Call to action to RWA members and other supporters of romance
A new organisation called Women in Literary Arts Australia (WILAA) has been launched to support women working in the literary industry. It was founded by writer and producer Lefa Singleton Norton. Other founding members include Lisa Dempster, the Melbourne Writers Festival CEO, and Kate Callingham, the Emerging Writers Festival General Manager.
Lefa said that a 2014 roundtable of women in writing and publishing industries found that there was ‘a lack of centralised information and formal networks of support for women writers’. She added that WILAA aimed to fix this by finding practical ways to support women to excel, such as networking opportunities, mentorships, events, workshops and marketing campaigns.
WILAA will conduct a nationwide survey over the coming months to determine what is most needed in terms of support systems. It will also research the representation of women on Australia’s ‘literary stages’.
You can find out more about WILAA and their objectives on their website. You can also fill in their initial Survey. This is where our call to action comes in. I’ve done the survey and noticed with disappointment that although our genre sister authors in crime are mentioned, romance does not get a look-in. Neither does fantasy. There is an open-ended final question that I used to address this, and in this case, as in many others, I reckon the more the merrier!