Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gender in Finnish SF Awards, 2014 Edition

Back in 2009, I blogged about the gender distribution of Finnish short sf awards. Some years have passed, and the conversation popped up at this year’s Finncon, so I figured it was time to update the chart. Without further ado, here are the updated results of winners and top 3 in the major Finnish short sf awards.

 “m” and “w” indicate the winner, “t3m” and “t3w” how many men and women were in the top 3. A couple of top 3 results from the Portti competition are missing (will try to track them down later). For the winner, ½ means a woman–man team won, and ? signifies a pseudonym that haven’t publicly revealed their gender.


The Atorox Award is an annual popular award open to all members of fandom, and the winner is selected from all the Finnish sf short stories published in the previous year. The last time I noted that while there are almost an equal number of men and women who have won the award, the trend was towards more women winning. This situation seems to have swung back a bit, since four of the winners in the last five years were men, and men also have had a small majority of the top 3 positions.

In the juried Portti and Nova short story competitions, women continue to rule. Although after the last time there have been two male winners of Nova, the competition as a whole has been really strongly dominated by women. And looking at Portti in the 2000s, the winners are divided pretty equally, but there’s a clear majority of women in the top 3 placements. It may be worth noting that both competitions use pseudonymous entries, so the juries don’t know who the writer is (therefore a regocnizable gender or name isn’t an issue, except of course that some better–known writers have quite distinctive styles and because of that probably aren’t quite that anonymous).

I think the following points are also worth re-quoting from my original post: I don’t have any statistics about how many texts have been submitted to the competitions by men and by women, or what is the distribution of men and women of all published stories (eligible for Atorox). Also I don’t know the gender distribution of either the competition juries or the Atorox voters, so I can’t even venture a guess about if these are at all relevant. Another thing I haven’t looked at is whether the types of texts that win prizes have changed (between science fiction and fantasy, for example).

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