This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
In many ways, women have come a long way since the days when female authors published their books under male pseudonyms because nobody would publish a book written by a woman. However, if the results of the recent Vida survey are anything to go by, we certainly still have a further way to go.
According to the survey, male authors and reviewers make up a massive portion of those writing across the world in numerous publications including The New York Review of Books and Harper's. It seems, too, that little has changed in recent years. But why are male authors, writers and reviewers given so much more coverage than female ones?
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Perhaps it is true that there is still a stigma attached to female writers. To many, only men write true literary novels and to give women writers any real critical acclaim seems to be frowned upon. Is it the subject matter? If a man writes about relationships it gets massive coverage (just look at the success of One Day!). However, when women write about relationships, it is often deemed less worthy, more fluffy and less respected. Female writers are so heavily marginalised, it seems, that we even have our own award ceremonies to afford these female writers just some of the recognition they so greatly deserve.
That said, we are still reading (and studying) the timeless works of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Sylvia Plath and many more incredibly talented female authors. Harper Lee wrote only one novel and it is still deemed as one of the greatest novels ever written (well it certainly is in my opinion – and I'm sure I'm not alone in this).
The real question then is, what can we do to change this idea that male writers deserve more respect, praise and coverage? As part of team Novelicious, it's hard to imagine a publication where I would be looked down on simply for being a female writer. This is a site that celebrates women and looks at books written by them and for them. Much as I love it, it seems sad almost that sites like this are necessary in the sense that many of the authors featured here – and every one of us who are part of the team – simply would not get the coverage elsewhere. Beyoncé may be under the impression that girls rule the world… but in the world of fiction it seems we've barely even made a dent.
Have you been rejected, held back, judged, ridiculed or worse – simply for being a female writer? What do you think can be done about it? As ever, let us know in the comments below.