The list of markets that are actively looking for submissions from POC or with POC characters and/or more diverse settings and cultues is growing. There are some great comments from editors about the issue, too. Keep linking to the original post and speaking up in comments if you are an editor or publisher. This is a great list to have around when a writer is trying to decide where to send a story next.
I often talk about the need for markets and their editors/publishers to do more to up the diversity in their slush pile and, consequently, in the publication itself. And one of the steps toward doing so is making sure that people know about your intentions in that direction. It does help to make the statement outright, but you still must back that statement up with results. Editors sometimes ask me how they get the word out, and, as I said in my Mind Meld contribution the other week, one of the ways is writer to writer to writer. Since I’m a writer whose blog is read by other writers, I guess I should do my part. :)
I recently sent this list of magazines looking for more POC authors and stories with POC characters and non-standard cultures/settings/etc to the Carl Brandon mailing list. I know that the editors of these markets want more because they told me so (which is as good an indication as any).
Fantasy — Any magazine I’m involved with definitely cares about this issue. One would hope it goes without saying, but not everyone is aware of who works for what and the goings on behind the scenes.
Sybil’s Garage — Before the last reading period, Matt Kressel and I had several discussions about how to draw in more diverse submissions. We edited the guidelines to make that desire clearer and I encouraged authors I knew to apply. I believe the next submission period is in early August, so keep an eye out and, yes, send your stuff in. Matt also says not to make any pre-judgments on what a Sybil’s Garage-type story is.
PodCastle — Rachel Swirsky is definitely on the look out for great stories by POC authors. I gave her some names and stories to check out, but you increase your own chances by submitting. PodCastle, like EscapePod, takes reprints. And it doesn’t matter how long ago the story was published, just so long as it’s good (and fantasy — for SF stuff, submit to EscapePod).
Asimov’s — Sheila Williams has mentioned to me a couple of times that she’d like to see more women in her slush (particularly with SF stories) and I suspect that she could use more submissions from POC and/or with POC characters and under-represented cultures.
As always, none of these markets is likely to publish a story just because it’s written by a POC or has POC characters. But in order to have a chance, you need to send the story in!
There are probably markets that I’m missing or editors who want more diversity but haven’t mentioned it to me. If so, mention it in the comments. I’ll add it to the main post as we go along.
Other markets looking to increase diversity (as indicated in the comments):
On July 17, 2008 Prime Books announces the launch of the new Fantasy Magazine website.
The site design is by Matthew Kressel of Senses Five Press, which publishes Sybil’s Garage and Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy. The artwork is by New Zealand-based artist Sanjana Baijnath.
Fantasy Magazine’s authors have included some of the best new and established voices in the fantasy genre, including Stephanie Campisi, Paul Jessup, Richard Parks, Holly Phillips, Ursula Pflug, Ekaterina Sedia, Rachel Swirsky, Lavie Tidhar, Catherynne M. Valente, and Jeff VanderMeer. The magazine publishes a new story each Monday, with commentary, interviews, reviews, and essays appearing throughout the week along with Friday’s Blog for a Beer! feature, which allows readers to unleash their creative talents. The new site will add audio and video content, previews of Prime and Juno books and new contests.
“Fantasy Magazine … [has] already shouldered their way into the ranks of the most prominent fiction e-zines on the internet”—The Year’s Best Science Fiction
“Fantasy Magazine is one of the most promising new fiction publications to launch in the field in years.”—Locus
“We hope to continue bringing innovative and enthralling fiction and features to fantasy lovers across the globe . . . and this is just the first step in many to come. Keep reading Fantasy Magazine!” —Cat Rambo and Sean Wallace
Upcoming content in 2008 includes works from authors such as Jim Hines, J. MDermott, Ursula Pflug, and Erzebet Yellowboy. This week’s story is “Watermark” by Michael Greenhut, accompanied by an audio version read by Cat Rambo.
On a personal note, I’d really like to thank Matt for the hard work he did setting up the site. That’s a custom theme you see, which he made from the ground up. He incorporated all of the elements I asked for and offered suggestions and improvements of his own. I can’t recommend (or thank) Matt enough. It’s really beautiful work and he’s a hell of a programmer.
I’m also super, super pleased that Sanjana allowed us to use her art. I fell in love with that image the first time I saw it.
I’ll crosspost this on FSF blog when I get a chance unless someone else beats me to it. I feel that this deserves just as much attention as the issue that caused it:
The truth is that under the pressure of needing to deliver and of my other work, I overlooked gender balance as an issue in the closing couple months of preparing Eclipse Two for publication. There is no doubt in my mind that I should have paid more attention to this, and it is something I sincerely regret.
