Deep Dish in December!

Great Deep Dish SFF reading at Volumes Bookcafe last night — thanks again to all the readers and speakers (Mary Robinette Kowal, Stephen Segal, Michi Trota, Michael Moreci, Angeli Primlani, Dan Gonzalez, Sue Burke, Valya Dudycz Lupescu) and everyone else who worked to make it a success, esp. my co-host, Chris Bauer. 🙂
Looking forward to the next one on March 1st, 7 p.m. — mark your calendars! (And if you’re interested in reading, drop me a line at, with the subject line DEEP DISH!)

December Reading in Chicago

We’ve finalized the line-up for Deep Dish SFF at Volumes Book Cafe on 12/7 @ 7 p.m. We have:

Featured novelist: Ada Palmer
Debut novelists: Michael Moreci and Sue Burke
Rapid-fire Readers: Angeli Primlani, Valya Dudycz Lupescu, Stephen Segal, and Dan Gonzalez

Mark your calendars and cross your fingers for good weather! And get there early — we had a full house for last night’s inaugural reading!

Press!  Broadway World and Metromix.

Diversity Grants Winner Announced

Erin Roberts is the Winner of the 2017 Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grant From the Speculative Literature Foundation

The Speculative Fiction Foundation has awarded the 2017 Diverse Writers Grant and 2017 Diverse Worlds Grant to Erin Roberts. The two $500 awards support any purpose that a writer recipient chooses to benefit their work. Both awards 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.”

Erin Roberts’ work has been published or is forthcoming in Podcastle and The Dark. Her non-fiction has been publishing in and in People of Colo(u)r Destroy Fantasy, People of Color Take Over Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, and Cascadia Subduction Zone. She is an MFA candidate at Stonecoast and a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and is a writer or editor for Zombies, Run!, Stonecoast Review, and Escape Pod.

Of her writing, Erin says, “I have always been drawn to things beyond the world we see around us.” She says she writes stories of outcasts, and about “of the burdens placed on people by the societies they live in, of the ones who get left behind when technology takes a step forward.”

Regarding the Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds grants, Erin said, “Winning an award for writing about diverse worlds as a person of color is a special honor for me because I know that one of the reasons that I am drawn to and able to tell the stories that I do is that because I am a black woman in America. I love filling my stories with the type of people I grew up with, that I am friends with, that I live and love and laugh with, with all their joys and sorrows and quirks and flaws.” She writes the stories that she does, “because of who I am.” Her website is

In 2016, there were 12 applications for the grants, which are awarded by a volunteer jury based on merit. This year’s jurors were led by Managing Director Malon Edwards. The jury also chose Honourable Mentions for both grants; this year, the Honorable Mentions for the Diverse Writers grant were Lindsay Wong, Nibedita Sen, Maria Isabel Alvarez, and Julie Steinbacher, while the Honourable Mentions for the Diverse Worlds grant were Nia Davenport, LA Davis, and Julie Steinbacher.

The 2015 winner of both grants was author Carmen Maria Machado, whose short fiction collection, Her Body and Other Parties: Stories, was a finalist for the National Book Award.

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, including the Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants. The others include the Older Writers Grant, Gulliver Travel Research Grant, and the Working Class Writers Grant. For more information about the Speculative Literature Foundation, contact Malon Edwards at or visit the website at

Deep Dish Reading Sat 10/7!

Join novelist Mary Robinette Kowal, debut novelist Cath Schaff-Stump, host Mary Anne Mohanraj, plus Chris Bauer, Richard Chwedyk, and Meg Khoury for the inaugural Deep Dish, a Chicago SF/F reading series.

WHERE:         Volumes Book Cafe, 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL

WHEN:          Saturday, October 7, 7 p.m.

Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of historical fantasy novels: The Glamourist Histories series and Ghost Talkers, has received the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, three Hugo awards, the RT Reviews award for Best Fantasy Novel, and has been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards.

Mary Anne Mohanraj wrote Bodies in Motion (finalist for Asian American Book Awards, translated into six languages) and twelve other titles; she’s executive director of the SLF, and an English professor at UIC.

Cath Schaff-Stump writes speculative fiction for children and adults, and is a co-host on the writing and geek-life fan podcast Unreliable Narrators. You can find her online at Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, @cathschaffstump,, and

Sponsored by the SLF (Speculative Literature Foundation,, SFWA (the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Association,, and CNSC (Chicago Nerd Social Club,

NEXT: The next reading in the series, featuring Hugo-nominated novelist Ada Palmer, and debut novelist Michael Moreci, will be Thursday, December 7th, 7 p.m., at Volumes.

Slight Delay

We were supposed to announce the winner(s) of the 2017 Diverse Writers Grant and the Diverse Worlds Grant this past Friday, September 15, but our jurors are still hard at work reading the applications. We want to make sure every application gets the attention it deserves, so we’re not exactly sure when we will announce the winner(s). We apologize for the delay, and we thank you for your patience.

In the meantime, please check our Facebook page regularly for updates about the diversity grants. The applications are exceptional this year, as they’ve been in previous years, and we’re excited to see who our jurors choose as winner(s). The number of apps we received was a surprise this year (190!), and our jurors are impressed by the quality of the writing samples.

So, we’re still working hard choose our winner (or winners), but it will us take a bit more time. If you have any questions or concerns about the diversity grants, please feel free to ask us on our Facebook page, or you can email our Managing Director Malon Edwards at: