Last June, I. W. Gregorio, Alex White and I had a meeting of minds. Our goal: tipping the tipping point. Getting folx connected. Making a small but meaningful lift to Black SFFH voices. They generously helped gather resources, and I made connections for #Edits4BlackSFF. With first readers, designer & agents to help, Team #Edits4BlackSFF held a call for submissions in August for two weeks. Thirty-nine submissions came in, and we were bowled over by the incredible range of talent from across the Black/African diaspora.
Nine selections were made. Eight authors for a query + 10 edit. One author for a developmental edit & an introduction to agents: 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.
We are grateful for all of the authors who submitted, for our designer @diversityhorror, our insightful first readers Melody Simpson, Molly Majumder, Kat Cho & Jalen Garcia-Hall, and our wise consultants Beth Phelan, Justin C. Key, Teri Clarke, and ZigZag Claybourne!
We’re PROUD to announce the following #Edits4BlackSFF selections.
Ṣàngó by Anthony Azekwoh
When Ṣàngó, the Yorùbá god of thunder, commits an atrocity and is cast down from the heavens with his powers stripped from him, he is forced to find his way back to godhood with unlikely friends in this Afrofantasy novel, evocative of Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology and Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone.
The Shroud by George Bachman
Reminiscent of Warrior Nun and the thrillers of Dan Brown, a historical fantasy about a magic-wielding Christian faction caught in a race against time to find a famed relic, the Shroud of Turin, before it falls into the hands of an ancient pagan order.
We Are Sort of a Mess by Tiera DiGiorgio
Perfect for fans of paranormal romance and the NYT bestselling Vampires Never Get Old: a fresh Gen Z take on our supernatural problematic favs, as vampire Nikki struggles with her college woes, her werewolf roommate, and a flirtatious local witch before trouble rolls into their college town.
To Be a King by Cy Hunt
Inspired by the history of strife in the ruins of the Mali and Songhai empires, this epic fantasy reads like Bernard Cornwell’s The Warlord Chronicles meets Evan Winter’s The Rage of Dragons: filled with layered palace intrigue, dynamic magic, clever herbwomen, and determined swordsmen.
The Garden House by Lina Ingram
In this contemporary fantasy for fans of Alix Harrow’s The Ten Thousand Doors of January, 19 year-old Dahlia realizes that she’d been living on borrowed time – her grandmother, a time weaver, helped her survive a near-death childhood accident; now, multiple timelines are warped, and other time weavers are after her life.
Second Skin by Richard B. Knight
This superhero middle-grade/ lower YA novel, written in the vein of Ben 10 and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, follows a boy who must embrace his heritage – half-Martian, half Earthling – and his newfound powers to protect his family and the Earth from a planet-eating alien.
The Cursed Ones by Peace Mbengei
Set in a near-future climate-ravaged world, where only parts of East Africa remain habitable, a young woman accidentally unleashes the powers of a water goddess with an enchanted necklace, and starts off on an adventure involving a betrothed prince and a girl wielding mystical abilities, in this speculative novel for fans of Nnedi Okorafor and Namina Forna’s The Gilded Ones.
Sam Stone and the Curse of Cyclopia by Stephanie Lanaya Williams
This subversive and queer contemporary fantasy, for readers who enjoy Tamsyn Muir and Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, focuses on Samantha, a Chosen One who wishes she wasn’t, who is whisked away from college life to deal with the prophecy that was bestowed upon her at age 11.