WTF! Writers Talk Feminism

WTF! Writers Talk Feminism Columbia University MFA students concerned with the representation of non-male writers in the publishing, writing, and MFA communities. WTF! Writers Talk Feminism is a group of Columbia students concerned with the representation of women writers in publishing and the Columbia community.

We were formed in reaction to the statistics released by VIDA: Women in Literary Arts (http://www.vidaweb.org/) in 2010 showing that women are underrepresented in writing for mainstream publications and in having their books reviewed therein. Women writers also face underrepresentation as recipients of literary awards, particularly those bearing larger financial honorariums, in “best-of” lists, and in the larger literary canon. has previously hosted panels on book reviewing and identity marketing, and held an annual submission marathon.

Mission: Our chief goal is to develop and support strategies for women’s sustainable and successful writing careers. We're dedicated to building a positive community of people concerned with gender equality in the writing world.

09/09/2013

Don't forget to come to our first meeting, the WTF! Writers Talk Feminism Information Session!

8:00 PM in Dodge 309 TONIGHT

Come for the free cookies and wine, stay for the intelligent conversation.

Anna Szymanski describes that frustration you feel when reading female characters written by male authors who don't real...
08/31/2013
The Year I Stopped Reading Men

Anna Szymanski describes that frustration you feel when reading female characters written by male authors who don't really pay attention to what we're actually like, with this little gem: "male anxiety wrapped in a vagina."

Thanks to VIDA for sharing!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anna-szymanski/the-year-i-stopped-reading-men_b_3832519.html?utm_hp_ref=books

It was like when you turn on a TV set after spending a significant period of time streaming television online. Suddenly, you're covering your ears and asking why those Kia hamsters can't play a different song. You never used to notice the commercials, but now they're all you can hear.

"I’ve recently been experimenting with answering ‘fashion’ rather than ‘politics’ when men casually ask me what I write ...
07/01/2013
I was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl

"I’ve recently been experimenting with answering ‘fashion’ rather than ‘politics’ when men casually ask me what I write about, and the result has been a hundred percent increase in phone numbers, business cards, and offers of drinks...you can spend your whole life being a story that happens to somebody else. You can twist and cram and shave down every aspect of your personality that doesn’t quite fit into the story boys have grown up expecting, but eventually, one day, you’ll wake up and want something else."

http://www.newstatesman.com/lifestyle/2013/06/i-was-manic-pixie-dream-girl-now-i’m-busy-casting-spells-myself

Men grow up expecting to be the hero of their own story. Women grow up expecting to be the supporting actress in somebody else's.

Wolitzer: The book is beautiful and inviting, but it’s also gender-neutral, with bold lettering. It's a design-based cov...
04/07/2013
How Meg Wolitzer Made Sure The Interestings Would Be a Big Book

Wolitzer: The book is beautiful and inviting, but it’s also gender-neutral, with bold lettering. It's a design-based cover that I really love.

McGrath: Yes, and I also feel that it doesn't seem to warn potential male readers away by using what you described as coded images to tell them that this is a book solely for women.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2013/04/conversation_between_the_interestings_writer_meg_wolitzer_and_her_editor.single.html

Sarah McGrath has been editing Meg Wolitzer since The Wife, in 2003. The editor and novelist emailed recently about Wolitzer’s new novel The Interestings, out this month from Riverhead. Sarah McGrath: Meg, having known you as long as I have, and all the conversations we’ve had in that time about...

04/03/2013

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Submit-A-Thon planned for Wednesday April 3rd is being canceled. Nevertheless, we hope all of you who have worked so hard on polishing your submissions will set aside some time on your own to send them off. We wish you the best of publishing success!

love,
wtf!

Support underrepresented writing! Throw some money at our friends at Apogee Journal:Want to see some brilliant minds in ...
04/02/2013
Apogee Journal

Support underrepresented writing! Throw some money at our friends at Apogee Journal:

Want to see some brilliant minds in print, and get acknowledged for it? Donate here! http://t.co/pmn3TCAx16

Help us raise money to get Apogee Journal, which publishes writing on the periphery, into print for the first time!

IT'S ALMOST HERE: Submit-A-Thon THIS WEDNESDAY April 3rd, 8pm Dodge 413...bring your laptop! bring a friend! live-submit...
03/31/2013

IT'S ALMOST HERE: Submit-A-Thon THIS WEDNESDAY April 3rd, 8pm Dodge 413...bring your laptop! bring a friend! live-submit or plan your submission strategy for the future. Featuring Ben Metcalf and $50 in giveaways!

"I’m someone who gets it—or so I thought. The glaring distinction between my (deluded, as it turns out) self-image as a ...
03/24/2013
On Being Part Of The Problem: A Personal Response To The VIDA Report - The Rumpus.net

"I’m someone who gets it—or so I thought. The glaring distinction between my (deluded, as it turns out) self-image as a progressive, pro-feminist critic and the reality of my track record is extremely upsetting."