Writers dropped out as always happens (and this is no reflection on them), and I wasn’t paying attention to gender balance. More women happened to drop out than men, and when I went to solicit stories close to the deadline I went to writers I felt I could impose on, that I had a relationship with, and they were all male. I should have been more aware, and made sure I maintained the kind of balance I’d started out with. I didn’t, and I regret that.
Know also that I genuinely understand why there has been anger and frustration about the TOC for E2. I wish had done a better job of maintaining gender neutrality in E2, and I will continue to try and do so, in this series, and in my other work going forward.
Read the full post here (it’s worth it).
Now, there are probably many discussions we could have about whether Strahan is sincere or not and other related subjects, but I am going to choose, for now, to accept what he says at face value. I reserve the right to change my mind should the future belie his stated commitment, but I will hope for the best.
Earlier this week I wrote a post about how Asimov’s, under Sheila Williams, has published more women this year (so far) than F&SF or Analog by a significant amount. I mentioned this for several reasons, though probably not the one people think. Though some people grokked my main reason, which was to make people (scratch) women aware of the markets they might deem “friendly” to them or their stories or the kind of stories they like to write.
Over and over I hear that women and men, in general, have different submitting strategies. And that women, mostly, will stop sending stories to markets where they are sure that their stories have no chance. In some ways, this is a good strategy. It keeps one from sending stories about pretty, pretty princesses to Clarkesworld and gory horror stories to Realms of Fantasy. But then one runs the risk of rejecting the story for the editor, which doesn’t do anyone any good. Finding a sensible balance between those two extremes is, well, sensible. But a key element in finding that balance is good information about a market.
If the common knowledge floating around is that this or that market doesn’t like girl stories or whatever, there’s a chance that people who write girl stories won’t send there. But if a market changes, or is looking to change, how is that common knowledge amended? Though people pointing it out, talking about it, encouraging writers to update what they think they know.
More than once recently I’ve heard someone write Asimov’s off because of stuff that happened or stuff they read 5 or more years ago. That was before the current editor. Things have changed since then. Things that matter to writers (like that goddamned form rejection we hated). And one of those changes is the percentage of women in the magazine. Maybe pointing this out will encourage women writers to pick up a few issues, read them, and submit themselves. The more good writers in the slushpile, the more good stories in the magazine. It follows.
Just a FYI. Opened up my WT submissions email account this morning. 25 new submissions. 22 from men, 3 from women. This is the typical submissions ratio I receive for Weird Tales (this is just from overnight – I’ll get more in during the day….)
Weird Tales is another example of a magazine that has gone through changes (major changes, in fact) and may still suffer from wrong “common knowledge” about what kind of stories they publish and that they’re more interested in what men write than what women write. Now, I don’t know Ann, and I’ve only read one issue with her picks so far, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that she probably isn’t more interested in the stories that men write. What she is interested in is up to her to show us as the magazine continues. But if I were a writer (oh, I am), and also a woman (batting 2 for 2 here), I would definitely get right on sending her appropriate stories and not automatically assuming that she doesn’t want my fiction. There are an awful lot of men who are doing this thing. And it would please me above anything to have really strong female writers making their mark on that slushpile, amongst others.
We’re adding several new features/columns at Fantasy magazine over the next few months. (And I’m in charge! Wooo! I love being in charge.) One of the more fun aspects is getting in more different types of reviews. TV, Film, Comic Books, etc. (I asked Wil Wheaton to do the comic column, he never answered me. Now I can’t decide if it’s because my email got lost/overlooked or because he was insulted that I said we couldn’t pay.)
Anyway, the first of our film reviews is up today. Genevieve Valentine gave up several hours of her life–at dear cost, I might add–to watch and review a SciFi channel miniseries. All to make you people laugh. So go over there and read it.
I will say, the majority of our reviews will not be so heavily styled. But once I read the text she gave me, it had to be done that way.
Next week I talk about that damn Torchwood finale of fail and perhaps the Doctor Who first two episodes of win.
Due to some stuff on the Internets, I did some research (omg) on the # of women writers in the three digests so far this year. The results of this, and my thoughts on the magazine that came out on top (Asimov’s), are over at the FSFBlog today.
Sean Wallace informs me that last year Fantasy published 83% women. And, if you don’t remember, when certain types of people noticed this (I’ll leave it to you to determine what types of people those were), there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of cloth and cries of “Oh, it’s so sad that Fantasy magazine doesn’t care about me and my stories”, and other such goings on. (cue tiny violin.)
