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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.


Cool Proposal--Here's A Practical Suggestion (and a minor ramble)

Cave Canem is an organization that's been extraordinarily successful at, as they put it in their mission statement, the discovery and cultivation of new voices in African American poetry. I think Toi Derricotte, one of Cave Canem's founders, might be willing to have her brain picked about what worked and what didn't.

In my tutoring practice, nearly all of my teenage students are Indian or Chinese, about evenly mixed by gender, and when I ask them what they read for pleasure, all of them name fantasy first, and some of them name science fiction second. To as great an extent as the parents will allow, I assign readings in those genres.

The sense I get is that the current generation of adolescents is is, regardless of ethnicity, so saturated in J.K. Rowling and in the YA fantasy boom that's followed her, we can expect our community to get more diverse over the next couple of decades, no matter what. I hope we can make them feel welcome as they come in. Great literatures require great audiences, and ours could use some new blood. Also, it would be good if we were collectively to plan ahead so as not to be jerks.