VIDA announces 2018 count results

More than pretty much any award or publication date announcement, the annual event we most look forward to every year in the literary calendar is the release of the VIDA count, which tallies the gender identification of authors at literary magazines for the previous year. (We spoke with Nicola Griffith right at the launch of this site about the importance of counting voices, if you need a refresher.) This year, VIDA has demonstrated a little progress toward gender equity: "For the first time since the beginning of the VIDA Count, not a single one of the 25 literary magazines counted in the [Larger Literary Landscape] had fewer than 40% of women writers in their total publications." But VIDA still names names of bad actors, identifying the "feckless five" sites that are still overwhelmingly male.

Representation of nonbinary writers is still vanishingly small. Hopefully their inclusion in this count can begin to move the needle. We also missed data on race and ethnicity this year, but the rationale — VIDA is taking time to re-think their Intersectionality Survey in response to feedback from their community and their own team — is a good one. Still, we look forward to seeing a more nuanced view return next year. We also hope to see the new and improved intersectional component better ingrained into the initial gender conversation, rather than as a separate index.