Thursday, March 25, 2010

The SFR Brigade Wants YOU!

In some ways, I totally groove on the fact that the online science fiction romance community is like an intimate cocktail party where everyone knows everyone else. But mostly I want more books, more choices, and a large, thriving hub with new arrivals every hour minute.

Of course, more books means more authors. And if authors are going to succeed in this subgenre—especially given the current, shifting publishing landscape—they will need all the support they can carry in their ink-stained hands.

For example, I’ve always thought it’d be great if there were an online critique group devoted to SFR, where aspiring authors could connect and support each other during the perilous path to publication. Maybe there is one, but when I did a search for “science fiction romance critique group,” nothing came up. Yes, there are wonderful critique group organizations available, but there are advantages to belonging to a group where every member is writing in the same subgenre.

Not only that, but published authors can always use additional outlets for marketing, promotion, and mentoring the next generation of authors. So, where is the place where SFR scribes can share industry news, discuss craft, hone marketing skills, and brainstorm ideas?

Why, the SFR Brigade, of course!

The SFR Brigade is a brand new consortium of authors both established and aspiring whose mission is “To advance the interests of the Science Fiction Romance (subgenre-niche-specialty genre-whatever) and SFR writers everywhere.” They are actively recruiting members. Basically, what it means is that authors can gather in one place to further both their own projects as well as promote science fiction romance as a whole through member-generated content.

Furthermore, “SFR Brigade is a networking site that includes a trio of contests, a blog and social forum for SFR writers who are participating in contests and/or intend on seeking publication of their work.”

In Five Reasons Why You Should Join the SFR Brigade, they list several advantages for authors including networking, building a following, and helping to build a “bigger voice” for science fiction romance.

The SFR Brigade has long term plans as well, including establishing a contest exclusive to SFR, chartering an RWA special interest chapter, and founding a dedicated SFR award (in other words, a resurrection of the Sapphire Awards, which is itself rooted in the efforts of the team behind the former Science Fiction Romance Newsletter).

To join is easy peasy—just send an email expressing your interest to SFRPreview “at” and the administrator will send you an invitation to join. If you’re unsure if your story fits under the SFR umbrella, a handy-dandy list of sub-subgenres is provided in the debut post, Welcome to the Brigade!

In the future, you can look forward to posts from a variety of industry professionals.

Last but not least, credit for this venture goes to Laurie Green of Spacefreighters Lounge and her team. They are: Donna S. Frelick, Dawn Jackson, Sharon Lynn Fisher, Arlene Webb, and Barbara Elsborg.

All I can say is, how awesome would it be if the authors behind science fiction romance could build the SFR Brigade into a thriving artistic community? There's strength in numbers, as they say.

Writers, do you have any ideas about how The SFR Brigade could grow? What resources are you seeking? List your ideas here and let’s get marching!

Joyfully yours,