The WoSF Mission
Women of Science Fiction is an initiative with the goal of bringing women who love sci-fi together with women who create it.
Why I (Malorie Cooper) decided to spearhead this initiative:
Over the past few years, I've watched communities grow around sci-fi fandoms where women are most assuredly a part of the fan base, but the are not especially active in the forums and discussion groups. While there is nothing wrong with men being active in these spaces, the result is that because content creators often seek out fan feedback, much of the content which is made skews toward what men are interested in.
Another thing I have witnessed with my own efforts to advertise and grow the reader base for Aeon 14, is that there are a lot of men who will happily comment on ads saying that they're not interested in reading books written by women--especially if the main characters are also women. I've seen these sentiments crop up in my reviews, as well.
That proves to be an issue for me because my books check both those boxes--as does the content of many other women who create science fiction.
Add to that the frustration I felt when a large number of my readers abandoned my books after I came out as transgender, and I found myself eager to reach readers who would not count books written by women and about women as a bad thing.
Namely, I wanted to reach more women who read science fiction.
But there's a problem, and it ties back into the interactions people have online with a given fanbase. Because most of these spaces are male-dominated, the advertising platforms that use online behaviors to target people who may be interested in a given sci-fi title can't identify women as likely candidates.
And that, there, is the rub. Without science fiction creators being able to reach women who enjoy science fiction, women get left out of the feedback loop that creates that next iteration of content. Moreover, women who create science fiction find themselves mostly marketing to men--a not insignificant number of whom do not want to read books written by women.
One day, after I had been talking about this problem and how it is greatly constraining who I can show my books to, a friend who reads sci-fi suggested retooling all my marketing to be more woman-focused both in where I reach out, as well as the type of marketing I do.
We came up with some really interesting ideas, but the one thing we still lacked was a woman-focused venue to in which to do this marketing.
And because I tend to attempt big things (and sometimes succeed at them) I decided to start this initiative: the Women of Science Fiction. Connecting women who love science fiction with the women who make science fiction.
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