A funny thing happened to me in 2019. The full reality of being a non-disadvantaged, middle-class, straight, married white woman with a university degree and well-paid, professional career finally started to really sink in.
Writing opportunities would land in my inbox or flit across my social media feeds and I’d open them up and read the criteria. More and more often, I found that I don’t qualify to even apply. I’m not a single mother, I’m not LGBQTI, I’m not financially disadvantaged, or black.
I have been treated differently over the years because I was young, or female, or a mother. I’ve lived with a mental illness for a long time, so I nudge my way into some definitions of ‘disabled’. But because I have a stable home life, a flexible employer and enough money, I can afford adequate treatment and lifestyle adjustments which bring me up to a healthy baseline.
I have always appreciated, and been grateful for, my privilege. I was raised with a keen understanding of, and desire to help, people who are less fortunate than me. I spent a year volunteering one day a week at Amnesty International, I’ve long been a supporter of Share the Dignity’s #itsinthebag campaign and I donate time, expertise and money to other causes when I can.
But I’ve never wondered where my own next meal was going to come from. I’ve never been discriminated against because of my skin colour, accent, appearance or sexual orientation.
I can’t possibly know what that’s like. But there are women out there who do know. And they write and want to publish books; books which can tell the rest of us what that’s like and, by doing so, hopefully move us towards being a more tolerant, inclusive society.
When the position of Diversity Editor for the Australian Women Writers Challenge was advertised as vacant for 2020 it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to do more. I’m thrilled to say I got the position!
As the AWWC Diversity Editor, each month I’ll write and publish an article rounding up and promoting reviews of books written by Australian women that have an element of diversity.
I’m very much looking forward to discovering new books on diversity, and by diverse Australian women writers, and sharing them with you in 2020. I’m working on my own reading list for 2020 at the moment and will share it with you here early next month.
Read reviews here on Story Addict of books by Australian women writers.
Find out more about the Australian Women Writers Challenge:
- AWW Challenge – Diversity:
- Join the AWW Challenge! You don’t need a website – you can write your book reviews on Goodreads, retailer websites like Amazon or Booktopia, or just post them on your own social media.