From "On Being Part of the Problem: A Personal Response to the VIDA Report," by Andrew Ervin at The Rumpus.

On Being Part of the Problem: A Personal Response to the VIDA Report By Andrew ErvinMarch 20th, 20131. 23.5%I’ve done the math and it turns out that I’m part of the problem. That’s an awful realization. I can’t even tell you how heartbroken I am.Since 2009, the grassroots organization VIDA: Women in...

Lauren Groff, in an interview with Guernica: "I can say that if you’re a writer who happens to be a woman, you’ll get a ...
03/22/2013
American Utopia

Lauren Groff, in an interview with Guernica: "I can say that if you’re a writer who happens to be a woman, you’ll get a book cover that depicts a woman with no head, or a woman turning away, or a pair of high heels. You have to fight to not get stuck with these covers. In the U.S. women are chick-lit writers unless they prove otherwise, and that’s frustrating. I want to be identified as a writer, not a Southern writer, not a woman writer, not a woman from this or that place, but unfortunately it doesn’t always happen. Arcadia has a male character at its center. I didn’t write a book with a male character to get more attention, but a female writer does definitely get more attention if she writes about male characters. It’s true. It’s considered somehow more literary, in the same way that it’s more literary to write about supposedly male subjects, such as war. You’re considered more seriously by the literary establishment."

The bestselling novelist talks about the art of optimism, gender bias in the literary world, and donning public personas.

"We can form groups of women who are timid about submitting in order to force ourselves to pitch our work to new outlets...
03/17/2013
How Do You Solve a Problem Like the VIDA Count? – The Sisterhood – Forward.com

"We can form groups of women who are timid about submitting in order to force ourselves to pitch our work to new outlets or those that have previously rejected us, and boost each other to the contacts we do know. We can ask our male friends who are editors and book reviewers to make an effort to publish women and review their books, and praise them when they do. We can try direct action, whether it’s a subscription divestment or boycott like VIDA did March 14, or a tweetstorm. And we can hand our male friends a book and say, 'Read this.' ”

Which is what WTF! will be doing at the Submit-A-Thon on April 3rd! Read more on how to take action in favor of your publishing career, and being taken more seriously by male readers and editors.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like the VIDA Count?

The WTF! 2nd Annual Submit-A-Thon is on for Wednesday April 3rd at 8pm! Start polishing your submissions now, and join u...
03/14/2013

The WTF! 2nd Annual Submit-A-Thon is on for Wednesday April 3rd at 8pm! Start polishing your submissions now, and join us on April 3rd for a Q&A with a former editor of Harper's, spreadsheet resources to help you track your submissions, and tips from lit mag editors on the do's and don'ts of slush-pile submitting...plus, $50 in give-aways!!!

Submit-A-Thon...it's coming!

If you ever have trouble thinking of female writers who could and should be published in more literary mags, Flavorwire ...
03/14/2013
10 Women Who Should Be Writing for 'Harper's'

If you ever have trouble thinking of female writers who could and should be published in more literary mags, Flavorwire has 10 suggestions, including some of our WTF! faves Roxane Gay, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jo Ann Beard, Barbara Kingsolver and Cheryl Strayed : http://flavorwire.com/377174/10-women-who-should-be-writing-for-harpers/

There has been much discussion on the Internet about gender distribution in the bylines of high-profile journals and magazines after the release of the 2012 VIDA Count. Most of the publications sur...

Tin House editor Rob Spillman dishes on the issues--and the godo news--with VIDA's (and WTF! panel member) Amy King: htt...
03/04/2013
COUNTING: Amy King Talks with Tin House Editor Ron Spillman

Tin House editor Rob Spillman dishes on the issues--and the godo news--with VIDA's (and WTF! panel member) Amy King: http://www.vidaweb.org/counting-amy-king-talks-with-tin-house-editor-ron-spillman

Amy King: Thanks so much for being in touch with us here at VIDA. It’s heartening to hear that the 2010 VIDA Count served as an impetus for change at Tin House. Can you describe your initial reaction when you first saw the numbers?

WTF! Spring Meeting is tomorrow WEDNESDAY NIGHT! Feb. 13th, 8:15p, Dodge 413. Now with sexier photos:
02/13/2013

WTF! Spring Meeting is tomorrow WEDNESDAY NIGHT! Feb. 13th, 8:15p, Dodge 413. Now with sexier photos:

WTF! Spring Meeting! WEDNESDAY FEB. 13th 8:15p Dodge 413Talking, Food, etc.1) Make our upcoming Submit-A-Thon bigger and...
02/10/2013

WTF! Spring Meeting! WEDNESDAY FEB. 13th 8:15p Dodge 413
Talking, Food, etc.
1) Make our upcoming Submit-A-Thon bigger and better
2) Do we want to host a Spring Discussion Panel?
3) What do you want to see in terms of events/resources that we can provide? Come with ideas!

