I’m signing up for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012.
I’m not too concerned about the challenge, because I love Australian Women Writers. I love that there is an undercurrent of fantastic work that sometimes you need to hunt hard for. I found this when I wrote my thesis on early Australian author Rosa Praed in 2005.
What I don’t love is that you still often need to hunt for contemporary writers. Count the reviews of books written by Australian women the next time you read the book review pages in any major publication. In fact, just this last weekend the weekend Age covered this very topic. I don’t need to restate the facts, if you’re reading this you’ve probably already seen the debate over the last 12 months within Australian publishing.
Instead I’m going to focus on the positives. I’m looking forward to reviewing more female Aussie content this year. I’m excited about Paddy O’Reilly’s next novel coming out in March. I’ll probably start with a review of the great novel by Jill Blee that I’ve just finished, and I’m in the process of reading Dulcie Deamer’s biography – that will give me a great start.
So I’m signing up as a “Franklin-Fantastic” – read 10 books and review at least 4. I’m also a “devoted eclectic”, planning to write about as many genres as I can find.