The Otherwise Award has announced its latest class of fellowships for 2020: SF writer Shreya Ila Anasuya, filmmaker Eleyna Sara Haroun, and poet FS Hurston.
Typically, the award offers two such slots, but the organizers say that in light of the difficulties that 2020 presented, they’ve added an additional fellowship to this year’s class.
The fellowships are designed to support “emerging creators who are using speculative narrative, including visual, sound, and performance arts, to change the way we think about gender in its intersections with other systems of identity and power.”
The Fellowships are part of the Otherwise Awards (formerly known as the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award), which was founded in 1991—which was designed to honor a work that best exemplifies our understanding of gender. The award renamed in 2019 following new discussions about the death of Alice Sheldon (who went by the name James Tiptree Jr.) and her husband.
The Award Fellowships are $500 grants to creators who are exploring gender in their work. This year’s recipients include Anasuya, who will be working on a “collection of historical speculative fiction set in South Asia or South Asia inspired secondary worlds” and taking classes to help her connect with the larger SF/F community.
Haroun has been working on a series of five short films called Filmwalli, each of which are based on a “folk tale that challenges traditional narratives of women in Pakistani society.” The Fellowship will allow her to “develop two out of the five stories into scripts, complete the research and treatments for the other three scripts, and collaborate with a storyboard artist on these tales.”
Hurston’s work will be a “novel in verse with a fascinating main character: a teenager in contemporary Dakar who was born with the memories of a 400-year-old shark,” and the funding from the Fellowship will allow them to defray travel costs to Senegal and Cameroun for research.
The Award’s Fellowship Committee also announced an honors list, which includes Jasmine Moore, Kailee Marie Pedersen, Timea Balogh, and Wren Handman, all of whom are “doing exciting work in gender and speculative fiction.”