Several months ago Ian Randal Strock (I think) was making noises about creating some system to aggregate/collect links to online magazines when they put up new issues. My memory on this is sketchy, but I remember thinking it was a good idea. I never heard anything more about it, though, so I’m guessing it never moved out of the idea phase.
I was thinking about it yesterday when poking around on Reddit.com. For those who don’t know, Reddit is a bit like Digg, but not as slick. People submit posts/articles and redditors vote on them (up or down) and the stuff with the most votes rises to the top of the main page. I just found out a few days ago that users can create subreddits on topics they’re interested in and other users can subscribe to subreddits and see the latest additions on a separate page. There’s a feminist one (that seriously needs some participation from non-assholes) and I found a couple of Short Story ones.
This got me thinking, would an SF/F/H subreddit be useful for what Ian or whoever suggested before? Editors would be encouraged to post whenever they had new fiction available or links to the individual stories, if they like. Readers would subscribe to the subreddit and get alerts whenever new fiction is available. The links from reddit go directly to the site with the content. And I believe subreddits have rss feeds, making things even easier.
Anyway, what do others think of this idea? Would you find it useful? Editors, would you find it annoying to announce new issues/fiction in this way?
ETA: I went ahead and created the subreddit. I figure if it takes off, it does. If not, no skin off my knees.
- It’s Blog for a Beer day @ Fantasy. It’s open thread/freeform today; no theme.
- On SFBookswap there’s a list of fiction published by women in print magazines from January – April. I’d love for folks to stop by and give some opinions on any of those stories that you’ve read. Are there any I should definitely hunt down and read?
- PodCastle is finally up and running! I know I’ve been waiting with baited breath and all that. First story is Come Lady Death by Peter S. Beagle. I believe my story is set to appear this summer. Several weeks ago when editor Rachel Swirsky announced what the first few stories were going to be, I expressed delight at seeing Hillary Moon Murphy’s Run of the Fiery Horse on the list. I loved that story so much when I first read it that I wrote a fan letter (something I’d never done before). Rachel asked me if I’d like to introduce the story for PodCastle due to all my squeeing, and I said yes. I believe the story is episode 3, so add PodCastle to your feed thingydoo and don’t miss it.
- One of the prettiest (and most anticipated) anthologies of the year is finally out: Paper Cities. Filled to the brim with authors I adore, edited by yet another person I adore (Ekaterina Sedia), and published by a guy I tolerate ;). There are already many glowing reviews of the book and I’m sure there will be more. So buy it and stuff.
- If you haven’t checked out the Weird Tales 85 Weirdest People of the last 85 Years list, you should. Weird Tales is celebrating its 85th anniversary (starting this month, actually) and it’s absolutely amazing how Stephen and Ann have turned the magazine around. The design, the fiction, the non-fiction, just everything is awesome.
A lot of people have linked to the thing about Amazon telling POD publishers they have to print their books though Booksurge (owned by Amazon) or they won’t be listed. Some are very upset about it, some have determined that it won’t impact their business, and others are freaking out!
I will admit that I am not entirely sure of all the ramifications, but two bits of information floated my way that make me think that the situation is not so dire. The first is that, according to Deborah Layne, nothing will change for her and Wheatland Press, and she’s with Lightning Source. So rumors that Lightning Source people have to switch over are, apparently, not entirely correct.
Which leads into the other thing I heard. The first bit of news about this came from Writer’s Weekly/Angela Hoy. And let me tell you, I don’t trust a damn thing that woman has to say. In part because she’s a vanity book publisher dressed up as not, but because I’ve had personal dealings with her that convinced me she’s really not as knowledgeable or interested in helping writers as she seems.
Several years ago, back when I was teaching writing classes, I pitched some ideas to her for the writing classes area associated with Writer’s Weekly. The full account of what happened is here, but essentially I came away from the encounter thinking that Angela didn’t know a lot about fiction writing and selling, yet was acting if she did. At the time, I just thought she was deluded, but after reading and hearing more about her, I’ve come ’round to the opinion that she’s more than a little scammy.
Someone on the BroadUniverse list pointed out that this news from Amazon really only affects POD publishers who are not part of an existing distribution system, like Ingram. The kind of POD publishers that can’t get their books stocked in Brick&Mortar stores because they won’t accept returns. The kind of publishers that have names like PublishAmerica. So really, this is terrible news for PA and that ilk, but not necessarily for all small presses. Again, this is the impression I’m getting from various sources, but if anyone has information to the contrary, I’d like to know. Mainly, I feel like anything that upsets Angela Hoy can’t be all bad.