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Women and Publishing


It's hard to even imagine an industry more seeped in rejection than traditional publishing. However, it's by far more common than you might think. Just ask any job seeker. Rejection is as common today as it was in the mid-fifteenth century. For all our advancement in science and technology, the basic roots leading to rejection of even good works haven't changed since the Middle Ages. Ironically, the last event which had a major effect on rejection rates was the Black Death… a major pandemic.

Unfortunately, there is a disparity in our rejection rates especially in the traditional publishing world. And when I say traditional, read unchanged since Guttenberg stopped press grapes and started making books. It has caused the formation of groups like BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) because there are groups who are seriously underrepresented in the marketplace.

Prior to the Black Death, women were not allowed to publish books at all. A woman needed a man to manage a project they wrote, where he would claim to be the author. In all fairness, things have changed a bit since then. Still, according to a New Republic survey, almost 70% of the books published in the traditional publishing world in 2019 were written by men. Enter MSLEXIA, a Web site magazine created specifically for women writers.

Sadly, this is a subscription site in the UK. For even on a subject as enlightened at fairness, the marketplace rules. It's still a world of money 1, knowledge 0. However, what the site does have is advice, competitions, events, reviews, interviews, and links relating to women and publishing. From a purely technical standpoint, some of the data is hidden behind broken code, so you may not be able to read everything on this site… but for women, you might want to take a serious look at the writing competitions because elsewhere men were twice as likely as women to be published, twice as likely to be reviewed, twice as likely to win major fiction awards, nine times as likely to win poetry prizes.






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