Report on the dismal state of black sf/f writers in the short fiction markets

Pablo Defendini writes, "Fireside Fiction Company has released a report detailing the dismal state
of representation of black writers in the science fiction and fantasy short
fiction market .
Despite increasing efforts to boost representation of people of color
generally, the prospects for black writers, specifically, have not been
improving. According to the data (which is available in a publicly
accessible Google spreadsheet
out of 2,039 stories published in 2015, only 38 were written by black
authors. The report is accompanied by a series of essays in reaction to the
report by Nisi Shawl , Troy
L. Wiggins , Mikki
Kendall , Justina
Ireland ,
and Tobias
Buckell ; as
well as an interview with N.K. Jemisin
Fireside's editor, Brian White, has also written an editorial

some steps that Fireside is committed to taking to counter our own biases
and help fix this huge problem."

To adjust for the methodological flaws, as well as the fact that we don’t have access to submission-rate data concerning race and ethnicity either overall or by individual magazine, we used binomial distributions. The purpose of this was to find the probability that such numbers could be random — the chances that numbers like that could exist without biases in play (which could extend to biases that are literary in nature, such as story structure), systemic problems, and/or structural gaps. In the first binomial distribution we ran the data assuming that submission rates of black authors are equal to the proportion of the black population in the United States, which was 13.2% in 2015 (according to Census projections).

Under this assumption, the probability of the 1.9% average occurring by random chance is 3.21x 10^-76, or

For comparison’s sake, the odds of winning the New Jersey Pick Six lottery are 7.15x 10^-08, or 0.00000714%

Antiblack Racism in Speculative Fiction
[Cecily Kane/Fireside Fiction]