Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

In January 1980 in Minneapolis a group of fans and writers – Stephen Brust, Nathan Bucklin, Emma Bull, Kara Dalkey, Pamela Dean, Will Shetterly and Patricia Wrede – formed themselves into a loose association, the "Interstate Writers' Workshop (IWW), better known as the Scribblies", on the model of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Additionally (so the tale runs) the group called itself The Scribblies in remembrance of the Duke of Gloucester's reported comment to Edward Gibbon (1737-1794): "Another damned, thick, square book! Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh! Mr Gibbon?"

The Scribblies have never published a manifesto and have never claimed an agenda beyond mutual support and friendship; but for two reasons they do comprise an Affinity Group: under the general editorship of Bull and Shetterly, they created and wrote most of the Liavek Shared-World series of Anthologies; and many of their most significant publications have been Contemporary Fantasy, frequently Urban Fantasy, and arguably written under the influence of the early work of Peter S Beagle (>>> Fantasy of Manners).

The Scribblies' claim to be agenda-free has become difficult to sustain since their creation of the loose movement called the Pre-Joycean Fellowship (PJF), as per the Preraphaelite Brotherhood. Writers who designate themselves (often on the title pages of their books) members of the PJF do in fact give their names to a recognizable position: an anti-elitist and anti-Modernist posture that so-called High Literature has lost its way, its humour and its natural audience. In 1996 the Scribblies remain active. [JC]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.