Female Crime Writers Organization Lacks Diversity, Report Finds

August 19, 2016

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Sisters in Crime, an organization that supports female crime writers, released a report on diversity in the mystery community, which revealed that 93% of its membership is white.

Out of its 1,100 surveyed members, only 3% identify as African American, 1.5%  as Native American, 1.5% as Asian, and 1% as Hispanic or Latino. The organized compared their membership data to the US census to draw their conclusions.

“We recognized that people of color, LGBT writers, and writers with disabilities face additional obstacles to getting published and finding readers that had not been fully explored,” Sisters in Crime president Leslie Budewitz said in a statement. “Our goal with this report is to provide data, experience, and recommendations that everyone in the crime fiction community can use to deepen our understanding and expand opportunities.”

The report also found that out of the 21% Sisters of Crime members who self-publish, 63% of those members are writers of color. Fifty percent of LGBTQ authors also reported self-publishing, as compared to 10% of LGBTQ authors who reported publishing with a Big Five publisher.

One Sisters in Crime member who is not named said in the statement, “The mainstream publishing world is very white and privileged and disconnected from the reading audience. Editors have trouble imagining an audience that isn’t like them.”

The Sisters in Crime organization was founded thirty years ago by a group of women to promote “the advancement, recognition, and professional development of women writer writers.”

Related reading: A Guardian contributor responds to Laurie Garrison’s #women_writers hashtag and the movement behind it.


Image Credit: Sisters in Crime.

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