Featured Blog Posts – November 2009 Archive (24)

Countdown to Publication -- THE HAPPINESS PROJECT.

Days remaining to publication date – 29.

The Happiness Project is an account of the year I spent testing the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. This is my fourth book (or my fifth book, if you include a book I did in collaboration with an artist).

The big news for me this week is that my book… Continue

Added by Gretchen Rubin on November 29, 2009 at 3:27pm — 5 Comments

"Don't Dismiss YA! Top Ten YA Books Written by Women of Color"

Recently I visited a blog that was hosting a reading challenge for 2010. The challenge focuses on a particular ethnic group. When I asked about writers who write YA, the host responded that she preferred writers of the specific ethnic group but not YA authors.

I replied that I was disappointed that Young Adult literature was not welcomed. I view the response as the slight it is. If I’m being oversensitive, I’m not without reason. The host tried to smooth things over, but… Continue

Added by LaTonya on November 27, 2009 at 8:00pm — 22 Comments

Please sponsor a book for a cause!

Dear She Writers,

I am writing on behalf of all the wonderful young women writers at Girls Write Now in New York, an energetic community organization supporting the efforts of these young writers through workshops and mentoring--http://www.girlswritenow.org/gwn/

On Dec 12, I hope to be reading and conducting a short fiction workshop at Girls Write Now, following on the release of my collection of short fiction "Temporary… Continue

Added by Ramola D on November 27, 2009 at 1:17pm — No Comments

The Plan! (Please weigh in.)

The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind for us at She Writes. We are testing our sea legs as a community that takes organized action, and as a resource for women who write and all who support them. Before the PW List came out a few weeks ago (no women, only one book by a nonwhite author in their… Continue

Added by Kamy Wicoff on November 25, 2009 at 3:30pm — 4 Comments

Countdown to Publication -- THE HAPPINESS PROJECT.

Days remaining to publication date – 37.

The Happiness Project is an account of the year I spent testing the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.

I hit a milestone this month – I actually got a copy of the cover of my book. There was no book inside, just the jacket, but it was… Continue

Added by Gretchen Rubin on November 22, 2009 at 6:33pm — 3 Comments

Is this Colonial Williamsburg? The National Book Award LESS diverse than PW List? I am going to go churn butter now.

We are trying to figure out what, exactly, is the best and most effective way to react to the ALL WHITE MALE National Book Award winners announced last night. (At least PW had that one black man, whom they featured on the cover.) But I just have to say I am not sure whether to be enraged or bored. I do know that I would like to have another conversation. Like, what are the Top Ten Things we want to do with She Writes? Should we have our own awards?

Maybe we can figure out an action… Continue

Added by Kamy Wicoff on November 19, 2009 at 4:49pm — 4 Comments

Thanks for the Inspiration, PW. We'll Take It, And Run!

A few months ago, my She Writes colleague Kathryn Gordon and I got set up on a blind date with a branding expert. A friend of a friend wanted to help us out -- me, the newbie CEO, and Kathy, my publishing-and-marketing right-hand woman -- in our efforts to learn more about the mysterious art of branding. She said she knew just the man. Formerly of a big branding firm and recently of an edgier, cooler, smaller one, he was in his early… Continue

Added by Kamy Wicoff on November 17, 2009 at 1:00pm — 8 Comments

Anything They Can Do We Can Do Better

I’m devoting my blog today to the She Writes Day of Action, which, as many of you already know, is aimed at amassing a list of all the superlative books written by women authors this year. I found it surprisingly easy to come up with some great books written by women in 2009. (Surprising only because most of my favorite books were written before 1940.)

The Day of Action came about when Kamy Wicoff, the fearless founder of the women writers' website She Writes, protested…


Added by Sarah Glazer on November 16, 2009 at 2:30pm — 5 Comments

Countdown to Publication -- THE HAPPINESS PROJECT.

Days remaining to publication day: 44.

I loved following along with Hope Edelman in her "Countdown to Publication" for The Possibility of Everything, so I'm thrilled that SheWrites has asked me to take over, now that Hope's terrific memoir has hit the shelves.

My book is The Happiness Project, an account of the year I spent testing the wisdom of the ages, the current… Continue

Added by Gretchen Rubin on November 15, 2009 at 2:30pm — 8 Comments

Why are Best-Books Lists Mostly Male? (From Politics Daily)

A few weeks ago, two book critics held a hushed conversation via cell phone under cover of darkness.

"They better not do it again," one hissed.

"I know," the other sputtered.

"If it happens, I will just --"

"I know!" said the other.

"SCREAM," the first finished. "I WILL SCREAM."

The subject was the upcoming season of book awards; "They" was the mass of authors, critics and publishing professions who -- including yours truly -- dispense them.

