This week the Australian Women Writers Challenge reached a milestone: over 1000 reviews have been linked to the site.
We should be celebrating, right?
Or should we?
Over at Meanjin last week, while discussing the progress of funding for The Stella Prize, Chris Flynn wrote: “Is it too late to predict contenders for the inaugural Stella Prize? Too late, I’m doing it.”
Flynn proceeded to list 10 books of fiction released in 2012.
So far, six of these have been reviewed for AWW :
- Carrie Tiffany. Mateship with Birds, reviewed by Angela Meyer, Tony’s Reading List, Janine Rizzetti
- Deborah Robertson Sweet Old World, reviewed by Lisa Walker, Angela Meyer, Whispering Gums
- Paddy O’Reilly The Fine Colour of Rust, reviewed by Kate Rizetti, Shelleyrae, Maree K, Helene Young, Jenny Schwarz, Lisa Walker, Angela Meyer
- Susan Johnson, My Hundred Lovers, reviewed by Jessica White, Marg
- Drusilla Modjeska, The Mountain, reviewed by Stephanie RIASS
- Romy Ash, Floundering, reviewed by Shambolic Living, Jon Page, Su Luus, Sian Campbell, Jessica White
Four of the ten have not.
It made me wonder to what extent the challenge has achieved what it set out to achieve: to help redress the gender imbalance of reviews in literary pages. Would these participants have read and reviewed the above books anyway?
What about the other books on Flynn’s list? Any plans to read and review?