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January 02, 2007


I'm sorry you have gotten your issue in the mail yet. We mailed 'em out a couple of weeks ago, and you should have gotten it about a week ago now. If it doesn't turn up soon, let me know and we'll send out another copy to you.

BTW, we had a conversation at VQR about the rate of male vs. female authors after you posted a byline count some months ago. It's something that our editor is very much cognizant of, and this is clearly a problem that's much larger and deep-rooted than I could have guessed. FWIW, the majority of our readers are female. Now that we're using an electronic submission-tracking system, I'll be curious to find out what percentage of our submissions come from females. Just for the heck of it, I just now selected 50 random records from the database and counted 18 females (38%), 29 males (62%), and 3 unknown.

I always enjoy your blog, and thanks for the mention. BTW, I love Warren Wilson; I seriously considered going there for college, if for no other reason that they were the only school that promoted the number of acres per student. :)

Thanks for the thoughts, Waldo!

My VQR issue may well have been delivered by now...but I happen to be at theWarren Wilson residency right now (my last one!), so I won't get a chance to see it until I get back to Boston in a week. I'm certainly looking forward to it!

To that original post, where I critiqued the gender discrepency at VQR, Ted Genoways had a thoughtful response. Between the two of you, I believe in VQR's good faith when it comes to publication decisions and writer recruitment. Of course, byline discrepencies aren't just the bane of VQR--as WomenTK (www.womentk.com) makes clear, it's sadly consistent.

I don't claim to have any swift fixes that'll introduce gender equity in the media (and have women writing articles on more than just 'women's issues'). But I believe the solution begins with vigilance, on behalf of both editors and readers. One can't help questioning the results of byline counts...and I'd like to believe that the more questioning, the more debate and discussion about gender in the media, than the more likely we'll come up with workable responses--whether it involves focused mentoring/training, greater awareness of biases from all sources, recruitment, or other creative ideas. Here's hoping.

And by the way, Warren Wilson (who's official logo is a pine tree) is gorgeous even in January. The other night, some old writer pals an dI hiked up a trail to our favorite field. Under the full moon, we listened to each other recite memorized poems and stories. One fella had an impressive portion of The Catcher in the Rye committed to memory. How idyllic--almost to the point of corniness--is that?

Well, I hope you'll keep pointing out the byline count of each issue -- it's a good quarterly reminder. Though you may have put all of us here in the habit of doing it ourselves. :)

If you'll excuse me, I'll be quietly pining away for Asheville.

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  • Isak is a space to celebrate tales and truth in the curious, joyful way embodied by the writer for which it is named. The name "Isak," after all, means "laughter," as she was fond of pointing out.

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