Almost a year ago I learned about the existence of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. VIDA’s mission is to “…explore critical and cultural perceptions of writing by women through meaningful conversation and the exchange of ideas among existing and emerging literary communities.” One of the primary ways VIDA carries out this mission is by conducting annual counts of the gender disparity in publishing for a select group of reputable literary journals. By calculating and tracking the number of men and women being published on a year-to-year basis for journals like The New Yorker, Tin House, Paris Review, Kenyon Review, N +1 and more, VIDA provides tangible data proving that a gender gap exists in the world of publishing. You can see all of the data (2009-2013) and methodologies in the count section of the VIDA website.
For 2014 I will be interning with VIDA to help with the count. I’m excited to learn more about how it all works and contribute to this worthy endeavor. As a female writer, it’s important for me to raise awareness about these types of issues, as I am already encountering them. As co-founder and editor of The Triangle, I also have to think about my role as a publisher. So I did a bit of digging and here is what I discovered.
As of August 3, 2014, The Triangle has published the following:
- 18 Interviews (11 women featured; 7 men featured)
- 7 Visual Interviews (5 men featured; 2 women featured)
Of the 60 posts we have published, 22 have been written by women, 37 have been written by men, and 1 was written by a woman but published with a male byline/account. These numbers might not seem that bad, but this is definitely something I’m going to be keeping an eye on. I want to make sure that we are part of the solution, not part of the problem. Right now we have at least two female writers shooting disposable cameras for our visual interview series, which will help. I’ll be sure to check in at this time next year to let you know how we’re doing with our count.
Did you know about VIDA or the gender disparity in publishing? Let me know in the comments if you have any experience with this!