So I’m going to do the Australian Women Writers Challenge in 2012.
It’s been set up by the Australian Women Writers organisation to counteract the bias toward reviews of male authors in the Australian literary landscape. And while I hope you don’t think I’m big-noting myself by including myself in said landscape, I’m definitely partial to this cause, and happy to do whatever I can to shine more light on talented Aussie writers who happen to be women as well.
The challenge involves making a public commitment to reading and reviewing work by Australian women writers in 2012. There are various levels of commitment one can commit to, but given my bookishness it would seem remiss of me not to take on the Franklin-fantastic level of the challenge, which commits me to reading at least 10 books and reviewing at least four of them over the course of the year. Sounds positively doable.
This morning I stood ahenny before our bookshelf and noted down a few titles that have been on my “meaning to read that” list for a long time now, and cast my eye over the competitors in the recent Meanjin Tournament of Books, and came up with a nice list of fiction including The Man Who Loved Children, The Lieutenant, Gilgamesh, Mr. Scobie’s Riddle and Carpentaria. But then it occurred to me that that list was completely bereft of poets, so I quickly put together a list of poets who I’ve been meaning to read more of, including Gwen Harwood, Dorothy Hewett, Mary Gilmore, Tracy Ryan, Vicki Viidikas, Pam Brown, Jill Jones, LK Holt, Joanne Burns and Libby Hart. That’s eleven right there.
So now I just have to work out whether I’m going to go poetry-exclusive, or whether I’ll cantilever the two. Or whether I’ll just see how I go, and if I feel like I need to have a novel on the go as well as the poetry, I’ll pick one of those books up there.
Kind of weird to set out a list of everything you’re going to read for an entire year. Of course I’ll probably fudge things and find other stuff I want to read, but this kind of commitment is always of the fluid and non-binding sort, so no stresses and let’s get started, hey?
If this sounds like something you’d be keen to do too, AWW is looking to sign up as many folks as they can to this, so head over to check out the rules of the Challenge and sign up, why don’t you? I’d be glad of the company.