Disrupting Publishing Linkspam: 4/19/2016

It’s that time again: that time every week where I round up links to articles written by marginalized people pushing back against oppression in publishing. I’m aggregated as many marginalized voices as possible from as many vectors as possible, and the more intersectional the better. As always if you’ve read something I missed please link it in the comments.


“‘You Will Be Tokenized’: Speaking Out About the State of Diversity in Publishing” by Molly McCardle for Brooklyn Magazine

Publishing doesn’t exist in a bubble. Systemic and individual racism, misogyny, trans- and homophobia, ableism: these structure and surface in every American workplace. But publishing’s deadening sameness is unusual, and it makes for an unhealthy book culture. Of the 3,500 children’s books reviewed by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center in 2014, only 400 were about indigenous peoples and people of color. Only 292 were written by an indigenous person or person of color. For every one indigenous writer or writer of color who was published, there were 12 white writers. This is the sort of staggering that makes you laugh-cry, or angry-cry, or angry-laugh. It is too big for just one emotion. It’s also unfair. Inequitable. Immoral. Bad business.

Native People Respond to Rowling by Deb Reese

But this short story? Their reaction to it was different. They read the first line, with its monolithic “The Native Americans” was bad, but each paragraph of that short story was laden with troubling misrepresentations of Native peoples.

Things I Wish I Knew: 5 Things To Know When Writing Diverse Characters by Dahlia Adler

If you’re writing outside your lane, deeply consider what already exists by creators of that group and how you can support them as well. Deeply consider why you have chosen this perspective, and why yours is a necessary voice on it.

 

Disrupting Publishing Linkspam: 4/12/2016

It’s that time again: that time every week where I round up links to articles written by marginalized people pushing back against oppression in publishing. I’m aggregated as many marginalized voices as possible from as many vectors as possible, and the more intersectional the better. As always if you’ve read something I missed please link it in the comments.


 

The 2015 VIDA Count: The Year of Intersectional Thinking

Why would you consider such information? you might ask. VIDA has a history of advocating for women’s voices to be heard. An intersectional approach, such as looking at these demographic factors, is a natural development necessary to deepen the conversation. We want to take a closer look and identify what factors affect all women’s representation. This next step requires asking how those factors might affect certain populations of women writers when it comes to publication rates.

“Women built this castle”: An in-depth look at sexism in YA.

“This phenomenon of male writers being hailed as the ‘saviours’ of female-dominated genres can also be seen in the recent popularity of young adult author John Green, writer of The Fault in Our Stars. Young Adult fiction has been around since the 1980s, with females writing profusely in that genre for decades,” said Nudrat Kamal in her piece on sexism in literature for the Tribune, noting how many lady YA authors are “rankled” at the idea that it took a man writing YA to make YA a worthy career choice for a writer or a category of literature to consider seriously as a reader.

On Blindness and the Portrayal of Marie-Laure in All the Light We Cannot See

But I am not here to complain about misrepresentations of adaptive techniques or tired blindness stereotypes. I honestly don’t care if Marie-Laure counts her steps, reads braille with her thumbs, hears the ocean from her sixth-floor window, or can detect the scent of cedars from a quarter-mile away. The assault on the dignity of blind people is not that this character has strange adaptive techniques, or even that there are so many things she does not do for herself; it is that she is utterly without agency as a character.

(Not) Engaging with Disability: Convenient Approaches in SFF

It’s also important to consider that, instead of finding common limitations to the tools or treatments that exist in your world, you might not even need to. What if your character doesn’t use these options in the first place?

There are many reasons a workaround might not be accessible to your character. They might be incredibly expensive, or only available through specific providers. They might be rare, difficult to locate, or so brand-new it’s not even something they’ve considered. And on and on.

Think about reasons your character might choose not to adopt assistive tech, undergo a medical procedure, turn to magic as a cure, etc.

I Don’t Want Your Queer Tragedy: A Parable [Content note: mentions of physical and emotional violence.]

