Take My Money: Organizations to Donate to

This is not a definitive post of organizations to donate to, nor does it try to be one. This is just a place for me to note organizations I've either worked with or whose services I've used, and who I've found to be good people. If you're looking for a place to throw your money, I can happily vouch for these folks.

Disaster Relief

Team Rubicon | Scope: International with U.S. focus

Team Rubicon is dedicated both to disaster relief services and providing veterans with volunteer and work opportunities. They are more agile than the Red Cross, which has questionable efficiency when it comes to disaster relief, and are able to deploy quickly (usually within 24 hours). Full disclosure: I am currently contracting with Team Rubicon to help produce training courses for them.

Prison Abolition

Black and Pink | Scope: U.S. only

Black and Pink facilitates pen pal relationships between incarcerated LGBTQ and HIV+ people and those in the "free world." As prisons continue to restrict visitation rights and profit off exhorbitant phone call rates, contact between inmates and the outside world becomes more difficult even as it remains just as vital. Additionally, some inmates don't have family or friends who contact them regularly, making letters and mail all the more valuable. I've written to a number of pen pals who greatly appreciate the contact. Black and Pink also has some other prison abolition programs.

Mental Health

Crisis Text Line | Scope: U.S. and Canada

Crisis Text Line offers support and deescalation of crisis situations over text and Facebook Messenger. These crisis situations are not limited to suicide but include any event that involves painful emotions. I've used their service multiple times and found it very helpful to have a third party trained in deescalation to help me move to a safer place emotionally. Plus, I feel more comfortable over text than phone, which makes this service all the more valuable to me.

The Center for Balanced Living | Scope: Central Ohio, U.S.

The Center for Balanced Living is a treatment center focused on helping those with eating disorders, though an eating disorder was personally a secondary focus when I was treated at the Center. I found the people here compassionate and supportive; to date, it's the best mental health center I've been to. They serve a limited area, but central Ohio is home to the Ohio State University, one of the largest public schools in the U.S.; students in higher education often have high rates of mental illness (article is based in the U.K., but I find it parallels the U.S. as well).

Access

Con or Bust | Scope: International

Con or Bust is dedicated to helping fans of color/non-white fans attend SFFH conventions, which can be cost-prohibitive for most people. Con or Bust is not merit-based or need-based and only requires that you provide an itemized list of what kind of support you need. All the fans need to do is be our awesome selves, which is incredibly liberating for segments of the population who often find it difficult to ask for any kind of help, especially monetary support. I've been a recipient of Con or Bust assistance twice now and have had great networking opportunities arise out of being able to go to those cons.

The Carl Brandon Society | Scope: International

The Carl Brandon Society focuses on increasing racial diversity among both creators and audiences of speculative fiction. To this end, they provide a number of awards and scholarships; in particular, I'd like to highlight the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship, which helps two people of color each year to attend Clarion and Clarion West. I received the OEB scholarship in 2016; going to Clarion West was a huge stepping stone in my SFFH career.

Arts

Clarion West | Scope: International, U.S.-based

The Clarion West Writers' Workshop, along with its cousin the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop, is a launchpad for emerging authors of speculative fiction. The six-week workshop is a place where friendships and connections are forged, where writers hone their skills and work with some of the best instructors speculative fiction has to offer. It's a worthwhile experience, and Clarion West's one-day workshops are also great places to learn more about writing and craft. I attended the six-week workshop in 2016 and have also been to one of the one-day workshops.

The Organization for Transformative Works | Scope: International

The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) runs Archive of Our Own (AO3), which is probably now the most-visited English-language fanworks archive online. The OTW also runs Fanlore, a wiki for fandom history and culture, as well as a number of other projects. I would not be the writer I am today if I did not start out in fandom writing fanfiction, so the OTW's cause in preserving and supporting transformative works is near and dear to my heart.

I'll update this post sporadically. Please feel free to suggest organizations that might be to my interests as well; thanks!

Thumbnail photo by airpix.

Neopronouns in Speculative Fiction

I recently put out a call on Twitter for speculative fiction that uses neopronouns. I struggle with self-doubt, both in my personal life—it's rare for people to refer to me with a neopronoun, even if I may prefer it in the moment—and also in my writing—I want so much to use neopronouns for my characters, but I'm constantly scared of rejection on that basis. So, although it's not strictly necessary, it's still nice to have a list of precedents that show that people do put work with neopronouns out there.

