Wanted: Female Australian romance authors
There’s been some talk recently in the media—both traditional and online—on the gender bias that exists in literary prizes and book reviews. Blogger, tweeter and all-around awesome advocate for reading Elizabeth Lhuede is challenging readers to help redress the imbalance. She has devised the Australian Women Writers 2012 Reading and Reviewing Challenge. Her goal is simple:
This challenge hopes to help counteract the gender bias in reviewing and social media newsfeeds that has continued throughout 2011 by actively promoting the reading and reviewing of a wide range of contemporary Australian women’s writing.
To achieve this goal, we need your help!
I think it’s especially relevant for us romance readers because I think most of us will agree that of all the readers of women’s fiction, our reading choices—and authors—are almost always the least likely to get a mention in literary book reviews, never mind one that understands and appreciates the appeal of the genre. Looking at the sign up list, we’re still not all that well represented.
To be involved, all you have to do is read books authored by Australian women and post a review online (or in traditional media, I suppose, if you can manage it!). You can blog, tweet, comment on Facebook or Goodreads or through other social networking avenues.
If you can’t find a place to publish your review, send me an email if you’re interested in submitting a guest review for Book Thingo.
The challenge has various levels, which you can read about on the official website, but it’s really about readers being open to reading new books and talking about them. And while I probably won’t stray too far from the requisite happy endings that I require from fiction, I’m looking forward to discovering new authors and books. Watch this space.
For more information and to officially sign up for the challenge, visit the website. Then click on the home page for a guest post by Laura Vivanco on why we should take Australian romance novels seriously.