This morning I was spending some time sorting through my RSS reader and came across a post from John Scalzi about a grant from the Speculative Literature Foundation. Thanks to the efforts of my ever loving wife I’m not currently in this situation, but I’ve certainly been there before.
It’s difficult to have a voice when you’re worried about making it through another night under the unforgiving stars and you are not sure where your next meal might be coming from. Even living paycheck to paycheck means that you are probably spending the majority of your time polishing some knob’s ego instead of putting to paper that story that has been haunting your dreams. As is wonderfully expressed in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Science in the City series, innovation and creativity are both luxuries that are only possible when poverty and deficit have been taken care of, both materially and spiritually.
If you have something to say, but are struggling, read through this and take a look. Stay strong–you are a person despite your situation–and you deserve respect and a place at the table.
Working class, blue-collar, poor, and homeless writers have been historically underrepresented in speculative fiction, due to financial barriers which have made it much harder for them to have access to the writing world. Such lack of access might include an inability to attend conventions, to purchase a computer, to buy books, to attend college or high school, to have the time to write (if, for example, you must work two jobs simply to pay rent and feed a family, or if you must spend all your waking hours job-hunting for months on end). The SLF would like to assist in finding more of these marginalized voices and bringing them into speculative fiction.
You are eligible for this grant if you come from a background such as described above, if you grew up (or are growing up) in homelessness, poverty, or a blue collar / working-class household, or if you have lived for a significant portion of your life in such conditions, especially if you had limited access to relatives/friends who could assist you financially. We will give preference to members of that larger pool who are currently in financial need (given our limited funds).
Please note that, unlike our other grants, you may receive this grant anonymously or pseudonymously. Application materials will be kept confidential to the grant committee and SLF staff.