Announcing the Winner of the 2016 Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants

Gabriel Thibodeau and Eden Royce are the Winners of the 2016 Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants

The Speculative Fiction Foundation has awarded the 2016 Diverse Writers Grant to Gabriel Thibodeau and the 2016 Diverse Worlds Grant to Eden Royce. The two $500 awards support any purpose that writer recipients may choose to benefit their work. Both are intended to foster the creation of speculative fiction work rich in diversity by facilitating completion of new, in-progress work, rather than recognizing already-published work.

The $500 Diverse Writers grant is “intended to support new and emerging writers from underrepresented and underprivileged groups, such as writers of color, women, queer writers, disabled writers, working-class writers, etc. — those whose marginalized identities may present additional obstacles in the writing / publishing process.” The $500 Diverse Worlds grant is “intended for work that best presents a diverse world, regardless of the writer’s background.”

Royce’s work has appeared in a number of anthologies of horror and dark fiction, and her articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books and Graveyard Shift Sisters. In 2015, she published a collection of southern gothic horror entitled Spook Lights. She notes that the collection includes “descriptions of the lives of African-Americans, many times underrepresented in horror fiction or relegated to secondary and tertiary characters.” She hopes that the Diverse Worlds grant will help to “increase the visibility of my work and in doing so, widen the definition of horror to include more marginalized voices.” Her website is edenroyce.com.

Thibodeau is an author of magical realism, and he says that, “My voice as a writer is directly influenced by my culture, history, and background. It makes perfect sense that I feel most inspired writing within a genre born of Latin blood.” He adds that he’s thrilled to receive an award that “shirks the boundaries that, in this magic, gay Mexican’s opinion, arbitrarily limit much of the literature we see published today [and] sees that otherness as an asset and an opportunity.” His website is gabrielthibodeau.com.

In 2016, there were 87 applications for the grants, which are awarded by a volunteer jury based on merit. This year’s jurors were Leah Bobet, Tonya Liburd, James Nicoll, and Malon Edwards. The jury also chooses Honourable Mentions for both grants; this year, the Honorable Mentions for the Diverse Writers grant were Errick Nunnally, Pascha Stevenson, and Zainab Amadhy, while the Honourable Mentions for the Diverse Worlds grant were Errick Nunnally, Mimi Mondal, and Zainab Amadhy. The 2015 winner of both grants was author Carmen Maria Machado.

Founded in January, 2004 to promote literary quality in speculative fiction, the all-volunteer Foundation is led by Mary Anne Mohanraj and 30 other committed volunteers. The Foundation maintains a comprehensive website offering information for readers, writers, editors and publishers of speculative fiction, develops book lists and outreach materials for schools and libraries, and raises funds for redistribution to other organizations in the field, as well as four awards made annually to writers, of which the Diverse Writers and World Grants are two. The others include the Gulliver Travel Research Grant, Older Writers Grant, and the Working Class Writers Grant. For more information about the Speculative Literature Foundation, contact Malon Edwards at managing_dir@speclit.org or visit the website at http://www.speclit.org.