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VIDA 2012 count shows literary publications still male dominated

This morning, VIDA – an organization that advocates for women in literary arts – released the results of its 2012 survey examining the number of male and female reviewers, contributors, and authors at 15 major publications. And while some publications show a small degree of improvement, male domination still runs rampant.

The Boston Review fared well, with 14 female authors reviewed compared to 15 males, and four more female reviewers than male. The publication registered the greatest improvement since the count began in 2010, when it had 14 female authors reviewed compared with 41 males. The Threepenny Review also had a steady increase overall, with females accounting for six per cent more than last year, and 16 per cent more than 2010.

While Granta was a leader in the 2011 survey with more women reviewers than men, the journal’s numbers went down this year (30 women versus 41 men). VIDA attributes the decline to an all-female issue published in 2011 that bumped up Granta‘s numbers.

Harper’s is worse this year with three female reviewers versus 28 males, compared with 10 versus 23 last year. The New Republic follows suit with 10 more male than female reviewers compared with last year. The London Review of Books, The New Yorker, and The New York Review of Books also had poor female representation.

Conducting our own survey, in Q&Q‘s March issue, 23 of 35 books reviewed are written by women. There are 22 female reviewers and 13 males.


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