Part 2: On women writers, book marketing, VIDA & some paradigm-shiftingly-good lit. blogs

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I promised this list some time ago. Since then, Wendy Davis successfully filibustered an anti-abortion bill in Texas, DOMA was overturned, Turkish protestors stopped the memorial construction in Gezi Park and Egypt had a second revolution. Oh yeah, and it turned out the US really is spying on the world, surprise surprise.

What actually sparked my interest in finding more platforms for women’s writing, however, were the recently released VIDA statistics (about how few women are represented in the books sections of the largest newspapers and magazines). Then there was this powerful response by Dr. Kathryn Heyman, and the comments section got me even more riled up that so many writers had been ignored by these publications – seems like the “complicated” problem would be quite easy to fix (she has posted a great update with a list of suggestions, too). And FINALLY I stumbled upon an article by Deborah Kopaken Coplan in the Nation, which confirmed a lot of my suspicions about the differences in marketing books by women – the pink covers, the changing titles to be more “feminine” (Newswhore becomes Shutterbabe, Suicide Wood becomes From Here to April) – and also exposed further demeaning treatment of authors in the media.

So I started reflecting about where I discover new writers, and which of these forums work towards tipping this gender bias in the other direction. There are tons. In fact, what would happen if VIDA were to compare their dismal results with the numbers of women contributors in online magazines and blogs, such as The Rumpus, the Hairpin, Barrelhouse, the Awl, the Nervous Breakdown, PANK, Hobart Pulp, ROAR (online content coming soon), Failbetter and many others? We would probably see that women writers fare much better in online publications.

Come to think of it, considering the wealth of online magazines and websites dedicated to every possible identity or perspective, these online platforms are the new trailblazers when it comes to diverse voices in literature. It only makes sense – the internet vastly extends the reach of independent culture, and makes radical thinking accessible for free. So why wouldn’t the internet be the new hub of indie publishing?

In the spirit of celebrating progress in these historic times, here is a list of forums for diverse perspectives. These blogs, magazine and book publishers stand out for curating women writers or LGBTQ writers whose writing is amazing, highly literary and takes lots of risks. May they go forth and multiply!

Any other suggestions of paradigm-shifting blogs and online magazines which focus on women, queer or feminist writers? Check out my blogroll at my WordPress site for more unmissable blogs.


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