a picture of the great pyramid of egypt with sunrays emananting up to a golden sky behind it and text showing that I am halfway to my goal superimposed

Egypt Trip Fundraiser: The Big Push to $3,500

Thanks to my wonderful friends and fans I’ve raised half the money I need to go to Egypt! YAY! You are all so awesome and amazing and thank you so much! Here, have one more exclamation point!

Can’t stop pushing the fundraiser now, because there’s a big deadline coming up.

I need to pay the tour company on March 1 to ensure I have a spot (tour is in May). That means I need to get to $3,500 in the fundraiser since I have about $1,000 of my own money saved. Once I pay for the tour I can concentrate on raising the other $1,500 for flights and other needs.

So, another $1,000 in 20 days. Let’s do this.

My first goal is to get to $3,000. When I do I will finally do the thing I’ve been threatening to do since this adventure started: watch The Gods of Egypt.

I got through Exodus: Gods and Kings without too much lasting psychological damage, so I feel I can handle this. I’ll have help, though.

Poet and provocateur Scott Woods has agreed to do a livetweet watch of the movie with me. If you’re not familiar with Scott’s work, you should at least read his review of GoE, which I pointed to way back when I first posted about this garbage fire of a movie. If you read his piece and watch my video about it, you’ll get an excellent sense of what our color commentary is going to look like. You’ll also understand why doing this is a huge sacrifice. Bless you, Scott.

After we watch the movie, we’re going to do a reaction video wherein he will try to hold back laughter as I scream from my fetal position under a table WHY! WHY GODS WHY!?

You know you want to see this.

And you can once we hit $3,000. To make that happen faster you can donate to the fundraiser and/or you can share stuff about it all over the Internet. Either one helps!

The direct link to the YouCaring page is here: https://www.youcaring.com/ktempestbradford-1014406

Or you can share one of the videos I’ve made about the book or about the fundraiser, including this new one in which I sing:

Thank you again to all the folks who have already helped me get to this point. My first newsletter is coming this weekend, as well as backer rewards such as free fiction! Folks on Patreon: Same!

New Class: 6 Week Writing Inclusive Fiction

Writing IOnclusive Fiction 6 Week Course Fall 2017

For folks who haven’t heard, our new 6 week class is open for registration! It starts August 25th and is designed to be accessible to folks who live around the world and also to writers with disabilities that make it difficult to attend our live class weekend intensives.

This will likely be the last multi-week class of the year, though Nisi and I will likely do a weekend intensive and maybe a week intensive before the year ends.

Key details below, full details on the class page.

Writers often wonder and worry about if it is possible to write characters whose gender, sexual orientation, religion, racial heritage, or other aspect of identity differs from their own. Many authors are afraid to try even though it is possible to do so sensitively and convincingly. In this six-week course, authors Nisi Shawl and K. Tempest Bradford delve into this tricky skill through a combination of readings, videos, discussions, and writing exercises in a safe, supportive atmosphere. The class is appropriate for all writers (fiction, plays, comics, screenplays) from all backgrounds and any skill level.

You can enroll below, but if you cannot afford all or part of the class fee, scroll down for information on scholarships and sliding scale fee registration.

Attending Class, Schedule, Time Commitment

Instruction begins Thursday August 25 and ends Sunday, October 8, 2017. The course does not have set meeting times. You can access class material and discussion and participate in class at any time, day or night, from anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection. All class discussion will take place in a private online forum and all class work done on Google Drive.

The minimum time commitment per week will be six to eight hours. Lectures are posted to the class forum on weekends, discussions will happen throughout the week, homework exercises are timed and take 20 minutes or less to complete with two exceptions. Homework is due on weekends.

In addition to the lectures, videos, and other classwork, students are also expected to participate in forum discussions. Just as with the course work, they can be accessed at times that fit the students’ schedules.

In addition to forum discussions, both instructors will be available for one-on-one video chats during virtual office hours and every other week there will be an optional live chat on Google Hangouts.

Accessibility and Technical Requirements

The class takes place in an online forum or web space that is designed for accessibility. In addition, lessons and instructor essays are all available through Google Drive. Some class material will be in the form of video lectures. Each has closed captions and a text transcript is available for all. Live chats and Office Hours take place via Google Hangout (text or video chat, depending on student needs). The class mailing list will be through Google Groups. All of these services are accessible to students using screen readers.

