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.
Thanks for joining and promoting the AWW 2012 Challenge, Melissa. How interesting that you wrote your thesis on Rosa Praed. It would be great to have something of hers reviewed for the AWW blog. Would you consider being a “guest reviewer”?
In case anyone reading this didn’t see The Age article by Jane Sullivan, it appeared online on the Sydney Morning Herald website link here: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/a-womans-place-20120113-1pyoa.html
Melissa, I hope you’ll follow the AWW discussions using the #AWW2012 hashtag and join in on AWW Wednesdays when a few of us plan to visit other participants’ blogs and read the reviews (and post a link to the ones we read on Twitter).
I look forward to perhaps hearing from you re the guest review.
Hi Elizabeth, I’m looking forward to the challenge, thanks for setting it up. Would love to do a guest review especially about Rosa Praed, would love to get her novels out there more. I will send you through an email.
AWW Wednesdays sound like a great idea.
Thanks for this information about Rosa Praed, Melissa. I will look up her writing…
Thanks Sallie, her novels are an interesting example of early Australian women novelists. I think you will enjoy reading them from a historical perspective.
Hi, Melissa. I’m (hopefully) and emerging Australian woman writer, with books in several Sydney libraries including Sutherland. My main focus is modern short stories, although my most recent publication is a light-hearted philosophical book, 60 Questions, Insights and Reminiscences. As a newcomer to book publication, I can vouch for the difficulty of getting established, and therefore I especially welcome the initiative of this writing challenge.
Thanks Margaret, I agree that this is a fantastic initiative. It only takes a small amount of time to participate but will hopefully make a real difference.
I think it really is making a difference, Melissa. Participants are commenting that they’re amazed at the talent of the authors they’ve read and discovered. Without question, this is a wonderful outcome, particularly if their enthusiasm flows on to others.