6 questions for Jane Bradley of For Books’ Sake [INTERVIEW]
BookMachine is helping For Books’ Sake, a UK based webzine and community promoting and celebrating writing by women, to celebrate its second birthday. If you’re in Manchester on Friday night, and fancy some booze, birthday cake and literary performances, simply RSVP for free below! In the meantime, Lorna Bleach has 6 questions for Founding Editor Jane Bradley…
1) How did For Books’ Sake come about?
I’ve always been passionate about both books and feminism, so For Books’ Sake combines those two obsessions. Plus with the gender disparity in most other media (more on that in my next answer) alongside there being so many amazing women authors past and present, it seemed only fitting that those authors and other projects were given the attention they so rightly deserve.
2) Why do you think it’s important for women writers and women in general to have a community like For Books’ Sake?
Because we’re still a long way from gender parity. Although women read, write and sell more books than men, there’s still a bias towards male authors in almost all mainstream media and in the major literary awards. While that inequality exists, it makes it all the more essential for women authors to have a voice and a platform to promote and celebrate their accomplishments, and hopefully communities like For Books’ Sake will help redress the balance.
3) You have a lot of contributors – does that mean you can cover everything in terms of literature, or is there stuff none of you would touch?
Our strapline is ‘books by and for independent women,’ and that can mean anything from essays and analysis to horror, crime and erotica. We’re incredibly lucky to have such a broad range of brilliant contributors from all over the world, as it gives us access to specialised knowledge and subjects, from the pyschogeography of haunted houses to surrealist women writers via lesbians in corsets!
There’s no policy in terms of genres or subjects we won’t cover, but essentially it comes down to quality and appetite – for our contributors as well as our readers. We aim to be inclusive, but we won’t cover authors and books just for the sake of it – unless we believe our readers and writers will want to read the finished feature, that’s a waste of everyone’s time.
4) Now that you’re two years old and you can reflect on what you’ve done so far, what are your favourite bits and do you wish you’d done anything differently?
Earlier this year, we released the first For Books’ Sake book, a short story anthology published by, and in collaboration with, Pulp Press. Short Stack is a collection of the best new pulp fiction written by women, and it was an honour to work with such talented writers. We’re still really excited about the finished product – like proud parents! And we can’t let a question like this go by without mentioning how excited we were to meet Margaret Atwood as part of the 2011 World Book Night celebrations!
5) So what exciting projects do you have on the go or have you got lined up for the future?
Given how much we enjoyed Short Stack, we’re about to do it all over again with our next publishing project! We’ve teamed up with London Rollergirls for a roller derby themed anthology – as huge fans of LRG and the amazing women involved in the roller derby scene, it seemed a perfect fit for us. There’s actually still time to submit a story as the deadline isn’t until 28th October. Anyone interested can find out more on the site: http://forbookssake.net/for-
6) So tell us some more about the party…!
It’s been a whirlwind 2 years for us! From the events we’ve organised to the people we’ve met and the constant influx of books from talented women writers, we have so much to celebrate and what better way than with bookish shenanigans, booze and birthday cake?!
The party will bring together some of the brilliant writers who have worked with us on past events, with all those with an interest in publishing. It’s taking place at the Star and Garter, which is something of a Manchester institution, and you can expect literary games, prizes and surprises galore, and what’s more, it’s free!
All you have to do is RSVP here.
We’re really excited to be working with BookMachine on this event, so here’s hoping it’s the first of many!