During registration we will ask about your accessibility needs. If you have questions about potential needs, or if there are any other ways we can make a class accessible for you, please contact us before registering and we’ll answer within 24 hours.

Other than a computer, the only other technical requirement for the class is a Google account. If you don’t have one, you can create a free one just for this class.

Available Spots, Payment Plans, and Scholarship Opportunities

There are 30 spots available for open enrollment. We have several options for writers who wish to take the class but need financial flexibility.

If you can pay for the class but need to pay in installments we have payment plans available. Requirements:

  1. You must be able to pay $100 to secure your spot in the class.
  2. You must be able to pay in full by September 1, 2017.

If you meet these two criteria, please email writingtheother+pplan@gmail.com to register.

If you can afford to pay for part but not all of the class, we have Pay What You Can Afford enrollment. Under this plan you can pay any amount, but we do request that you pay at least $50. To register, please email writingtheother+pwyca@gmail.com with the amount that you can afford (you may also split this into two or more payments).

We also have a Sentient Squid Scholarship fund for writers who do not have the financial means to pay for this class. We encourage all writers who fit the criteria to apply. We have a broad definition of financial need that ranges from writers who do not have the money at all to writers who have the funds but can’t afford to use them for a writing class. Please don’t hesitate to apply wherever you exist on that spectrum. (Still not sure whether you should apply? Read this post.)

We’ve set aside one scholarship spot specifically for students who identify as POC or Native, though we do not limit the number of scholarships we’ll give to POC or Native applicants.

To apply, send an email to writingtheother+squid@gmail.com with the subject WtO 6 Week Scholarship Applicant, and include in the body:

  • A brief (300 or fewer words) statement of financial need
  • A brief (500 or fewer words) description of a work or works in progress that you hope the class will help you write.
  • A writing sample of 1000 or fewer words. This can be an excerpt from a longer work or flash fiction, from something published or unpublished, as long as it represents what you feel is your best work.
  • If you identify as a Person of Color, Native American, or First Nations, you may indicate that if you wish (it’s not a requirement).

Deadline: 11:59PM Pacific August 16th. We will notify all applicants of their standing by August 21st. If you have any questions, please use our contact form to ask!

Click Here For More Details or To Register

Tempest is on Patreon! (And Looking For Your Support)

As of this month, I’m officially on Patreon and looking for patrons! You can support me creating cool stuff for $1 per month on up to $500 per month if you have deep pockets like that.

If you listened to my interview on the Less Than Or Equal podcast[1], you might be wondering why I said I was going to launch my Patreon page last year (wow, six months ago…) when I only just did so this month. There are a few reasons, but the biggest one can probably be summed up with the words Impostor Syndrome.

What’s so insidious about Impostor Syndrome is that even though I can identify it in other people and always attempt to beat it back with the “You’re awesome and your voice is needed and I’m glad you’re alive and loud and sharing your talent with the world” stick, I cannot always turn that on myself. Luckily, I do have friends to do so for me. After finally wrestling my brain weasels into a bag, I put my page together and even made a video.

Because I know that people think the Tempest Challenge and the video series that goes with it are valuable. I know that the Write Gear podcast has already helped some writers. I know that my writing on this blog and over at Medium and the other places I publish has added more signal than noise to discussions about genre and race and gender and writing. And I know that you all want to talk about Jem and the Holograms endlessly, just like I do! (And sing the songs, right? RIGHT?) That’s why I finally launched the Patreon, and I hope you’ll click and pledge and support.

Right now the support is for making vids and podcasts and writing non-fiction and not directly for me writing fiction. Why? Because I am a s.l.o.w. writer of fiction. And deadlines do not change that one iota. But I find that my own creative projects are much less draining than my freelance assignments. The opposite, actually: they energize and inform my fiction writing. So by pledging money to me for making vids and podcasts and writing essays and columns, you’re supporting me writing fiction as well.

Plus, you know you wanna see more You Done Fucked Up vids.

You can Make It So[2].

Footnotes

  1. You really should! It’s a great interview, if I say so myself.[]
  2. To all those who click and pledge: Thanks![]

A New Year’s Best Gives Me Thinky Thoughts About Existing Year’s Bests

Nisi Shawl

Yesterday a bit of news I’ve been sitting on excitedly finally went public. Aqueduct Press is going to start publishing a Year’s Best volume titled The Year’s Illustrious Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy! Nisi Shawl will edit, and I’m among a handful of fabulous volunteers who will help her by reading everything I can and suggesting stories for Nisi to consider. It’s like slush reading except I’m slushing through published stuff.

