Support Australian Women Writers

My support for Australian women writers dwindled in 2016 because of several factors and it wasn’t just Australian or women authors that I ignored.

Some Australian Women Writers

For the first time in four years, I failed to meet the level of reading and reviewing books I’d nominated with the Australian Women Writers Challenge.

First the excuses. I contracted shingles (varicella-zoster virus) which wasn’t treated with anti-viral medication in time to prevent severe Illness. The virus affected the trigeminal nerve in my face, including the branch that goes to my left eye. The disease debilitated me and convalescence seemed very slow and painful.

Reading and writing went to the bottom my ‘to do’ list when my energy and enjoyment diminished. I did manage to write about the disease here.

In the second half of the year, the Spirit of the Streets Choir offered me the position of Leader for the second stage of their exciting Narrative Research Project, after a synchronistic chain of events. I jumped at the opportunity. My previous career trajectory (nurse, counsellor, advocate, manager) as well as my PhD in Writing all pointed to a fulfilling and exciting experience in this new job.

My job description states that I must attend choir rehearsals each week. A non-singer (or at least, an off-tune singer) I find this both confronting and a joy. Quite simply, I love what I do! But I also began to read research material way outside the area that lends itself to reviews of books.

I hate it when I fail to meet challenges, especially ones I set myself. To not complete the challenge last year felt as if I’d let down the side. And myself.

But here I am again for 2017. I’m back. I have new reading glasses and I’m and ready to commit to another year’s Australian Women Writers Challenge.

About the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017

‘The AWW challenge was set up to help overcome gender bias in the reviewing of books by Australian women. The challenge encourages avid readers and book bloggers, male and female, living in or outside Australia, to read and review books by Australian women throughout the year. You don’t have to be a writer to sign up. You can choose to read and review, or read only.’ (From the website.)

More Australian Women Writers

This year, I’ll be gentle with myself, and read six books and review four. That’s easily manageable. I can always do more if I like. I’m looking forward to  a delicious diet of books old and new.

I’d really love the company of friends on this journey. Please consider joining the challenge as a way to support Australian women writers.

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017

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12 thoughts on “Support Australian Women Writers

  1. Hi Maureen, I have just signed up today as well. I did sign up for 2016, but basically wrote no reviews, so am hoping to improve on that in 2017. And chuffed to find my name in your list of Australian women writers!

    • Melinda, how lovely to hear from you! Of course I’d include you in my list of Australian Women Writers! I’m a little pleased to hear that I wasn’t the only one who signed up and didn’t complete my challenge this year. It has been a somewhat difficult year but that’s not a proper excuse. This year, I’ll do better and I look forward to reading your reviews as you churn them out. What level did you sign up for?

  2. Hi Maureen
    it’s nice to see you back blogging.
    We have been in a Book club for over 25 years which reads books by women authors only. Originally we were doing Womens Studies at ECU and we made a conscious decision to support female authors. I am.just re-reading Brenda Walker’s ‘One More River”. It’s wonderful.
    Thank you for the list!

    • I only stopped blogging because my blog broke into a million pieces, or something equally technical, when we changed to the NBN. It needed major repairs that I couldn’t do myself, and needed to employ a website person. The whole process was very disheartening and slow, and it has taken me a while to get going again. I’m glad you missed my blogs.

      Your book club is amazing. I didn’t realise you read only books by women authors. I really enjoy reading women writers, but I do like the others as well, for a change from time to time. Have you thought about joining the AWW Challenge? You’d enjoy it, I’m sure.

  3. Maureen I had shingles of the neck and head this year too. I was terrified it would move to my eye. I’ve now that the vaccination to prevent the likelihood of it coming back because it was dreadful. My sympathies. I love the idea of this challenge. I will look into it.

    • I think shingles is very much underrated as a debilitating illness! Thank you for your sympathy. I must have the vaccination, too. I think it became available in November.

      The Australian Women Writers Challenge has been going for four years, and it a good resource for ideas for reading. It is also a bit of a challenge as the name implies, to read and write reviews, but everyone does it at their own pace and in a number of different categories, not only fiction. I hope to see your reviews appearing soon.

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