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James Tiptree, Jr. Award

From Academic Kids

The James Tiptree, Jr. Award is an annual literary prize for works of science fiction or fantasy that expand or explore our understanding of gender. It was initiated in February of 1991 by SF authors Pat Murphy and Karen Joy Fowler, subsequent to a discussion at WisCon (the world's only feminist-oriented science fiction convention).

The award is named for Alice B. Sheldon, who wrote under the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr. "By her impulsive choice of a masculine pen name, Sheldon helped break down the imaginary barrier between 'women's writing' and 'men's writing.' Her fine stories were eagerly accepted by publishers and won many awards in the field. Many years later, after she had written some other work under the female pen name of Raccoona Sheldon, it was generally discovered that she was female. The discovery led to a great deal of discussion of what aspects of writing, if any, are essentially gendered. The name, 'Tiptree' was selected to illustrate the complex role of gender in writing and reading."

Fundraising efforts for the Tiptree have included publications and feminist bake sales.

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