It’s International Women’s Day today, so I thought I’d write a little something to mark the occasion. I’ve talked about women in politics and music before, but today I’m giving some love to the women of the worlds of writing and tech, because why not?
Before I launch into a gushing Oscars acceptance-style speech about how amazing everyone in the universe is, an answer to the burning question I suspect some people want to ask. *dons flameproof jacket*
- Yes, there is an International Men’s Day on November 19th
- That’s it
Anyway, onto the awesome ladies. Raspberry Pi employs many fantastic women who I’m very lucky to work with. There’s Rachel (@RachelRayns) who mashes up arty creative things with all things Pi; there’s Carrie Anne (@MissPhilbin) and her Geek Gurl Diaries; there’s my fellow copyeditor Lorna (@florilegia), proudly holding the fort in Pi Towers Wales; there’s Helen (@helenlynn) perenially juggling everything including the current IWD blogpost as social media guru; and there’s my boss, who’s currently trundling around on holiday with my manuscript on her Kindle because she’s immensely supportive of all this moonlighting I do as a writer. And she thinks my query, which I only sent her to check for email formatting fails, is ‘fantastic’. So there’s that. Yay for work.
Speaking of writing, the Twitter ladies have really made me feel at home over the past year. I’ve met lots of smart, funny writers, editors, agents and bloggers via #ukyachat, #SundayYA, #YATakeover and the many Twitter pitch contests, as well as at networking events and conventions – too many to mention individually, but anyone on those hashtags is guaranteed to be friendly and welcoming. Some of them even follow me back. It’s heartening to know prominent YA writers are also big fans of my blethering Eurovision commentary, occasional rants and unhealthy obsession with all things 80s, like the entire back catalogue of strong women drawn by the artist behind Duran Duran’s Rio album cover…
And I can’t forget to mention the women of Edinburgh’s literary scene. Ali, Eleanor and Esther at City of Literature run the monthly Literary Salon, generally cheerlead for all things bookish and provide copious wine and words of encouragement when you’re having a bad writing day. There’s the Scottish Book Trust, with their copious online resources, children’s reading initiatives and awards for new writers (including an excellent opportunity for the over 40). And there’s 26, with bright, enthusiastic members like my sestude editor Fiona (@wordspring_uk) and local author and businesswoman Sara Sheridan who seems to know everybody and always have time for you.
So, there’s been lots of women that have really helped me this year so far. Let me raise a post-salsa class weak orange squash in your general direction. Keep on doing the great things you do.