Week 1 Write-a-thon Partner: Sistah Scifi!

[Edit 6/30/22: See our Q&A video to learn more about Sistah Scifi’s inspiring work!]

Clarion West is honored to introduce our Week 1 Write-a-thon partner, Sistah Scifi! Write-a-thon officially starts today, June 19, and it’s still a great time to join us by registering here: https://secure.qgiv.com/event/clarionwestwriteathon/.

Sistah Scifi is a platform and online boutique bookseller specializing in Afrofuturism by Black and Indigenous authors. We had a chance to talk with the founder, isis asare, about her work and mission, and isis was also generous enough to provide us with some writing prompts for kickoff week, which you’ll be able to find on our community Discord server once you register for Write-a-thon.

Keep an eye on our social media this week as we share some of Sistah Scifi’s initiatives, and tune in at the beginning of July, when the organization is planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign (more info below).

We spoke with isis about the definition of Afrofuturism, Sistah Scifi’s collaborations, and her recommendations of a few great books to add to your TBR pile.

What is the mission and vision of your organization? 

Our vision is to double the number of science fiction and fantasy titles by Black and Indigenous authors on the New York Times Bestseller list. In the fifty years between 1970 and 2020, there were less than ten!

How long have you been doing this amazing work? 

Sistah Scifi started in February of 2019, with a book club discussion of The Gilda Stories in Oakland, California. Jewelle Gomez was there for the Q&A!

What is the coolest thing that has happened for your organization? 

Sistah Scifi was part of the promotional team ensuring that The Memory Librarian by Janelle Monáe, Sheree Renée Thomas (CW ‘99), Yohanca Delgado, Danny Lore, Eve L. Ewing, and Alaya Dawn Johnson debuted on the ten spot on the New York Times Bestseller List. That is so aligned with our mission. [See Clarion West’s blog post about the anthology here.] Also, we are planning an Afrofuturism trip to Ghana!

What is/are the best speculative fiction book(s) or story(s) you’ve read recently?

Hard question! I am always recommending An Unkindness of Ghosts. I enjoyed Burn Down, Rise Up a great deal. Many of the stories in The Memory Librarian are absolutely brilliant, and I am buddy reading the Three Body Problem with my comet partner now.

How can Write-a-thon participants get involved with your organization and your programming? 

Check out our upcoming events! We are also active on social media @sistahscifi on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

Many thanks to isis asare and Sistah Scifi for their time and for the community they are building!

For more information about the Clarion West Write-a-thon and to support Sistah Scifi, check out the following links:

Buying from Sistah Scifi’s online store supports their mission and vision. The official launch date of their crowdfunding campaign is July 1st, and it will go live here: https://ifundwomen.com/projects/sistah-scifi-black-owned-bookstore-future

Let the Write-a-thon begin!

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