I’ve thought long and hard about this, talked with several friends over the course of the past year. This isn’t an easy decision for me, but given the current climate, I think it’s the only choice I can make. I have to be honest with myself, and therefore, honest with you, my readers.
The truth is…
…there is misandry in publishing. It is very real. Publishers prioritize women with female-only author events such as Artemis Rising, or have special submissions windows for female authors only. The Guardian reported the publishing industry is 78% female, and they want to push the other 22% out. All of their websites say they prefer women/minorities over other writers. I did an analysis last year, demonstrating with empirical facts that men have a harder time of getting published than women by a long shot.
After serious deliberations, I will be only submitting short fiction to professional markets from a new female pen name. I’ve come up with the name, I’ve got the email address, it’s ready to go. I will be, for all intents and purposes, a female author. It’s the only way to get ahead in the business, and the smart thing to do. I won’t be broadcasting the name here in case of any inadvertent discrimination, but I will keep you informed as to how reactions change based on having a female name. It’ll be interesting to say the least.
If you think I might not be able to pull it off, read For Steam And Country. My award-nominated book is written first person from the perspective of a 16 year old girl. I can be a character as easily as I can write them in my books. And dozens of women have emailed me saying I wrote about the most realistic female character they’ve read in SF/F. Check it out for yourself.