Earlier this year, VIDA released their 2011 count, comparing the numbers of male and female writers in major publications. The results showed that the men were published way more frequently than the women. It's not much of a change since VIDA began the count in 2009, after the Publishers' Weekly list of the year's best books appeared without any books by women. Read more about how the VIDA count is changing the conversation about publishing, and about how important this conversation is. As Roxane Gay writes, "I have to believe we continue having these conversations so someday there is nothing left to talk about but the joy and complexity of the stories we write and read. I want that joy to be the only thing that matters.
Can you just imagine?"
I've been following along with one adventure in diversifying the faces of published authors - poet Laura E. Davis has started a group called Submission Bombers. The idea behind Submission Bombers is to take "action" to increase visibility for writers who often feel silenced. Participants "bomb" a publication with their submissions over a two-week period, and since only consenting publications are selected for bombings, it's like a matchmaking service between writers seeking to be heard and editors looking for writers who don't fit the usual mold of who's being published these days.
Read Laura's call for editors and writers to participate, and her blog post on what it means to be a "marginalized" writer. What do you think? Would you participate in a submission bomb? Do you have other ideas for taking action?