Mishell Baker has served as the primary contact for SFWA’s Estate Program since 2016. She has liaised with publishers interested in reprinting works by science fiction and fantasy authors who are no longer with us, and acted as an intermediary for individual heirs who wish to keep their contact information confidential. Baker has a well-earned reputation for handling these communications with consistency and sensitivity, providing help in sometimes difficult and confusing situations.
Michael Capobianco, co-chair of the SFWA Estates-Legacy Committee and former SFWA president, remarked, “Mishell has been the steadfast, behind-the-scenes heart and soul of the Estates Project for going on seven years and I can’t think of anyone who deserves this volunteer service award more.”
SFWA’s Estate Program was created in 2007 by Bud Webster, the 2011 recipient of this same award. The program promotes and preserves the work of writers who helped build the science fiction and fantasy genres. Today, the SFWA Estates-Legacy Committee, among other duties, oversees the Estates database to facilitate legitimate paid publication of reprinted works, enabling editors, publishers, and agents to seek reprint permissions, make payments to estates and heirs, and double-check publication rights.
For her years of dedication and excellence in undertaking this essential volunteer work for the organization and the SFF community, SFWA is proud to offer the 2023 Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award to Mishell Baker. She will join many distinguished recipients of the award, including Connie Willis, Victoria Strauss, Julia Rios, Bud Sparhawk, Lee Martindale, Vonda McIntyre, and Jim Fiscus.