The… Continue

Added by Lizzie Skurnick on November 14, 2009 at 8:14am — 5 Comments

NWSA and books by women

In honor of the She Writes campaign to buy books by women, I thought I'd share some books by women I bought today at the National Women's Studies Association book exhibit:

Reconstructing Motherhood and Disability in the Age of "Perfect" Babies, by Gail Heidi Landsman

Beyond Bad Girls: Gender, Violence and Hype, by Meda Chesney-Lind and Katherine Irwin…


Added by Alison Piepmeier on November 13, 2009 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Is Michael Connelly really a better writer than Lorrie Moore? Really?

Anyone who has ever sat on a prize committee or a list committee has got to know , if he or she is minimally observant and self-aware, that what results are not Olympian judgments. There’s a fair amount of happenstance involved. Group dynamics are much more important than you might think. Even the claim to have read all the relevant books is a bit fictional, because it would not be physically possible to do more than glance at most of the many hundreds of books that might conceivably be… Continue

Added by Katha Pollitt on November 13, 2009 at 4:00pm — 10 Comments

Girls Write Now's Best Books of 2009: Where to Begin?

Girls Write Now is powered by a vibrant, close-knit community of exceptional women writers—their published work is as captivating and current as the voices of our girls, who stream in to our office for weekly mentoring sessions and monthly workshops from every corner of New York City. Our network of committed volunteers, more than 6,000 strong, intimately understands that a key component of nurturing the next generation of women writers is connecting them with their role models. This space of… Continue

Added by Maya Nussbaum on November 13, 2009 at 2:49pm — 3 Comments

Lost (and Found) in Translation: Top Ten Books by International Women Writers

Where are women writers most underrepresented (other than this year's PW Ten Best Books list)? In translation. In fact, international women writers receive a double dose of underrepresentation. To begin with, only about 3 percent of the books published in the United States each year are translated from other languages. And within that 3 percent, a pathetically small portion are works written by women. I've yet to hear a… Continue

Added by Jean Casella on November 13, 2009 at 1:00pm — 5 Comments

Publishers Weekly Versus the Rest of Us

The PW "ten best" list was a surprise, but not a big one, at least not for me--though when I shared the news with my husband, HE was outraged. "How dare they?" said he.

It was a little dismaying to read the descriptions of the books, which you can do at http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6704263.html, and realize how very much it was shaped by "boy" subjects. "Gritty, mostly honest-hearted ex-heroin addict… Continue

Added by Alicia Suskin Ostriker on November 13, 2009 at 12:56pm — 10 Comments

Quick take: Angela Davis and the National Women's Studies Association Conference

I'm in Atlanta at the National Women's Studies Association Conference. The conference officially got started last night with a keynote address by Angela Davis, who is one of the most important feminist activists of the last forty years, and always an inspiring speaker. She discussed the changes that the NWSA has gone through in recent years, changes that are making it a more inclusive and rigorous academic organization, and she also discussed… Continue

Added by Alison Piepmeier on November 13, 2009 at 5:23am — 1 Comment

“Your Silence Will Not Protect You”: A Conversation Between WILLA Co-Founders and Co-Directors Erin Belieu and Cate Marvin


When Kamy kindly asked us to write a piece for She Writes, Cate Marvin and I kicked around some ideas about what its readership might find interesting. We considered writing about the founding of WILLA and its daily operations (Women in Letters and Literary Arts is the new national organization we’ve started to promote the recognition of women’s achievements in writing). Ultimately, we decided this approach might be a little dull in its particulars, as most of our time is… Continue

Added by Cate Marvin on November 12, 2009 at 3:37pm — 9 Comments

Finding Mother Writer


I sit here writing and rocking, old-fashioned pen in hand, one 3-week old baby on right breast, the other, his twin, lying patiently in her bassinet waiting her turn. I think about how many “scribbling” women have been here before me and how often it must start like this: a repurposed scrap of paper (their feeding schedule, in this instance) and a boppy pillow repurposed as… Continue

Added by Deborah Siegel on November 12, 2009 at 3:00pm — 6 Comments

Response from Louisa Ermelino at PW

Many of you asked an excellent question in response to my earlier post about PW's Top Ten Best Books of 2009 list -- how they heck did they create it?

Today we heard back from Louisa Ermelino at PW, who was apparently in charge of the process (she is the Reviews Director). The best part is that she thinks we didn't understand that there were 100 books on the list, not just 10. We understand.… Continue

Added by Kamy Wicoff on November 12, 2009 at 12:28pm — 8 Comments

Women's Efforts Are Rarely Noted As They Should Be

Best Books of the Year lists, Inventions, Politics: you name it, and though it's hard to admit, our efforts as women, our creativity and labor and gumption are rarely acknowledged publicly they way they should be. This year's Nobel Prizes, which included a nearly unimaginable number of awards to women, are the recent exception that makes us notice how blatantly bad the status quo is. I can't help but count numbers--when I read the Op-Ed pages, when I glance at the Table of Contents in The New… Continue

Added by Miriam Peskowitz on November 11, 2009 at 7:35pm — 4 Comments

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