Broad Universe Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the focus of Broad Universe?

We are a nonprofit international organization of women and men dedicated to celebrating and promoting the work of women writers of science fiction, fantasy and horror.

But why a separate group? Why aren’t you working within SFWA, for example?

SFWA (Science fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) is a professional organization with stringent requirements for membership. While many of our members happen to belong to SFWA, we also want to facilitate the development of upcoming writers who don’t yet qualify for SFWA membership.

Broad Universe Policy : Will BU be at Conventions Cited for Sexual Harassment Issues?

Broad Universe is an educational non-profit dedicated to celebrating the contributions of women to science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other speculative fiction. As we are also a feminist organization, we are against sexual harassment of anyone, regardless of their sex, gender, gender identity, or orientation. In support of members concerned with our presence at conventions that have been cited for sexual harassment issues, Broad Universe has developed the following process:

Step 1: The organization must know about sexual harassment citations to respond. If a member is concerned about our presence at a particular convention due to the convention’s issues with sexual harassment, they should bring this issue to the attention of the Motherboard with their statement about our presence at the convention.

Step 2: The Motherboard will discuss the benefits and problems of having a presence at the convention and respond in one of three ways:

1. If we see no overall benefit to our presence (providing an information table and supportive members on site, creating the opportunity for members to educate others and promote their work) that outweighs the negative impact of appearing to “support” such a convention, we will abstain from having a presence.

2. If there is still an overall benefit to our presence (providing an information table and supportive members on site, creating the opportunity for members to educate others and promote their work), we will support our members who wish to attend to the best of our ability as an organization and provide educational materials.

3. If there is a middle ground (such as having a Rapid Fire Reading and being on panels, which gives no money to the convention but creates a space for education – but not purchasing a book table), the Motherboard will consider that, as well.

Please contact us with any questions regarding this policy.

Did the name Broad Universe come from a story by a famous woman author?

Yes, she just hasn’t written it yet.

Who can join?

Anyone who supports our mission is welcome to join. You don’t have to be a woman or a writer – just interested in supporting the work of women writers in science fiction, fantasy and horror.

Why do your readings and events only focus on the works of some members?

Our readings and events are designed to promote women writers of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.

How do you define ‘woman’?

Anyone who identifies and presents as a woman.

I hate the term “broad.” It’s disrespectful slang. Do I have to be a broad?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term broad, as applied to women, is a female companion, a female confederate, a woman of loose morals. A broad is not a lady. A lady would never self-promote. She would not sit on a panel. She’d be in the back of the audience tatting and nodding politely. Heck, a lady would not even write. A broad, on the other hand, is the kind of gal who sits on a panel and acts like the intelligent, hilarious professional that she is. (It also creates a wonderful pun for our organizational name using another definition of broad – wide, expansive.) But no – you don’t have to call yourself a broad to belong to our organization.

Who runs Broad Universe?

We are more of an anarchy. If someone comes up with a good idea that is within the scope of our mission, then we encourage them to pursue it and offer what resources we can. The Motherboard is a group of volunteers that keeps the organization on track and decides which projects to focus on. There are also a variety of volunteer positions available to help bring our visions into reality.

Is Broad Universe a non-profit organization?

Yes, Broad Universe is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

How do I contact Broad Universe?

By using our handy dandy contact form

How can I help?

We're glad you asked.

  • Join Broad Universe
  • Volunteer (see the Member Gateway)
  • Donate using the PayPal button on the home page

If you are already a member, visit the Member Gateway for more ways you can help your organization.

What’s on your wish list for the future?

Is there something you think that Broad Universe should be tackling? Do you have suggestions for new projects? Use our Contact form and let us know. We’d love to hear your suggestions.

How much does it cost to join?

US$30 per annum. We'd prefer you to pay by Paypal, but you can pay by credit card or even make arrangements to pay by check. Membership is due annually on the anniversary of your join date.

What do I get for my $30?

The power of belonging to a group of like-minded people. You can share in conventions and other live events as well as share online forums and the like. We've listed the benefits of membership here.

Do you allow men to join?

Of course. No discrimination here. But it is a group to promote work written by women.

Can you tell me more about NetGalley?

Having affordable access to NetGalley is one of the benefits we offer everyone - but it costs less if you're a member. Check out our NetGalley page for a detailed explanation.

Help!  I can't see the member gateway anymore

Your membership has probably expired. If you're just late in renewing, we might be able to help you without you having to re-enter all your profile and catalog information. We have instructions here.

My book information needs to be changed. How can I edit it?

You'll need to send your new information to our web team by sending an e-mail to web@broaduniverse.org, explaining the issue. If you've changed your cover or your blurb, attach the relevant documents.