This dovetails nicely with my gig at io9 (new post up today!) since I’m already reading all the short fiction I can get my hands on. Any story I like that I also consider feminist will go on the recommended list.

If you have a story you think is feminist that was (or will be) published in 2014 and you want it considered for this year’s best, you can submit it for consideration using this form.

Before you ask me to define a feminist story, know that this is an ongoing discussion amongst the folks working on this project. Likely there will be a definition or idea included in the call for submissions, coming out in a little bit. For now I say: if you think your story is feminist, fill out the form.

I’m so excited that Nisi is editing this volume as I don’t think there are enough female Year’s Best editors, especially for science fiction. You find prominent women amongst the horror and fantasy editors, but guys dominate volumes that include SF. And while many of those guys are good editors, this situation just feeds into the idea that science fiction isn’t for women. You know how I feel about that stupid idea.

Nisi may also be the only POC editor of a current English language Year’s Best–please do correct me if I’m wrong. The fact that I can’t think of any says volumes. The Year’s Bests have been edited by mostly male (all likely cis), maybe all-white editors for years and years. Giving a black woman the editing gig for a new one is a great first step.

It’s shouldn’t be the last step, though.

I’d be really interested to see what would happen if Dozois or Horton decided to turn over or share editing duties for a year or two to someone like An Owomoyela or Andrea Hairston or Amal El-Mohtar or Nalo Hopkinson or Saladin Ahmed? How different in sensibility would those volumes look?

Some of the story choices might be the same as there are always ones that stand out and get near universal praise. I imagine that there would also be many stories in the books that wouldn’t even have been considered by the traditional editors.

It doesn’t end at Year’s Best volumes–of the few outlets that review short stories professionally, how many of the reviewers are women or people of color?

So much of the conversation around which stories are best is dominated by white guys. But the genre is changing via both the writers of stories and readers of them. I’d like to see that change reflected in the editors and reviewers, too. As I said, Nisi Shawl editing this Year’s Best is a great first step. Let’s make sure it’s not the last.

Reading, Reviewing, and ‘Rithmatic

I’ve been bad about updating this blog with new and exciting news about myself. So here’s some news.

Last week my review of the new Octavia E Butler eBook Unexpected Stories went up at NPR Books. I really enjoyed the book and my only sadness is that there aren’t more new stories to read. Go read the review and then go buy the book.

This week I am back on io9 posting roundups of my favorite short stories. Now it’s weekly instead of monthly, so I can talk about more stories I love.

Now that I’m reviewing for NPR and doing the story thing on io9 folks have been asking me about sending review copies and such. I have a policy! I’ll also post this on my About page, but here it is in case you’re curious:

NPR has pretty strict conflict of interest rules, so if we’re friends or I know you well or if you have published me I can’t review your book or an anthology/collection you’re in or you edited. It’s sadface sadness, I know. I can suggest books to my editor who will then pass them on to a reviewer without conflicts and that is okay. If you do not know me, you can certainly ask if I’d like a review copy of your book/anthology/collection. If I’m interested, I’ll pitch it to my editor. I cannot make the final decision on whether I can review something for NPR, so I may have to say no.

The io9 posts are not strictly reviews and I’m not claiming complete objectivity. The stories I mention are the ones I personally like, and that may include stories by people I know. I pick stories from the magazines (and sometimes anthologies) I read and that mostly includes free online ones. But if you have a print mag, or an eBook version of your zine with extra content, or an anthology you’d like me to read in case I like a story enough to mention it, please do let me know! Me agreeing to read does not guarantee you’ll get a mention, just so you know.

All that business aside, I’m very much enjoying reading more again and highlighting excellent fiction where I can. I’m still looking for a place to write about other media, especially when the Fall TV season starts up again.

And Now For Something Completely Awesome

And Now For Something Completely Awesome

Hugo Award nominations were announced yesterday and this shiny book got a nod in the Best Related Work Category:

That’s right! Chicks Dig Time Lords is a Hugo nominated work! I am so incredibly happy, yay!

