The trade is marking International Women's Day (IWD) in lockdown today (Monday 8th March) with a series of talks, promotions and essays from leading authors.
Waterstones will mark the occasion online with a focus on its “Women Write Now” campaign page, drawing together resonant titles. This year's IWD theme puts the spotlight on acts that challenge inequality and help build a more inclusive world. The retailer will reflect this by selecting books it thinks will help create a gender-equal society.
A dedicated page is also hosting blogs from authors including Sara Collins, Helen Lewis, Saima Mir, Emma Stonex, Francesca Wade and the Feminist Book Society.
Penguin Random House will also be hosting a piece on its site by Annabelle Williams, author of Why Women Are Poorer Than Men And What We Can Do About It, on why feminism is a financial issue. The site will also feature a list of readers' picks of fiction by female authors.
The publisher hosts a monthly internal book club, currently digital because of the pandemic, and there will be a special IWD edition featuring a number of titles from the publisher's leading female authors.There will also be exclusive colleague talk, part of the Penguin Voices series, with Nell Frizzell to talk about her new book, The Panic Years, and on parenting in a pandemic.
HarperCollins and News UK are running a joint programme of events this week which will see three special seminars led by Shola Kaye, Sonya Barlo and Gillian Jones-Williams including virtual keynotes, interactive sessions and Q&As on "Owning Your Power, Purpose and Profile", "Career Elevation and the Eight Traits of Successful Women" and "Enhancing Your Network’’.
Pan Mac author Kate Mosse has already launched a campaign calling for people to nominate an inspirational woman from every period in history which has been answered by people including Bernardine Evaristo and Elizabeth Day. Mosse has now written a piece for the publisher's website sharing some of the nominees, shining a light on world-changing, often lesser-known women throughout history. In addition, Pan Mac is encouraging everyone to get involved in its social channels throughout the day, sharing book stack photos featuring colleagues' favourite books.
Meanwhile, radical publisher Pluto Press will launch a 40% “Feminist Solidarities Sale” on its website featuring books such as Lola Olufemi's Feminism, Interrupted and the forthcoming Bread & Roses, by Andrea D'Atri. M.d. Veruschka Selbach said the occasion would be just one of many celebrations of feminism throughout the year including events and publishing. Among others, the indie is releasing two PEN Translates Award winners in April with A Decolonial Feminism by Francoise Verges and translated by Ashley Bohrer and A Feminist Reading of Debt by Lucí Cavallero and Verónica Gago, translated by Liz Mason-Deese. Verges will also be speaking to the Vagina Museum's book club, Cliterature, next month.
This evening, Rough Trade Books has teamed up with Forum Books and At Home With The 4 Indies for an online extravaganza from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are available through Eventbrite for a line-up featuring poets Martha Sprackland and Briony Bax, prose from Jen Calleja, Ren Aldridge, Charlotte Newman and Sheena Patel, plus a conversation between Wendy Erskine and Salena Godden.
Over at Bloomsbury, the publisher held an early Instagram Live draw-along event with Kate Pankhurst, author of the Fantastically Great Women series, on 5th March for children before they went back to school.
On Twitter, the publisher will spend the day promoting non-fiction books by women of colour, including Outraged, Inferno, I Belong Here, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Partition Voices, The Good Girls, The Mystery of the Parsee Lawyer and Hood Feminism.
Hachette UK, meanwhile, has launched its inaugural Feminist Book Box today for a new subscription service. It has been developed in conjunction with Virago, showcasing the best writing from the feminist imprint under the theme of "forgotten women from history".
The Booker Prize is also running a social media campaign with its team nominating favourite characters from any Booker or International Booker longlisted, shortlisted or winning novel for IWD, and asking readers to join in with their choices.
Elsewhere today, the book careers podcast has an exclusive interview with Bodour Al Qasimi, president of the International Publishers Association and founder of women's network PublisHer.