Health Insurance, the Sequel

By Brenda W. Clough
Last month I posted here about writers and their health insurance. And I mentioned the numerous funds that collect money for writers overwhelmed by medical bills.  Oregon writer Jim Fiscus administers the Jo Clayton Memorial Medical Fund. He says:

The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund helps professional science fiction,
fantasy, horror, and mystery writers living in the Pacific Northwest
deal with the financial burden of medical emergencies. Even with
insurance, co-pays can quickly add up to thousands of dollars, and
over the past few years, we have faced a heavy draws on our
money. The Fund is now down to a few thousand dollars.

The Clayton Fund was founded seventeen years ago by Oregon Science
Fiction Conventions, Inc. (OSFCI) in response to the illness of
Portland writer Jo Clayton. Our initial money came from a national
campaign by writers and fans of science fiction and fantasy to help
Jo and other writers. The Fund has since assisted many writers in
the region deal with medical and dental emergencies.

As part of OSFCI, the Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit
organization. Donations to the fund are tax deductible and often
qualify for matching donations from employers.

Donations can be made using PayPal through the Fund’s Web site
( or mailed to:

Clayton Memorial Medical Fund
P.O. Box 5703
Portland, Oregon 97228

Please be sure to include full contact information so we can mail you
a letter acknowledging your donation.

This is the season of giving, so please consider this fine organization. Think of it as an opportunity for creativity. I’m hoping to attend the World Fantasy Convention in 2014 and do a little fund raiser for the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund. It will involve a giant cephalopod. If only I could get my hands on a convertible car…

My newest novel Speak to Our Desires is out exclusively from Book View Café.

I also have stories in Book View Café’s two steampunk anthologies, The Shadow Conspiracy and The Shadow Conspiracy II, as well as in BVC’s many other anthologies, including our latest, Beyond Grimm.



About Brenda Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her novel A Most Dangerous Woman is being serialized by Serial Box. Her novel The River Twice is newly available from BVC.


Health Insurance, the Sequel — 5 Comments

  1. This is certainly a worthy organization. Here in Austin there is HAAM — Health Alliance for Austin Musicians — that does the same thing for musicians. (They do a lot of musical fundraisers.) I applaud all these organizations and know they are needed.

    But: It is a crying shame that such organizations are necessary. Everyone should have access to good health care regardless of their income or occupation. It would be much better if the charity we extend to our neighbors and colleagues when they are in ill-health or otherwise need assistance was for emotional support and extras, not the payment of medical bills. The Affordable Care Act will make a dent in this problem, but what we really need is a single payer system similar to the one they have in France.

  2. Another creative solution, which surfaced this year: a guaranteed minimum income. We toss it all, food stamps, ACA, Social Security, all that massive bureaucracy. Instead every American gets a minimum income. Period. You take that money and you spend it on your food, pension, doctors, as you see fit. And if you blow it all up your nose, well that is your problem now. Apparently they are working on this in Switzerland; I await the results with fascination. (One flaw that my writerish mind immediately picks up is, babies. If I had four babies, I would have their money, would I not? Until they got old enough to demand it. I don’t have to feed or educate them, not really…)

    • This would be a real boon for writers, painters, and other creative artists. Though I think health care should be a separate program. Few people who get seriously ill can afford their health care.