You fold your arms. “Let me guess,” you say, bitter, “it’s another queer tragedy. Because our suffering sells. Because that’s all you can see for us is coffins and mourning and broken hearts.”

 

Disrupting Publishing Linkspam: 2/16/2016

It’s that time again: that time every week where I round up links to articles written by marginalized people pushing back against oppression in publishing. I’m aggregating as many marginalized voices as possible from as many vectors as possible, and the more intersectional the better. As always if you’ve read something I missed please link it in the comments.


“Sleeps With Monsters: There’s A Counter In My Head” by Liz Bourke for Tor.com

It counts incidences where things follow a trend, and where they diverge. It recognises patterns. Dead women. Sexual objects. Motivating objects. Objectified. Tragic queerness. Queerness-as-a-phase. Women sidelined. Elided. Present but only significant for how they relate to a white able-bodied cisgender man.

It counts whose story gets to be told, and by whom.

It counts opportunities to include people.

And opportunities to include people NOT TAKEN.

“on tragic queerness in sff” tweets by Foz Meadows

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Moar from the Lightspeed POCs Destroy SFF (now Horror!) Kickstarter
“The New Frontier Is the Old Frontier” by Tamara Brooks

We do this because there is a core question that eats at us, one that hasn’t changed from childhood: If we can imagine long-term space travel and rifts in time and androids that can have human emotions and beings who can alter reality with the snap of their fingers, why is science fiction having such a hard time reflecting the diversity of the world—current or future?

“In the Middle” by M.C.A. Hogarth

The science fiction and fantasy of my youth was a very black-and-white sort of genre. Like society, it didn’t know what to do with someone in the middle, with one foot in one culture and one foot in another. It taught me the virtues of individuality, but not the virtues of community. It understood the alien and the human, but not the halfbreed. What I read growing up taught me how to survive, but not how to thrive.

“An Army of Claudia Kishis” by Sarah Kuhn

And Claudia was revolutionary in a way I didn’t even comprehend at the time: Japanese-American, artistic, bad at school, temperamental, always dressed outrageously, and often reading a Nancy Drew mystery. She didn’t just reject model minority stereotypes—she stomped them into the ground, usually with some kind of bedazzled high-top sneaker. Plus, she was definitely centered, in that she had entire books in the series named after her (and as early on as Book #2, Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls).

Claudia was my protagonist spark, I realized, and it’s characters like her that I want to bring into and see more of in SF/F.

“The Biggest Tent of All” by S.B. Divya

Science fiction is where we break new ground. This is where we push the boundaries of what is possible, stretch our imaginations to their limits. This is not a genre that belongs to any one subset of human beings. Let’s not forget our roots. Let’s not forget that even today, certain elements of the world look askance at our favorite books and movies. We don’t need petty in-fighting. Our tent is the multiverse, and it’s big enough for everyone.

“Recounting in Rainbow” by Shveta Thakrar

But trying to get other writers and editors to take that seriously hasn’t been as easy as I’d hoped. How do I successfully retell a narrative when my target readership (the North American market) isn’t familiar with the original? How do I avoid being told “your names are too hard”? How do I dismantle the bias-dripping assumption that “your brown protagonist doesn’t have universal appeal”?

 

Disrupting Publishing Linkspam: 2/9/2016

It’s that time again: that time every week where I round up links to articles written by marginalized people pushing back against oppression in publishing. I’m aggregated as many marginalized voices as possible from as many vectors as possible, and the more intersectional the better. As always if you’ve read something I missed please link it in the comments.


 

“Diversity 101: An Intro to the Diversity Discussion” by Justina Ireland

So, I think we can all agree that it is incredibly frustrating to have the same conversation over and over.  At some point your eyes glaze over and you sigh and say “Never mind, don’t worry about it.”

This is what is happening with regards to conversations surrounding diversity.  The same three or four convos keep getting repeated over and over. So, as a timesaver, consider this your introductory course to the diversity discussion.  I doubt this will be the last entry, but it’s a good first step.

