Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2010 SLF Gulliver Travel Grant Winner Chosen

This year was the first year I judged the Speculative Literature Foundation Gulliver Travel Research Grant in its entirety. I wasn't alone in the judging process, though; N.K. Jemisin and Joanne Merriam helped make the overall experience an enjoyable one.

Forty-three applicants later, we had our winner, but it was a tough choice. I know we say that every year with our two grants, the Gulliver Travel grant and the Older Writers grant, but it's true. We get some very good writing samples to judge.

In the end, we awarded the grant to Joel Arnold.  Read more about him and the grant in the press release after the jump:



For Immediate Release: October 12, 2010


The Speculative Literature Foundation is delighted to announce that its 2010 Gulliver Travel Research Grant has been awarded to author Joel Arnold. The $800 grant will be used to help Arnold to travel to Wyoming and Montana to research his Native American steampunk novel, "Coyote Steam".

One of the judges said of his writing sample: "This story had uncomfortable subject matter – racism, bodily mutilation, and painful legacies. It took effort to get through it...I thought I knew where Arnold was going...but then he went somewhere entirely different and resolved the story in a way that was both powerful and poignant. Days later, I was still thinking about it."

Arnold's stories have appeared in Pseudopod, Chizine, and Weird Tales, among others, and he has published several short story collections and three novels.

This year there were many excellent entries. Four Honourable Mentions were given:

Rob Davies
Nalo Hopkinson
Kate Milford
Michael Swanwick

The Gulliver Travel Research Grant is awarded to assist a writer of speculative fiction in his or her research. As in previous years, the 2010 grant of $800 is to be used to cover airfare, lodging, and/or other expenses relating to the research for a project of speculative fiction. 

The grant is awarded by a committee of Speculative Literature Foundation members on the basis of interest and merit.

The grant is named after Gulliver, a character in the 1726 story "Gulliver's Travels" written by Jonathan Swift. The story represents one of the earliest examples of fantasy travel.

Applications for the 2011 Gulliver Travel Research Grant will open on July 1, 2011.

PR Contact:

The Speculative Literature Foundation is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the interests of readers, writers, editors and publishers in the speculative literature community.

"Speculative literature" is a catch-all term meant to inclusively span the breadth of fantastic literature, encompassing literature ranging from hard and soft science fiction to epic fantasy to ghost stories to folk and fairy tales to slipstream to magical realism to modern mythmaking -- any literature containing a fabulist or speculative element.

More information about the Speculative Literature Foundation is available from its web site
( or by writing to

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