The Australian Women Writers 2012 Reading and Reviewing Challenge – The Verdict

In 2011 I read 38 books. Only 5 of which were by female writers, 2 of whom were Australian. To be honest I was pretty shocked by this. I thought my reading would be much more balanced in terms of gender. Maybe not 50/50 but not 13% female.

When I found out about the Australian Women Writers Reading and Reviewing Challenge I jumped at the chance to try and correct the imbalance in my reading. My challenge was to read and review at least 10 books by female writers with at least 4 of those by Australians. So how did I go?

In 2012 I read 65 books (how did that happen!), 19 of which were by female authors. Of those 5 were by Australian writers.

So the verdict: In 2012 I increased my ratio of books by female writers from 13% to 29%. And while I also increased the number of Australian female writers 5 out of 65 can be improved (NOTE I only read 7 Australian male writers in 2012).

I’ve already signed up to do the Australian Women Writers Challenge in 2013. I am very happy to have increased the number of female writers I am reading. Now to try and increase my reading if Australian writers, of both sexes!

4 thoughts on “The Australian Women Writers 2012 Reading and Reviewing Challenge – The Verdict

  1. Hey Jon, your first paragraph really encapsulates the value of the Challenge. Becoming aware of our assumptions and how wrong they often are is a big first step. It’s great to see you continuing to write about this and continuing the challenge.

    In the same vein I’ve been trying to talk about the ‘smurfette’ principle in popular culture – you know, where one woman in a group of men is seen as representative or balanced – around my children.

    Last night we watched the SF movie ‘Sunshine’ and before it started I said to my son ‘just wait, you’ll see there will be one or at the very most two women in the crew of eight.’ Sure enough, there were two female crew, one a nurturing biologist and the second one completely incapable of rational thought, utterly ruled by her emotions. My son was stunned at my remarkable predictive powers and said ‘you know everything.’ I said ‘no, just many years of experience.’

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