Event to discuss role of women in literary prizes
The day, organised jointly by the Contemporary Women's Writing Association and Leeds Metropolitan University, will include guest speakers Clare Hey, fiction editor at Simon and Schuster and owner of Shortfire Press, Gillian Roberts, lecturer in North American Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham, Helen Cousins and Jenni Ramone, co-editors of the Richard and Judy Book Club Reader, and Jane Rogers, author of seven novels including 'The Testament of Jessie Lamb', which begins serialisation on BBC Women's Hour on Monday 24 June.
Co-organiser and Reader in Cultural Studies and Humanities at Leeds Met, Dr Susan Watkins, explains: "Literary prizes like the Man Booker are high prestige for authors and big business in the publishing industry. 69% of reading groups are made up entirely of women, yet there still seems to be a fuss when a woman writer like Hilary Mantel wins a prize twice! There was also controversy when Kate Mosse established the Women's Prize for Fiction in 1996. Our event will examine the relation between contemporary women's writing and the culture of literary prizes."
The guest speakers will be discussing ideas surrounding literary prizes including the publishing industry, digital publishing, short stories, national identity, reading groups and careers in the literary industry. Jane Rogers will also be reading from a selection of her works and the event will close with refreshments and a book signing.