OryCon is coming up this weekend in Portland, OR at the Jantzen Beach Red Lion Hotel. I will be there as a panelist as well as an Endeavour Award finalist for Moonshine.
If you want to catch the panel I’m on, it will be Exploring Publishing Options on November 10th at 11:15 AM. The Endeavour Award Ceremony will be on Friday, November 8th at 6:45 PM.
I’m very excited to have Moonshine selected as a finalist for the Endeavour Award. I’ve been attending OryCon for the past two years now, and as one of the smaller conventions I’ve been to, I really enjoy it’s laid-back atmosphere and homey feel. I’m generally a very low-energy person and highly prone to sensory overload, so even though I like conventions, most of them take a lot out of me, but OryCon has proven to be the sort of the convention that’s a comfortable speed for me. Having my work recognized there is a great feeling that really makes me feel a part of the Pacific Northwest SFF community.
Check my events page for all the panel and award ceremony details, or visit the OryCon site for the full convention schedule.
I’ve been so busy the past few weeks with WorldCon stuff that I completely forgot: my graduate thesis has been published to PDXScholar and is available for anyone to read.
Titled “Approaches to Contested In-Group Terminology for Mindful Editors”, I examined the question of how editors and other publishing professionals can ethically go about using respectful terminology for marginalized groups when all possible terminology is considered inappropriate by some subset or another of said marginalized group (what I refer to in the paper as “contested in-group terminology”). Specially, I took a look how publishing has approached this in the past by examining the terminology used by 90 books published over the past decade with regards to fat, disabled, and queer identities (I go in more depth as to why I chose to use those specific terms in the paper), and coded the data to find any trends in the language that’s been used.
Here’s the full abstract:
In the conversation about mindful editing, a conundrum exists with regards to marginalized groups for whom all possible labels to identify the group contain loaded histories and connotations, and different subsets of these marginalized groups are in disagreement about what terminology is most appropriate. This contested in-group terminology places editors in a position where any editorial choice they make has high risk of offending or alienated members of the very group the editor hopes to represent. How, then, do mindful editors approach the matter of contested in-group terminology in an ethical manner? This study examines the approaches to contested in-group terminology used by the publishing industry in the past decade, examining word-choice and framing in the back cover copy and titles from three datasets of books featuring characters that belong to the following identity groups: fat, disabled, and queer. The data shows that publishing has been taking different approaches to language for each of these groups and that mindful editors cannot expect one approach to navigating contested in-group terminology to translate easily to other groups. The data also reveals some areas where the publishing industry and readers are in disagreement about appropriate labels for marginalized groups. In order to address contested terminology, mindful editors need to understand the histories of the terminology in question, consider the audience and the author’s intention with their word-choice, and research arguments for or against particular word-choice from a variety of in-group sources to make well-reasoned and deliberate choices for terminology and framing.
One thing that’s not in the paper is a conversation I had with my graduate committee about my findings, in which my committee asked if I had any recommendations for how publishers can commit to specific policies regarding contested in-group terminology. My suggestion was that publishers could be more transparent about their editorial house style–most publishers already have their house styles internally documented, and it would be a simple matter of publishing that information. This would allow publishers a chance to explain why they make certain editorial choices with contested in-group terminology (since one of the big conclusions of my findings was that just being able to explain why one term is used over another is one of the most significant factors in mindful editing), as well as help de-escalate some of the contention surrounding this topic, as the contested in-group terminology would be mixed in with all of the other editorial choices included in the publisher’s house style.
Anyway, if you have a stomach for dense academic writing or have any interest in editing, go ahead and give it a read. It’s actually not terribly long (don’t let the page count fool you–I had to cite 90 books, after all, so a big portion of that is just me listing my sources), and there’s even a few colorful graphs to break up all the dense research analysis.
Dublin WorldCon just sent along my finalized panel schedule, so if you have a chance to attend WorldCon this year, you can find me at the following panels:
Making the asexual textual
Format: Panel15 Aug 2019, Thursday 21:00 – 21:50, Wicklow Hall-1 (CCD)
In the past, many asexual and/or aromantic characters in science fiction and fantasy stories have not been overtly identified this way. Should writers be more explicit in stating asexual and aromantic characters’ identity? How do asexuality and aromanticness shape and change the way characters and their relationships with others are perceived or written?
Wendy Metcalfe, Darcie Little Badger (M), Dr Edmund Schluessel (International School of Helsinki), Jasmine Gower
Gender and the writer
Format: Panel17 Aug 2019, Saturday 17:00 – 17:50, Wicklow Room-1 (CCD)
Gender defines and redefines how we think about ourselves, each other, and our characters. Our panel delves into the topic of gender, looking past the basics of diversity to examine the issues important to trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming creators and readers.
Dr. J.S. Fields Ph.D., Vanessa Rose Phin (Strange Horizons), Dr Nick Hubble (Brunel University London) (M), Jasmine Gower, BE Allatt
You’ll also be able to find me at the Angry Robot table signing books at the following dates/times:
- Friday, August 16 at 1:00-1:30 PM
- Sunday, August 18 at 1:00-1:30 PM
I did get bookplates, so if you’ be at WorldCon and already have a copy of Moonshine that you want a signature for but don’t want to bring it to the convention, I’ve got you covered. I’ll also have some bookmarks up for grabs 🙂
Sad publication news here today: as some of you may have heard already, Less Than Three Press is closing its doors after ten years of publishing queer romance. It’s tragic to see this treasure trove of great queer romances go away, and, of course, this will also have an impact on my stories that were published through them.
The rights to For All the Gold in the Vault and A Study of Fiber and Demons have been reverted to me effective July 13, 2019, but Less Than Three Press will still be working to de-list books through July 31, so you may have a chance to grab them off vendors like Amazon or Kobo before the end of the month (no guarantees, though). However, once my novellas are removed from the LT3 site and third party vendors, they will be out of print, at least temporarily.
I would like to keep these works in print, of course. They don’t bring in much revenue for me, but they were both a lot of fun to write and I’m especially proud of A Study of Fiber and Demons, which is not yet even 2 years in print. LT3 was generous enough to grant me continued use of the covers and the master files for both these novellas, but in order to put these back in print, I will still need to consider the matter of distribution. I’m checking in with my agent now to get some feedback from her about how to move forward with that, but I’m not opposed to self-publishing them if that’s the best option available. I’m hoping that I will have a plan put together for how to ensure these novellas remain available sometime before I leave for WorldCon. I’ll update again here once I have a more solid plan in place, but if you are worried about not having a chance to grab these titles any time soon, they are still up for purchase on the LT3 site as of this posting.
In the meantime, thank you to Less Than Three Press for all the great work you’ve done over the past 10 years. Your contributions to queer romance will be greatly missed.
I’m unclear what happened, exactly, but my website vanished! And my backups and restore options are failing me. So, I appear to be stuck starting over until I’m able to figure out how to get those backups to work–unless I can’t, in which case I suppose this is the budding start of my new website.
Thanks for your patience as I deal with this.