This page is for members of the Toronto Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Meetup.
Group Organization: Values and Structure
If you’re new to the group, or you want a refresher on the group rules, you can find them here. This document contains the values and structure that shape our meetings. It’s more or less the same document that I initially presented when we first started the group, just with a bit better organization, clarity, and examples.
One of the reasons for making this document available is to facilitate expansion of the group. It should make it smoother for new members to join. Less time will be needed to go over procedures for new members, and new members will be more comfortable coming in, having a better idea of what the group is all about.
I am also considering creating additional meeting times, maybe during some weekday(s), and possibly with another organizer(s). Likely, the group composition of these other times will be quite a bit different, just because of people’s schedules. If we do start these other times, and if I have another organizer take over that time slot, I just want to make sure everything runs as well as our regular weekend meetings. I think having this values and structures document will help that.
I’m committed to never asking for money at our meetings. This can be awkward. And worse, it can be exclusionary. Some people are more or less able to afford to put money towards this, so asking for money at a meeting -in any amount- is problematic from the standpoint of member equality. Even if it is entirely optional, it imposes a kind of pressure that is felt more strongly by some people than others. So I won’t ever do it at meetings, and I won’t ever ask for “member dues”. The presence of members, and their voice added to the discussion, is enough of a contribution.
Having said that, I would like to spend more of my time on the group, holding additional meetings and organizing special events. Investing my time is easier to justify if there is some donation money coming in, especially since I would be taking time away from my other jobs. So, I am asking here for donations from those who would like to support further investment in the group.
Here is my plan for what to do with the money: It would be invested back into the creative community in the form of anthology projects (payment for stories, commissions for cover art, and any associated production costs). The legwork for these anthologies would be done by any interested volunteers from our group (completely separate from our regular meetings). A semi-pro anthology project costs, all things considered, roughly in the range of $1500 to $2000. If every nominal member donated $10/month, we would have enough cash to produce an anthology a month; if every attending member donated $5/meeting, we could produce one or two a year. I would be more than happy with that.
As a point of reference, the meetup fees I pay as an organizer are $15/month.
I want to stress that I don’t expect donations, from anyone. There is no obligation and there should be no pressure. But I do want to invest more of my time into the group, so I am putting out this call in the hope that member donations will help justify my additional time investment. I am also interested in creating anthologies with the group, and the budget for that will come from donations. There is absolutely no expectation for donations. However, if you are interested in donating, here is a PayPal link.