Women, Writers, and …Wine?

Posted on September 17th, 2018 by

Jane Lythell, author

Do you belong to a book club? I don’t currently, but I’m about to launch one and I’d love to have you along.

It will be, I hope, slightly different from the book clubs you may have encountered, not least because it will be virtual as well as actual, but because we are only going to read women writers. No surprises there. This is how it will work:

The Rules of Book Club (aka WomenWritersBookClub #WWBC)

  • The club will meet every six weeks so no massive pressure on time.
  • All books chosen will be written by living female writers.
  • Where possible I will try to interview them on this blog and get some book club type hints from them to enliven our discussions. I’d also like to ask them what their favourite tipple is because wouldn’t it be fun to be sipping on a glass of that while discussing their work? (Yes, it would.) I just hope we don’t get too many tea drinkers…although I do love tea it’s not exactly what I want for book club. I really want to add Val McDermid at some point because a) I love her writing and b) I think she might be into a good malt. I’m pretty certain Kathy Lette will nominate the cocktail named after her at The Savoy Hotel where she is writer in residence, although she is rather partial to champagne, too. The possibilities are endless!
  • Absolutely no poncing about or unnecessary airing of knowledge is allowed. The aim is to have fun and share books which have gripped us or made us feel good in some way. ‘Chick lit’ is welcomed, or as I call that genre, books that men don’t like. Chic lit, too. We want to support women writers in all their glory and different styles.
  • With the above in mind our regular non- show offy questions will be: Did we like it? Which bits did we like most? Would we recommend it? Is there a paragraph we’d like to share with the group?
  • Women writers, in common with women everywhere, tend to get less pay than men, less exposure, less support. Read this post for more on that – Men Are Much Better Writers Than Women – Really? (It’s no accident that J.K. Rowling is not easily identifiable as female.) Therefore, we pledge, whenever reasonably possible, to buy our books from a bookseller at full price because when we get a great offer the writer gets less of a royalty and we can’t perpetuate the pay gap!
  • Although obviously what goes on in Book Club stays in Book Club, I will share some of our thoughts and your views via the blog if you care to let me know them. You can email me by simply replying to the blog post, or use Twitter using the hashtag #WWBC.

Our First Book For Women Writers Book Club

The more observant among you will have spotted that this post is headed by a photo of the talented Jane Lythell. I first met Jane at a book launch for one of Lucy Atkins’ novels in Oxford (I know, get me!) and we really hit it off. I also met Kerry Fisher, another successful woman writer at the same event so she’ll be featuring soon. I was really struck by how supportive everyone was of each other. Fabulous.

Back to Jane. Jane’s first book was called The Lie of You and published in 2014. It’s a gripping psychological thriller and has been made into a film. Yes, book club might branch into a film club for at least one night only. I don’t know the release date yet but I thought it would be fun to read the book before the film comes out. It is still available although you might just have to order it. I first read it on Kindle (where it is still available) but am actually buying a paper copy as I want the real physical thing in my hands. I’ll be talking to Jane in the next couple of weeks and sharing her tipple with you. Sorry, I mean her notes on the book, and the background to how it came to be written. Do join us and read Jane’s book. It’s very simple, no sign up or regular commitment is involved. If you like the look of the book recommended each 6 weeks, please read it and comment using hashtag on Twitter #WWBC and cc me in @JaneCWoods if you remember. If you’re signed up to the blog you will get the interview with the author anyway but if not, I’ll be sharing on LinkedIn and Twitter. You can email me too. The first actual meeting of the seven of us who comprise the physical book club, is October 30th so look out for lots of tweets around that date and if you can read the book before than, great! I look forward to your thoughts.

Women Writers in Interview

I never cease to marvel at how lucky I am to do what I do; I love my job. My business is dedicated to promoting gender equality so as things stand that basically means ‘bigging up’ the wimin, because, frankly, the chaps get enough bigging up as it is. Which means I get to talk to some wonderful women and interview them for the blog. Here are some you might be interested to read:

Anita Anand

Lucy Atkins

Mary Beard

Hilly Janes

Kathy Lette

Catherine Mayer

Jenni Murray

Lynn Shepherd

Sara Sheridan

Joan Smith

Christine Webber

Hints for Aspiring Writers

And finally, I was discussing Book Club with my daughter who said she was reading an interesting book by Angela Clark. I’d never heard of her so looked her up and found this really helpful video on her site. Clear, concise, no jargon, or posturing. Just what we like. Oh and short, just under five minutes long. (If it doesn’t open for you here’s Angela’s website.)

Changing People licences experienced trainers to deliver its International RenewYou programme for women.

Read more about it here.

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Dame Mary Beard – Always Inspirational

Posted on September 12th, 2018 by

Meet Dame Mary Beard, classic professor, writer, TV presenter and general all round good egg. Here she is in an updated interview with Changing People following her last one back in 2013. Quite a lot has happened since then.

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No More Boys and Girls – video link to first episode

Posted on August 22nd, 2018 by

Last year the BBC aired a fascinating documentary looking at the impact of treating boys and girls differently in school. The gender gap is very evident at just age 7. At 7 girls think boys are better, and boys think boys are better. But a few relatively simple changes can change this. Plus, how to add a new string to your training bow with RenewYou, personal development for women.

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Is This The Best Job Description Ever?

Posted on August 14th, 2018 by

Avivah Wittenberg-Cox and I follow each other on Twitter. I am a long time fan of this woman who champions gender equality across the globe and heads up a very successful business helping other companies benefit from being gender balanced. So when she was advertising for new jobs I couldn’t resist looking and what I read amazed me. Best Job Description ever? What do you think?

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Are You Gender Bi Lingual Leader? – Aviva Wittenberg-Cox

Posted on July 31st, 2018 by

It’s not easy being a leader in today’s world but one thing you can be sure of, being gender blind is not helping you. Being gender blind means businesses will not be spotting their unconscious bias when recruiting, making ads, populating their website. We all have to think in terms of being bi lingual. Understanding the language of gender, and being gender bi lingual is a massive business tool in the 21st Century if we want to engage all the talents available. Check out this short and pithy video from CEO of 20first Aviva Wittenberg-Cox.

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No More Boys and Girls – Reprised

Posted on July 27th, 2018 by

No More Boys and Girls was an eye opener of a programme on the BBC and a perfect illustration of unconscious bias. And gender stereotyping. And of a person committed to change, Graham Andre. Read this interview with him and a follow up 12 months on to see the lasting impact it made. If all schools focused on gender neutrality the world would change very quickly.

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