Look to Genre for Women Editors

Narrative

Earlier this week, our editors noticed an article making the rounds on Twitter that spoke to the importance of having women editors. Danielle Lazarin’s article, “Where Are the Female Lit Mag Editors?” is a fantastic read but it’s 3 years old and only considers literary fiction. When we discussed the article, immediately we pinpointed several female-led genre magazines.

Genre gets a bad name, but it’s a realm that is filled with (trans and cis) women writers, publishers, and editors. Although female authors have had a profound impact in the formation of fantasy and science fiction genres, women are gunshy when it comes to submitting stories.

Even as editors, we’re guilty of this. Each of our editors have obsessed over submission guidelines, read issues to see if our style matches editorial expectation, or re-read the theme to make sure it’s a good fit. It’s been shown that women don’t apply for jobs unless they consider themselves 100% qualified for the position. We believe that this statistic can also be applied to story submissions.

Kelli Russell Agodon’s popular Medium article “Submit Like A Man: How Women Writers Can Become More Successful” outlined the discrepancy between male and female writers. When male writers were rejected, the magazine was likely to receive a new submission within the same month. This wasn’t the case for female writers:

“When we sent this same note to a woman writer, she might resubmit her work in 3–6 months, but more likely, we would not hear from her until over six months to a year later. Sometimes, she will not resubmit at all.”

We thought it was important to cultivate an updated list of women editors. We also wanted to consider genre magazines that had an editing staff with a majority of women. Though it’s important to have women working as Editors-in-Chief or Managing Editors, we didn’t want to discount the work that Associate Editors, Content Editors, or Editorial Assistants accomplish. Often Editorial Assistants or Associate Editors are the front line, reading through slush and selecting stories for the Managing Editor’s final say.

Making the list was difficult, since we should always consider non-binary or genderqueer editors. When reviewing the list of editorial staff, we only listed members that used she/her pronouns. If a reader wants to use this research as a basis to create a list of non-binary or people-of-color editorial staff, please go ahead.

For our list of magazines, we only considered semi-pro (paying $0.01-$0.05 per word) and SFWA qualifying magazines. We want to update this list. If you know a magazine that should be considered, please share it with us!

All Women Editing Staff

  • Apparition Lit
  • Centropic Oracle, The
  • Devilfish Review
  • Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine
  • Fireside Fiction (SFWA Qualifying)

Majority Women Editing Staff (to be included in this list, there must be at least 50% female editors on staff)

(the asterisk denotes a female Editor in Chief)

  • Apex (SFWA Qualifying)
  • Ares Magazine (SFWA Qualifying)
  • Augur Magazine*
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies
  • Bracken*
  • Cast of Wonders* (SFWA Qualifying)
  • Daily Science Fiction* (SFWA Qualifying)
  • Escape Pod* (SFWA Qualifying)
  • Flash Fiction Online*
  • Lightspeed Magazine (SFWA Qualifying)
  • Nightmare Magazine (SFWA Qualifying)
  • NonBinary Review*
  • Podcastle* (SFWA Qualifying)
  • Reckoning
  • Shimmer*
  • Strange Horizons* (SFWA Qualifying)
  • sub-Q Magazine*
  • Uncanny* (SFWA Qualifying)

Cited Articles:

Featured image by Comfreak

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Showing 2 comments
  • Kristine Kathryn Rusch

    Um…where’s Asimov’s? All female editing staff, and a longtime female editor.

    • Rebecca Bennett

      Great point Kristine! When I was making the post, I couldn’t find a list of Asimov’s editing staff, just the Editor’s Page. Since I didn’t have confirmation, I didn’t add it to the list.

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