The Australian Women Writers Challenge was founded in 2012 by Elizabeth Lhuede. On the AWW website, she writes:
Are male authors more likely to have their books reviewed in influential newspapers, magazines and literary journals than female authors?
They are according to the VIDA count, an analysis of major book reviewing publications in North America and Europe. Australian publications fair little better, as statistics gathered by Bookseller & Publisher and republished in Crikey in March 2012 demonstrate. Yet in late 2011, when Tara Moss mentioned this gender imbalance on her blog, a literary reviewer from The Age accused her of “privileged whining”.
So, if books by Australian women aren’t being reviewed, how do readers know what they’ve published? How do they know to ask for them at libraries and book shops? How would they know to recommend them to friends?
In response to this issue – the relative lack of reviews of women’s writing (by men and women), Lhuede founded the Australian Women Writers Challenge.
This is the third year for the challenge, and you can sign up to be part of it. For free!
Information about what’s involved is available on their website, but the short version is that signing up means you volunteer to post anywhere upwards of just four (4!) reviews of works by Australian Women Writers on your blog (or similar) and provide a link to those reviews to AWW.
You should do it!
I’ve signed up to read at least ten books by Australian Women Writers, and to review at least six of those books on this site. Should be a snack!