LUMINA Count

In 2009, an organization called VIDA, Women in Literary Arts, started counting the number of male and female contributors to the nation’s most prominent literary and book-related publications. What they found was…not good. We all know women read and write, but the numbers did a good job of obscuring that fact.

In the years since, many editors and publications have made changes in the way they interact with their would-be contributors, making conscious efforts to improve gender balance in their solicitations and encourage more women to participate in general submissions. And it didn’t stop there – gender parity in the submissions queue doesn’t magically lead to gender parity in the final table of contents – many publications took the time to examine their own reading biases and developed in-house procedures for making sure they’re putting out balanced journals. For those publications that specialize in book reviews, these efforts meant not just running reviews written by women, but reviewing more books written by women.

Inspired by VIDA’s work,  LUMINA will be keeping our own annual tally of male and female contributors as a means of holding ourselves accountable to the broader literary community.

Our method was this: Count the number of individual contributors in each issue. Contributors were defined as featured writers and artists, contest judges, interview subjects, and in some cases, translators. We kept a simple tally based on how contributors identified themselves in their biographies; in a couple of cases, that information was not provided and we have noted that in the charts for the issues where that situation arose.

Vol. I

Vol. I – 38 total contributors

Female Contributors: 27
Male Contributors: 11

Vol. II

Vol. II – 51 total contributors

Female Contributors: 41
Male Contributors: 10

Vol. III

Vol. III – 44 total contributors

Female Contributors: 32
Male Contributors: 12

Vol. IV

Vol. IV – 46 total contributors*

Female Contributors: 36
Male Contributors: 10
* – one contributor could not be identified

Vol. V

Vol. V – 53 total contributors

Female Contributors: 42
Male Contributors: 11

Vol. VI

Vol. VI – 34 total contributors*

Female Contributors: 21
Male Contributors: 13
* – one contributor could not be identified

Vol. VII

Vol. VII – 38 total contributors

Female Contributors: 20
Male Contributors: 18

Vol. VIII

Vol. VIII – 44 total contributors

Female Contributors: 22
Male Contributors: 22

Vol. IX

Vol. IX – 35 total contributors

Female Contributors: 26
Male Contributors: 9

Vol. X

Vol. X – 51 total contributors

Female Contributors: 34
Male Contributors: 22

Vol. XI

Vol. XI – 56 total contributors

Female Contributors: 34
Male Contributors: 22

Vol. XII

Vol. XII – 40 total contributors

Female Contributors: 19
Male Contributors: 21

LUX

LUX – 17 total contributors

Female Contributors: 9
Male Contributors: 8

Vol. XIII

Vol. XIII – 41 total contributors

Female Contributors: 25
Male Contributors: 16

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Female Contributors: 21
Male Contributors: 22