Publishers and retailers will celebrate International Women’s Day today (Friday 8th March) with a series of events including readings, new collections and a feminist library.
Penguin Random House is marking the day with an online campaign celebrating writing by women and helping readers choose to read women. The publisher has asked readers to tell PRG about the essential writing by women that they think everyone should read, as well as putting together a collection of new titles. All these recommendations - by women, about women, and for everyone – appear at penguin.co.uk/internationalwomensday and across the Penguin social channels.
Puffin has launched a new collection, The Sisterhood collection, which celebrates the best-loved classics written by some of the best female authors, including The Little Princess and Pride & Prejudice.
A selection of Waterstones bookshops will celebrate IWD with a range of events. Waterstones Piccadilly are hosting a headline event today (Friday 8th March) with Laura Bates, Holly Bourne, Laura Steven and Laura Coryton in conversation, whilst Waterstones Gower Street is running a series of feminist events with subjects ranging from Celebrating Modern Sisterhood, with Daisy Buchanan, Charlie Craggs and Sara Gulamali and Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men with Caroline Criado Perez & Lynn Enright to an International Women's Day Kids' Celebration. Other highlights include events in Cambridge, ranging from Doctor Who: Space, Time, and Gender to an International Women's Day Panel, and Waterstones Birmingham is hosting a special event on Sunday 10th to mark the day with Once Upon a Time in Birmingham: Women Who Dared To Dream.
Fleet and The Borough Press have joined forces for an IWD event at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road. Authors Layla AlAmmar and Yara Rodrigues Fowler will be in conversation discussing women’s bodies, navigating cultures and trauma and their debut novels The Pact We Made (HarperCollins) and Stubborn Archivis (Little, Brown) with Sarah Shaffi chairing. Waterstones.com will revisit the ‘Women Write Now’ strand which successfully launched last year. The focus will be ‘Women Write Now’ campaign page, drawing together the most dynamic and resonant titles written by women today.
W H Smith is marking IWD with its all-female Richard and Judy Spring Book Club list. Hodder & Stoughton author Erin Kelly will be in Edinburgh doing a Gliterary Lunch for her novel Stone Mothers with a specific focus on IWD. Virago author Sandi Toksvig will be at the Southbank Centre on Saturday 9th March for the WOW: What Next? talk exploring what the future looks like for women.
On Wednesday 6th March All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims hosted Mariam Khan, editor and co-author of It's Not About the Burqa (Picador), along with contributors Nafisa Bakkar and Aina Khan OBE. Yesterday (Thursday 7th March) Khan was at Amazon for a speaker session with Women@ Reads for IWD. On Wednesday 27th March, Khan will be on a panel for Fearless Futures' Moving the Margins: International Women's Day Breakfast, Panel & Workshop event.
Serpent’s Tail will team up with beauty salon WAH Nails to have a feminist library in the salon and a free event with Open Up author Alex Holder in Soho. Today at 1pm, Holder will hold a free event discussing her new book Open Up, and the power of talking about money. The WAH Feminist Library is made up a combination of recent and classic titles by women writers. The library includes cult autofiction I Love Dick by Chris Kraus, National Book Award finalist Her Body & Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, food manifesto Eat Up by Ruby Tandoh and The Piano Teacher by Nobel winner Elfriede Jelinek.
HarperCollins is paying homage to Emma Watson’s ‘book fairies’ by sharing books that celebrate womanhood and the female experience with their own colleagues and those in News UK and Dow Jones. Its divisions are supporting hashtags #InternationalWomensDay and #QuotesforWomen with articles and quotes highlighting feminist themes. HQ will be celebrating with the paperback launch of Vox, and Collins, whose Tara Binns books feature positive female role models working in STEM careers, have been endorsed by The WISE Campaign, and will be engaging teachers with content and lesson plans.
Octopus has partnered with books subscription service Books That Matter around the theme of forgotten women. They have themed their March boxes around this and have included profile cards of forgotten women from the Forgotten Women book series by Zing Tsjeng. Each box contains three different A5 profile cards with illustrations from the books and a bio on each woman.
Campaigning magazine Mslexia celebrates its 20th anniversary today, arguing the literary playing field is still tilted in favour of male writers. Mslexia founder and editor Debbie Taylor said: “It’s wonderful to see so many new initiatives to support BAME, working class, LGBT and other marginalised writers. What tends to be forgotten is that the majority of those marginalised writers are women too – and therefore face a double whammy of challenges. What’s still shocking to me is the persistence of women’s lack of confidence in their writing, and in their right to write – which seems barely dented by the achievements of authors like Hilary Mantel and Carol Ann Duffy. It obviously takes time for generations of negative conditioning to fade. But when it does – and it will – watch out!”
DK has partnered with Orbital Comics for a comic book shop takeover to celebrate International Women’s Day and the theatrical release of "Captain Marvel". DK’s recently published Marvel Fearless and Fantastic! Female Super Heroes Save the World will take over the central London based shop with a gallery showcasing the comic artwork that appears in the book, alongside in-store promotions and activities. A special in-store launch event celebrating the book and gallery will also be happening on Saturday 9th March.