Thirty Years, Thirty Ideas

In preparation for the Women Writers Project’s upcoming thirty-year anniversary, we are seeking collaborators for a series of short explorations of Women Writers Online: “Thirty Years, Thirty Ideas.” Each contribution to the series will cover a single topic—such as reading, childbirth, war, servants, clothing, or the environment—as an entry point into the textbase, providing a brief discussion or introduction and then guiding the reader through a set of illustrative examples and quotations from the WWO textbase. We’re thinking of each “Idea” as essentially a curatorial exercise, akin to a richly annotated quotography or keyword. Each entry will be written in a pedagogical spirit, aimed at kindling excitement in readers and helping them to discover new texts by early women writers.

Contributions should provide basic contextual information to orient the reader in the topic, but they do not need to be exhaustive—and the framing needn’t be analytical or argumentative, but can be exploratory or associative. Although the genre we’re imagining is simple, it does offer considerable flexibility and opportunities for experimentation, and we hope authors will feel free to explore its expressive potential. We would like each contribution to discuss at least five texts, and ideally more in the range of eight to fifteen, to give readers a view of the diversity of the collection and the perspectives of different authors, time periods, and genres.

We will be publishing these entries through our open-access Women Writers in Context platform, which offers capabilities such as a timeline view, pop-outs for biographic and bibliographic information, and embedded textual excerpts. We expect that most of the entries in the series will be shorter than the exhibits currently published in Women Writers in Context, and many may not use all of the features provided by the platform, but we also hope that some authors will find these additional options useful in discussing their texts and topics.

If you are interested in authoring an entry for this series—or if you just want to suggest an idea and some accompanying texts—please contact us at We are very much looking forward to celebrating this anniversary and we hope that the Thirty Years, Thirty Ideas series will successfully commemorate the eclectic and vibrant contents of Women Writers Online.