Everyone knows that the gender wage gap exists but how many of us realise it applies to writers? Well, it does! Sara Sheridan, a renowned Edinburgh-based writer, spoke up about the plight of women writers during a panel at the recent Publishing Scotland conference.
On average, women writers earn 17% less than their male counterparts, including advances and royalties. And it doesn’t end there – books written by women are less likely to be reviewed and less likely to be nominated for awards (for example: the Pulitzer Prize has been running since 1917 and in all that time only 28 women have won).
The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction was created specifically to counter this; a panel of women judges pick the best book of the year written by a woman. The only other requirements are that the book was published in the UK and that it is written in English. This year’s longlist of 20 books was recently announced and features a wide range of genres and styles.
So next time you pick up a book and think wistfully about how great it must be to be an author … it might also help if you’re a man.