Final Check-In: Women’s Classic Literature Event 2016.

Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurson, George Eliot, Rose Wilder Lane, Louisa May Alcott, & Virginia Woolf.

Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurston, George Eliot, Rose Wilder Lane, Louisa May Alcott, & Virginia Woolf.

Our final group question: If you could meet any of the authors you read for this event, which one would you meet, & why? What would you ask her?


Here’s the last check-in for the 2016 Women’s Classic Literature Event. We would love to know how you did? We have a few weeks left till the year fades into its twilight embers. Are you planning to finish up any women’s classics for the remainder of the year? Are you going to keep exploring classics by female authors?

This is really the big question we want to ask: what has been your favorite title for this challenge? Do you have any recommendations for others going forward? Lost authors they might try? Why do you recommend that author? (What made you love her work, and if it’s possible, why do you think she was forgotten? Will she make a comeback?)

If you’ve read some great titles or written some great posts, please feel free to share them below! And thanks so much for participating! We hope you liked this event. 🙂

Twitter: #ccwomenclassics.

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Fourth Check-In: Women’s Classic Literature Event 2016.

Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurson, George Eliot, Rose Wilder Lane, Louisa May Alcott, & Virginia Woolf.

Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurston, George Eliot, Rose Wilder Lane, Louisa May Alcott, & Virginia Woolf.

Our October group question: Share the most memorable scene from one of your reads for this event in the comments below (or at your blog). You can share the book’s title or ask people to guess. 🙂


Hello, friends! Here’s the fourth check-in for the 2016 Women’s Classic Literature Event. We would love to know how you’re doing for this project? Have you discovered still more forgotten titles? Or are you getting to know one of the women writers who are prized already in the canon, like Virginia Woolf? What’s your favorite read for the event so far? Hosting any upcoming readalongs?

If you’ve read some great titles or written some great posts for this event, please feel free to share them below. You can also share your events below, if you’re hosting a group read for a title by a classic female author. Or you can ask if anyone wants to buddy read with you. Thanks so much for participating! HAPPY READING! Our final group check-in will be in December.

You can get a live feed for the event on Twitter: #ccwomenclassics.

Third Check-In: Women’s Classic Literature Event 2016.

Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurson, George Eliot, Rose Wilder Lane, Louisa May Alcott, & Virginia Woolf.

Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurston, George Eliot, Rose Wilder Lane, Louisa May Alcott, & Virginia Woolf.

Our July group question: Describe the writing style of your current author for this event, or if you prefer, your favorite author for the event so far. How does she form a sentence, or get to the next scene, or keep readers riveted? Answer below, or at your blog. (Completely voluntary, of course.)


Hello, friends! Here’s the third check-in for the 2016 Women’s Classic Literature Event. Who’s still with us? What have you read? Any favorite titles? We’re about midway through the event. We’d love it if some of you could share some authors who aren’t well known, & say a few things about their work or life. This event is about what you share, what you discover. Do tell us & let us discover with you. 🙂

If you’ve read some great titles or written some great posts for this event, please feel free to share them below. You can also share your events below, if you’re hosting a group read for a title by a classic female author. Or you can ask if anyone wants to buddy read with you. We’ll check back as a group in October. Thanks so much for participating! HAPPY READING!

You can get a live feed for the event on Twitter: #ccwomenclassics.

Second Check-In: Women’s Classic Literature Event 2016.

Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurson, George Eliot, Rose Wilder Lane, Louisa May Alcott, & Virginia Woolf.

Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurston, George Eliot, Rose Wilder Lane, Louisa May Alcott, & Virginia Woolf.

Our April group question: Share an interesting fact about the life of the author you’re currently reading for this event. This might take some research. You can share below or write up a pretty post for your blog, if you’re feeling creative. 🙂


Hello, friends! Here’s the second check-in for the 2016 Women’s Classic Literature Event. Who’s still with us? What have you read? Any favorite titles? Share! Share!

That’s the entirety of what we have to say in this check-in. We’re relying on you to make this check-in happen in the comment box. 🙂 If you’ve read some great titles or written some great posts for this event, please feel free to share them below. You can also share your events below, if you’re hosting a group read for a title by a classic female author. Or you can ask if anyone wants to buddy read with you. We’ll check back as a group in July. HAPPY READING!

You can get a live feed for the event on Twitter: #ccwomenclassics.

First Check-In: Women’s Classic Literature Event 2016.

Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurson, George Eliot, Rose Wilder Lane, Louisa May Alcott, & Virginia Woolf.

Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurston, George Eliot, Rose Wilder Lane, Louisa May Alcott, & Virginia Woolf.

