Verse grapples with depression and anxiety the way myself and many others do. None of these characters have the normal dispositions of ‘heroes’ I guess, but that’s honestly their appeal to me. All of them are doing the best they can to get by, and so are all of us.

 

Which authors or books have most influenced your work?

It’ll sound cliché, but George R.R. Martin made me want to actually try my hand at writing. Around the time I was realizing that making a game wasn’t going to work out, I was reading his work. One thing lead to another, and that was that. I wouldn’t say my writing resembles his in any way, shape, or form, but he’s who inspired me to start.

 

What’s the last book you read that you really loved?

Queen of Arts by Frances Pauli! The characters in it are really well-written, and that’s what made me fall in love with it. I ended up genuinely wanting them to do well and be happy, which is a sign of really well done characters!

 

Besides writing, how do you like to spend your free time?

I try to keep busy with anything I can get my hands on. Currently, that’s a circle track car, and working on various video game soundtracks and albums.

 

Advice for other writers?

Write. Don’t continually revise your first chapter over and over again. Don’t get stuck in the trap of worldbuilding and never writing. Don’t just make settings, make characters. Don’t talk about writing, just write. Everything will absolutely fall into place in the long run. Trust yourself.

 

Where can readers find your work?

Symphony of Shifting Tides is for sale through Goal Publications! The rest of the series will eventually be available through Goal as well, as well as the albums that accompany each book!

 

What’s your favorite thing about the furry fandom? Why write furry?

I guess I’ve always loved animal characters from a young age. I like the idea of using these types of characters to tell stories for adults and not just children. I think there’s so much that can be done with furry characters! Whether you’re using their type of animal to talk about the personality type of a character, or as an allegory for something much larger, I think it’s an important tool most writers don’t consider.

There’s a lot to be said for the differences between us and our animal counterparts. Through furry literature, we can find the commonplace between all living creatures. Plus, let’s face it. Animals are (almost always) adorable and really cool in general. Humans can be both things, too, but not as often.

The fandom is a very welcoming and friendly place, and I’ve felt at home in and around it since I first started meeting other furries! As soon as I found out there were a lot of other furry authors, I jumped in headfirst!

Member Spotlight: Frances Pauli

This feature, we get the opportunity to talk with Frances Pauli a bit about her writing and process.

 

Tell us about your most recent project (written or published). What inspired it?

I just finished a novel in a new series called Serpentia. The first book, Disbanded, is about a snake architect who believes he’s destined for great things but who is held back by his society’s caste system. The book features snakes and their rodent companions, and the series will explore a lot of issues surrounding the concepts of destiny, free will, social equality and personal rights.

I suppose it was inspired by my own interest in reptiles as well as some personal choices and lifestyle changes I’ve made recently. A lot of my stories have explored the idea of diet ever since I’ve stopped eating animal products, but even before that the idea of an all animal society trying to work out who is food and who is friend has been something that fascinates me.  In Serpentia, mice and snakes have a somewhat symbiotic relationship that is peaceful on the exterior, but very problematic at its core.

 

What’s your writing process like? Are you a “pantser,” an outliner, or something in between? How do you find that this helps and/or hurts your writing style?

I love this question. When it comes up I usually call myself a “reformed pantser”, and then have to explain, of course.

I’m definitely not a heavy outliner, and I began writing as a total seat-of-the-pants, no idea where this is going to take me, exploratory writer. However, a few years and a few books into the process I got very interested in plot structure and dramatic pacing, did a lot of research on plot points and audience expectations, and figured out that I’d be wise to incorporate all of the above into my process.

So nowadays I do a bare bones bit of planning that usually involves sorting out where my major plot points will be, but also leaving a lot of room to move about freely in between. That way I have guide posts along the way, and I always know what big scene I’m writing toward, but it doesn’t feel suffocating either.

I admire in-depth outliners a great deal, but if I try that (and I have), my process usually shuts down pretty fast.

 

What’s your favorite kind of story to write?

Animal stories! Oh, wait. I suppose that’s too general in this company. But of course I had a lot of books written before I worked out that furry literature was a thing, so between those stories and my fuzzy books, I definitely prefer writing animal-centric.

Within furry writing my favorite stories to write are about justice or equality, stories that might explore some of our shadows as a society and then bring those things into the light or remedy them, at least on the page. I like heroic underdogs and quirky sidekicks and a little humor in the mix. And even though I can wander into the dark end of things from time to time, my background in the romance genre has made me pretty attached to that happy ending.

I want to feel good at the end of a book, even if I cried a little along the way.

 

Which character from your work do you most identify with, and why?

Stella Rose from Queen of Arts is probably the closest I’ve ever coming to writing an autobiographical character. I wish I could claim someone more exciting or heroic, but writing Stella was more than a little therapeutic. She’s the quintessential “mama bear,” maybe a little too concerned with her friends’ lives and very protective of them, but also creative, insecure, and a domestic violence survivor. And she’s feeling her age. All very much like her greymuzzle author.

 

What has most influenced your work? Is an author, a title, or something else?

I think the things I’ve read over the years, primarily classic sci-fi and fantasy, but also humor and romance, classics, non-fiction…all the variety of input consumed sort of rolls together to influence a writer. Combine that with life experience, trials, things we survive and things we endure and the end result is what pours out onto the page.

Individual authors I hope influenced me are Andre Norton, who will always be my favorite, Tanith Lee, Patricia McKillip, and more recently, Christopher Moore.

