Last year, we announced our gender statistics following the release of the 2014 VIDA Count. We’re keeping with the tradition this year, and are happy to announce our count for 2015. The gender identity, race, sexuality, and disability disparities in the publishing industry are concerning, and we hope that making the Ploughshares demographic data transparent helps to emphasize the importance of focusing on leveling the playing field. While we have yet to find a fair way to collect all the demographic data VIDA includes in its annual Count, we wanted to release the information we do have.
We took a look at the authors published in our 2015 volume: our Solos Omnibus Volume 3, the issues guest edited by Neil Astley and Lauren Groff, and our staff-edited winter issue. Above, you’ll see the total number of men we published, and the total number of women. Below, you’ll see the analysis of these issues based on genre and gender identity.
We still need to improve. And there’s more data we need to consider when discussing parity in publication. We hope to publish a deeper look into our writer demographics in the coming years.
We fully support the VIDA Count, and while we can’t directly participate due to our journal’s use of guest editors instead of a consistent editorial staff, we hope you’ll take a look at their full 2015 report, which takes a look at various journals’ writer demographics. If you’re in the industry, we hope you’ll take a look at the writers you publish. If you’re a reader, we hope you’ll take a critical eye to what you’re seeing–online, in bookstores, in journals. The disparity in publishing is a problem we are all responsible for fixing.