By: Sang Kromah
Whether you’re a writer (aspiring or published) or bibliophile, you know that 2018 is the year of publishing WOMEN. But if you aren’t aware, let me clarify. After attending a publishing panel on “The Crisis of American Fiction,” where no women were included and no mention of any female authors was made, author, Kamila Shamsie began speaking on gender bias in publishing as a whole, suggesting that 2018 be a year of publishing new books from ONLY women authors. In other words, men, give us a year. That’s not too much to ask, right?
Well, whether you agree or not, #TimesUp, we’re no longer asking for a year, we’re taking it. Of course, we know, men will be published, and more power to them, but will we acknowledge those books? Certainly not!
I don’t have to re-iterate how we are overlooked and underappreciated in publishing because that’s the case in every industry. With the #MeToo movement and now, #TimesUp, we’re reclaiming our time, creating spaces and avenues of our own making as opposed to awaiting small moments of allotted time and minuscule pieces of a larger whole, where we’re nothing more than a token in a vomit-inducing room full of toxic masculinity.
Year after year, we’re faced with the painful reality that we aren’t being taken seriously. First, female authors had to write under male pseudonyms in order to be published. Once it was proven that we were a force not to be messed with, the impression of an even playing field was presented, but the truth is, the publishing industry is anything but equal. When one or two female authors succeed or exceed expectations, the rest of us are expected to sit down and be humble as if to say, “We let you guys have a J.K. Rowling, what more do you want?” Add in a little melanin and then articles will be written about a modern day renaissance when we were always creating magic, it was just never given the platform to shine.
Off the top of my head, I can name ten soon-to-be-published books by badass women writers without the help of Google. Think Claire Kann, Mikko Azul, Sandhya Menon, Gloria Chao, Samira Ahmed, Tomi Adeyemi, Becky Albertalli, Dhonielle Clayton, Tanaz Bhathena…hell, think ME! Honestly speaking, this is not the time to be humble. These are ten women authors that have great 2018 releases, and I know there are so much many out there, but you know that as well. This is no renaissance, we have always been lit. This is no rebirth. We have always been here. The difference is now, we’re not taking no for an answer. We’re #CreatingtheNarrative by providing our own platforms and for an entire year, we’re telling men to sit down and be humble. It’s our time, so watch us work!
This is not a plea, but an urging to publishing houses to sign, publish and promote literary works of women and girls of diverse backgrounds. For literary magazines to publish stories by women and for bloggers to review books written only by women. For bibliophiles to stand by women writes and buy our books, share links, talk about them, and review them on Amazon, Goodreads, and more. My publisher, Not a Pipe Publishing is participating, and I’m proud to be included in the Publishing Class of 2018 with my novel, Djinn being published in March.
With this being our year and all, and with Project GirlSpire’s 2018 theme being #CreateTheNarrative, we’re participating in the Year of Publishing Women in a major way. We already publish content by and about women and girls only, but we’ve decided to take it a step further by dedicating the year to giving aspiring, published, and soon-to-be-published women writers the platform to be seen and heard. We’re reaching out to women authors, content creators, female-run brands, and readers to support, promote, and shine here.
We will be interviewing authors who have or will be publishing books in 2018. We want to get to know you and about your book, and there’s a world of readers who would like to get to know you, your books, and your views.
This is an opportunity for authors to pitch an idea for a post of your choosing. This could be an excerpt from your book, a contest, an article, a playlist for your book, a book casting call, etc.
This is pretty much self-explanatory but to be featured, please include an author bio, a short summary, cover art, a headshot, social media links, and links to purchase the book.
This is more for book bloggers or for girls/women who’ve read a 2018 release and want to review the book for Project GirlSpire. Although we thrive on positivity, we want your honest opinions and an in-depth review.
This is chance for up-and-coming writers to shine. Submit your short stories to be featured on the blog.
If you’re interested in being a part of our Year of Publishing Women, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you’re interested in joining the Project GirlSpire team, email me or send me a pitch!