News & CFPs


CFP: Contemporary Women Writing Race: Textual Interventions and Intersections Symposium

Friday 10th September 2021, online (Zoom), time tbc

Contemporary women writers have long been at the forefront of diverse conversations regarding race, society, and culture. From the works of legendary greats, such as Maya Angelou, Maxine Hong Kingston, Amy Tan, and Nawal Ed Saadawi, to the vibrant writing of Octavia Butler, Bernardine Evaristo, and Jenny Zhang, to name just a few, contemporary women authors have elucidated the wide and varied experiences of race across time, genre, and forms. Such work also frequently attends, in nuanced ways, to the lived experience and dynamics of intersectionality.

Following the success of last year’s CWWA workshop ‘Literature Must Fall’ and associated projects (such as the funded ‘Women Writing Pakistan’ initiative), the CWWA wishes to continue the dialogue on the importance of literary and non-literary work devoted to race and racial (in)equality produced by contemporary women writers. How are contemporary women writers providing textual interventions in social and cultural discourses on race, inequality, and the dismantling of racist behaviours, practices, and institutions?

We invite the submission of abstracts for 15-minute papers on any aspect of contemporary women’s writing and race. Topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

  • The representation of race, racial politics, and experience in works by contemporary women writers
  • Contemporary women’s writing, race, form, and genre(s)
  • Contemporary women’s writing and anti-racism
  • Intersectionality, including, for example, race and gender, class, religion, disability, sexuality, aging, the body
  • Contemporary women’s writing and political activism
  • Contemporary women’s writing, race, and intertextuality

The submission of abstracts is open to all scholars and it is our hope that we can provide a particular showcase for postgraduate and early career scholars. The event will be free, and bookings will open via Eventbrite shortly.

Please email abstracts of no more than 300 words to Claire O’Callaghan and Shareena Hamzah-Osbourne at & by the end of Wednesday 30th June 2021.

CWWA Summer Sessions

After the success of our September Sessions last year we are pleased to be running a series of events for Summer 2021.

Publishing in academic journals

Tuesday 20 July, 11.30am – 4.30pm (BST)

Please note that this session is capped at 30 participants as it is a participatory workshop.

The participatory session is aimed specifically towards those working in the field of contemporary women’s writing with a particular interest in publishing their research in an academic journal. Participants will have preparatory reading to do prior to the session. We ask those participants who wish to do so to submit the introduction or first 1-2 pages of an article they plan to submit for publication, for small-group workshopping. Please also come armed with questions!

Dr Kaye Mitchell is co-editor of the OUP journal Contemporary Women’s Writing and on the editorial board of the bilingual open-access journal Open Gender. She has previously been on the boards of Radical Philosophy and C21 and has been a peer-reviewer for journals such as Textual Practice, Contemporary Literature, Feminist Theory, Mosaic and Women: A Cultural Review.

Schedule for the afternoon.

11:30 Part i – Talk by Dr Kaye Mitchell followed by Q&A

– Why is journal publishing important – for you and for the discipline?

– How does the peer review process work?

– How in particular does the Contemporary Women’s Writing process work, from first submission, through peer review to eventual publication?

– Dos and Don’ts of publishing in academic journals.

– Why be a peer reviewer?

– Q & A

LUNCH BREAK (participants are welcome to stay in the room during the lunch break)

14:00 Part ii – From Submission to Publication

– Taking an example of an article that has been published, this part of the session will look at all the changes an article can undergo from the moment of submission to that of publication.

– Participants will have read the original, the reader reports and the final version prior to the session and this will be an opportunity to look at the process in more detail, to discuss it as a group and to ask further questions.

– Following on from the conversation with Sabine, a group discussion led by Kaye will compare the opening pages of the original submission to those of the final published version.

– This discussion will also consider how to respond to readers’ reports.

– Through the discussion we will start to think about what our expectations are for an introduction to a journal article.


15:15 Part iii – Introductions Workshop

15:15 Part iii – Introductions Workshop 

– This session will begin by outlining what an introduction/opening is expected to do and the ways in which it can do this. 

– In break-out rooms, small groups will then workshop one or two introductions submitted by participants considering how effectively they work as an opening to an article. 

– Participants will then regroup to feed back on the introductions themselves and the process of reviewing.  

16:30 Close 


Participants are invited to submit the opening pages of an article they are considering publishing.   

On registration, as well as the Zoom link to the event, participants will receive a link to a Google Drive folder, where they will find all preparatory reading and be able to upload their introductions (if they wish to do so). 

This event is free. Please book your place via Eventbrite. As the event is capped, a waiting list is in operation. If you can’t attend, therefore, please cancel your book as soon as you can so that someone else can take your place.

From PhD Thesis to Monograph

Weds 23rd June 2021, 3-4.30pm BST. Free and online.

This session is aimed at those interested in turning their PhD thesis into an academic monograph. The process of reworking your thesis, approaching publishers and dealing with feedback can be a tricky one, therefore this session is intended to demystify the process by hearing from academics who have been through it. It will be an invaluable opportunity to learn from academics (Dr Katherine Cooper and Dr Helen Davies) who have been through the process and can offer first-hand advice about the challenging journey from thesis to monograph.

Dr Katherine Cooper is Senior Research Associate at the University of East Anglia. Her first book War, Nation and Europe in the Novels of Storm Jameson was published with Bloomsbury in 2020. Her current book project grew directly out of this work, and looks at how British writers like Jameson formed activist networks to help refugees during World War Two, exploring the sorts of ideas about human rights and European identity which underpinned their actions. 

Dr Helen Davies is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Wolverhampton. She is the author of Gender and Ventriloquism in Victorian and Neo-Victorian Fiction (2012) and Neo-Victorian Freakery (2015), and is currently writing a book about the representation of Down syndrome in contemporary literature.

Attendance is free, but please register here.

After Your PhD
Thursday 15th July, 3-4.30pm BST. Free and online.

This second session in the CWWA’s Summer Sessions is aimed at those negotiating the limbo between finishing the PhD and gaining employment in the academic market or beyond. This time can be especially challenging as we deal with issues of precarity, competition for opportunities, the pressure to publish and the sudden unmooring from the academic institution. Dr Claire O’Callaghan and Dr Fiona Tolan will be leading the session and thinking through the challenges and possibilities associated with this time.

Dr Fiona Tolan is a Senior Lecturer in English at Liverpool John Moores University. She specializes in contemporary fiction, particularly British and Canadian fiction, and contemporary women’s writing. She is the author of Margaret Atwood: Feminism and Fiction and co-editor of Writers Talk: Conversations with Contemporary British Novelists . She has also written numerous journal articles and book chapters on contemporary authors such as Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith and Kate Atkinson. Fiona is also on the International Advisory Board for Margaret Atwood Studies.

Dr Claire O’Callaghan is a Lecturer in Humanities at Loughborough University. She is the author of Sarah Waters: Gender and Sexual Politics (2018) and co-editor (with Dr Adele Jones) of Sarah Waters and Contemporary Feminisms (2017). Claire has recently been writing on race and violence in contemporary reworkings in Wuthering Heights, and she is currently working on a book on gender and sexual violence in neo-Victorian fiction.

Attendance is free, but please register here.