It’s no surprise that my earliest reading was all animal related. Jack London, The Black Stallion, Wind in the Willows. We circle back to our beginnings eventually.

 

What’s the last book you read that you really loved?

I adored Signal by Renee Carter Hall. I’m currently reading Daniel Potter’s Marking Territory and I love most everything about his writing and that universe.

 

Besides writing, how do you like to spend your free time?

I like to spend as much time as I can with my kiddos, who are getting old enough to want mom to back off and let them get back to their video games. I also crochet, play around with visual art, build fursuits and their assorted parts, and keep way too many pets, including a new rosy boa breeding project that has my house filling up with snake terrariums.

 

Advice for other writers?

So many things. Never give up. Take all advice seriously but only use what works for you, keep writing even if it’s not good yet or you can’t see how good it is yet. But mostly, I say, don’t forget that this is supposed to be fun. Write because you enjoy it, and then remember to keep enjoying it.

 

Where can readers find your work?

My website can get you to almost everything I have available. I also post some furry things on SF and FA as Mamma Bear. I’ve been honored to have some stories published in furry anthologies from various publishers, and I try to post those as they go live on my Facebook page or in my newsletter.

 

What’s your favorite thing about the furry fandom? Why write furry?

Can I say everything? I love this fandom. I love how open-minded we are and how accepting and most of all how much we embrace fun and joyful play. I’ve met people from all walks who have found support, encouragement and family in the furry world.

But why write furry? Well, I think furry literature has a glorious history of great stories that goes back longer than most people realize. I want to contribute to that magnificent body of works called “animal stories” and I want to help spread awareness of the genre and enthusiasm for furry books in the wider world of genre fiction. All of that sounds great, but in truth, I write furry stories because it makes me smile, and it keeps me coming back to the keyboard without dragging my feet. It brings me joy.

 

 

 

FWG Blog – March 2019

It’s March. Things certainly happen in March, we are sure of it!

 

Guild Newsroom

If you missed it, check out our recent spotlights on members Mary E. Lowd and Gre7g Luterman! Our next spotlights will appear at the middle and end of March, and feature Frances Pauli and Leilani Wilson respectively.

Attention, all members on Twitter! When making posts about your writing, be sure to use the hashtag #furrywriting so that we can keep up with your work and share it with the world!

 

Member Highlights

Some highlights from last month, as featured from our FWG Member News section on the forums:

  • Amy Clare Fontaine has started writing short, text-based Twine games on itch.io. The most recent one is called “Cassandra the Wolf Princess“.
  • From Mary E. Lowd comes “When He Stopped Crying“, a short story published by Electric Spec. In addition, she’s written an essay about her creative method in this story, as well as other things useful to writers.

A little light on news this month!

Our usual reminder to all our member that have had something exciting happen in the past month not featured here: be sure to keep up with you Member News thread on the forums! Not only is this how we get our information, but these threads are able to be viewed by any person logged into the forums. Share your achievements with the rest of the writing community!

 

The Marketplace

For those of you looking to submit, keep an eye on the open markets on our website. For those of you who just forget, The Marketplace is your reminder for all things open for submissions!

 

Short Story Markets:

Publisher Title Theme Deadline Pay
Zooscape Zooscape Zine General furry Fiction Ongoing $0.06/word (maximum $60)
Thurston Howl Publications Sensory De-tails Furry stories relating to strong animal senses April 1st One copy of the anthology (non-paying)
Thurston Howl Publications Trick or Treat: A Furry BDSM Anthology Furry erotica featuring BDSM May 1st One copy of the anthology (non-paying)
Thurston Howl Publications The Haunted Den: Furry Ghost Stories Furry ghost stories June 1st One copy of the anthology (non-paying)
Thurston Howl Publications Give Yourself a Hand Furry erotica featuring masturbation June 15th $0.0050/word plus one copy of the anthology
Thurston Howl Publications Pawradiso: The Ten Spheres of Furry Heaven furry stories based around the spheres of Heaven (in reference to Paradiso) July 15th One copy of the anthology (non-paying)
Furplanet The Reclamation Project Furry stories in a shared, post-cataclysmic future August 31st $0.0050/word plus one copy of the anthology

 

Novel Markets:

  • Thurston Howl Publications is open to novel/novella submissions, with no planned date for submissions to close.

 

Special Events and Announcements

Goal Publications/Fanged Fiction has announced that they will be opening for novel/novella/Pocket Shot submissions on July 1st, 2019. Look forward to that!

Australian publisher Jaffa Books has announced that they will be closing their doors at the end of 2019. Thank you to Jay for all you’ve done with it, and we hope this gives you a chance to work more on your writing!

ROAR editor Mary E. Lowd has announced that, after finishing up the current volume, she will be handing the reigns off to Madison Keller. Thank you Mary for doing such a great job with the anthology, and we look forward to seeing what Madison brings to the table.

 

Wrap-up

Our forums are open to all writers, not just full members of the FWG. Check them out here and join in on the conversation. While you’re there, check out how to join our Slack and Telegram channels. Before joining any of these, though, we ask that you please read up on our Code of Conduct! With all the negative going around in the world these days, both furry and non-furry, we want to make sure the guild feels like a safe place to all its participants, free of threats and hate speech.

We have two weekly chats, called our Coffeehouse Chats! Our first one is Tuesday at 7:00pm EST in our Slack channel, and our other is Thursdays at Noon EST on our forums in the shoutbox on the main page. Both of these chats feature writers talking about writing, usually with a central topic. As with the above, these chats are open to both members and non-members, though you must be registered for the forums.