Furry Book Month 2019

Furry Book Month is here again, and the FWG is ready to get the word out. Watch this space, as well as our Twitter account and the hashtag #FurryBookMonth for limited-time pricing on furry literature from authors, publishers and retailers.

If you have any deals on furry literature you’d like us to promote this October, contact us here or on our Twitter account (@FurWritersGuild) so we can add it!

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Status of Non-members in the FWG

It has come to our attention that an old misconception regarding the Furry Writers’ Guild is still prevalent in the furry writing community at large, that being the belief that only full FWG members may use FWG spaces and resources. We would like to quell that misconception now.

To be clear: FWG SPACES ARE OPEN TO ALL FURRY WRITERS, REGARDLESS OF MEMBERSHIP STATUS.

The main difference between a member and a non-member (or “future member” as we call them) is that only full members have the privilege to nominate and vote in the Coyotl Awards. When it comes to using the various FWG-branded spaces, there is no difference between members and non-members whatsoever. So long as a person is a furry writer of good conduct, they are welcome to use our chats and resources as much as they desire.

If anyone should make a claim to the contrary, please take a moment to correct them, or direct them to this statement.

 

Thank you,

 

The FWG Staff

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 Come November, we were going to lose hosting for them and, owing to their outdated architecture, they cannot simply be moved elsewhere.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.

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 Ballot Result: Self-Published Works Qualify!

A two-week voting period ended on September 30th, asking members to vote on the following questions:

  • Should self-published works qualify for FWG membership?
  • If so, what criteria be established?
  • Should unpaid works still qualify for membership?
  • Should we establish a minimum pay rate of ½¢ per word?

So as not to bury the lead:

Self-published works will qualify for FWG membership.

90 FWG members voted—not quite half the current membership, but that’s a pretty good virtual turnout. Here’s a breakdown of the votes.

Question 1: Right now, self-published work doesn’t qualify for FWG membership. Should that change?

  • 87.8% voted YES
  • 12.2% voted NO

Obviously, YES won overwhelmingly.

Question 2: If you voted YES, how should works that meet the already-established content criteria be qualified for membership?

  • 11.1% voted that works should net $200 earnings in a 12-month period
  • 11.1% voted that works should sell at least 50 copies in a 12-month period
  • 64.2% voted that either of the above should qualify
  • 13.6% voted “Other”

“Other” ideas included different values for the above, entirely different criteria such as receiving a minimum number of reviews, or no required threshhold other then the work simply being available for download or purchase.

Question 3: Right now, works published for free can qualify for FWG membership. Should this be removed from qualifications, so membership requires at least one paid story sale or qualifying self-published novel?

  • 51.1% voted NO.
  • 26.7% voted YES, but only if the self-publishing qualification passes.
  • 22.2% voted YES (unconditionally).

This was probably not a well-constructed question, in that it would have been possible for the two YES votes combined to be a majority but NO to still be a plurality; it would have been a better signal to split it into one definitive YES/NO and a second “If you voted YES, should it be only if the self-publishing qualification passes,” or similar wording. As it turns out, NO won a slim majority of votes.

Question 4: Right now, the membership criteria for paid story sales does not specify a minimum pay rate. Should we explicitly require a minimum of ½¢ per word?

  • 66.7% voted NO
  • 33.3% voted YES

In summation:

  • The self-publishing qualification passed, with the either/or criteria of number of copies sold or $200 or more earned.
  • No other changes to qualifications passed.

The new rules go into effect October 1, 2018 (i.e., immediately). The membership qualification page will be updated within the month, including some guidelines on what information we’d like to see as qualification proof.

On the Inside, Looking Out: Furry in a Human Land

Guest post by KJ Kabza

Back when my schedule allowed, I enjoyed participating in the FWG chats every week. (Which you’ve tried and enjoyed too. Right?) Occasionally, a furry writer would mention that they hoped to someday sell one of their borderline-furry stories to a Regular Science Fiction or Fantasy Market.

Funny thing, that. Because I’ve been writing stories in the wider science fiction and fantasy field for 15 years, and I hope to someday sell one of my borderline-furry stories to a Definitely Furry Market.

Writing for furs versus the larger speculative fiction community can be very different experiences—so different that one switch-hitting author once told me, “You’d think that my furry fans would buy my non-furry work and vice versa, but that’s not the case at all.” When you have stories to tell that could fall in either camp, what’s the best way forward?

I’m sure your opinion gets colored by where you start. I find myself working in general SF and fantasy circles, but then again, I began selling my work well over a decade ago, when I barely even knew what furry was. Besides, when I started, some of my early work sold for one cent a word, which is comparable to what is considered professional rates for writers in the fur community today, 15 years later. And nowadays, when I can sell some pieces for what SFWA defines as professional rates (at least six cents a word), it seems hard to justify sending a borderline-furry story to a furry market that will give me a fraction of that pay.

On the downside, however, it took me many years to build my current network of other writers and editors. In contrast, I suspect that someone who starts off selling fiction in the smaller fur community will likely find it much easier to connect with fellow creators and fans and feel supported at every stage of their career. Sofawolf, one of the most prestigious publishers in the fur community, has a booth at Anthrocon, one of the most prestigious cons in the fandom, that’s staffed by friendly people who are happy to explain their submission process to you. I can’t imagine having the same conversations at a Penguin Random House booth at San Diego Comicon.

The best way forward is also colored by the degree of furriness in what you write. I doubt that Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine would be interested in an erotic love story about a kangaroo male model and a misunderstood muscle tiger, but those borderline-furry stories are definitely another matter. In 2013, I sold my story “The Color of Sand,” which features a single mother and a forgotten human civilization—but also talking sandcats and outright furry TF—to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Never say never.

If your motive is to write strictly for fun and not for profit at all, the considerations get even blurrier. I’ve written and posted fan fiction under other names, both on Fur Affinity (as a fur) and on Fanfiction.net (as a hopeless human weeb). Both experiences have been very positive, with far more feedback given to me than I’ve ever gotten from a general SF or fantasy piece published in any professional venue.

This month, my first print collection of short fiction, The Ramshead Algorithm and Other Stories, releases on January 16. It comes from the world of Regular Science Fiction and Fantasy, but you’ll find several of those borderline-furry stories within. A young man in a damaged family learns of his non-human heritage. A securities lawyer has a double identity as a cat-like being that can fly. And a race of talking sandcats reveals themselves to be powerful magicians to a mother in need.

I suspect that Ramshead will be interpreted and accepted as a not-furry book among the not-furry crowd, the same way some of its component stories have been accepted. However, my next project, a novel I’m going to finish drafting after Ramshead launches, can’t be interpreted that way. That project is unambiguously furry, to the point where I’ve had to explain it to general SF fans as, “Redwall, but with pre-literate, non-Western cultures.” I’ve told so many other stories in the borderline-furry category, I want to see what it’s like to take the plunge.

I’m not sure about Penguin Random House, but maybe Sofawolf would like it.

KJ Kabza has sold over 70 stories to venues such as F&SF, Nature, Strange Horizons, and more. His debut print collection, The Ramshead Algorithm and Other Stories, is available for pre-order now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.