11/30/2012
The Top 10 Books of 2012

Slate has a gender-balanced Top 10 Books of the Year List!: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2012/11/best_books_of_2012_gone_girl_beautiful_forevers_bring_up_the_bodies_wild.html

Tuesday: Slate staffers pick their favorite books of 2012. Wednesday: The overlooked books of 2012. Thursday: Dan Kois’ 15 favorite books. Friday: The Slate Book Review Top 10. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo New Yorker staff writer Boo “has many ways of illuminating the people she wr...

10/16/2012

Tomorrow night at PowerHouse arena in Brooklyn!

Book Launch: We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy by Yael Kohen
Wednesday, October 17, 7–9 PM
Drinks will be served

Yael Kohen, author of We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy, will discuss the evolution of women and comedy with Lizz Winstead, author of Lizz Free or Die; Julieanne Smolinski, who Rolling Stone named one of the top 25 funniest people on Twitter; stand-up comedian Emily Heller, and Jesse David Fox of New York's Vulture.com.

ANOTHER 2012 Submit-A-Thoner success story! Marina Blitshteyn gives it gooood in 2 Serious Ladies! Congratulations Marin...
09/30/2012
FIVE POEMS BY MARINA BLITSHTEYN « « Two Serious Ladies Two Serious Ladies

ANOTHER 2012 Submit-A-Thoner success story! Marina Blitshteyn gives it gooood in 2 Serious Ladies! Congratulations Marina!
http://www.twoseriousladies.org/five-poems-by-marina-blitshteyn/

dear mothers, dear daughters,dear pen-pals,fellow students, formeremployees, professors,educators ingeneral, dear somebodyelse’s headache,dear mistakeor accident, dearwistful woman,why so sad,dear solitude,dearly departed,why your hand,dear empathy,dear nuancedunderstanding,dear plightof the advance...

We're kind of all about this: "Eugenides' first response to being asked about whether books by men and women are receive...
09/29/2012
Women, Men And Fiction: Notes On How Not To Answer Hard Questions : NPR

We're kind of all about this:

"Eugenides' first response to being asked about whether books by men and women are received differently is to name three women who write well-regarded literary fiction — Zadie Smith, Joyce Carol Oates, and Alice Munro. He's right, of course, that they're heavily covered and well-reviewed. But the argument has never been that there are no recognized women writers of literary fiction, so the existence of three isn't determinative. Both conscious and unconscious bias often don't lock a door completely as much as make it much harder to open. Those women would exist whether there was bias or not. That's why you can't answer a question about racial issues in Hollywood by putting your hands over your ears and yelling "WILL SMITH AND DENZEL WASHINGTON!"

http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2012/09/27/161885368/women-men-and-fiction-notes-on-how-not-to-answer-hard-questions

Salon asked Jeffrey Eugenides about gender bias in literary culture, and he chalked it up to "bellyaching."

09/26/2012

First (and only!) general meeting is tonight WEDNESDAY SEPT 26TH at 8:15p in Dodge 413! SEE YOU THERE!!!

One of our 2012 Submit-A-Thoners has published in the Tin House Blog! Congratulations Eleanor Levinson! http://www.tinho...
09/25/2012
The Threeway Marriage | Tin House

One of our 2012 Submit-A-Thoners has published in the Tin House Blog! Congratulations Eleanor Levinson!
http://www.tinhouse.com/blog/17367/the-threeway-marriage-by-eleanor-levinson.html

The land froze nine months of the year.Any winter dead had to wait until spring to be buried. The people hunted tarabagans for food, and wore rodent fur parkas, thin hairless tails hanging from their sleeves. The huts smelled of burnt flesh and goat marrow. In previous generations, they married a...

Eek! Edith Wharton would be disappointed...http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2012/09/19/vogue_edith_wharton_spread_why...
09/20/2012
Why Are There No Women Writers in Vogue’s Edith Wharton Spread?

Eek! Edith Wharton would be disappointed...
http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2012/09/19/vogue_edith_wharton_spread_why_were_there_no_women_writers_.html

Literary festivals don’t tend to generate much intrigue. But at last weekend’s Berkshire WordFest the close listener was rewarded with the thrilling crackle of whispered indignation. Several hundred writers and fans had descended upon The Mount, Edith Wharton’s country house in Lenox, Mass., to cele...

Address

New York, NY
10027

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when WTF! Writers Talk Feminism posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Shortcuts

Nearby media companies