Our convention wouldn't be complete without a highlighting a few notable people who have pushed and explored the limits of what furry can be!
From telling you about the new McCafe items at McDonald’s to tormenting the Nostalgia Critic as Satan, Malcolm Ray is an actor, and voice actor. His skills go beyond acting with professional training in film and video as his major at Columbia College Chicago. In the span of his Bachelor career at Columbia, Malcolm has successfully completed his Interdisciplinary Film Degree, been the casting director for a practicum film, interned at O’Connor Casting, and has begun a professional acting career. He’s also studied courses in Columbia’s Radio and Theatre Departments including; Voice Over, Voice Acting For Animation, Radio Production, Stage Voice and more. Malcolm is represented as talent at the Stewart Talent agency in Chicago. As a freelance actor, he is currently hired talent for the online production company Channel Awesome. Now four years today, he’s appeared alongside Doug Walker in many episodes of “Nostalgia Critic”
Karen Swartz (Talenshi) is an Illustrator from St. Louis, MO, where she lives with her sweetheart and the two best cats in the world!
Karen studied Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and is currently working as a Children’s Book Illustrator and promoting her work at conventions year round. She loves stories and imagery from mythology (especially legends about animals!), and enjoys drawing on their symbolism and concepts to enrich her images. Karen’s clients include Line By Lion Publications, Sofawolf Press, The Monster Mayhem Anthology, the Electric Keychain Collective, and a number of self-publishing authors! She also illustrates children’s books she and her boyfriend write together!
Her favorite animal is the Double Barred Finch!
The Furry Writers’ Guild was founded in 2011 to promote quality writing in anthropomorphic fiction and, as its original mission statement read, “to inform, elevate, and support its creators.” While there have been free archive sites for furry stories for nearly as long as the internet has been around, there’s a growing small press community producing novels, anthologies, and even fiction awards. Finding information about these publishers and the furry writing community, though, isn’t always as easy as it should be; that’s where the FWG comes in.
A volunteer-run organization with no membership dues, full FWG membership is open to authors with published works in qualified markets–but we provide support and community to anyone who’s interested in furry fiction, both as writers and readers. Our fiction award, the Cóyotl, has started to achieve recognition from publishers outside the furry small press. Approaching 200 members, the FWG is heading into its seventh year with new plans and projects for promoting furry work, providing new opportunities to members, and expanding the membership.
Starting in 2014, the presidency of the FWG became an annual elected position. Past presidents have included Sean “Duroc” Silva (the founder), Sean Rivercritic, Renee Carter Hall, and in the 2016–17 term, Watts Martin.
Visit the Furry Writers’ Guild online at http://furrywritersguild.com/
Watts Martin, the 2016–17 FWG president, has been involved in furry fandom for over a quarter of a century. Watts’s published works include appearances in Heat, The Furry Future, Inhuman Acts, and Gods With Fur, as well as the “Cupcake” novella Indigo Rain, the short story collection Why Coyotes Howl, and in 2017, the science fiction novel Kismet. In the early days of the fandom, Watts was known for editing/publishing the magazine Mythagoras, which saw early works by Paul Kidd, M.C.A. Hogarth, and Nebula nominee Lawrence M. Schoen, as well as an original furry story by Hugo winner Lawrence Watt-Evans. Watts has been the writing track lead for Further Confusion for the past four years and was the writing guest of honor at the very first Anthrocon.