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bear by san

February 2017



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bear by san

One marvelously clever thing that was suggested at the "Why is SF so White?" panel, as a means of encouraging more non-white writers into the industry, was a mentoring program. (Liz Scheier, from the audience, also mentioned that she doesn't see nearly enough submissions with non-white protagonists or main characters, and would love to see more.)

The idea being that would-be writers of color could be paired with volunteer authors who would help mentor them.

I am not the person to administrate this. I know this about myself. But I thought it was a good enough idea to be worth sailing out into the zeitgeist.


Something to mention in this context is the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund to enable writers of color to attend Clarion or Clarion West, administered by the Carl Brandon Society. It completes the things the two CBS awards say (in my reading, anyway): if you're a self-proclaimed writer of color, there's a group of people who read your work to look for excellence and reward that excellence with an award that carries a chunk of change; if you're a writer of any ethnicity examining issues of ethnicity, there's a group of people, et cetera, chunk of change; and if you're a beginning writer of color, there are enough people who want there to be more writers of color to provide funding for your education.

I still find it surprising that Octavia is gone, even after a summer of not seeing her at parties where she should have been. Until she died, it hadn't occurred to me that white folks could join the Carl Brandon Society, just as we can join the NAACP, just as men can join NOW.