On Wednesday, 14 September 2016, the German Women in Publishing – BücherFrauen e.V. – in Berlin invited their audience to discuss the opportunities that blogging offers in terms of participation and representation of women in the atmospheric Literaturhaus in Berlin.
The two bloggers Zoë Beck (www.zoebeck.net and www.herlandnews.com) and Sabine Blackmore (www.litdocs.de) spoke about their “mission” when they started their blogs and their frustration with superficial literary criticism and the general underrepresentation of women in the literary field while they are, at the same time, more numerous than men in the field. But they also talked about the pleasure of having an outlet to write exactly what they want and how they want – and of the feeling to contribute to a shift of attention for less well-known authors, texts, and topics.
Both welcomed the diversity of the blogosphere and hightlighted that many different forms of writing about literature have their place in it – from well-informed, in-depth analysis to plot summaries, and buying recommendations. There is a place for all of these.
Our panel and the audience, however, were more interested in well-written, differentiated, and contextualised literary criticism – and, this was emphasised, too: criticism, not only rave reviews. Everybody seemed to hope that blogs can shed some light on topics neglected by the mainstream media as well as on books and authors neglected by those with more commercial interest. And indeed, many examples of blogs that have achieved exactly that were shared, not least Herlandnews, a blog about feminist realism in crime fiction. A list of the blogs mentioned during the discussion is available at the end of Nora Hawich’s report about the event (see below) and on www.buecherfrauen.de