Like many other science fiction and fantasy readers, I love finding new worlds and spaces beyond anything my imagination could conjure up, and I love reading about all the ways diverse characters discover those worlds for themselves. But it can be challenging for writers of diverse backgrounds and marginalizations to carve out a platform for themselves in a genre that’s been traditionally geared towards white/cis/allo/able-bodied readers.
The Speculative Literature Foundation has supported writers and stories of diverse backgrounds through the Diverse Worlds and Diverse Writers grants since 2013. While the initial grants came from a fundraiser, the SLF hopes to fund the grants for another five years to continue supporting diverse stories and writers across the genres. They’re currently at 15% of the $5,000 goal, with the money going towards new and emerging SFF writers, and stories that help expand the genre even further.
Former awardees of the grants include Gabriel Thibodeau, Eden Royce, Carmen Maria Machado, and Madhvi Ramani. Some of their stories have been personal favourites of mine over the last few years, and I can’t wait to see the new writers that these two grants can help bring into SFF. As the work towards true diversity and inclusion continues in publishing, this is a great way to get involved and help support writers who are making spaces for themselves and aspiring writers in the future.