CWILA (Canadian Women in the Literary Arts) is an inclusive national literary organization for people who share feminist values and see the importance of strong and active female perspectives within the Canadian literary landscape.

CWILA The Numbers

The results of this year’s count show that editors, writers and critics—to varying extents—have responded to our call. In one year, we can see many publications with significant changes in the number of published reviews of books written by women.

See The Numbers

For the 2012 CWILA Count we stepped up our original initiative to investigate gender trends in Canada’s book reviewing culture. By increasing our count of book reviews from 14 to 25 publications, and developing new metrics for collecting data on genderqueer authors and reviewers, as well as Canadian authors and publishing houses, we were able to provide a deeper, more nationally representative analysis of the state of critical culture in Canada. What we found surprised us.

Meet The CWILA Board

We're very proud to introduce the 2014 CWILA Board.

Gillian Jerome

Laura Moss

Pam Oliva

Clélie Rich

Erin Wunker

CWILA strives to promote and foster equity and equality of representation in the Canadian literary community by:

  1. tracking statistics on gender representation in reviewing;
  2. bringing relevant issues of gender, race, class and sexuality into our national literary conversation;
  3. and creating a network supportive of the active careers of female writers, academics/critics, publishers and editors.

Call For Submissions

CWILA calls for essays, on any topic relating to literary arts, by female or genderqueer Canadian writers, including poets, novelists, playwrights, storytellers, scholars.

Join CWILA

Join CWILA and receive a quarterly newsletter, promotion on the CWILA website and access to the CWILA listserv which connects feminist writers, editors, publishers and critics from across Canada.

Thank You!

Since CWILA was launched in June 2012, we have become incorporated as a not-for-profit organization with a board of directors and 400 members. We have created an independent social justice network of academics and students at UBC with the support of the Centre for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. Last year, we raised enough funds in a membership drive to sponsor the first Critic-in-Residence, poet Sue Sinclair, and have now finished the second CWILA count. As a new non-profit, we are always in need of and thankful for your kind donations. Thank you to all our generous donors whose support, frankly, floats the CWILA boat: we would have sunk without you.

The CWILA research project depends on the generous volunteer work of a number of extraordinary people. Warmest thanks to the people who collected data for the 3,092 book reviews that we counted, including: Alice Burdick, Chelsea Novak, Clélie Rich, Elaine Woo, Elee Kraljii Gardiner, Erin Wunker, Eve MacGregor, Jamella Hagen, Jan Zwicky, Jane Munro, Janet Barkhouse, Janet Fretter, Jennifer Zilm, Kaarina Mikalson, Katherine Barrett, Katia Grubisic, Lainna El Jabi, Lorrie Miller, Mandy Catron, Michael Johnson, Micheline Maylor, Natalie Simpson, Nico Mara-McKay, Nora Gould, Phoebe Wang, Savanna Scott Leslie, Sonia Di Placido, Sue Sinclair, Sylvia McKelvie, Triny Finlay, and Warren Heiti. Thanks too to the editors and publications who provided in-house counts by which we could verify our numbers: Laurie Graham at BRICK, Donna Chin at Canadian Literature, Mark Medley at The National Post, John Barton at The Malahat Review, Natalie Zina Walschots at THIS Magazine, Alison Lang at Broken Pencil, Jessica Rose Marcotte at Matrix Magazine, Steven Beattie at Quill & Quire, Bonnie McIsaac at The Antigonish Review, Jen Neale at PRISM International, AnnMarie MacKinnon at Geist and Monty Reid at Arc Poetry Magazine.

Jamie Lawson and Marlon Lulgjuraj at Poly Studio redesigned the CWILA website which required far more work that what they charged us for—for this we are very, very grateful. Thanks also to Deanne Beattie for designing our beautiful infographic.

The CWILA 2012 Count would not exist without the intelligence and commitment of our Count Manager, Judith Scholes, our Managing Editor, Chelsea Novak, and our admin and board volunteers, some of whom contributed many dozens of hours of volunteer labour alongside their many other commitments: Laura Moss, Pam Oliva, Christine Leclerc, Erin Wunker, Natalie Walschots, Brecken Hancock, Sadiqa de Meijer, Nico Mara-McKay, Clélie Rich, Danielle Janess, Warren Heiti, Edward Parker, Elaine Woo.

Thanks also to our Critic-in-Residence manager, Laura Moss, and jurors Helen Guri, Susan Gillis, Elee Kraljii-Gardiner and Clélie Rich—and, of course, Sue Sinclair, our first Critic-in-Residence. Thanks to Christian Bök for his kind donation of $5,000 of advertisement space for CWILA in two forthcoming issues of The Walrus. Thanks to Alma Lee, Hal Wake and Ann McDonnell for organizational advice. Thanks to Silas White, Howard White and Conor Rossiter for advice on our research of publishers. Thanks to Anne Giardini and Claudia Casper for hosting a CWILA fundraiser in Vancouver. Thanks to the partners and children of those of us who burned the midnight oil over many nights to get this material ready, especially Jordan Abel; Fred Cutler, Simon, Owen, and Charlie Moss-Cutler; Matthew Hall, Layla and Cohen Hall; Brad Cran, Micah Sophia and Rory Jerome-Cran. All kinds of people have contributed to CWILA; to those of you we may have missed: we apologize for the omission and we thank you too.

-Gillian Jerome, July, 2013