18 August 2006
In a response to a discussion that not enough women were being published in F&SF, I suggested a Story Bomb, where at least a hundred women authors would send in stories the same day. The idea was to get pro- and semi-pro writers who may have given up on submitting to the magazine, and have then all send in at the same time. But it has expanded to include any woman who wants to participate.
This is not a formally organized event. If you want to join in, just send out a story on August 18th! (F&SF's submission guidelines may be found here).
Jenn Reese, jennreese, explains it this way:
It's a positive way to raise awareness of an issue that troubles many of us -- in terms of both what GVG is buying and why women aren't submitting their stories more often. It's not a protest, but a rally.
We need to write more, submit more, and aim higher. Go, team!
Deborah Layne, mme_publisher, says this:
Is there sexism in SF/F publishing. Well, why wouldn't there be? There's sexism everywhere else. Do I think it takes the form of some deliberate atempt to freeze women writers out of the digests? No, I don't. There's no evidence for that and we've had the editors saying just the opposite. Could they be wrong about their own behavior? Sure. They could, for example, be unknowingly holding women writers to a higher (or different) standard than they hold men writers. There's alot of that around in the real world, too.
What I've seen in this business is that, as in the rest of the world, the sexism that exists is quite often subtle, maybe even unconscious. ... Working together isn't the worst thing women can do.
And Leah Bobet, leahbobet, sums it up like this:
1) Slushbombings, like all friendly group activities, are fun for all parties involved.
2) The editorial staff has not lodged an objection to being bombed.
3) Even if not one story is accepted, 100 people have a new story to market.
4) Even if not one story is accepted, someone who is shy about subbing pro might feel better about it, having had support along the way this time.
5) F&SF, who has said they want more subs from women, is getting 100 of them to play with.
6) Activities like this build a sense of community.
...Keep piling up the stones until they make a mountain. Keep sending in those stories until they take one. Stop worrying and love the slushbomb.
Comments disabled this time because I'm still trying to catch up with the others!
I owe longer answers to nihilistic_kid, benpeek, mallory_blog, lzernechel, and jimhines than I have had time to provide in the past two days, but I will get to them. Nor have I been ignoring the thread about getting a tattoo on my ass. Well, okay, I have. But I'll answer that one too. On the other side, there are many other individual comments from people who want to participate, and I'll try to recognize all of those as well.
tanaise, iagor, and secritcrush have all had polls of some sort on this issue, with interesting results.
Yes, kristine_smith, I know I am a troublemaker.
Somewhere in the comments, barbarienne began making plans for 2007, suggesting that this could be an annual event, targeting one market per year as a way of encouraging more women to submit more often until gender disparities are closed.