“Empathy Is Not A Disability” by Foz Meadows

The opposite of feeling instinctively “sorry” for a disabled person isn’t assuming they’re totally happy with their lot in life and the unique perspective it affords them, but is rather to treat them like a fucking person: that is, to not make judgements about how they might feel about themselves – or anything else, for that matter – on the basis of first appearances and their membership, visible or otherwise, of an enormously diverse group.

“A Brief Analysis of the Locus Recommended Reading List, 2011-2015” by Natalie Luhrs

locus-race

MORE FROM THE POCS DESTROY SFF KICKSTARTER
“Assimilation: The Borg Must Like It When You Don’t Fight Back” by S.L. Huang

The Asian-American community has a long tradition of trading our own creativity and culture for “success.” A devil’s bargain: all the success you could ask for, and all it costs is your soul.

This isn’t true for all Asian-Americans, of course. But to some degree, at least, it’s true for me.

I wonder if I don’t write more Chinese characters because my father achieved his goal too well. Despite all my best efforts to reclaim my heritage, maybe all I have is an empty space I’ll always be chasing, like a gerbil spinning on a wheel.

Or maybe, despite all my anger, I myself am subconsciously following the very same path I’ve criticized my father for laying down: ducking my head and not being too Asian, because I want to be seen as a Real American Writer.

“You Don’t Have to Write Autobiography” by Ken Liu

So I wrote “The Paper Menagerie,” a magic realist tale that meditates upon our shifting attitudes toward our parents as we come of age; it also obliquely critiques the dominant mode of popular, assimilationist immigrant narratives. As a story that literalizes complicated metaphors, it can, and has been, read in multiple ways with various levels of textual support.

But the one reading it cannot support is autobiographical. The protagonist’s life bears almost no resemblance to my own. I am an immigrant; he is not. Both my parents are Chinese; his are not.

Yet, more than a few readers insisted on reading it as autobiography—and even as non-fiction. Many wrote to me to berate me for how I “treated my mother,” and others wrote to me to say they were moved by my “personal experiences.” Plenty of reviews speculated about my own childhood based on the story. When I gently explained that the story was pure fiction, at least one reader told me that he no longer found it moving as a result.

“This Is What Happens to Us” by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

So, this is what happens to us. SF lovers visit the white-only SF section and pick out titles from their favorite white authors. Lovers of mainstream African fiction visit the African Fiction section, gloss over the SF books presented there, then move on because, “Weird is not really our thing.”

“White Bread, Brown Toast” by Indrapramit Das

It wasn’t until I was on a campus in the middle of Pennsylvanian Amish country, surrounded by young white undergrad creative writing students in a workshop class taught by a white professor, that I realized I mostly wrote white protagonists. I’d never felt less white, which made the repeated pallor of my protagonists blaze like a thousand suns.

“Intergalactic Collard Greens” by Troy L. Wiggins

Mainstream science fiction also seemed to possess a set of very scientific rules regarding what happened when one encountered blacks:

  1. There were never more than three black people in any respective galaxy, except for random planets somehow chock-full of blacks who were unable to progress their culture past iron spears and loincloths.

  2. Blacks were not allowed to interact with each other. Instead they were required to float alone and lonely through their respective spaces like lumbering chocolatey gas giants.

  3. If someone absolutely had to die in order to move the plot forward or gird the loins of the hero, it would be someone who looked like the black consumer, or the black consumer’s sister, or the black consumer’s best friend, or the black consumer’s black next-door neighbor

“On Falling In and Out of Love with Science Fiction” by Julie M. Rodriguez

Still, there was something missing. I don’t think it was until my twenties that I realized I couldn’t remember seeing any Spanish names in the genre fiction aisle at my local bookstore. I could only recall a handful of Latino characters in any of the SF books I’d read or films I’d seen. I’d discovered a deep and diverse well of talent in the genre fiction community—so why couldn’t I find any other Latino writers?

