This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
When artist Joanna Walsh designed a series of bookmarks featuring her favourite female writers to send as New Year cards, she had no idea she would spark a worldwide movement to end sexist reading habits. But spark a worldwide movement she has.
Inspired by the likes of Lilit Marcus, who wrote about why she chose to only read books written by women in 2013 for Flavorwire, and others like her, Joanna created the bookmarks, which feature portraits of female authors as well as a list of prominent women writers on the back.
News of her designs and concept spread quickly with coverage appearing in national newspapers and magazines all over the world. In response to the outpouring of public support, Joanna created the #readwomen2014 campaign, which encourages book lovers to read more writing by women in the year ahead. Though thrilled with the support she has received, Joanna admits it came as a bit of a surprise.
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She told Novelicious: "I was exhilarated and also a little overwhelmed. I hadn't expected anything like it, but #readwomen2014 must have struck a chord. Because I don't want ReadWomen2014 to be about me, or my library, I have created a separate Twitter account and Facebook page with the help of Barbara Chickaderock of booksbywomen.org. I'd like these to work as platforms for people to celebrate and discuss any aspect of women's writing."Not a moment too soon. A yearly study by VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts has shown an imbalance in the number of male and female book reviewers working for influential literary publications and sections. There is a similar discrepancy between the number of male authored and female authored books receiving attention from book critics.
Although we are huge advocates for women’s fiction here at Novelicious year after year, we’ll be making an extra special effort to spread the #readwomen2014 message. What female authors will you be supporting this year?