My name is Sophie and I am the Founder of Women’s Writes. I love reading, I used to read under the covers every night after lights out, and would get through stacks of books every month. After studying Politics and History at University, where I focused on Feminist Theory, I went to work in London. While there, I started joining book clubs but couldn’t find quite the right place for me. Many were hosted in times or places I simply couldn’t get too. Very few of the books were by female authors and this began to bother me. So, I did some research and couldn’t believe what I found.
Did you know what over the last 20 years, just six women have won the Nobel Prize for Literature and the same is true of the Pulitzer Prize? Or that the Booker Prize has been won by 31 men but just 16 women since it was established in 1969? When I found out, I was shocked. In the 19th and 20th century, it was not uncommon for women to present their work under the pretence of being male to be taken seriously. Surely, I asked, it was not still the case in the twenty-first century that female writers were taken any less seriously than men?
Women account for 80% of all book sales in the UK, USA, and Canadian markets. It is undeniable that the writing coming from female writers is bold, new, challenging, interesting, ground-breaking – we could go on!
Any yet, this bias towards male writers prevails. The truth is, women’s writing just isn’t taken seriously still. The VIDA Count compiles data to expose the gender imbalances of the literary world. Women, non-binary and trans persons have been shown to be overlooked again and again since they began collecting this data in 2010. While there is promising change in the 2018 review, we are still a long way off. So, if it is not a case of output or reader interest, what is it? And what can we do about it?
Women’s Writes was founded to elevate women’s voices. Whether a writer, publisher, reader, as women our voices matter and deserve to be heard. Our passion for literature, the care we have for our community, and our true belief gender equality will one day be achieved, is what drives us to grow.
We believe in the power of storytelling and reading to build communities and empower women to help change the world, one book at a time. Myself and my team select books every month to champion new authors, as well as classic books that we believe every feminist should have on their shelf. All gift wrapped beautifully and delivered straight to your home.
For us, it is vital to support publishers and book shops, and so we work closely with these teams to get the best book choices for you, and to support the whole community. We also donate £1 of every membership back into our communities, though contributions to Women’s Charities around the UK. Check out our charities page to see where your donation is going.
I hope you love and enjoy your subscription, and our collective journey with Women’s Writes.