Following VIDA’s publication of The Count 2010, I (and loads of others) have been discussing gender parity in publishing. I’ve finally finished crunching the numbers for my twitterzine, Seven by Twenty, and here they are below. You’ve already seen the publication breakdown and below that are the other numbers I came up with. At the bottom are links to discussions on the VIDA counts, and other periodicals providing a glimpse into their submission and publication numbers.
Total Male Authors: 56
Total Times Men Published: 175
Total Female Authors:57
Total Times Women Published: 167
Not Included in Data: 2 authors of 8 pieces, one with a unisex name and the other whose first name I don’t know.
Total Male Authors Solicited: 24
Total Pieces by Men Solicited: 50
Total Female Authors Solicited: 19
Total Pieces by Women Solicited: 37
Not Included in Data: 2 pieces by 2 people, both with unisex names or twitter handles whose sex I don’t know.
Total Male Authors Rejected: 60
Total Submission Packets from Men Rejected: 116
Total Pieces by Men Rejected: 199
Total Female Authors Rejected: 32
Total Submission Packets from Women Rejected: 58
Total Pieces by Women Rejected: 85
Not Included in Data: those who ignored guidelines (listed below), and those occasions when I rejected some pieces in the same submission packet as pieces I accepted.
Total Male One-Time Submitters (Whose Work Was Rejected): 21
Total Female One-Time Submitters (Whose Work Was Rejected): 14
Note that what I’m measuring here are people who submitted once, were rejected, and never submitted again. Those numbers are included in the total number of writers rejected above. As a percentage of their own groups, women are less likely to come back after a rejection than men are, if you take the numbers on their face: 21/60 is 35% while 14/32 is 43.75%. But these are such small numbers that one or two people more would make a difference, so I’m leery of drawing a conclusion.
Total Male Authors Ignoring Guidelines: 22
Total Female Authors Ignoring Guidelines: 8
- Discussion about gender parity in publishing at the Poets & Writers Speakeasy.
- “A Literary Glass Ceiling?: Why magazines aren’t reviewing more female writers. by Ruth Franklin at The New Republic. Money quote: “Only one of the houses we investigated—the boutique Penguin imprint Riverhead—came close to parity, with 55 percent of its books by men and 45 percent by women. Random House came in second, with 37 percent by women. It was downhill from there, with three publishers scoring around 30 percent—Norton, Little Brown, and Harper—and the rest 25 percent and below, including the elite literary houses Knopf (23 percent) and FSG (21 percent). Harvard University Press, the sole academic press we considered, came in at just 15 percent.”
- Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting released a study in August 2010 on the ethnic and gender breakdown of reviews in the New York Times Book Review and the C-SPAN
Other periodicals posting submission and/or rejection statistics (please leave a comment with a link if you see any more):
- Poetry responds to the original VIDA article: amongst other things, they say, “One difficulty is that we receive many more submissions from men: the last count, done last year, was 65% men and 35% women.”
- Strange Horizons 2010 Fiction Roundup: “30-43% of the stories were by female authors; 57-70% by male authors; the ranges are because 13% were by authors of unknown-to-me gender. (All those numbers are almost identical to the past two years.) There were also at least two stories by authors who don’t fit that binary gender distinction.”
- The Southern Review: Overall work published and work submitted were both 40% female and 60% male.
- VIDA Counts The Rumpus: This is most interesting for the comments at the end.
This is the tool I used to make the above pretty pie charts.