“We Were Always Here” by Mark Oshiro

It’s relevant because as much as people want to imagine that non-white fans are just showing up, we’ve been here all along. We watched the Blade films. We celebrated the Star Wars trilogies, both the original and the prequels. We wrote fanfiction, we cosplayed, we wrote our own works.

“The People Men Don’t See” by Nisi Shawl

Let’s tell our own stories and insist we’ve got them right. Let’s keep on writing what needs to be written. Eventually it will be of no real consequence that there are people men don’t see. Our actions will speak for us. Our words will make our worlds known.

 

 

Disrupting Publishing Linkspam: 2/2/2015

It’s that time again: that time every week where I round up links to articles written by marginalized people pushing back against oppression in publishing. I’m aggregated as many marginalized voices as possible from as many vectors as possible, and the more intersectional the better. As always if you’ve read something I missed please link it in the comments.


 

Moar from the POCs Destroy SFF Lightspeed Kickstarter
“We’re Going Places” by Jeremy Szal

Diversity cannot exist if it exists solely within America and is dominated by American terms. So how do we do that? How do we move past that singular ideal?

“Dancing in the Margins” by An Owomoyela

I want to write because it’s important to me to see writing into the edge cases. Because those edge cases, and the ways in which race/ethnicity/color/call-it-what-you-want is defined, is manifested, in different places, at different times, is a huge part of the mess about what it means to be white or not in our community—this community that I live in and write in, and which affects me, day to day.

“On Destruction” by Naru Dames Sundar

In “destroying” SF, we are in fact rebuilding it, we are taking all that it was and adding to it. There are many voices out there, voices of different races, cultures, backgrounds. Voices that carry an authentic understanding of the things that underpin their histories, their people’s histories. I want to see their histories extrapolated into that unknown future. I want to see the stories that come out of their unique and incredible experiences.

“Blue-Shifted Futures” by Vajra Chandrasekera

No, Zhemais just referenced it because Colombo was the nearest major port to his fictional island. The funny part is that I noticed it so intensely, this one throwaway line, that I remember it to this day. It was the first time I’d read a science fiction novel showing a future that included my city in it, and it didn’t even need to be on fire.

“The Amazing Authentically Authentic Latina Author!” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Doesn’t ring true generally means people expect you to bring in the exotic. They’ll be like, “I once went to Acapulco so this gives me super great knowledge about your country and therefore this is not exotic enough.” Awesome. They want you to show a sarape, bring out the donkey. Check out the rooster in The Three Caballeros. That’s the sense of place you should aim for.

“On the Topic of Erasure” by Z.M. Quỳnh

I write so that I can become whole, so that we may become whole once more. I write so that my stories will be real again, so that my people’s stories will become our own.

“Unlearning Erasure” by Julia Rios

When I was much older, I had a conversation with my sister in which we both discovered that we had found the show I Love Lucy comforting as children. It was the only thing on TV that showed a family with a white mom and a Latino dad who shouted a lot and also liked to sing. The conversation made me realize how much seeing ourselves represented in fiction had meant to us. How much erasing ourselves from the default narrative was damaging. I thought again about all the books and movies my father had introduced me to, and I wondered how that sense of self-erasure had damaged him.

 

 

 

Disrupting Publishing Linkspam: 1/26/2016

It’s that time again: that time every week where I round up links to articles written by marginalized people pushing back against oppression in publishing. I’m aggregated as many marginalized voices as possible from as many vectors as possible, and the more intersectional the better. As always if you’ve read something I missed please link it in the comments.


 

About that Clarion Tweet
Ann Leckie, Blog Post (1/19/2016)

Now, Gaiman has no obligation to worry about the emotional states of every new or struggling writer. He can quite easily ignore a day’s cloudburst on twitter. But a lot of struggling or aspiring writers? Can’t ignore him as easily. And by speaking, they send a message to other, silent folks on the sidelines–don’t let this stop you, do your best to put this tweet in your Insignificant bin, keep writing.

