Thursday, 1 December 2011

Australian Women Writers 2012 Challenge

... which, unfairly, reminds me of the Top Gear Winter Olympics xxx Chall... (which inevitably couldn't fit on the electronic scoreboards they were using to announce the challenges.)


The Australian Women Writers 2012 Challenge.  To quote the website:

Australian Women Writers 2012 National Year of Reading Challenge

Keen on romance, fantasy, crime, YA, literary, mainstream women's fiction? Contemporary or historical? Memoir, other nonfiction or poetry?  

Whatever your preference, whether you're a fan of one genre or a devoted eclectic, the 2012 Australian Women Writers Book Reading & Reviewing Challenge invites you to celebrate a year encountering the best of Australian women's writing.

Objective: This challenge hopes to help counteract the gender bias in reviewing and social media newsfeeds that has continued throughout 2011 by actively promoting the reading and reviewing of a wide range of contemporary Australian women's writing. (See the page on gender bias for recent discussions.)

Readers should approach this challenge with a spirit of willingness. There are no failures, just personal goals. Reviews can be long or short, favourable or "this book is not for me". Hopefully, along the way, we'll all discover some future classics and perhaps a few surprises among genres we're not familiar with. The main aim is to have fun.

Challenge period:  1 January 2012 -  31 December 2012

Goal: Read and review books written by Australian women writers.

Genre challenges: 
Purist: one genre only
Dabbler: more than one genre
Devoted eclectic: as many genres as you can find
Challenge levels:
Stella (read 3 and review at least 2 books)
Miles (read 6 and review at least 3* 
Franklin-fantastic (read 10 and review at least 4 books)*
* The higher levels should include at least one substantial length review 
I am aiming to be a Franklin-fantastic Dabbler.  Minimum.

As I said on Twitter today, I'm kind of gobsmacked by 'Franklin-fantastic' being only ten books.  In a quick scan through my Goodreads, I've already added over 30 books.  Meanwhile, my total book aim for 2011 is 75, and I think I'll make it.

My only issue is that I just started reading a Stephanie Laurens, and am conflicted between finishing the book and counting it for the 2011 challenge (six books to go!) and stopping because she's an Australian author and that means I should wait until January to keep going with it.  (I think this *is* what I'll do with Sara Knox' The Orphan Gunner which I really haven't begun yet).

In perusing my list so far I have:

  • chick lit
  • romance (okay, not in my list, but there's plenty of Laurens I want to read)
  • biography
  • philosophy/spirituality
  • literary
  • YA
  • middle grades
  • sociology
  • politics
  • feminist legal theory 
  • poetry/verse novels 

 I may have issues with the sub-challenge "We Love 2 Read 2" (which is less about the use of the numeral 2 and more about there being broader problems with the Our Story program than gender balance, about which I have a post in process) but I love the broader challenge, and am so frustrated by the fact that the start date is still a month away.  I want to start reading now!


  1. Hi Heidi,

    I’m writing on behalf of the Australian Women Writers Challenge team and would like to thank you for your enthusiastic participation in the AWW challenge this year. I was also wondering if you’ve seen our feedback survey?

    It's very quick (10 questions, mostly check boxes, takes 2 minutes), and will provide useful feedback to Bookseller & Publisher.

    Even if you didn't reach your goal this year, your feedback is valued, and I hope you'll join us again for AWW Challenge 2013.

    Kind regards,

  2. Already answered the survey, thanks, Jessica. I'm definitely planning on joining again in 2013. Thanks!