Sunday, 27 November 2011

How to publish women writers

An interesting blogpost here with suggestions on how to ensure women are better represented in publishing. As in being published (and reviewed)
women are not published nearly as much as men in most venues in the literary world
The usual excuses are:
  • what we publish is representational of the submissions. Apparently about 75% of the slushpiles are usually from men though I would imagine each slushpile varies greatly.
  • women's submissions are less likely to meet our standards
  • we do publish women (but not very loudly)
  • we consider sexist allusions to be witty and acceptable.
The blogger, Annie Fisch suggestions include:
  • Actively solicit contributions from women. i.e. invite them specifically to submit (Call me, email me, tweet me)
  • Educate yourself on what women like to read and write (OK not so sure about that one as not every women has the same boxes to tick)
  • Read with double awareness (if the writer you are reading is of a different gender, race, class, background, country be self aware of your responses) That's a good suggestion. But I would hope that they are doing it already or am I deluded? 
The writer then goes out to suggest that some women write about small, trivial subjects. That's in the eye of the beholder though.Then she suggests the editors should ask themselves if they publish writing that reads like women's writing. And I'm not talking about childbirth, menstruation and shopping.
  • Next the exercise for the blushing editor is to put on a rampant, angry feminist hat (I have a few in my wardrobe you can borrow if you like) and read through stuff you've published. Look at the featured artists, the cover names, the reviewees. Are you mollified or are you an angry moll?

  • Here are the stats. Quite shocking really. I wonder what it would look like in Irish publications. 
Here's an interesting (actually worringly, off putting) piece about women's writing.


Titus said...

Now that is interesting, and I'm surprised at the statistics.

Where I notice it most is readings/performance. So often, even when there's four or five writers, not one woman on the bill.

Emerging Writer said...

yes I can't understand why more women aren't livid. The stats are awful. And you're right about the readings.