FIYAHCON 2021 image. (Image: FIYAH Literary Magazine.)

Rebecca Roanhorse, Tochi Onyebuchi, And Others Recognized For Fire Fiction at FIYAHCON 2021’s Ignyte Awards

The creative convention that puts all others to shame.
This article is over 2 years old and may contain outdated information

Recommended Videos

Last year, the award-winning, quarterly Black speculative publication FIYAH Literary Magazine created the virtual convention FIYACON to celebrate work by people of color in speculative fiction. With this convention came the first-ever Ignyte Awards.

The 2020 inaugural awards featured Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Gods of Jade and Shadow winning for Best Novel – Adult, Hafsah Faizal’s We Hunt the Flame winning Best Novel – YA, Kwame Mbalia’s Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky winning Best Novel – MG (Middle Grade), and Best Artist to Grace P. Fong. LeVar Burton won both the Ember Award (for unsung contributions to the genre) and best fiction podcast for his (and others’) work on LeVar Burton Reads. These were among the many awards given for writing, critical analysis, comics, editing, and community work.

With the massive success of the first year, many were hyped and ready to continue this new tradition.

Winners, present and remote, expressed gratitude online.

Roanhorse’s win means she is two and 0 on Ignyte Awards at FIYAHCON. Last year, the Indigenous writer won Best Short Story for her entry A Brief Lesson in Native American Astronomy in the myth-retelling anthology The Mythic Dream (edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe.) Black Sun is the first in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, and the second (Fevered Star) releases next spring, pending pushback from the supply chain, etc.

Book cover of "Black Sun" by Rebecca Roanhorse. (Image: Gallery / Saga Press.)

(Image: Gallery / Saga Press.)

The list above shows the winners, but honestly, the entire list of nominees is also worth checking out. Stephen Gram Jones’s The Only Good Indians (nominated for Best Novel – Adult) is scary AF, Jesse of Bowties and Books is one of my favorite booktubers, and has some phenomenal essays. Because The Mary Sue is a partner of Tor Books, we share pieces from some of their authors in the Our Books, Our Shelves series.

Because “speculative fiction” is an umbrella term for literary fiction with otherworldly elements from other genres like sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, the loose genre can help readers find work in places they might not look otherwise. The pieces found on the list also provide thought-provoking and entertaining treasures that scratch multiple itches and reflect the multifaceted nature of most fiction readers. While we have our preferences in the genre, tropes, etc., we usually don’t stick to just one genre, and some of the best authors move between these planes, sometimes in the same story.

FIYAHCON is not just about giving out awards to excellent writers, artists, and critical readers of color. The three-and-a-half-day convention included panels, presentations, games, workshops, and more. It gave people of color creatives (and allies there) opportunities to engage with discourse and engage with the diverse community, regardless of location.

If you are a Black or Palestinian writer or artist looking to submit to the next issue for FIYAH Literary Magazine (The Palestine Solidarity Issue), check here.

(featured image: FIYAH Literary Magazine.)

The Mary Sue may earn an affiliate commission on products and services purchased through links.

The Mary Sue may have advertising partnerships with some of the publishers and titles on this list.

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Alyssa Shotwell
Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.