I’ve always been passionate throughout my time in the publishing industry to bring BIPOC and other marginalized voices to the forefront of the science fiction & fantasy book world. Over the summer of 2020, I worked in collaboration with several supportive people in the industry who wanted to invest in my freelance editorial work to find more talented Black writers who have been lost in the noise.
Together, we aim to foster creative opportunities for Black speculative fiction writers, especially knowing the barriers that Black authors face getting their work noticed by editors, agents, and publishers. We designed the #Edits4BlackSFF Project as one small but meaningful way for creative talent to get the quality professional editorial feedback they need to succeed in getting their unpublished speculative fiction novel traditionally published.
Between August 7 – August 21, 2020, we will accept complete science fiction, fantasy & horror manuscripts for consideration to receive a FREE query letter review & 10-page edit. Up to nine candidates will be selected for this query/line edit by a team of astute BIPOC readers, all professionals in the SFF world.
One winning author will be selected by this team and myself to receive a FREE DEVELOPMENTAL EDIT and have their revised manuscript be considered for agent representation by Jennifer Azantian of Jennifer Azantian Literary, Samantha Fabien of Laura Dail Literary Agency, Kim-Mei Kirtland of Morhaim Literary, Quressa Robinson of Nelson Literary Agency, Eric Smith at PS Literary, and Connor Goldsmith and Laurie McLean at Fuse Literary.
Project Submission Rules
All manuscripts must be submitted according to the below guidelines
or they would be considered ineligible and disqualified.
● Author must self-identify as Black; this includes being from the Black diaspora and Black African writers. We also recognize the intersection of identities and the author can self-identity as part of other marginalized communities as well, including but not limited to: sex, age, ethnicity, nationality, immigration status, disability, mental illness status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, religion, or creed.
● Author must have NOT previously published fiction or SFF novels from any traditional publisher (this includes small/indie presses and Big Five traditional houses. Previously self-published novels are fine). The manuscript submitted for this project must be COMPLETELY unpublished anywhere.
● Author can have short fiction, nonfiction, poetry, comics or screenwriting publication credits; these would not bar an author from entering.
● Author must be interested in acquiring literary agent representation and must not have a current agent.
● Query letter materials, author biography materials & manuscript must be emailed to Edits4BlackSFF@gmail.com as Word document attachments between midnight Eastern Standard Time (UTC/GMT -4 hours) of AUGUST 7, 2020 until midnight Eastern Standard Time (UTC/GMT -4 hours) of AUGUST 21, 2020.
● Query letter must be ONE PAGE, submitted as a single-spaced Word document.
● Submission must also include the following author biography materials, with each item submitted as a single-spaced Word document.
– The author’s recent career resume / CV. This resume is to help the #Edits4BlackSFF team verify the applicant’s background, and does not need to contain writing-related credentials. This resume doesn’t need to be extensive, and previous experiences in writing or publishing is not a factor towards the final selection. We just want to learn more about YOU. 😀 (optional but encouraged)
– An author bio up to 300 words. In this bio, please feel free to elaborate on
1) Why you are applying for this project
2) Any pertinent details about your life experiences
3) Any social media handles or websites, if relevant to your writing.
– A bibliography of any previous publication credits, if any.
● Manuscript must be a work of speculative fiction, science fiction, fantasy, or horror (e. g. paranormal, magical realism, cyberpunk, etc). This manuscript must be entirely unpublished (including NOT self-published and not published online). It can be adult or young adult (any manuscript for readers between 13 – 100+ years old 😉 ). The manuscript must be COMPLETE upon submission. Word count maximum is 110,000 words. The manuscript must be submitted as a DOUBLE-spaced Word document.
#Edits4BlackSFF Project Timeline
Query letter materials, author biography materials & manuscript must be emailed to Edits4BlackSFF@gmail.com as Word document attachments between midnight Eastern Standard Time (UTC/GMT -4 hours) of AUGUST 7, 2020 until midnight Eastern Standard Time (UTC/GMT -4 hours) of AUGUST 21, 2020.
Top finalists (no more than nine selected manuscripts) will be selected by a team of BIPOC readers (from Black and non-Black communities). Finalists will receive a FREE query letter edit & line edit of the first 10 pages by Diana, to be announced in October 2020.
ONE author will be selected for a FREE developmental edit by Diana, to be announced in October 2020. The winning author and Diana will work together through Fall 2020 in editing their manuscript for at least four months, and the revised manuscript will be sent to the following agencies for representation consideration: Jennifer Azantian of Jennifer Azantian Literary, Samantha Fabien of Laura Dail Literary Agency, Kim-Mei Kirtland of Morhaim Literary, Quressa Robinson of Nelson Literary Agency, Eric Smith at PS Literary, Jennifer Udden of New Leaf Literary, and Connor Goldsmith and Laurie McLean at Fuse Literary.
Who Are We?
I have over a decade of editorial experience in the realm of science fiction and fantasy. My editorial style is to strengthen the author’s individual voice and give them a toolkit of skills toward success. See what other authors have said about my work.
#Edits4BlackSFF team is majority BIPOC, with Black and non-Black collaborators. The logo and promotional images are designed by diversityhorror, a Black, biracial artist and blogger.
The financial sponsors of the #Edits4BlackSFF are writers of various backgrounds who wanted to rally together to support Black SFF writers. I am deeply honored and grateful for the time and material support from our sponsors, agents, graphic designer, and readers involved as we aim to pay it forward in the science fiction & fantasy world. I particularly want to thank I. W. Gregorio and Alex R. White for working with me in conceptualizing this project, and for Beth Phelan for her insightful feedback during development.
Want to Help Promote the #Edits4BlackSFF Project?
Awesome!! 😀 Otherwise it might just be me tweeting a whole bunch, lol.
Download the below graphics to boost on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! Share this link or the shortened version bit.ly/Edits4BlackSFF
The #Edits4BlackSFF project is not associated with my employment at Serial Box or any other past employers. My editorial work, the readers’ work, and the graphic designer’s work are compensated by the sponsors of this project. Participating agents have agreed not to receive any financial compensation for their work.
Query-winning finalists and the winning author are not expected to receive any compensation beside the free editorial work as described above, and are in good faith allowed to accept this editorial service at will. For the winning author & their manuscript, they are not required to grant exclusivity to the agents who are participating in #Edits4BlackSFF. Pages or manuscript consideration by the participating agents is not a guarantee of literary representation.