#WITMonth FAQ (Updated December 2016)

What is WITMonth?

WITMonth stands for "women in translation month"! It's a month in which we promote women writers from around the world who write in languages other than English.

When is WITMonth?

WITMonth is held every August!

Where does WITMonth take place?

WITMonth takes place anywhere you want! A lot of the action occurs on Twitter (under the hashtag #WITMonth, or #womenintranslation), but there are no limits. It can take place on your personal blog, your Tumblr, your Facebook, your local library, your Goodreads groups, your book club, your bookstore... anywhere!

Where did WITMonth come from?

WITMonth was founded on this blog (biblibio.blogspot.com) by Meytal Radzinski. It was inspired by a fellow book blogger and started in August 2014.

Is there a fixed WITMonth logo?

Nope. It changes from year to year. If you've got any ideas for designing a nice logo for next year, feel free to email biblibio [at] gmail [dot] com!

Is WITMonth only relevant in English?

Nope! While WITMonth is predominantly geared towards encouraging English-language readers to explore literature in translation by women, it can also apply to any other language! Because of English's cultural dominance (and the high rates of translation out of English), the idea is specifically to point to the wonderful literature produced in any language other than English. That means a Polish reader could choose to focus on their native Polish women writers, or translations of, say, Russian women writers into Polish. All fair game!

Why do we need this separation? Why focus on women in translation?

Approximately 30% of new translations into English are of books by women writers. Given how few books are translated into English to begin with, this means that women are a minority within a minority. The problem then filters down to how books by women writers in translation are reviewed/covered in the media, recognized by award committees, promoted in bookstores, sent out to reviews, and ultimately reach readers themselves.

While imperfect, WITMonth gives many publishers the chance to promote their existing titles written by women in translation, while also giving readers an organized means of finding the books that already exist. WITMonth ultimately serves to help readers find excellent books to read... those books just happen to be by women writing in languages other than English!

So how can I participate?

While WITMonth in theory lasts only month a year, the concept extends far beyond. If you feel like reading only books by women in translation during WITMonth, awesome! If you feel like reading one book by a woman in translation during WITMonth, awesome! If you can't read any books by women in translation and feel only like sharing other people's reviews or posts, awesome!

Any form of participation is wonderful and welcome.

Okay, but seriously. What are things I can do?

Here are some ideas:
  1. Booksellers and librarians: Make a #WITMonth table and promote your favorite books by women writers in translation, alongside newer releases. If someone is looking for some different recommendations, help guide them to some of the brilliant women in translation out there.
  2. Bloggers and journalists: Talk about the issue! Look at your own stats and ratios, question your reading biases. Address the issue and help raise awareness.
  3. Reviewers: Review new and backlog titles by women writers in translation, from all languages and from all over the world. Help bring these books to the public's notice.
  4. Publishers: Release your existing ratios and acknowledge any imbalances you might have. Try to find more of the brilliant women writers we all know are writing in all sorts of languages, all over the world!
  5. Readers: Read! Discuss! Share!

Does WITMonth take into account trans/nonbinary authors?

Yes. While the word "women" is at the center of the "women in translation" project, the core idea here is to give voice to those who are often ignored. In this regard, WITMonth has been expanded to include transgender or nonbinary authors in translation.

How long will you be hosting WITMonth?

WITMonth will continue as long as the huge imbalance in publishing women in translation persists.



Got any more questions? Email biblibio [at] gmail [dot] com!

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