Criteria for inclusion:

  • Must use a pronoun other than I, you, he, she, it, we, or they (singular or plural) to refer to at least one prominent character in the narrative.
  • Must not be cissexist or transphobic. (I have no interest in reading something for the pronouns if it's going to alienate me in other ways, after all.)

And that's it. This list will lean speculative, but I don't mind including literary/interstitial works or other media. "Prominent" is going to be a judgement call as well, but I tend to lean toward inclusion, especially if it's an #ownvoices story.

So here's the list of stories gathered from Twitter responses and my own poking around online, current as of June 6, 2018:

  • Aarons-Hughes, Rivka. Mr. March Names the Stars. 20,000 words; xe. March 2016. Non-speculative.
  • Anders, Charlie Jane. "Love Might Be Too Strong a Word." 5,700 words; be, po, y. June 2008/August 2012 (reprint). #ownvoices.
  • Arnold, June. The Cook and the Carpenter. 216 pages; na. 1973.
  • Blauersouth, Lee. Secondhand Origin Stories. 362 pages; xe. October 2017.
  • Bornstein, Kate & Caitlin Sullivan. Nearly Roadkill. 382 pages; ze. June 1996. #ownvoices.
  • Bryant, Dorothy. The Kin of Ata are Waiting for You. 225 pages; kin. 1971.
  • Byrne, SL. "The Thing with Feathers." Short story; ze. January 2018.
  • Carter, CJ. Que Será Serees: What Will Be, Serees? 354 pages; ey. May 2011.
  • Cherryh, C. J. The Chanur Saga. 705 pages; gtst. 1981.
  • Chu, John. "The Law and the Profits." The Revelator. 4,600 words; e. March 2016.
  • Edwards, RJ. "Black Holes." In Lightspeed 61: Queers Destroy Science Fiction! 8 pages; ze. June 2015 (reprint). #ownvoices?
  • Egan, Greg. Diaspora. 352 pages; ve. September 1997.
  • Gentle, Mary. Ancient Light. 576 pages; ke. 1987.
  • Gentle, Mary. Golden Witchbreed. 495 pages; ke. 1985.
  • Lechler, Kate. "Selections from “Volume S” of the Intragalactic Encyclopedia of Habitable Planets." In Dear Robot. 3,100 words; zhe. November 2015.
  • Lee, Jenn Manley. Dicebox. Webcomic; peh. Ongoing.
  • Lu, S. Qiouyi. "Curiosity Fruit Machine." 800 words; ey, xe. February 2017. #ownvoices.
  • Mardoll, Ana. Poison Kiss. 252 pages; nee. November 2015. #ownvoices.
  • Marks, Laurie J. Delan the Mislaid. Novel; id. 1989.
  • Piercy, Marge. Woman on the Edge of Time. 384 pages; per. May 1976.
  • Provost, A.E. "Sandals Full of Rainwater." Short story; hiy, yey. January 2018.
  • Ryman, Geoff. "Capitalism in the 22nd Century." In Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany. 14 pages; zie. August 2015.
  • Schofield, Holly. "The Scent that Treason Brings." 4,700 words; zie. September 2017.
  • Stirling, Penny. "Kin, Painted." 4,400 words; e, ze. July 2015. #ownvoices.
  • Stirling, Penny. "Love Over Glass, Skin Under Glass" 3,800 words; ey. September 2013/May 2015 (reprint). #ownvoices.
  • Stirling, Penny. "Walking the Wall of Papered Peaces." Short story; ze. January 2018. #ownvoices.
  • Sylver, RoAnna. The Lifeline Signal. 370 pages; xie. March 2017. #ownvoices?
  • Takács, Bogi. "The Handcrafted Motions of Flight." 80 lines; e. March 2012. #ownvoices.
  • Takács, Bogi. "The Need for Overwhelming Sensation." 5,200 words; e. September 2015. #ownvoices.
  • Takács, Bogi. "Volatile Patterns." Short story; e. January 2018. #ownvoices.
  • Wells, Martha. Artificial Condition. 160 pages; te. May 2018.
  • Wigmore, Rem. "Grow Green." Short story; ey, pry. January 2018.

I'll probably make a separate list later that includes stories that use singular they and/or stories about nonbinary characters in general, but I wanted to focus on neopronouns here.

Thanks to Bogi Takács and A.C. Buchanan for their help.

Comments are open; I can also be contacted on Twitter if you'd like to send more suggestions.