Publishing Taught Me Launches with an Intern Search

We are delighted to announce that SFWA has received a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) to support a new program we’re launching: Publishing Taught Me. This program will be shepherded by Nisi Shawl, an accomplished and multiple award-winning author, editor, instructor, and Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award recipient. It will take place over the coming year.

Publishing Taught Me will produce an online essay series, to be collated into an anthology, and a symposium aimed at promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. This will be done by inviting publishing professionals of color to describe their journeys and to provide advice and motivation to writers entering the field via their essays and participation in a Publishing Taught Me symposium. These goals will be accomplished with the support of two paid interns, who will serve as assistant editors for the essay series, symposium, and resultant anthology.

As managing editor for the project, Shawl will oversee the operational aspects of putting together an online essay series and anthology, and will work with SFWA staff to coordinate and execute their publication and the associated events. They will also provide mentorship to the two assistant editor interns, who should be early in their professional publishing careers.

We are now recruiting for the assistant editor internship positions for this program. Interested individuals must be at least at 18 years of age, and should have at least three months previous editing experience, preferably within the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres, and a firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing people of color in the current publishing environment. Familiarity with Google Docs, Zoom, WordPress, and Canva is a plus.

Assistant editors’ responsibilities include soliciting and editing project essays, overseeing contributor agreement completion, assisting with arranging the essays within the final publication, helping to establish and supporting project participant communication protocols, and preparing marketing materials for the project. The term “editing” includes developmental editing, line editing, and copyediting.

The editorial assistants’ work on the project begins November 1, 2023 and will be completed in November 2024. The stipend is fixed at $2,000 as that amount was approved as part of the NEA grant. SFWA would like to clarify that this is not an hourly rate, and the work required will vary from week to week. Some months may have significant downtime while other parts of the project are completed or are in process. Other months may require intense waves of work, up to 50 hours per person. The value of the experience also includes Project Director Nisi Shawl’s mentorship, on-the-job education, a Nebula Conference registration, and potential networking opportunities.

If you are interested in applying, please complete the application here by September 30, 2023. We encourage you to share this opportunity with anyone who qualifies and would benefit from learning about the science fiction, fantasy, and horror publishing industry as they fill this important role.

Our thanks go out to the following SFWA volunteers and grant writers for pursuing this grant funding on SFWA’s behalf: Stewart C. Baker, Remy Nakamura, Jane Miyuki Pinckard, Kelly McClymer, Carolyn Ives Gilman, and Anne Gray. We’d also like to thank Nisi Shawl, Sheree Renée Thomas, L.D. Lewis, Coral Alejandra Moore, John Joseph Adams, Shingai Kagunda, Arley Sorg, and Margurite Kenner for their advice on the proposal.

This program will deliver invaluable insight into our industry that will benefit current and future genre storytellers, and we’re excited to bring it into existence. For questions about Publishing Taught Me, please contact