Women Science Fiction Writers

Woman writing inside an old bookMany thanks to all you writers who have submitted stories to the magazine. We’re getting through them, so please be patient while we read them. We do read every one, and agonize when we have to say no to a perfectly good story which does not quite fit what we are looking for at that moment.

But one thing that does puzzle us is the low proportion of submissions from women writers. I haven’t analyzed the stats in detail, but roughly only around 10-15% of submissions are from writers with obviously female names.

(Update, 8th Oct 2017 – since August 2016, our ratio of women written submissions is above 18%, probably nearer 20%)

(I phrase it thus as this is the only criteria we have to identify any personal detail of the writer. We cannot tell race, ethnic origin, disability, LGBT, handedness or colour of eyes—anything. This is as it should be: it is the quality of the story we are interested in, nothing more).

This then reflects on the selection of writers we publish in Shoreline of Infinity.

I’m leaving that as an observation—I leave that for others to comment on why that should be, but if there is anything that we are doing that discourages women writers, I’d love to know what that is so that we can fix it. We certainly want to see more women writers submitting to Shoreline.


As I raise this point as I’ve come across a great web resource: Sfmistressworks, fmistressworks.wordpress.com — a growing collection of reviews of books by female science fiction writers. Ian Sales, the curator has posted his aims:

“This blog aims to be a resource providing reviews of science fiction books by women writers. It will demonstrate that:

a) women have been writing science fiction since the genre’s beginnings,

b) many of their books should qualify as classics, and

c) many of their books are, in fact, better than “classics” by their male counterparts, and have at least aged better.”

And is looking for further contributions – see the About page.

There are loads of good books listed and reviewed here, names new and names known to me already. Long may it grow.