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What's holding women writers back?

19 September 2005

'Back in 1999, when MslexiaStylish and lively site for quarterly UK literary magazine read by 12,000 'committed' women writers. Good range of quality writing, information and advice with news, reviews, competitions and interviews, all presented in a friendly fashion. Praised by Helen Dunmore as 'astute, invigorating and above all an excellent read.' was launched, we conducted some research into women's willingness, compared with men, to submit their writing for publication. We discovered that, though twice as many women as men are writing, they are 50 per cent less likely to send off their manuscripts to publishers or agents, or to apply for writing grants.

So what's holding us back? Not lack of talent, that's for sure: poetry, fiction and newspaper editors regularly observe that the average standard of manuscripts submitted by women is higher than those submitted by men. I want to suggest that part of the problem can be traced back to the lack of support many women writers receive in their intimate relationships.'

Debbie Taylor, Editor, in Mslexia