Men 'most reviewed' in literary magazines

Men 'most reviewed' in literary magazines

An annual study of the gender balance in reviewers and authors in major literary magazines has found that both are skewed heavily towards men.

American organisation VIDA (Women in Literary Arts), looked at publications including the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books in the UK, and US publications such as the New Yorker and the New Republic.

It found that in 2014 the majority of literary magazines still mostly used male reviewers and mostly reviewed books by male authors.

VIDA said it had not “seen significant positive change at the Times Literary Supplement over five years of our counting”.

“The share of the pie for women has remained at a consistent 27% for four years,” said VIDA. “In 2014, we saw a slight bump to 28%, which means that women continue to share less than one third of the pie.”

Overall, the Times Literary Supplement featured 2,200 male critics and authors on its pages in 2014, and 869 women.

It reviewed books by 954 men in 2014, and 325 women, up from 907 and 313 respectively.

VIDA had positive words about Granta, which it said “is steadily closing the gap”.

“Since 2012, it has moved at a pace of a three percentage points increase per year,” said VIDA. “If this trend continues, in 2015 women will represent 51% of Granta’s overall contributors.”

Overall Granta featured 36 male reviewers and authors in 2014, the same number as in 2013, and 33 female, up from 30 in 2013.

And it had 327 female book reviewers in 2014, up from 297, while male book reviewers were from 726 in 2013 to 715 in 2014.

The London Review of Books featured 527 male reviewers and authors in total on its pages in 2014, compared to 151 women. Of the authors reviewed, 192 were male, down from 245 in 2013, and 58 were female, down from 72 in 2013.

VIDA criticised the Paris Review, which “made great strides toward gender parity last year”, but which in 2014 showed “negative change for women on all counts”. In 2013, women represented 51% of those featured in the magazine, but this fell to 40% in 2014.

The full VIDA count and tables can be viewed on the organisation’s website.