“Do We Count As Real Writers, Too? (AKA That Thing About Clarion. That. Thing.)” by JY Yang

The point of this post– if it were to have a point, and not merely be a rambling collection of thoughts– is not that workshops are necessary to become a serious writer. The point is that for people who don’t have easy access to a support system, it feels like it’s necessary in order to break into the global SFF scene. And it shouldn’t be.

“How Can SFF De-Expensify Itself? Lotteries! Lotteries! Lots and Lots of Lotteries!” by Jo Walton

And science fiction and fantasy is incredibly expensive.

Because it’s expensive, it’s elitist.

It directly selects against those on low incomes. It directly selects against those living in countries with comparatively weak currencies. It indirectly selects against those groups who tend to have low incomes, or who live in such countries.

 

Personal Essays from POCs Destroy SFF Kickstarter
“Pushing Back Against The Wall” by Aliette De Bodard

I get up in the morning, and the same things keep happening with clockwork regularity. I see people who don’t understand how hurtful it is for minorities that writers take viscerally painful subjects and mine them for shiny elements that can be put into a story—how gut-wrenching it is when someone takes your wars and your oppression and makes them into bowdlerised theme parks that readers can dip into for a moment’s entertainment—when this watering-down becomes a lauded, awards-garlanded reference, and everything else is inauthentic, or unnecessarily grim, or too political by comparison to it.

“I’m a Big Black Man Who Writes Science Fiction” by Malon Edwards

I don’t remember the first book I grabbed. Probably Dune. The Bene Gesserit fascinated me. I—now a little eight-year-old black boy on the South Side of Chicago—wanted to be one of them. When my sister came home from college, I told her. We talked science fiction for days. Even today, we still do.

“Spoiler Alert: The Future? Yeah, I’m in It” by Yash Kesanakurthy

Science fiction is often futuristic but, to me, it’s kind of the opposite. To me, it’s about addressing the past. It is about looking at the present and thinking, “How did it come to this?” It is about looking at the page and thinking, “Where will it go from here?”

“I Have a Few Demands” by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

No. Miniscule increments aren’t enough. I demand more diversity in the genre I love most. I demand that more POC who write science fiction are given the opportunity to expose the wider world to their genius. I demand that science fiction incorporate more substantive characters of color. I demand these things because I don’t want my children and future grandchildren to ever feel like mere spectators to the genre I have taught them to love.

“Thirsty for New” by Malka Older

Give me characters that represent me, when you can, but also give me characters that are completely, mind-openingly other. Other does not mean just those that are not me, but also those that are not the fingernail-thin sliver of humanity depicted in the vast majority of mass culture.

“My Life as an Alien-American” by Arthur Chu

“Asians are aliens and aliens are Asians,” he said, and it was like I felt a light switch flipping on inside my brain, whole seemingly unrelated puzzle pieces from my life snapping neatly into one big picture.

 

 

 

Disrupting Publishing: 12/8/2015

It’s that time again: that time every week where I round up links to articles written by marginalized people pushing back against oppression in publishing. I’m aggregated as many marginalized voices as possible from as many vectors as possible, and the more intersectional the better. As always if you’ve read something I missed please link it in the comments.


“‘Where are the brown people?’: authors slam lack of diversity in UK publishing” by Alison Flood for The Guardian

“In publishing circles, I’m often the only person of colour in a room and I’m made to feel very aware of that. If we are to tackle this problem, people like me need to feel welcome,” Shukla said. “Everyone keeps saying ‘I am not prejudiced, or racist’, but they won’t say it is my responsibility as well to try and do better.”

 

“Dear Philip Nel: Some Questions about WAS THE CAT IN THE HAT BLACK: THE HIDDEN RACISM OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE AND WHY WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS” by Deb Reese at American Indians in Children’s Literature

You know We Need Diverse Books is trademarked, right? And you know that the organization itself is a grass roots effort comprised largely of people of color who object to the ways that structural racism consistently rewards white, and specifically white males, for the work they do–over the work of people of marginalized communities, right? Are you in conversation with anyone at WNDB about your book, and/or have you had conversations with anyone there about using that phrase in the title of your book?

