As Women’s History Month comes to a close it seems fitting that as readers we consider the state of women in publishing. Today VIDA: Women in Literary Arts (or VIDA for short) did just that with its release of the 2015 VIDA count.
VIDA is a research organization whose aims to “increase critical attention to contemporary women’s writing as well as further transparency around gender equality issues in contemporary literature culture.” One of the ways VIDA does this is with The Count. Beginning in 2010 and every year since, VIDA counts the rates of publication of male and female authors in various prestigious magazines that published fiction, nonfiction, and poetry during the prior year. The organization looks at whose books were reviewed, who did the reviewing, which authors were interviewed, who the interviewers were and more.
Initially VIDA simply focused on women as a whole in publishing. In 2014 VIDA began taking a more intersectional approach to their research, looking at not only the numbers of women as whole but also specifically at race/ethnicity, sexuality, and ability/disability of women in relation to their representation in publishing. The report showed improvement at some literary journals, but not surprisingly there is room for much more improvement with women of color, non-heterosexual women, and women with disabilities still underrepresented at many publications.
The full report is available at http://www.vidaweb.org/the-2015-vida-count/.