And, if I am allowed to say: well deserved! Lynne and Tara put together a really solid lineup and the fan response has been overwhelmingly positive. I hope that remains the case as Hugo voting commences :)

On equally happy notes, I see a lot of friends scattered throughout the nominations, but I wanted to give a special shout out to fellow Altered Fluidians N. K. Jemisin and Saladin Ahmed. Ms. Jemisin’s first book, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, is on the best novel list and Mr. Ahmed is up for the Not A Hugo Campbell award for best new writer.

I posted the whole list over on the ABW and noted that there are quite a few women on the list, more POC than I’m used to seeing, and many “new” or young writers, which is an achievement for the Hugos. Can’t wait to see how the winners balance out on these fronts.

Best Birthday Present EVAR: Happily Ever After TOC

Many moons ago the awesome John Klima emailed and asked if I had any fairy tale retellings since he was putting together an anthology of such things. I sent him Black Feather (my Interfictions story), he accepted, I made a happy face. Life is good. Yesterday, for the first time, I saw who else is also in this anthology from a post on SFSignal. People, I had No Idea. I sporfled so hard on the subway train New Yorkers gave me the side eye.

Just look here and sporfle with me, won’t you?

  1. “The Seven Stage a Comeback” by Gregory Maguire
  2. “And In Their Glad Rags” by Genevieve Valentine
  3. “The Sawing Boys” by Howard Waldrop
  4. “Bear It Away” by Michael Cadnum
  5. “Mr. Simonelli or the Fairy Widower” by Susanna Clarke
  6. “The Black Fairy’s Curse” by Karen Joy Fowler
  7. “My Life As A Bird” by Charles de Lint
  8. “The Night Market” by Holly Black
  9. “The Rose in Twelve Petals” by Theodora Goss
  10. “The Red Path” by Jim C. Hines
  11. “Blood and Water” by Alethea Kontis
  12. “Hansel’s Eyes” by Garth Nix
  13. “He Died That Day, In Thirty Years” by Wil McCarthy
  14. “Snow In Summer” by Jane Yolen
  15. “The Rose Garden” by Michelle West
  16. “The Little Magic Shop” by Bruce Sterling
  17. “Black Feather” by K. Tempest Bradford
  18. “Fifi’s Tail” by Alan Rodgers
  19. “The Faery Handbag” by Kelly Link
  20. “Ashputtle” by Peter Straub
  21. “The Emperor’s New (And Improved) Clothes” by Leslie What
  22. “Pinocchio’s Diary” by Robert J. Howe
  23. “Little Red” by Wendy Wheeler
  24. “The Troll Bridge” by Neil Gaiman
  25. “The Price” by Patricia Briggs
  26. “Ailoura” by Paul Di Filippo
  27. “The Farmer’s Cat” by Jeff VanderMeer
  28. “The Root of The Matter” by Gregory Frost
  29. “Like a Red, Red Rose” by Susan Wade
  30. “Chasing America” by Josh Rountree
  31. “Stalking Beans” by Nancy Kress
  32. “Big Hair” by Esther Friesner
  33. “The Return of the Dark Children” by Robert Coover

Susanna Clarke, Kelly Link, Jeff Vandermeer, Genevieve Valentine, Holly Black, Neil Gaiman, the list of awesome just keeps getting longer and longer! Nancy Kress was my first Clarion West instructor and now I am in an anthology with her. What.

But the most exciting bit is this. No anthology of this kind would be complete without Theodora Goss, that goes without saying. But the story in here, “The Rose in Twelve Petals,” is one of my favorite stories of All Time[1]. One of the first that ever moved me to track down an author’s website and email her[2]. That one of my stories gets to be in the same book as that is a most excellent way to begin my next year of life.

The book is out in June, and you can pre-order it from Nightshade or Amazon or Barnes & Noble or likely your local bookshop.

P.S. I would also like to point out that, once again, I’m in a book with a gorgeous cover.

