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Women boldy go into realm of sci-fi writing

Hyde Library hosts 'Broad Universe' literary group

March 16, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Decades ago, Star Trek premiered with a famous slogan that encapsulated the common view of science fiction — "To boldly go where no man has gone before."

Trisha Wooldridge and her colleagues at Broad Universe wholeheartedly embrace that idea, with one exception. Their goal is to showcase the female side of the art form, reward women writing science fiction and publicize the fact they already comprise at least half of such authors but are still often unrecognized.

"We were noticing the numbers of women who were winning awards and being invited to speak were significantly lower than men," Wooldridge said, adding they often find it harder to get published and get paid less.

To help change that, Broad Universe members are coming to Jacob Edwards Library this evening to share work by three "mothers" of science fiction — Madeleine L'Engle, Connie Willis and Octavia Butler. They're probably best known for "A Wrinkle in Time," "Doomsday Book" and "Lilith's Brood," respectively, but have each written dozens of novels and more short stories.

Wooldridge said this year is the group's 10th anniversary. During its existence, it has done a couple of studies and found that women who submit work to publishers using either initials or male pseudonyms are more likely to be accepted than when they use obviously female names — even when submitting exactly the same piece, she said.

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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