The journal critically assesses writing by women authors who have published approximately from 1970 to the present, especially in essays that reach beyond a reading of a single text in order to challenge existing thinking or extend debates about an author, genre, topic, or theoretical perspective and relate literary analysis to wider cultural and intellectual contexts. The journal aims to reflect retrospectively on developments throughout the period, to survey the variety of contemporary work, and to anticipate the new and provocative in women’s writing. It welcomes theoretical, cultural, historical, geographical, formalist, and political approaches to contemporary women’s writing. It takes an interest in the production and reception of contemporary women’s writing, in terms of the practices of individual authors, the creation of cultural and literary fields, and the construction of readerships. Publishing original work in English, Contemporary Women’s Writing is open to essays on literature in English and other languages and to interviews with prominent women writers of any nationality. It welcomes submissions relating to all literary forms and from a wide variety of theoretical and interdisciplinary perspectives. The journal editors invite proposals for special issues, to be coordinated by guest associate editors.
The journal was founded by Mary Eagleton in 2007. The first co-editors were Mary Eagleton (UK) and Susan Stanford Friedman (US). Other co-editors have included Clare Hanson (UK), and Emma Parker (UK). The journal is currently edited by Kaye Mitchell (UK) and Suzanne Keen (US). The Council of Editors of Learned Journals awarded it the prize for the Best New Journal at the 2009 meeting of the MLA. The journal offers an annual Essay Prize, which aims to encourage new scholarship in the field of contemporary women’s writing, recognise and reward outstanding achievement by new researchers and support the professional development of next generation scholars. Information about the prize can be found here: https://academic.oup.com/cww