Strongly Worded Women
The Best of the Year of Publishing Women : An AnthologyBook - 2018
One question that Not a Pipe Publishing has received many times since taking on Kamila Shamsie's challenge to make 2018 the Year of Publishing Women is "Why?" My response is, "Why not?" Why are some people so afraid of a Year of Publishing Women when we've already had Centuries of Publishing Men?
When one looks at the 'classics' of literature that are taught in school, who do we see? We see William Shakespeare and George Orwell; Edgar Allen Poe and Leo Tolstoy; and the list of white men continues. In contrast, how many classic women authors are there? Only Jane Austen and the Bront sisters come to the forefront of most minds, with the occasional Mary Shelley or Virginia Woolf.
It is an undeniable fact that the publishing industry had favored works by white men for centuries. This a result of the patriarchal, white-centric society that has thrived in most parts of the world. It is the result of a lack of equal rights and education, not a result of inherent talent.
Yes, these male authors and books shaped the world; I don't disagree. However, I invite you to think about how many books by women and people of color could have also shaped the world if only they'd been given the tools, education, and time.
I will step off my soap box now to say this: I am deeply grateful to Not a Pipe Publishing for taking on the Year of Publishing Women, and for giving me this project to lead. Companies like Not a Pipe and people like the Gormans give me hope for our world, because a diverse world that celebrates all of its voices is a better world.
I have been so humbled by the many story submissions we received throughout the year, and I'm so grateful this short story project was a success. When I was selecting which stories to include in the anthology--not an easy series of decisions in the slightest--I kept thinking about a theme to center the anthology around, but I kept hitting a wall.
All of these stories are as unique and individual as the authors who wrote them, and I struggled to come up with a unifying theme until I realized the strength behind each piece. You will notice that each one of them has a message or element of strength behind it that will blow you away and destroy any doubts you have about the power of women.
No longer will women and people of color and members of other marginalized communities be kept silent. We will fight for our words and our stories because we can change the world, too.
--Sydney Culpepper, Editor