While we strive to publish work at Feels Blind Literary from new and emerging writers and artists, when this is said, readers often envision young people just getting their starts. They might imagine individuals in high school or college. They instead might imagine individuals fresh out of top-tier MFA programs with some publications already under their belts. Although we do hope our calls for submissions encourage those in all of the above categories to send work our way, I have been thinking a lot about how the publishing industry responds to older women who also are emerging writers. This treatment unfortunately varies little from nearly every other industry, in that women over the age of forty are treated as if they are invisible. Of course there are female literary powerhouses over the age of forty, but for those who have not yet published significant work by the time they reach this age, the direct or indirect messaging suggesting they should give up seems to increase tenfold.
In this same vein, I also have been thinking a great deal about how we so often see 30 Under 30 or 40 Under 40 lists in publications across the globe. This led to my decision to launch a different kind of list in Feels Blind—40 Over 40. Each month for the next 40 we will spotlight a different writer or artist who identifies as a woman and is killing it. Killing it doesn’t necessarily mean she’s selling as many novels as Margaret Atwood or Kelly Link or Zadie Smith, though she could be. We are just as interested in lesser known writers and artists over the age of 40 who might not yet be household names, however, women who are producing compelling work and/or building community in significant, meaningful ways.
We currently are accepting nominations for this list at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will accept them on a rolling basis throughout the year. When nominating, include a statement describing the nominee’s work and/or contributions to a larger community and why they rock, as well as an accompanying photograph. Please do not just forward the person's as bio, as we would like these to be more personalized. Self-nominations also are welcome. We hope this list will celebrate the work of a diverse group of badass women and help publicize that work to a larger audience. XO, Lindsay