A fantastic revised edition of The Women Writers’ Handbook, featuring lots of wonderful stories, essays and interviews with some of the best Women Writers.
Thank you to Aurora Metro Books, Ann Sandham and the Love Books Tours group for an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.
Genre: Non-Fiction/Women’s Fiction
Publication Date: September 8th 2020
‘A revised edition of the publisher’s inaugural publication in 1990, which won the Pandora Award from Women-in-Publishing. Inspirational in its original format, this new edition features poems, stories, essays and interviews with over 30 women writers, both emerging authors and luminaries of contemporary literature […] Together with the original writing workshops plus black and white illustrations. Guest editor Ann Sandham has compiled the new collection to celebrate Aurora Metro’s 30th anniversary as an independent publisher; 20% of profits will to go to the Virginia Woolf statue campaign in the UK.’ – Goodreads
Upon receiving an invitation to be a part of the book tour for The Women Writers’ Handbook, I was immediately excited! As a blogger, I’m always looking for writing advice and tips, therefore taking part in this tour was a must for me! First, it includes the writing of some of my favourite authors. Second, it includes a handy workshop guide at the end to help you to develop your writing skills. This book is a must for any budding writer!
In an effort to review the book, I thought I would introduce you to some of my absolute favourite excerpts:
Jenny: A Song by April De Angelis
After thirty years of asking nicely for stuff Jenny got fed up Jenny'd had enough Had enough of pleading for the planet to be saved Written letters arched been so well-behaved Come on London Met she said I'm throwing in the towel You'll have to arrest me cos I'm a rebel now
I adored this piece of art! It is a short but sweet take on the the Extinction Rebellion marches that have taken place in recent times. I particularly loved one of the final lines: ‘all that it took was Sir David Attenborough to make me a crook.’ Me too Jenny, me too.
The Writing Life by Jackie Kay
The true writer’s most deadly opponent is the writer’s own self.
Jackie Kay is one of my favourite writers so imagine my joy when I see that she has been featured in this book! I found her essay on what is is to be a writer an insightful and relatable read. Definitely one of my favorites from the book!
Considerations of Amefricanity by Djamila Ribeiro
At a certain point in your life […] you are no longer willing to eat crumbs for your dignity.
Ribeiro comments upon the similarities and differences of being both African and American in an essay that is essential reading in this book. She talks about the ‘myth’ of women’s fragility, which is historically created by men and used by white women to demean Black women and informs us of the terrifying statistics of what is is to be a Black person in Brazil. All the while she peppers in experiences from her own life. This essay is a vital part of this handbook.
Virginia Woolf, 100 Years on by Emma Woolf
In the end, Virginia’s madness was part of the writing, and the writing was part of the madness.
This essay is a concise but insightful examination of Woolf’s life. I’ve always loved Virginia Woolf so it was wonderful to read more about her life and how she was treated for her ‘madness.’
Speaking of which, The Women Writers’ Handbook is donating 20% of its profits to the Virginia Woolf statue campaign. The proposed statue will be placed in Richmond on Thames where Virginia lived, and over 20% of the target has been raised so far. A fantastic cause! You can find out more about this here or if you want to donate to the project you can go here.
Overall I found The Women Writers’ Handbook to be an amazing collation of Women Writers’ thoughts. I love books where you can pick and choose which chapters you would like to read first and last, and The Women Writer’s Handbook is certainly that. I recommend this to anyone looking to diversify their bookshelf!