I hope so, because if not, you might be rendering them invisible and thereby contributing to “invisibility as a form of racism.”

 

The Twinjas are hosting their 3rd annual Diversity month on their blog right now! Interviews with diverse creators/authors are going up every couple of days, and it’s a goldmine of thoughts and reflections on the state of writing and publishing and intersectionality, so I cannot recommend checking it out highly enough!

 

“Fandom and the Intersection of Feminism and Race” at Full-Color Fantasy

So if you instinctively ask why a Black woman can’t just be strong or get upset if she is “reduced to a love interest,” allowed the kind of romantic storyline you take for granted and spit on, the answer is: Your brand of feminism doesn’t apply here.

And, you know, that doesn’t negate that brand of feminism. Intersectionality (of all kinds) asks you to look at feminism as something that is complex, not a set of one-size-fits-all rules.

 

Disrupting Publishing Linkspam: 12/1/2015

It’s that time again: that time every week where I round up links to articles written by marginalized people pushing back against oppression in publishing. I’m aggregated as many marginalized voices as possible from as many vectors as possible, and the more intersectional the better. As always if you’ve read something I missed please link it in the comments.


 

“Goldfinching and Gender Hijacking: Why Can’t Women Have Nice Things In Literature?” by Ceilidhann for Bibliodaze

Altogether, these two incidents reminded me of some pertinent points about publishing, literature and our critical reactions to it that shape the entire ecosystem: Women will be dismissed, even for the works and industries they create, and those works won’t be legitimised until a man appropriates them.

“#AccessibleCons and Geek Socal Fallacies” by Rose Lemberg

It’s not because it’s too difficult, too expensive, it’s not because the fan did not ask nicely or loudly or politely enough. It’s because you did NOT accept them as they are. It’s because you ostracized them. Will you own it?

“Writers Shouldn’t Romanticize Rejection” by Kavita Das for The Atlantic

I’m weary of articles about beloved novels that almost didn’t exist and esteemed writers who almost walked away for good. And while I’m genuinely happy and grateful for the voices that make it through to be published and am thrilled when they receive well-deserved rewards and recognition, I know they are the slim exceptions, and that this is particularly true of writers of color.

“Do Black Children’s Lives Matter If No One Writes About Them?” by Daniel Jose Older for The Guardian

In a situation that will be familiar to many writers of color, author Dhonielle Clayton recently had a Young Adult book rejected in part because the publishers already had a book with a black character in it. “I’m finding that there’s still a one book per list rule, or a few books per list rule where they fill their quota of diverse content and then that’s it,” Clayton told me. “They’ll say, ‘We already have our Asian book, our black book,’ and that’s that.”

Disrupting Publishing Linkspam: 11/3/2015

It’s that time again: that time every week where I round up links to articles written by marginalized people pushing back against oppression in publishing. I’m aggregated as many marginalized voices as possible from as many vectors as possible, and the more intersectional the better. As always if you’ve read something I missed please link it in the comments.


“Equity in Publishing: What Should Editors Be Doing?” by Antonio Aiello for PEN

ALEXANDER CHEE: I guess I’m still stuck on this “white nepotism,” “brown nepotism” idea Sherman Alexie has left us with—in which he mistakes white supremacy for nepotism, and the work to undo it for another kind of nepotism. I am still trying to see the good in what Alexie has done, but I can only think that while he has indeed defended his choices, and perhaps, the way those choices were made, he has done so at the cost of approximately 100 years of writing and activism by Asian American writers, who have, at sometimes considerable social and professional cost, worked to pry open even a little of the white Potemkin village that is contemporary American publishing.

