Books by Australian women – a challenge

Books by Australian women often fail to attract the reviews they deserve in the general and literary media. Not only that, they often do not appear on lists of best books forthcoming from publishing houses. The Australian Women Writers’ Challenge aims to make up some of the difference in numbers of reviews of women and men writers.

Photo of books by Australian writers

The Australian Women Writers Challenge is now in its ninth year. Their website states,

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.


This is the seventh year I’ve signed up to read and review books by Australian women writers. Some years I do well, and exceed my nominated level. Other years, not so much.

You can read my commitment from last year on the blog I wrote, ‘Nineteen books in 2019 challenge’. That was far too ambitious!

Events outside my control got in the way of reading the number of books I’d nominated. Cataract surgery and the long time that followed until I got new spectacles meant I didn’t read anything much, let alone review. Then my husband had several lots of planned and unplanned surgery, and required care, time and energy. I did not reach my target.

Commitment to read books by Australian women in 2020

This year my commitment to read and review books by Australian women writers will be a more modest six, which I hope to attain with ease. And there is nothing to prevent me from doing more!

Anyone can join

The Australian Women Writers Challenge is open to anyone, not only Australians.

If you are looking for a way to join a community of almost 1000 people who encourage women writers, then this could be the challenge for you. Writing a review can be as complex or simple as you like. There are no judges. You can sign up and find guidelines for writing reviews on the AWWC 2020 website.

Purple badge for AWWC 2020

8 replies on “Books by Australian women – a challenge”

  1. Hi Maureen, it is lovely to log on at last and remember how reading posts always introduces me to new ideas. I’d never considered this topic before and it made me think. I’ll enjoy checking out the AWWC link, thank you. Hope you have been well apart from your surgery. ❤ Nat

    1. HI, Nat, lovely to hear from you. It has been ages since I’ve seen a blog of yours. Hope you are well. I miss your photography! The surgery was John’s. I had my cataracts fixed over twelve months ago, and my eyes are wonderful now.

      I hope you enjoy the AWWC link and the reviews.

        1. Thanks Nat. I hope you are soon feeling better. I look forward to seeing your posts, as you know, and always think about you when you are not active.

          1. Thanks Maureen. I read your post about self isolating and part of me wondered how are you coping in the apartment?

            The kids and I have been at home for a week (son has a cold and his school has an ‘any symptoms all family keeps clear’ policy which I think is excellent). Having acreage has been a blessing. Do you have a way to get some time outdoors still?

            I hope you and John stay healthy and safe. If you need anything please just ask. It never hurts to have another person to reach out to.

            1. That is so kind, Nat. We are doing really well although we’ve only been self isolating for a week or so. It seems to be working well. John paints out on the balcony for hours each day, and I write, blog, etc. We have beautiful parks nearby. We go either very early in the morning (5.30) or during the day when there are few people around. I do miss my swimming but we don’t go to the pool.

              I hope your son’s cold is better. I didn’t realise you’d moved to your lovely country place. That must have been exciting, and so good for you. How do you manage the isolation?

              Thank you for your lovely reach-out. Much appreciated. Mx

    1. HI, Sue. Yes, he’s doing well, thank you. A bit over the top, though, with six lots of surgery (hernia, pacemaker, shoulder, cataracts and several lots of skin cancer) in 14 months. I don’t know who is most exhausted by it – him or me. Hoping we have come to the end.

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