In a year kicked off by the Republican party fighting the Violence Against Women Act and a nationally-broadcasted song reducing Oscar-noteworthy actresses to “boob shots,” VIDA takes our annual look back to see if this regressive tenor is reflected in the treatment of women in literature in 2012. We also eyeball how the 2012 Count stacks up beside numbers from the years preceding. As always, the charts tell their own stories, whether publishers and editors listen or not. And now their histories are showing. While it would be incredibly easy to begin by lambasting national publications like Harpers, The Paris Review, [Read more...]
It reaches to the Fence – It wraps it Rail by Rail – Dickinson, “It sifts from Leaden Sieves” Boston Review Granta Harper’s London Review of Books New Republic New York Review of Books New York Times Book Review Poetry Magazine The Atlantic The New Yorker The Paris Review The Threepenny Review Times Literary Supplement
AWP and SXSW have come and gone (or maybe FXFU for the antiestablishment types). The expense reports have been turned in, the hangovers have passed but the headaches remain. I am speaking of course about the ongoing underrepresentation of women writers. I first covered the blog-war between Teddy Wayne and Jennifer Weiner on my own blog back in January. Since then Wayne seems to have backed down (presumably because the evidence is not on his side) but Weiner is keeping up the good fight with her most recent blog post wherein she gives a nod to 2011 count. At the [Read more...]
Whenever VIDA publishes a Count, or shares its pie charts, readers observe that men and women submit to magazines, journals, and publishing houses at different rates, and that this might inform the gender ratios we observe. While it makes sense to wonder about what’s going on behind the scenes, I’d like to offer a few notes on why submissions numbers don’t actually hold the answers we’re all looking for. 1. Some editors seem quite pleased when the ratio of women to men published turns out to reflect the gender stats in their submission pool. Why? In these numbers conversations, we often [Read more...]
Our most recent count examines the contents of the Best American anthologies in poetry, fiction, and essays. When we released our 2010 Count back in February, a common response from our readers was a request for more information about the data behind our pie charts. With that in mind, we have expanded our presentation to include the tables shown below, which are based on the spreadsheets we use to generate our Count pie charts. We think these tables better represent the data, and reveal more of the complex set of questions and issues raised by it.
“Numbers don’t lie.” “What counts is the bottom line.” Such sayings sound definitive, like the dead-end of a boring story. But as these facts come to light–no longer imagined or guessed at–so does the truth of publishing disparities, the unfortunate footing from which we can begin to change the face of publishing. We are no longer guessing if the world is flat or round; we are wondering how to get from point A to B now that the rules of navigation are public and much clearer. Questions long denied will lead us to new awareness, to challenge current publishing practices, [Read more...]
From Publishers Weekly: “This year we took our annual slugfest to the pub underneath our new office and came up with a list of the year’s top 100 books that could be our best ever.” VIDA takes a look at the outcome of PW’s “slugfest” and considers the results in light of last year’s breakdown. Cheers!