Heads up game writers: If you were looking to rub elbows with science fiction and fantasy writers from film and literature, you’ll have your chance soon. The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, which organizes the annual Nebula awards, will begin accepting applications from game writers on August 1.
It’s a notable move because it opens the doors for writers solely working on games projects to access writing resources, business connections, and voting rights for the Nebulas, one of the major awards in the genre fiction world.
There is some confusion regarding he membership requirements—in a statement on the organization’s site, SWFA’s Kate Baker writes that salaried game writers are not currently eligible for membership.
Multiple Bioware writers have already voiced concern over this rule on Twitter, as it invalidates their (extensive) science fiction and fantasy writing on the Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and The Old Republic series.
Speaking to Gamasutra via e-mail, Baker says that the organization is already listening to feedback, and expects to make adjustments to membership criteria based based on applicant’s qualifications.
Currently, the rules mostly benefit contract writers working individually, as opposed to teams of writers frequently employed by game development studios.
Game writers still interested in seeking membership just need to meet of one of three sets of criteria to apply. The game in question must also (obviously) be a work of science fiction, fantasy, or horror.
Update: SFWA president Cat Rambo has clarified in a Q&A that game instructions and mechanics won't count because they are "considered nonfiction," and that the SFWA is rapidly reconsidering its rule about salaried writers.
In addition, Rambo confirms there will not be a game writing award in the 2017 Nebula Awards, but implies there may be an addition in future award ceremonies.