SFWA Names Julia Rios as Latest Recipient of Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service Award

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America announced today that it was awarding the Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service Award to Julia Rios, for their efforts to establish SFWA’s Mentoring Initiative. The organization also announced that John Picacio and David Gaughran will receive the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award.

The award is handed out annually to “a member of SFWA who best exemplifies the ideal of service to his or her fellow members,” and has included such individuals as Ann Crispin, Michael Capobianco, Pamela Sargent, Victoria Strauss, Vonda N. McIntyre, Bud Sparhawk, and others. SFWA President Mary Robinette Kowal said in a statement that “One of the most effective pieces of outreach and education that SFWA currently has is our mentorship program. Julia Rios’s work to match mentors and mentees has been the backbone of that program. More importantly, they set up robust processes so that the program is not person dependent and has room for growth.”

SFWA also announced the recipients of the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award, which honors “distinguished contributions to the science fiction and fantasy community.” This year’s recipients include artist John Picacio and author David Gaughran. Picacio is well-known for his cover art, as well as his efforts to set up the Mexicanx Initiative, a scholarship program designed to encourage more Mexicanx representation at WorldCon. Gaughran is known for his self-published work, and his efforts to support fellow self-published authors. Kowal noted in a statement that he has “been doing yeoman’s work for years, alerting indie writers about predatory schemes and warning them about changes in independent publishing. His work makes the science-fiction and fantasy landscape safer for writers.”

The award will be handed out during the upcoming Nebula Awards Conference, which will be held betweenMay 28th-31st, 2020 in Woodland Hills CA.

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