Book review: Women Writers in the Twenty-First Century: How We Can Make Online Learning, Marketing and Publishing Work For Us by Dr. Laurie Garrison
Looking for Xanadu, 2016
The author calls this work her manifesto both because she operates the website Looking For Xanadu and because of her other efforts to support female writers in a time when the inequality of publishing is finally being targeted on a widespread basis.
As the subtitle promises, the book covers quite a bit of ground. After presenting the history of female authors, Garrison considers the status of women writing today.
“Unfortunately,” she writes, “the culture on the outside [of academia] has not moved in tandem with the ideals set in the much more PC worlds of universities.”
This has left women with few truly open channels through which to achieve publication. And be clear that when we talk about publishing, we are not speaking about fame or money or copies sold.
Publishing has long been about being heard, about bringing a message or a concept or an idea to the wider world. When over half the world’s population is gagged simply because of their gender, literature does not provide a truly diverse view of the world…and important voices remain unheard.
Garrison hopes to balance the scales a bit by helping female writers understand how to utilize online tools to broadcast their messages. In brief yet on-target sections, she lays out some of the ways authors can learn, innovate, and do more with and inside the accessible digital realm.
And since the same obstacles that face female authors also gag the voices of writers of color, LGBT authors, and even white males who happen to give female protagonists the spotlight, a wide variety of individuals can find assistance in these pages.
I was provided with a copy of the book so that I could write this review.
For a deep look inside the state of diversity in publishing today, try Writing While Female or Black or Gay: Diverse Voices in Publishing.