some extra Clarke Award data to add to the mix

Date: 2015-10-01 01:38 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] clarkeaward
One of the big questions people seem to be asking about this data (especially over on io9.com where I first saw this story) is how does it compare to the split of M/F writers etc in contention for an award each year.

It's only one award out of many here but the Clarke Award has been releasing its submissions data for a few years now, though not all the way back, and you can find lists of all submitted books over on ClarkeAward.com for 2011 onwards if you want to check it out.

2011 is the year Lauren Beukes won for Zoo City, and broke a long trend of male winners going back to 2002 when Gywneth Jones was the last female winner.

Since 2011 the award has been much more mixed and won by Jane Rogers, Chris Beckett, Anne Leckie and Emily St John Mandel. During these years the award was also been very proactive in calling in books from across the UK publishing industry but while the total number of submissions rose considerably the ratio of men to women writers remained fairly consistent: approx 1 in 4 basically.

The year Chris Beckett won, the shortlist was made up of all male writers which many saw as a step back but many others who watch awards had predicted as a likely outcome at some point given the submissions ratios and generally that year's shortlist was very favourably received across the board other than on the point of gender parity.

The fact an all male shortlist has only occurred in two years out of the Clarke Award's history (the other was 1988) and would seem to run against the raw probabilities for what it's worth. Also of potential interest here is that the judging panel gender ratio for that year was 4 female to 1 male.

Much of our data on submissions and judging panels is online, but if the Clarke can contribute any more to this research to help interpret the data on show here please do let us know!

Tom Hunter

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