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Michael Pryor on the AWW challenge

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series AWW challenge
Michael Pryor on the AWW challenge

michael pryor

Michael Pryor is a best-selling author of fantasy for teenagers. He has published over thirty novels and more than 50 short stories. He has been shortlisted for the Aurealis Award six times, and five of his books have been CBCA Notable books. His website is here.  Michael responds to issues around the AWW challenge.

 Hello Nalini

Thanks for asking me to be involved with this. I’m ambivalent about the whole issue and I’d probably say that my views aren’t entirely formed.

I’m not participating in the AWWC for the simple reason that I don’t like to limit my reading choices. My reading is too precious to me to circumscribe it in any way.

How do I think the AWWC has impacted on the reading and writing communities in Australia? It’s hard to say, but it means that – potentially – my books are being read less. Naturally, I don’t think that’s a good thing!

I also worry that the debate that has spawned the AWWC tends to focus on lit fic, and ignores the different landscape in other areas of writing/reading. In YA fiction, where I write, the situation is most likely quite different.

Best wishes
13 March 2012

Series Navigation<< Meg Mundell: Gender issues in publishingNicole Murphy: Why we need women writers >>
Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


  1. I find this statement a little concerning:

    I am not participating in the AWWC for the simple reason that I don’t like to limit my reading choices. My reading is too precious to me to circumscribe it in any way.

    I have heard something similar voiced by another male writer. I am sure that Michael would read at least one female Australian writer a year. But I appreciate he’s busy and sometimes writers just like to write, research and then sooth their brains with their favourite reading.

    I would like to ask that if Michael happened to read a good book by a Australian female author could he not write a quick review of it and link his blog to the challenge. Thereby also benefiting his own profile by attracting readers who may not have heard of him through the networking effect assuaging his concerns that he might be read less?

    • I can see this from both perspectives: a difficulty I have at the moment is that I have a major door-stopper to read that is preceded by a few door-stoppers; while I’ve been enjoying the series, trying to do a massive read for a special event has made reading feel like HOMEWORK with a deadline. This is not even related to reading an Australian author. I have a few Aussie authors – and women Aussies at that – on my TBR pile with a vengeance, especially as I’m sure I can get interviews 🙂 It’s making the time, and feeling overwhelmed that distracts me. Sometimes reading feels like a chore simply because I feel like I’m so far behind, racing desperately to catch up. It’s not that I don’t love it, but…

      And then you get to the whole reviewing thing. There are times when I’m pleased that I’m thinking critically, intelligently, about what I’m reading or watching on TV, but there are other times when I just want to turn off that critical inner voice AND I JUST CAN’T. For Michael there would be additional issues: he’s a published author, to criticise others’ work could be seen as tearing down the competition, while to praise others’ works could be nepotism or flattery with an agenda. I’m sure he’s thought through all these issues and more.

      On the other hand, I’d like to see EVERYONE in the industry – authors, editors, publishers, fans, bloggers, EVERYONE – get in, read and review Australian women writers to promote the genre and the industry. After all, I discovered feminism in primary school and these issues haven’t gone away, if anything they’ve just crystallised in the years since then.


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