Poet Gregory Pardlo: ‘I won the Pulitzer: why am I invisible?’ by Angela Chen for The Guardian

“One of the things I run into surprisingly often is people saying to me, ‘I’ve never heard of you before,’” says poet Gregory Pardlo. “Yet I’ve been publishing in ‘mainstream’ journals and my book won that prize, so what is it that is making me invisible? It’s not the work and it’s not the publishing credits.”

“This Is Getting Old” by Katherine Locke

Bird, unlike Breslin, isn’t anti-Semitic. Just determinedly tonedeaf about marginalized people’s hurt and their right to protect themselves and express the hurt at the same time. But suggesting that marginalized people must be hurt, must continue to be hurt, must make themselves open to hurt in order to converse is cruel, unnecessary, and wrong.

“12 Fundamentals of Writing ‘The Other’ (And The Self)” by Daniel Jose Older for Buzzfeed

To write, we must listen. To listen, we must shut up. And this isn’t the simple kind of listening, where you’re waiting for them to finish what they can say so you can jump in real quick with your point. Really, have a seat, take a deep breath, and listen to what people around you are saying. Listen to yourself, your quiet self. To your doubts and fears, the things you don’t want to admit. Listen to the things folks say that make you uncomfortable. Sit with that discomfort.

Disrupting Publishing Linkspam: 10/27/2015

It’s that time again: that time every week where I round up links to articles written by marginalized people pushing back against oppression in publishing. I’m aggregated as many marginalized voices as possible from as many vectors as possible, and the more intersectional the better. As always if you’ve read something I missed please link it in the comments.


“The ‘Anyone Can Write’ Argument in Laura Amy Schlitz’s THE HIRED GIRL” by Debbie Reese

Is Schlitz–through her characters–pushing against the growing call for diversity of authors? I think so, and, I think it is an overt move on the part of Schlitz, her editor, and her publishing house.

“Accuracy or Bias: On Prejudicial Characters in Children’s Literature and Beyond” by Justina Ireland for Book Riot

It doesn’t matter that this book may be offensive to Jewish or Native people. As long as it satisfies the majority, in this case a white, Christian audience, it must be “quality.” The book is one more microaggression against readers that fall outside of the imagined audience, and the conversation surrounding the book further marginalizes these groups because it makes very clear that their opinion is inconsequential. A book that is offensive to them can still be considered award worthy.

The PW Publishing Industry Salary Survey 2015: A Younger Workforce, Still Predominantly White

“Same Old Script” by Alisha Harris at Slate

A Writers’ Guild of America report released earlier this year noted that staff employment for people of color actually decreased between the 2011–12 season and 2013–14 season, from a peak of 15.6 percent to 13.7 percent. The number of executive producers of color also decreased in those seasons, from 7.8 percent to 5.5 percent. While the 2014–15 season may have seen those numbers increase thanks to the addition of a few shows with diverse casts, such sharp declines demonstrate how tenuous progress in Hollywood can be.

The Rhimes effect onscreen is real. But can the remarkable diversity in those few writers’ rooms spread to shows across the television landscape?

Girl Monsters: Sofia Samatar interviews Sarah McCarry

I want to ask you about the cover of About a Girl—because isn’t this the first mass-market YA cover to show two girls kissing??

It’s the first cover of a YA novel published by a Big 5 publisher (Big 4 now? I can’t keep track) to feature two girls kissing, yes! It came about because I am a belligerent pest, is the short version of the story. I am still delighted about that.

“Sleeps With Monsters: Strong Female Characters and the Double Standard” by Liz Bourke for Tor.com

But the double standard of content, the double standard of criticism applied, bothers me really quite fundamentally. We fall into the error of really rather relentlessly applying criticism to female characters. They’re too domestic! They aren’t domestic enough! They have too little agency! Or too much, having unbelievably few constraints on their choices! They’re too violent, too shallow, too brittle. They’re too gentle, too generous, too forgiving, too soft. They’re insufficiently maternal, or too much so. They’re too independent! They’re not independent enough!