Literature Gender Gap

Do you think that there is a gender gap in the publishing/literature field?





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!

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.

How are you going to close the gap?

Start conversations about the issue
Not judge a piece of work by the author
Ensure equal access to publishing works to all in your local community.
Educate today’s youth and inspire them to write
Raise Awareness through posting #LiteratureGenderGap
Please Specify:

quiz creator

Take the first step. Use #LiteratureGenderGap on your social media accounts to help raise awareness!

Share this project
  1. April 28, 2017 by Wesley G

    Hi Taylor,
    I really like the icons that you used in your app and even tried to find the pack they were included in so I could use some of the others in various parts of my app but couldn’t find them. I think your app has the simplest navigation system and it is my favorite just because there is no need to click through other categories to find what you are looking for since everything is right on one main page. Your links work perfectly and there is even an option to directly call Cleveland tourism without ever needing to leave the app. Good job!

  2. April 28, 2017 by Katarina Yepez

    Hello! I thought that your project revolved around a very interesting concept. The gender gap in publishing is very evident, just as it is evident in almost all fields of business. Since women have been able to work they’ve been thought of a better in certain professions as such as nursing and teaching, however they are also thought of as incapable in other more complicated positions. This is not because they are not as good, but because of the societal stigma that men are superior. One thing I wondered about with your project is if you considered how female writers are more prevalent in certain genres? Have you considered why many YA, and Romance writers are female, but most poets seem to be male, which implies both genders can be just as descriptive and romantic?

  3. May 01, 2017 by Kelsey

    What an underdeveloped narrative you’ve touched and opened my eyes to!!! I’m extremely grateful for your project! The interactive portions of your project make diving into a pressing, serous topic fun and personal.

  4. May 01, 2017 by Harry L

    I am so grateful you have touched on an issue that is not very popular or acknowledged among main stream media.
    You did an amazing job balancing york work with engaging tools like the poll with your writing making for a very enlightening piece.
    Good job!

  5. May 02, 2017 by Olivia Yepez

    Hi Taylor! I liked reading your project! As someone who is both female and a writer I found this issue particularly engaging. I think that you made great use of polls and I also like the style of writing you used! It grabbed my attention and made me want to keep reading and kept me engaged. Amazing job! I hope that your project can help this issue gain more awareness in the future!

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