VIDA: Women in Literary Arts (VIDA) is a non-profit intersectional feminist literary organization dedicated to creating transparency surrounding gender imbalances and the lack of diversity in the literary landscape. VIDA also aims to amplify historically-marginalized voices, including people of color; writers with disabilities; and queer, trans, and gender nonconforming individuals.
VIDA: Women in Literary Arts (VIDA) was created and incorporated as a 501(c)3 in the State of Florida by Erin Belieu, Cate Marvin, and Ann Townsend in 2010 with the intended goal of “seek[ing] and explor[ing] critical and cultural perceptions of writing by women through meaningful conversation and the exchange of ideas among existing and emerging literary communities.” This was later amended to be a “research-driven organization…to increase critical attention to contemporary women’s writing as well as further transparency around gender equality issues in contemporary literary culture.”
Their catalyst for creating VIDA was the recognition that conversations about gender disparity in publishing, while compelling, was anecdotal in nature. No formal mechanism existed to count the actual numbers of men and women represented in top-tier magazines, newspapers, and journals.
In July 2015, founders Belieu, Marvin, and Townsend transitioned from VIDA’s daily leadership to VIDA’s Advisory Board. In this new phase of the organization’s continued growth, VIDA’s new leadership made intersectionality a priority, and moved to include the amplification of historically marginalized voices in the mission statement. Later that same year, they announced the VIDA Review, a formal name for the content VIDA had been publishing on the website and increased VIDA’s prominence by including a Women of Color Count, which was changed to the VIDA Intersectional Count.
In October 2018, the board saw another significant change. Since then, the current VIDA board has worked to focus their efforts on restructuring and organizing VIDA internally, turning toward more inclusive practices, and creating a larger platform for the communities that VIDA serves.
As VIDA looks ahead to its next ten years of challenging inequities in literary publishing and uplifting the voices of historically and presently oppressed communities, we are honored to carry forward all of the struggle and spirit of the past ten years with us.
Our all-volunteer organization focuses primarily on three major programs