This year I joined the Australian Women Writers Challenge. During 2013 read (I skipped the review part of the challenge) four books by Australian women writers – easy, I thought.

Challenge Levels (you are allowed to just do the reading part):

Stella – read 4 – review at least 3
Miles – read 6 – review at least 4
Franklin – read 10 – review at least 6
Create you own challenge – do you plan to specialise in a particular genre or interest area, e.g. Science Fiction, self-published or Indigenous literature? Are you aiming for a high number, e.g. all the books you can read?

So here we are on the last day of the year and I have just finished (I read the last 8 pages during my lunch break) Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany;  I’ve only just achieved Stella level (reading only) with only  hours to spare.

It was a bright start to the year with two books in the first two months: Losing It by Julia Lawrinson and Elsewhere in Success by Iris Lavell. I read both books for the local connection: both WA authors, Julia Lawrinson had launched the Cockburn Libraries Year of Reading in 2012, and Elsewhere in Success is set in Success (The library doesn’t get a mention, but the shopping centre does).

After that it wasn’t until November that I picked up a copy Stay: the Last Dog in Antarctica by Jesse Blackadder, which I had been meaning to read since I’d seen the author at the Perth Writers Festival in February talking out her visit to Antarctica.

After a diversion across the Tasman (The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton), I started Mateship with Birds just before Christmas. 
So while I thought I would easily reach the four book quota, in the end I had to make a conscious effort to get the fourth book in before the end of the year (I was always intending to read Mateship with Birds as I had enjoyed Carrie Tiffany’s first novel Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living)
So the gender count (& nationality count) for my 2013 reading is:
14 male authors (1 Australian)
8 female authors (4 Australian)
The 2014 Australian Women Writers Challenge starts tomorrow. If you think you might like to participate, you can sign up here