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Gender parity at Seven by Twenty (take two)

Following VIDA’s publication of The Count 2010, I (and loads of others) have been discussing gender parity in publishing. I’ve finally finished crunching the numbers for my twitterzine, Seven by Twenty, and here they are below. You’ve already seen the publication breakdown and below that are the other numbers I came up with. At the bottom are links to discussions on the VIDA counts, and other periodicals providing a glimpse into their submission and publication numbers.


Total Male Authors: 56
Total Times Men Published: 175
Total Female Authors:57
Total Times Women Published: 167
Not Included in Data: 2 authors of 8 pieces, one with a unisex name and the other whose first name I don’t know.

Total Male Authors Solicited: 24
Total Pieces by Men Solicited: 50
Total Female Authors Solicited: 19
Total Pieces by Women Solicited: 37
Not Included in Data: 2 pieces by 2 people, both with unisex names or twitter handles whose sex I don’t know.


Total Male Authors Rejected: 60
Total Submission Packets from Men Rejected: 116
Total Pieces by Men Rejected: 199
Total Female Authors Rejected: 32
Total Submission Packets from Women Rejected: 58
Total Pieces by Women Rejected: 85
Not Included in Data: those who ignored guidelines (listed below), and those occasions when I rejected some pieces in the same submission packet as pieces I accepted.


Total Male One-Time Submitters (Whose Work Was Rejected): 21
Total Female One-Time Submitters (Whose Work Was Rejected): 14

Note that what I’m measuring here are people who submitted once, were rejected, and never submitted again. Those numbers are included in the total number of writers rejected above. As a percentage of their own groups, women are less likely to come back after a rejection than men are, if you take the numbers on their face: 21/60 is 35% while 14/32 is 43.75%. But these are such small numbers that one or two people more would make a difference, so I’m leery of drawing a conclusion.


Total Male Authors Ignoring Guidelines: 22
Total Female Authors Ignoring Guidelines: 8



Other periodicals posting submission and/or rejection statistics (please leave a comment with a link if you see any more):

  • Poetry responds to the original VIDA article: amongst other things, they say, “One difficulty is that we receive many more submissions from men: the last count, done last year, was 65% men and 35% women.”
  • Strange Horizons 2010 Fiction Roundup: “30-43% of the stories were by female authors; 57-70% by male authors; the ranges are because 13% were by authors of unknown-to-me gender. (All those numbers are almost identical to the past two years.) There were also at least two stories by authors who don’t fit that binary gender distinction.”
  • The Southern Review: Overall work published and work submitted were both 40% female and 60% male.
  • VIDA Counts The Rumpus: This is most interesting for the comments at the end.


This is the tool I used to make the above pretty pie charts.

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One Comment

  1. On the Poets & Writers Speakeasy discussion thread (linked above), one of the other posters said, “Do you accept everything you solicit, or should those be sliced off the top before figuring out the slush pile acceptance rates?” and that made me realize I was using a peculiarly specific meaning for “solicited.” Here’s what I replied:

    This questions has just made me realize I’ve defined solicit in a perhaps peculiar way. I was thinking of it as solicited pieces, not soliciting writers to write for me. I solicit reprints, so I’ve read the work, and if they give me permission then I always publish it. (Not everybody has given me permission – a handful of people have never replied, and another handful have anti-Twitter principles and say no on that basis.)

    I think I solicit more work from men than from women because I see more writing from men than from women, but the effect has to been to even out what would otherwise be a gender disparity in my acceptances (which is very interesting, because I wasn’t aware I was doing that).

    Not included in the soliciting stats: I also solicit stuff on certain subject matters, generally as a line at the end of a rejection to a writer who has come close or who I’ve published before, or else when I’m notifying a writer of the date and time when their work will be posted. These are in the form of, “[response/notification] and by the way, I’m full now for winter so don’t send me any more winter-related work. Right now I’m looking for spring- and summer-related haiku and senryu, and very short stories about baseball.” and I copy-and-paste those from my notes, so everybody I correspond with that day (except the arguers, the really dismal writers, and the people who have already inundated me with work I’ve accepted) gets the same request. I only do that when I’m looking for something specific or have filled up on something I previously asked for.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by joannemerriam, Tina Nguyen and Julia , Seven By Twenty. Seven By Twenty said: Seven by Twenty weighs in on gender parity in publishing with its own submission stats: #VIDA […]