The VIDA Count is Changing the Conversation

Posted By on March 12, 2012

The Count's number of women vs. men published in The New Yorker

VIDA's count shows that at major literary publications, including The New Yorker, it's better to be a male author if you want to be published.

There’s a small chance you haven’t heard the conversation that VIDA started in response to the Publishers’ Weekly list of the best books of 2009: it didn’t include any books by women. The PW editors offered a convoluted defense and VIDA started counting and hasn’t stopped. Each year VIDA tabulates the number of male vs. female authors published or reviewed in major literary journals. The disparity is mind-boggling and you know which way the numbers fall.

The numbers haven’t changed for the better in the past three years but the conversation has. The literary world takes note of Vida’s COUNT, including book critics of major newspapers and magazines—even Forbes.

And special kudos to Granta for publishing female and male writers in equal numbers. That’s all VIDA–and women such as Cynthia and I–are asking for.

VIDA will keep counting if we keep supporting them during its annual fundraising drive. You can DONATE here.


PS You can read about the panel of women’s literary organizations at AWP in Cynthia’s “Is AWP for You?” post featured on She Writes, an online community of 19,000 women writers.