The Speculative Literature Foundation is pleased to announce Khalifaziz B. as the winner of the 2022 Diverse Writers Grant and Ash Huang as the winner of the 2022 Diverse Worlds Grant.
Since 2014, the SLF has strived to reward works rich in diversity in two ways. The Diverse Writers Grant supports voices from underrepresented groups that face additional obstacles in a publishing industry still primarily featuring voices from majority populations. The Diverse Worlds Grant seeks to support works that excel in portraying a diverse world and its elements.
Khalifaziz’s winning piece is Hidden Black Conjure University: Delinquents.
Khalifaziz was born in New Orleans, and would likely have spent their whole life there collecting Yu-gi-oh cards and enjoying life had it not been for Katrina, which destroyed both their childhood home and their beloved card collection. By day, Khalifaziz studies Anthropology as a Ph.D. student at Tulane University. By night, Khalifaziz writes sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and fanfic. Inspired by the Afrofuturist and Afro-Surrealist movements, Khalifaziz writes every story from a Black perspective, drawing upon the lived experience, history, politics, and cultural beliefs of the Black community. One such horror story, Mitochondrial Assimilation, has been adapted into audio format by the Nightlight horror podcast.
In the wild, a Khalifaziz is most commonly encountered in the darkest corner of a library, whispering words in a forgotten language to the oldest, dustiest books on the shelves. If you encounter a Khalifaziz in the wild, do not let it meet your gaze. Walk backwards until it is out of sight, throw salt over your shoulder, and spin counter-clockwise three times.
Huang’s winning piece is “Golden Steppe.”
Ash Huang (she/her) is a Chinese American writer based in San Francisco. Her fiction appears in Alien Magazine, and her essays are featured in Catapult, Fast Company, Offscreen Magazine, and elsewhere. She is an alum of the Tin House Workshop and the Periplus Fellowship. Her speculative fiction examines themes such as our complicated relationship with social media and technology, inherited and intergenerational stories, nostalgia and misremembering, our shared and conflicting visions of place and home, and her particular slice of Chinese America. She is currently working on a fantasy novel and a short story collection. Find her online at https://ashsmash.com, or on Twitter and Instagram as @ashsmash.