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Thank you so much to all of this year’s guests for the amazing essays and another fantastic Women in SF&F Month! And thank you so much to everyone who shared guest posts and news of this year’s series—I really appreciate it!

This year’s series may be over, but I wanted to make sure there was a convenient way to find all of this year’s guest posts in case you missed any of them or are finding this later. This April was the tenth annual Women in SF&F Month, which is dedicated to highlighting some of the many women doing wonderful work in speculative fiction. Guest posts include both discussions related to women in science fiction and/or fantasy and more general discussions about the genre(s), influences, writing, and creating stories, characters, and worlds.

You can browse through all the Women in SF&F Month 2021 guest posts here, or you can find a brief summary of each and its link below.

2021 Women in SF&F Month Guest Posts

Beaton, E. J. — “The Imperfection of Clever Women”
The Councillor author E. J. Beaton explored the question “How clever are women allowed to be in novels?” and discussed allowing intelligent fictional women to be messy and human and fallible.

Bovalino, Tori — “On the Amorphous Nature of Horror”
The Devil Makes Three author Tori Bovalino discussed the horror genre and horror elements in fantasy and science fiction.

Brown, Ashaye — “Fantasy as Lucid Dream”
Dream Country author Ashaye Brown explored the relationship between fantasy and dreams in an ode to imagination and creativity—and discussed why the fantasy genre does not deserve the derision often aimed its way.

Divya, S.B. — “Through the Eyes of Women”
Machinehood author S.B. Divya discussed questioning whether or not she should include a male protagonist in her science fiction debut novel upon realizing all three of her planned POV characters were women.

Duane, Diane
Middle Kingdoms and Young Wizards author Diane Duane discussed food and the role it can play in fantasy and science fiction worldbuilding.

Garcia, R.S.A. — “The Things I Love”
Lex Talionis author R.S.A. Garcia wrote about literature, film and television, and community—specifically, those things she loved that loved her back and had an impact on her.

Gong, Chloe — “The Mary Sue Club Is Still Taking Applicants”
These Violent Delights author Chloe Gong discussed the criticism many female characters in YA SFF receive for being “Mary Sues” and these types of characters still being necessary—especially after the We Need Diverse Books movement led to more books by authors of color being published.

Henderson, Alexis — “Writing Dark Fiction: An Exercise In Self-Acceptance”
The Year of the Witching author Alexis Henderson discussed how she came to write horror and her complicated kinship with it.

Hur, Angela Mi Young
Folklorn author Angela Mi Young Hur discussed weaving Korean folktales into her novel about “the inheritance of myth from parents and culture”—in particular, the inclusion of her ancestress Queen Heo Hwang-Ok, whose story she heard from her mother and now tells her daughter.

Kornher-Stace, Nicole
Archivist Wasp author Nicole Kornher-Stace discussed the double standard in the perception of men and women with the same asshole qualities and writing women who aren’t traditionally “nice” in her own books, including 2021 releases Firebreak and Jillian vs. Parasite Planet.

Kuhn, M. J.
Among Thieves author M. J. Kuhn discussed some of the subtler sexism that can make its way onto the page and fighting internalized misogyny when writing.

Long, H. M. — “Creativity in Crisis”
Hall of Smoke author H. M. Long wrote about her difficulties with writing after the pandemic hit and shared some of the things that helped her continue to create.

Smart, Ciannon — “Building an Empire”
Witches Steeped in Gold author Ciannon Smart shared how she came to create the Jamaican-inspired secondary world of her YA fantasy debut novel.

Wecker, Helene
The Golem and the Jinni author Helene Wecker shared how writing the sequel, The Hidden Palace, was more difficult than she’d expected and how thinking about the acts of Into the Woods helped her shape the dynamic between her main characters.

Whitten, Hannah
For the Wolf author Hannah Whitten discussed agency: how the first fantasy she loved, The Castle of Llyr, was also the first she read that gave the “princess” character agency and how choice and wanting are a big part of Red’s story in her own debut novel.

Wisoker, Leona — “Of Being So Damn Tired”
Children of the Desert author Leona Wisoker discussed Tove Jansson and what it meant to her that Moominmamma had a story arc about being so damn tired in one of the Moomin books.

Yu, E. Lily — “Four Godmothers”
On Fragile Waves author E. Lily Yu celebrated women in fantasy by discussing four authors whose work taught her about writing, giving her gifts like the wrong (but actually right) dreams and showing her the sorcery of language.