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 sent 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.
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.