Footnotes

  1. I just came across this blog post where Dora talks about how the story came to be. She mentions that it was her first story ever published — a surprise to myself — and that it’s been 10 years now. That… makes me feel old.[]
  2. the other was “The Run of the Fiery Horse,” which I talked about in the PodCastle introduction.[]

Free Books, Short Stories, Poems and More in the Carl Brandon Butler Scholarship Fundraiser

Free Books, Short Stories, Poems and More in the Carl Brandon Butler Scholarship Fundraiser

I finally compiled the complete list of fiction, poetry and essays that we’re going to pre-load on the eReaders in the Butler Scholarship fundraiser. The list is far longer than I’d hoped when I first conceived of this project. And the stuff on there is by a ton of really fancy people. We even got contributions from many of the Butler Scholars — that is Clarion & Clarion West students who’ve already benefited from financial assistance from this scholarship. Click here to see the full list.

The first week has gone really well. Thank you to everyone who has spread the word and bought tickets. I’m going to keep the momentum up because we’ve got 10 days to go and a high goal to reach.

My WisCon 34 Schedule

My WisCon 34 Schedule

I have less than a week to go before WisCon, hooray! Thinking of that made me realize that I haven’t posted my panel schedule here. It’s light this year and thus I will likely be a lot saner. But I am contemplating doing a panel in the overflow room. We’ll see. Meantime, here you go:

Chicks Dig Time Lords

Fri 4:00 – 5:15PMConference 4

Lynne M. Thomas, K. Tempest Bradford, Evelyn Browne, Kathryn Sullivan

There is a perception that there weren’t many women in Doctor Who fandom before the New Series was launched. This is patently false. Women have had a major role in Doctor Who fandom since the inception of the show. Do women approach and experience their Doctor Who fandom (or other media fandoms) differently than men? This panel explores different approaches to media fandom by the women involved in it, functioning within an assumed male–dominated fandom. Approaches to fandom discussed will range from feminist critique to costuming to fan fiction.

Chicks Dig Time Lords Reading

Sun 10:00 – 11:15AM – Michelangelos

K. Tempest Bradford, Mary Robinette Kowal, Kathryn Sullivan, Lynne M. Thomas

Writing the Other: Shout–Outs

Sun 2:30 – 3:45PM – Assembly

Nisi Shawl, K. Tempest Bradford, Moondancer Drake, Nabil/nadyalec, Michelle Kendall

Fail is not the topic of this panel; instead, we want to hear about where you feel like your group was well represented in fiction by someone from outside it. This panel is the carrot, not the stick!

Take Back the Sci–Fi: Redux

Sun 4:00 – 5:15PMCaucus

Shira Lipkin, K. Tempest Bradford, Michelle Kendall, Rachel Swirsky

Sexual assault and rape frequently get used as symbolic plot devices, with no consideration of how sexual violence actually affects survivors and the people around them. Let’s discuss books that accurately portray the repercussions of and recovery from sexual assault, as well as those that merely use it as a shortcut to character development and those that end up glorifying it in the process—and how we can write about sexual assault and rape in a way that is true to the character and respectful to survivors. Note: this is a discussion of rape and sexual assault in fiction, and is not the place to discuss our personal experience with sexual assault.

Yes, the majority of my panels are on Sunday :) Which makes it likely that Saturday something fun will happen. Stay tuned.

NYC Walking

NYC Walking

About a week ago I saw a poster for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, which is happening in October here in NYC. For some reason I decided that I wanted to walk in this event, which is a 39.3 mile marathon. Granted, it’s over two days, but day one is 26.2 miles. It’s definitely a major undertaking, but I have until October to train. Yesterday I started by walking 3 miles at the gym to determine where I am physically. I’m slightly sore today but it wasn’t all that hard or taxing. So I’m fairly sure I can do this with some work between now and the event.

While I was looking for a training plan on the walk’s website I saw that local people are leading training walks in the months leading up to the marathon. I didn’t see any in Manhattan, but one I found in Brooklyn aims to walk all the way around Prospect Park. That sparked another idea: I’ve long wanted to challenge myself by walking all the way around Central Park, either around the perimeter or walking paths inside the park that do the circuit.

If I did such a thing, would anyone join me? Since this would be an endurance walk, the point is not to go fast, but to keep a moderate pace and rest appropriately. Plus, we’ll be in the park!

I’m thinking June 5th or 6th (Saturday or Sunday) would be good. It’s the weekend after WisCon and before Shakespeare in the Park starts, plus about a month into my training. If you’re interested, let me know your preference of day.

After this I’ll tackle one of Ellen W’s Broadway walks. I’ve always wanted to walk the entire length of the island of Manhattan.

Yes, I am a crazy person.