Carl Brandon Society Update, January 2008

Carl Brandon Society Update Letter

January 2008

Dear Carl Brandon Society Community,

Many of you have been asking about our awards in 2007 and our other programming. Wehad an excitingly busy year in 2007, and we wanted to update you on those programs and all of our comings and goings.

1. After eight years as an organization, we have finally completed the process of applying for our 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS. We are waiting for the government’s response, and hope to make it official sometime this calendar year.

As many of you know, this is a long and involved process, therefore much of our energy this year has gone into it. But once we’ve acquired tax-exempt status, your donations to the Carl Brandon Society will be fully tax-deductible. In fact, the deduction allowance will work retroactively, so that many of your previous donations also qualify. CBS will be able to apply for institutional grants once we’ve been approved, too. Given the growth of our programming the past two years, we really needed to move this forward, and we have.

2. We were sorry to see three of our founding members, Nalo Hopkinson, Diantha Sprouse, and Ian K. Hagemann, leave the Steering Committee last year. Their eight years of service to CBS and the SF community in general have made an enormous impact on people of color in our field. We wish them all the best in their subsequent endeavors!

3. Our remaining Steering Committee members are working on recruitment. Additionally, we have created an Advisory Committee—with former Steering Committee members Nalo Hopkinson, Ama Patterson, and Mary Anne Mohanraj as founding members—to assist us with particular projects. Look for a revitalized Carl Brandon Society Steering Committee in early 2008.

4. We put out a call for volunteers early in 2007 and many of you stepped up. Thank you so much! We are in the process of putting together a plan for a regionally-based CBS volunteer corps. Please know that those of you who have expressed an interest in volunteering this year will be contacted soon to help with our 2008 projects. If you haven’t offered us your help yet and would like to now, please contact us with your phone, email, and street address at volunteers[at]carlbrandon[dot]org.

5. We awarded our first two annual Octavia E. Butler Scholarships in the summer of 2007! Chris Caldwell was the Butler Scholar attending the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle, and Shweta Narayan was the Butler Scholar attending the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop in San Diego. Both this year’s Butler Scholars received silver owl pendants cast by Laurie Edison from a design originally commissioned by Octavia E. Butler. We plan to maintain the anonymity of Butler Scholars while they attend their workshops, but now that these first two have graduated, keep an eye out for their work!

6. Given the additional work involved with the Butler Scholarships and the tax-exemption application, not to mention the loss of three working Steering Committee members, we have fallen behind on putting together the Parallax and Kindred Awards for literature published in 2006. We have completed the nomination process and are currently confirming the jurors. Nominations for the awards for works published in 2007 will open in May of 2008. The awards ceremony for 2006 and 2007 will happen together in 2008, date and venue to be determined.

If you have any further questions, you may reach us at questions[at]carlbrand[dot]org or post your questions to the Carl Brandon Society list-serv, which you can join by sending an email to CarlBrandon-subscribe[at]yahoogroups[dot]com. We will get back to you soon as we can.

We’d like to thank you all again for your interest in, and commitment to, the Carl Brandon Society and to diversity in the speculative fiction field. We are in a growing year, and 2008will see the results of our expansion. Please stay tuned!

All our best wishes,

The Carl Brandon Society Steering Committee:

Nisi Shawl
Victor Raymond
Claire Light
MJ Hardman
Candra K. Gill

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