VIDA and The Minnesota Review

Over the last couple of years VIDA: Women in Literary Arts have been counting the woman/man ratio in literary journal publishing. Expected, or not, the results were worrisome. In many categories, and at most magazines and best of anthologies, women were constantly being marginalized as authors. So, in the spirit of transparency, here are the minnesota review’s figures from three recent issues:

Issue 77:

Creative nonfiction: 1W/0M
Fiction: 0W/2M
Poetry: 2W/9M

Issue 76:

Creative nonfiction: 0W/0M
Fiction: 1W/3M/1 Gender Neutral
Poetry: 7W/5M

Issue 75:

Creative nonfiction: 0W/0M
Fiction: 4W/0M
Poetry: 5W/9M

Drawing conclusions on such a small sample is always tenuous. In addition, the minnesota review has a revolving editorship pooled from the M.F.A. program at Virginia Tech. Therefore, tastes and preferences are constantly changing and are not consistent semester-to-semester. Nevertheless, it does seem, at the moment that we do publish more male poets. Over at the Poetry Foundation, they’ve been discussing this issue and the reasons for the imbalance. If you have any thoughts on the topic, please leave a comment below.

Christopher Linforth is the fiction editor of the minnesota review and a fiction candidate in Virginia Tech’s MFA program. He has work published in Denver Quarterly, Chicago Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, and other literary journals.

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3 thoughts on “VIDA and The Minnesota Review

  1. My first thought is not to submit to you! hehh I do mean that totally good- naturedly 🙂 The second is would you think it’s a bias by editors/readers? Or based on the ebbs and flows of submissions and the quality of the writing generally? I’m sure you folks and those concerned have integrity in reviewing submissions (what a hard job that must be!)–I’ve never been put off by a rejection thinking it wasn’t thoroughly vetted.

    I’m very curious, I’ve never thought of or heard about this situation, and It certainly is an issue as the numbers can’t lie.

    Pete

  2. Hi Pete,

    Often when reading submissions, we do not even look at the name of the writer. All are welcome to submit to The Minnesota Review! Unfortunately, due to space constraints, we can only publish a small fraction (less than 1%) of the creative work we receive. Each piece, though, is considered equally and is discussed by the reviewers and editors. Our aim is to publish the best writing possible.

    Best,

    Christopher Linforth, Fiction Editor

  3. Yes and less than 1% is certainly small, which shows you have a lot of quality writing to choose from, no matter whether male of female.

    Thanks for the response, again interesting subject.

    Pete

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