Australian Women Writers 2012 Reading Challenge – mission accomplished?

This morning I published my review of Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan and I realised I’ve read 10 books by Australian women writers in 2012 and published reviews on all 10. And that means I’ve met my revised challenge target – a purist (speculative fiction) at the Franklin-fantastic level (read 10 books, review at least 4).

I must admit it feels good to have met my target. Participating in the challenge has helped me become more aware of the biases in my reading habits, assisted me to more consciously seek out diversity amongst the authors I am following and led me to some cracking good yarns I might not have otherwise come across. Can’t ask for much more out of a reading challenge!

I’m particularly proud of the article on the reading challenge I had published with Antipodean SF, as well as the review of When We Have Wings that Elizabeth Lhuede was good enough to publish on the Australian Women Writers website.

But like the circumstances that surrounded the US President who famously said his mission was accomplished, the challenge doesn’t really end here. I’m hoping this milestone marks the start of a fundamentally different pattern of reading for me. A quick check over my reviews on this website since I started shows me reviewing 16 books by female authors and 14 by male authors. That’s within a margin of error of parity. By this time next year I intend to be able to quote similar statistics.

I’m going to continue with the AWWC until the end of 2012, tagging any reviews of Australian female authors for the challenge. 10 by May – hopefully December will see me at 25 or so.

For those that are interested, links to my first 10 reviews can be found below:

  1. Power and Majesty by Tansy Rayner Roberts
  2. Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti
  3. The Courier’s New Bicycle by Kim Westwood
  4. Above by Stephanie Campisi
  5. A Book of Endings by Deborah Biancotti
  6. Debris by Jo Anderton
  7. Showtime by Narrelle M Harris
  8. When We Have Wings by Claire Corbett
  9. Ishtar by Kaaron Warren, Deborah Biancotti & Cat Sparks
  10. Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan


Since finishing the initial challenge, I’ve read and reviewed a few more books. I’ll keep updating this post with the additional reviews as they come in so I have a single listing.

Author: mark

A writer of speculative fiction and all round good egg. Well, mostly good. OK, sometimes good.

8 thoughts on “Australian Women Writers 2012 Reading Challenge – mission accomplished?”

  1. Congratulations, Mark, and thank you for all your reviews! I have some catching up to do, clearly. But I'm glad you're carrying on; for me that has been one of the best aspects of this challenge, realising that there are so many wonderful Australian women writers out there.

    1. Thanks Lizabelle. I agree – the challenge has been a great catalyst for me finding new authors as well.

      Looks like you're going strong on your own reviews. I particularly enjoyed your review of Sea Hearts (that's my spec fiction bias coming through!)


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