Speculative Literature Foundation’s Good Work

Last year, I won the Speculative Literature Foundation‘s Diverse Worlds grant, and it changed my writing.

I’d gotten to a place where I felt a bit… hopeless. As though my writing wasn’t good enough… strong enough to get beyond where it was. I felt I’d hit a plateau. I was getting rejections, and each one felt like a blow.

When I was attending a lecture in Oxford by one of my favorite writers Jewell Parker Rhodes, I got the email that I’d been chosen for this grant. From what I recall (my mind goes a bit foggy here as I was in such shock) I sat on the bed in my hotel room and stared at the screen for a full minute.

Someone believed in my work! It sent my heart racing. It send my brain racing too. Stories I wanted to finish. Ideas I’d had that I’d never committed to paper before. Suddenly, all of it seemed possible. Not sure I really slept much that night. But I do remember this:

I promised myself I’d submit more of my work in 2017. 

And I kept that promise. Most of my stories were published this year that I’ve ever had. I got my first professional sale this year. I have stories on the Nebula’s and the Horror Writer’s Association’s recommended reading lists.

Spec lit foundation

The SLF has just started its big fundraiser for the year, with the goal of getting enough sponsorships to ensure the Diversity Grants continue for five more years, and expand our other activities — reading series, workshops, and more, with monthly funding that we can count on as we plan activities.

About the SLF from Mary Ann Mohanraj, Executive Director: 

The SLF is a non-profit arts foundation, modeled on the National Endowment for the Arts, but focused specifically on serving the speculative literature (science fiction, fantasy, and horror) community.  We aim to encourage promising new writers, assist established writers, facilitate the work of quality magazines and small presses, and develop a greater public appreciation of speculative fiction. 

They need your help.

If you can donate, please do. This fundraiser has 29 more days and I’d love to see them reach their goal as they helped me reach one of mine.

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Support Books By and About Strong Women

The publishing game can be a challenging one, especially for indie publishers. I’ve had work published with several independent publishers over the years, and many of them–for various reasons–are no longer in existence.

One company that is doing it right is Spider Road Press, an indie publishing company with a mission to publish and promote literature by and about strong women. (Don’t worry guys; you don’t have to be a female writer to be published with Spider Road, but you do need to write strong female characters.)

Founded in 2013, in Houston, Texas, Spider Road also focuses on publishing fiction about women from diverse backgrounds. To make things even better, they donate 5% of the proceeds from our book sales to women’s shelters and veteran’s groups.

But as I mentioned, the publishing game can be tough, especially when it comes to funding for indies. Many times income from sales doesn’t always cover all of the press’ needs. So Spider Road has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to fuel their 2016 projects, which include a novella collection and a flash fiction contest. But there are only seven more days to contribute.

Cover for "In The Questions", the poetry collection which features my poem "Prescription Refill".   It's available only by supporting Spider Road Press' fundraising project.
Cover for “In The Questions”, the poetry collection which features my poem “Prescription Refill”.

One of the prizes you can choose for donating is a copy of the poetry collection, In The Questions, available only by supporting this Indiegogo campaign.  Enjoy poems by established poets such as Shae Savoy, Catherine Edmunds, Andrea Barbosa & Teresa Mei Chuc, as well as emerging poets such as Karen Marinaccio, Eileen Brunetto, Melissa Algood and Gay Yellen.

Some other nifty prizes are an exclusive, personalized portrait by artist Genevieve H. Smith, one of the artists featured in In the Questions and an editorial consult with Spider Road’s editor-in-chief to make your short story the best that it can be.

Any amount helps. You can read more about Spider Road Press and donate to their Indiegogo campaign here.