Australian Women Writers Challenge,  Book Reviews,  Journalism,  Literary Journalism

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014

I will be attempting the Australian Women Writers Challenge this year. If you are keen follow along with the hashtag #aww2014 or subscribe to the blog.

Last year I read a lot of books but only 11 of them were by Australian female authors. And I reviewed only 6 of them for the challenge.

Why is it important?

1. I don’t like the idea of there being a gender bias in the media when it comes to our literature. Our art holds up a mirror to our reality, it reflects it back on us and encourages us to think about who we are as people, as a nation. It is of no use to us if it only has one or two voices instead of the many that actually make the nation up.

2. I want to read more Australian work. I want to be handed more Australian work that ISN’T a Winton or a White novel. I want the variety.

3. I know that I find it easy to stick to reading just crime fiction and I want to find reasons to read more. It’s hard to go pick up a book in a bookstore not knowing much about it, especially if you are adventuring outside a specific genre and type and author but it does get easier when people review and recommend books to you, when enough people badger you in the comments and when people send you books in the post.

4. I do write reviews already as part of my work and I want to write more reviews and I see this as a chance to connect to more authors and to learn more about writing, particularly since I am a writer and an editor myself.

5. I want to read. I love reading. I want more to read.

So what can you do?

1. Take the challenge and read or even better if you can read and review. It’s not the only challenge going around but you can easily mix it in with a couple of other ones. If you are reviewing think of sending your reviews to Guys Read Gals as well as AWW 2014.

2. Send me books to read.

review3. Suggest books that you think would be great. Or authors you want to see interviewed. You can do so by leaving a comment on this post so I can collate all the suggestions in one place and keep updating the list.

4. You can also participate – I am hoping to have book giveaways coming up for Australia Day and various other days though I am unsure how that will work and what you will need to do and you will have to be based in Australia so I can post things to you far more easily.

So what am I hoping to achieve this year?

I am hoping to do better than 11 books and 6 reviews. And I am hoping to do more than just 2 interviews. I also want to talk to other people taking the challenge and ask them how easy or difficult they find it to be.

When will I start?

I am hoping to start with the first book review being posted on Thursday 9 January. So please subscribe to the blog if you don’t want to miss out or check back then. I will also be reviewing other books that don’t fit into the challenge but I am hoping to at least attempt one #aww2014 review per month and maybe two book reviews overall on alternating Thursdays. You can read other book reviews in the meantime.

Will you join me and take the challenge?

Marisa is a globetrotting freelance writer, journalist and editor with cat for hire (her, not the cat). She is currently based in Melbourne.

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