Friday, April 6, 2012

Where the Girls Are

I've been thinking a lot about gender in fiction lately. Part of it is because of my somewhat contentious but productive discussions about it with fellow fictioner A. J. O'Connell. Part of it is because novelist Jennifer Weiner discusses it a lot. And part of it is because another friend blogged about it.

So I went into the time machine back to the past two semesters, when I was fiction co-editor of Mason's Road. At MR we had a blind submission policy, so we didn't know the names or genders of the authors. That said, sometimes you read a story and you're pretty confident it was written by one gender or the other. So I figured it was worth it to count the stories I accepted over those two semesters to see if I was predisposed one way or the other.

During the two semester I edited, we accepted 11 stories for publication. Here's the breakdown:

Stories written by women: 8*
Stories written by men: 3

*We actually accepted 9 stories written by women, but we ultimately rescinded the offer to publish one because the author was uncooperative about edits we felt needed to be made.

Clearly this is a small statistical sampling. So it doesn't prove anything. And some would argue that it may prove I'm actually biased against men. All I can hope is that I don't rule anyone's fiction out because of their sex.

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