Shouldn’t women authors write whatever they want?

Another insightful post by fellow writer and Matera devotee, Kimberly Sullivan. Kimberly’s examination of people’s opinions about what women should write reminds me of something that happened when I was still working on my MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University. So often I was told that, as a black woman, I should be writing about “black issues” or that my characters didn’t feel “black enough”–whatever that means. I usually scoffed at this notion that I was only supposed to write about “serious” or “black” issues. My reply was generally: “I write what I want to write.” And I think the same is true for all writers. We write the stories within us. We write what we want to write and no one else should think they can demand that we write anything else. 🙂 Thanks for another great post, Kimberly! Happy Thanksgiving!

KimberlySullivan

Pen writingBack in September, I was attending the Matera Women’s Fiction Festival and I was at a lecture on self-publishing by romance writers Bella Andre and Tina Folsom.

The talk was informative and inspiring, and the writers shared their experiences controlling their writing careers and their passion for their writing.

When the question and answer session arrived, one woman asked a question I’ve heard variations of over the years of attending writing talks with women authors.

The question, essentially, boils down to: How can you, as a woman author, write silly books like romances that make the rest of us look bad?

I should preface this by saying that I am no fan of the romance genre. However, I have worked with great critique partners who are excellent writers and write romance. I’ve always been honest in telling them I‘m no expert on romance novels, and they’ve always told me they…

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