The Harsh Reality
Picture this. You just graduated college from a prestigious writing program in your dream city. For the past four years, you have written, edited, changed, and perfected your first novel. Your professors, friends, and family all read it and loved it. You sent your novel to different major publications. A few weeks later, one called you back. They want to meet you, in person, to discuss a book deal. You are excited because your political novel was finally going to see the light. You go to your meeting. They see you, and you discuss a deal. The assistant said,” We will call you back to discuss the next step.” You never get the callback. Why? Because you are a woman. The publication goes with a male novel that is almost identical to your writing style, even though your novel is better. Why didn’t they choose you? Because they know once they write your name in the book, it will not sell as well as if a man’s name is in the book. This is the reality you face as a female writer.
If you answered “Yes” to the survey at the top, then you are correct! There is a gender gap in the publishing and literature field, and by the end of this presentation, you will know specifically what it is and how to prevent it. This Catalyst Project is focusing on the inequality between men in women in the publishing field, also know as the Literature Gender Gap. In the U.S. 83% of books reviewed are written by men, and the same statics is same for the people reviewing the books. We see a trend that every year less and fewer women are getting work published. Female authors have had to write novels under pseudonyms such as J.K. Rowlings just to publish a book.
Where, in the United States, have taken steps to publicize this issue?
Cleveland, Ohio is one of the few cities in America that have raised awareness and taken actions to show the gender gap in the literature field. Cleveland is the second largest city in Ohio, United States. It is an 82.47 mi² area located on the southern shore of Lake Erie. This area is home to many publications houses such from Great Lakes Publishing to Gray & Company Publishers. Moreover, this area is home to Loganberry Books, a bookstore pushing boundaries. Loganberry Books has an exhibit that demonstrates the inequality of men published works compared to women’s. They went throughout the entire bookstore and displayed all books written by men and put them backward. This shows the comparison of women’s to men’s work and the lack of female authors. This event has been one of the few stories that have hit national news concerning the Gender Literature Gap. For more details on Cleveland, Ohio and its involvement in the Literature Gender Gap explore the app below.
Start the Change!
Throughout history, we have struggled with women’s rights. Although the United States has a better environment than some countries, we still have a long way to go. The literature gender gap is an under a publicized issue that affects all of us. There is hope that a more present female publishing voice but it is not an easy road. The only way we can solve this issue is to educated people of it so we can take steps to overcome it. We can educate today’s youth to inspire young girls and boys to 1. not be afraid to try to publish work and 2. to help publish women’s work or not overlook a piece of writing because a woman writes it.
Take the first step. Use #LiteratureGenderGap on your social media accounts to help raise awareness!