Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Victoria Strauss honored for work with ‘Writer Beware’

A well-deserved honor for a well-deserving volunteer. Would that there were more folks like Victoria in this world, scammers would break a lot fewer hearts (and abscond with far less lucre).
CHESTERTOWN, Md. -- Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) President Russell Davis announced Jan. 6 that Victoria Strauss will be honored with 2009 SFWA Service Awards during the Nebula Awards® Weekend. The award is made at the sole discretion of the President, and has previously been called the “Service to SFWA Award.”

Strauss is receiving the award for work she had done with Writer Beware, a publishing industry watchdog group which “shines a light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes and pitfalls.”

“I'm thrilled and honored to receive this wonderful award (though by rights it belongs equally to Ann Crispin, Writer Beware co-founder and co-conspirator, without whom Writer Beware wouldn't exist--or be nearly so much fun). Ten years ago, when WB was just getting started, I could never have imagined how much we would accomplish and how far we'd come,” Strauss said. “Beginning as a two-person committee and a modest subsection of the SFWA website, we're now a major Internet resource that has warned thousands of writers about schemes and scams, and has helped to put literary scammers out of business and into jail.

“I'm deeply grateful to SFWA for its unflagging support, and for its commitment to the importance of educating writers about the scams, schemes, and pitfalls that make the publishing world a dangerous place,” she said. “Thank you, and here's to ten more years (at least) of scam-busting!”

Strauss has donated countless hours of her time to advising, educating and warning aspiring and established authors about dubious, questionable and outright criminal business practices on the fringes of the publishing industry. She maintains the Writer Beware website ( and is a major contributor to Writer Beware Blogs! ( Writer Beware is sponsored by SFWA.

“Victoria is one of those rare volunteers, who has been willing to give so much of her time and energy, and continues to do so,” said SFWA President Russell Davis. “Her work with Writer Beware has been invaluable to our members and the writing community at large, so I’m very pleased to offer her this recognition of her outstanding service.”

This is the ninth time that the award has been presented. Previous recipients were Chuq Von Rospach, Sheila Finch, Robin Wayne Bailey, George Zebrowski and Pamela Sargent (joint), Michael Capobianco and Ann Crispin (joint), Kevin O'Donnell, Jr., Brook West and Julia West (joint) and Melisa Michaels and Graham P. Collins (joint).

Prior to 2000, the award was a surprise announcement at the Nebula Awards banquet, but in recent years the recipients have been announced in advance.

Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America will descend on Los Angeles, Calif., with an all-star lineup slated for

The 2009 Nebula Awards® Weekend will be held in Los Angesles, Calif., April 24-26.

Harry Harrison will be honored as the next Damon Knight Grand Master, while M.J. Engh will be honored as Author Emerita. Singer/songwriter/author Janis Ian will be on hand to serve as toastmistress.

About SFWA

Founded in 1965 by the late Damon Knight, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America brings together the most successful and daring writers of speculative fiction throughout the world.

Since its inception, SFWA® has grown in numbers and influence until it is now widely recognized as one of the most effective non-profit writers' organizations in existence, boasting a membership of approximately 1,500 science fiction and fantasy writers as well as artists, editors and allied professionals. Each year the organization presents the prestigious Nebula Awards® for the year’s best literary and dramatic works of speculative fiction.

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