Diversity in UK SF: Why are we lagging?

Friday Mar 25   07:00 PM to 08:00 PM (1 hour)
Room 8&9
Literature TV Cinema Comics Cultures
The 2015 Man Booker Prize shortlist included four writers of colour, from the US, UK, Nigeria and Jamaica, with Marlon James the eventual winner. The shortlist for this year's Arthur C. Clarke Award is due to be announced in April, but to date it has never featured more than one writer of colour from a given year. This is partly because the books are not there to start with: "mainstream" UK publishing is not perfect, but it does a better job of promoting and recognising writers from diverse and marginalised backgrounds (in terms of sexuality, gender, and nationality, as well as race) than UK SF publishing – witness the recent launch of the Jhalak Prize. Why does this disparity exist? What can readers and editors do about it? Are the solutions different for British writers from marginalised backgrounds than for international writers being published in the UK? What can we learn from other markets, such as the US or Commonwealth countries?

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