I’m over at the Huffington Post today, writing about the inaugural national event for Women in Letters and the Literary Arts (WILLA), which took place in Denver during this years Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference. Here’s the beginning:
Is it ever possible to go against the grain, particularly in an industry so thick with sexism that it is a veritable live model of exploitation where the masses who write, read and purchase books (women) support the few who judge, award and critique them (men)? Apparently, not only is it possible, but it can be a whole lot of fun. The first rock-concert styled public reading and national kick-off for WILLA (Women In Letters & Literary Arts), took place at the Denver Press Club last Friday night during this year’s conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), held in Colorado. After two days of panels and readings (approximately twenty-four during each of six time slots; do the math), plus a full slate of off-site events ranging from a reading hosted by several literary journals, Counterpath Review, Drunken Boat, Guernica, and Persea Books to one by Cave Canem/Kundiman to the Con Tinta Celebration which involved one of those rarities in the usually expensive AWP world, free food, and two popular parties on the same night, one by über literary agent, Julie Barer and the other by Granta, one would imagine that participants would feel an eyes-glazed-over effect in their entire bodies at the prospect of listening to 31 writers from 9 to midnight. Instead, through the course of the evening, nearly 400 people showed up.
The full article is available here. Check out and join , follow its founders, Cate Marvin and Erin Belieu on Twitter and, in general, whenever possible, write a review, give a shout out or pass on relevant information about the work being done by women writers.