News & CFPs


A New Companion  to  Margaret  Atwood:  call for   essays for  a new  book on Margaret  Atwood’s  work 

Please send  initial ideas and or  abstracts to Gina Wisker by December 31, 2020 at (Happy to  discuss any   ideas in advance.)

For several decades Margaret Atwood has been and  still remains a consistent, insightful, wry, concerned  and  utterly  engaged voice for our varying times. Her work deals (among much else) with the everyday terrors of internalised, socially  embedded fascistic  gender oppression, the insidious dangers of fundamentalism and other politically and psychologically  reinforced forms of life denying bullying (Lady Oracle, The  Edible Woman, The Handmaids Tale, The Testaments inc. notes but not biblio).  She explores hidden histories and testimonies while questioning  the  trustworthiness of  both  received  and  silenced cultural  and personal histories , revealing each to be versions of  legitimated  or  unsanctioned fictions (Cats Eye, Alias Grace). An active  voice for sustainability, ecological and  human diversity, for  feminism, creativity,  and  the  worldviews of  indigenous people she is rarely hectoring, always  wise, wry, and  well informed . She puts her extraordinary imagination to   work through the  Gothic (The Robber Bride ), dystopian science fiction (The Maddaddam  trilogy) (though she denied  the definition for a while), memoir (Moral  Disorder), the comic  and  much  else in  long and  short fiction  and  in  poetry.

This new book is  a Companion  to  Margaret  Atwood’s work which does not intend  to merely replicate the  rich  array  of publications  already available . Rather it aims to do  two  things:  to lay  down  work which offers  sound  yet new and updated discussions on those fundamental concerns of  her work, and  on the major texts, and to explore relatively less visited, and /or now highly topical issues and  texts , and/ or utterly new perspectives for  2021  and  beyond.

Contributions could include  but  are not limited to work on  Margaret  Atwood’s work  and: 

The Anthropocene

The posthuman

Feminism, feminist  and gendered perspectives 

Fundamentalism, oppressive worldviews and social, political controls

Lifespans  and  legacies (consistent  themes-following  a slice through her work, influences  on  others with her work at  the  centre)

The Gothic imagination/Gothic readings and perspectives  

Satire, scifi 

interrogating dominant cultural  narratives  and myths eg romantic, adventure, heroism, sacrifice,

memoir and memory, testimony

TV and film adaptations and  their topicality

Her roadshows, appearances, blog , interviews-social and  social media presence



Indigenous worldviews 


views of 

The Handmaids Tale

Alias Grace

(or any other ‘set text’ from  her work  and  what  they  have to  say  which is established and also  topical– updated — this is so  we  have  a range of  readers )

How  her  fictions   – her short  stories,  her novels  and her poetry  engage with  any of these and  any other  themes  and issues which you feel are central to our appreciation of  her work and or have been overlooked, are now  topical.

Essays  of Approx. 3,000 words (inc. notes but not biblio)

Accompanying  images are also welcomed (with permissions)

The  Series

The Companion series books are both accessible and cover the big ideas, but are also provocative and deal  with  new or  overlooked issues  in  takes on and  concerns with  the  author’s work. Titles in the series so far cover The GothicSci-fiHorrorCli-fiMonsters with volumes on Transmedia CulturesShirley Jackson and Magic forthcoming. More information on the series can be found here:
Also it is important to bear  in mind the  TOC  for the   well established  Cambridge  Companion to   Margaret  Atwood, ed.   Coral Ann Howells, the  2nd  edn  of  which  is  due  out  2021. I  would envisage  this new book complementing (rather than  mirroring) that  Companion and  dealing  with  new  takes, new areas . (TOC  available upon request)

CWWA September Sessions

The CWWA September Sessions are topics and skills based talks and workshops aimed at PGRs and ECRs working in contemporary women’s writing. All sessions are free and will be delivered via Zoom.

SOLD OUT. Friday 11th September, 12-1pm. ‘Writing for blogs, websites and enyclopaedias’. Led by Prof Susan Watkins and Dr Kerry Myler.

Friday 18th September, 3-4.30pm. ‘‘The academic job market – 2020 and beyond’. Led by Dr Claire O’Callaghan and Prof Clare Hanson. Please click here to register.

Wednesday 23rd September, 6-7.30pm (TBC). ‘Literature Must Fall: Hosting an alternative literature festival’. Led by Kavita Bhanot and Aaisha Akhtar. Please click here to register.

Friday 25th September, 2pm-5pm. ‘Publishing in academic journals’. Led by Dr Kaye Mitchell and Olivia Heal. Please click here to register. (Capped at 30 participants)

Wednesday 30th September, 3-4pm. CWWA 2020 AGM. All members welcome.