Every year at the open of the annual AWP Conference, we publish our gender statistics, taking a cue from VIDA’s important work. While we don’t collect demographic information on any of our writers, we publish the gender statistics of those whose gender identities we can find documented elsewhere (their work, their social media profiles, etc.) annually; in the case of 2016, we were able to compile this information on each writer.
The entities used in the 2016 Count include the Winter 2015-2016 issue of Ploughshares, the Spring 2016 issue guest-edited by Alan Shapiro and Tom Sleigh, the Summer 2016 issue guest-edited by Claire Messud and James Wood, the Solos included in the Ploughshares Solos Omnibus Volume 4, and the regular contributors to the Ploughshares Blog in the 2016 calendar year.
We’ve broken this data out by genre (Fig. 1), which includes the issue and Solos contributors, and by entity, including the blog (Fig. 2), issues (Fig. 3), and Solos (Fig. 4).
As you can see, we have room for improvement. And that’s why we publish these statistics–to hold ourselves accountable to our readers. Although we cannot formally participate in the much more robust VIDA Count, which surveys journal contributors to collect gender identity, race and ethnicity, ability, and sexual identity information, due to the use of guest editors for Ploughshares, we think making the information we can find public is important.
And in the interest of full disclosure, take a look at our 2015 and 2014 counts.