Our first group question: Without revealing spoilers (obviously), describe how the opening of your current read for this event draws you in. Is it the language? the suspense? the voice? Why are you compelled to keep reading? If you’re interested, you can share in the comments below or at your blog. (We’ll have a little question like this for each check-in.) 🙂


All right, friends! Here’s the first check-in for the 2016 Women’s Classic Literature Event. As promised, it is quite brief. We’d just like to get a tally of who has joined, who intends to participate & how. Do you have a preset list? Are you pulling to any particular authors or titles? Any particular genres or eras? Have you already begun your list, & if so, how much have you read? Any favorite titles? Are you EXCITED? WHAT IS YOUR PLAN?

If you’ve already read some great titles or written some great posts for this event, please feel free to share them below. You can also share your events below, if you’re hosting a group read of a book by a classic female author. Or you can ask if anyone wants to buddy read with you. We’ll check back as a group in April. HAPPY READING!

You can get a live feed for the event on Twitter: #ccwomenclassics.

“Then the curtain rose.” – A Survey for the Women’s Classic Literature Event. :)

Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurson, George Eliot, Rose Wilder Lane, Louisa May Alcott, & Virginia Woolf.

Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurson, George Eliot, Rose Wilder Lane, Louisa May Alcott, & Virginia Woolf.

Hey everyone! We’re really excited that you’re liking the idea of the Women’s Classic Literature Event. We thought we’d toss up an introductory survey for anyone hoping to participate who likes introductory surveys. We just thought it would be fun, & help us touch base with one another. You can answer these any time at your own blog, or in the comments below. If you answer at your place, feel free to leave a link in the comments. As ever, this is completely voluntary. You do not have to do this to participate in the event.

  1. Introduce yourself. Tell us what you are most looking forward to in this event.
  2. Have you read many classics by women? Why or why not?
  3. Pick a classic female writer you can’t wait to read for the event, & list her date of birth, her place of birth, and the title of one of her most famous works.
  4. Think of a female character who was represented in classic literature by a male writer. Does she seem to be a whole or complete woman? Why or why not? Tell us about her. (Without spoilers, please!)
  5. Favorite classic heroine? (Why? Who wrote her?)
  6. We’d love to help clubbers find great titles by classic female authors. Can you recommend any sources for building a list? (Just skip this question if you don’t have any at this point.)
  7. Recommend three books by classic female writers to get people started in this event. (Again, skip over this if you prefer not to answer.)
  8. Will you be joining us for this event immediately, or will you wait until the new year starts?
  9. Do you plan to read as inspiration pulls, or will you make out a preset list?
  10. Are you pulling to any particular genres? (Letters, journals, biographies, short stories, novels, poems, essays, etc?)
  11. Are you pulling to a particular era or location in literature by women?
  12. Do you hope to host an event or readalong for the group? No worries if you don’t have details. We’re just curious!
  13. Is there an author or title you’d love to read with a group or a buddy for this event? Sharing may inspire someone to offer.
  14. Share a quote you love by a classic female author — even if you haven’t read the book yet.
  15. Finally, ask the question you wish this survey had asked, & then answer it.

You can get a live feed for the event on Twitter: #ccwomenclassics.

Announcing the Women’s Classic Literature Event.

Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurson, George Eliot, Rose Wilder Lane, Louisa May Alcott, & Virginia Woolf.

Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurston, George Eliot, Rose Wilder Lane, Louisa May Alcott, & Virginia Woolf.

Have you ever read A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf?

There’s this scene in the essay where Woolf’s narrative persona is in the British Museum and can’t find a proper history on women. She can find a whole bunch of books by men about what women think, what they should think, what they shouldn’t think, who they are: but she can’t get at the actual woman. In fiction by men, she finds that women are either portrayed as angels or promiscuous monsters. Always they are portrayed in relation to men. In history, she finds that they are invisible, and that she cannot rely on the portrayal of women she finds in the British Museum:

“Suppose, for instance, that men were only represented in literature as the lovers of women, and were never the friends of men, soldiers, thinkers, dreamers; how few parts in the plays of Shakespeare could be allotted to them; how literature would suffer! We might perhaps have most of Othello; and a good deal of Antony; but no Caesar, no Brutus, no Hamlet, no Lear, no Jaques–literature would be incredibly impoverished, as indeed literature is impoverished beyond our counting by the doors that have been shut upon women.” – Virginia Woolf

We’re going to have an event. It officially starts today because it is no fun to wait until January. But you can wait until January if you want to. 🙂

The event? Read classic literature by female authors, & share your thoughts (or links to your thoughts) at #ccwomenclassics on Twitter, or in our quarterly check-ins, which we’ll have here in January, April, July, October, & December of 2016.

This event is way more a celebration than a “reading challenge.” It’s about hunting out those forgotten titles which didn’t make it into the official canon, & reading them & sharing the excitement. Or exploring the females who are in the canon. For example, if you want to spend the entire year poring over Middlemarch by George Eliot, going a chapter or two a month and gently journaling, we don’t want to stifle that by asking you to meet a title count.

You can make a preset list, if you want one. (We think preset lists are mighty fine!) You can give yourself a goal. Or you can do this thing organically: read as you’re inspired, and share as you’re inspired, & give us a wave now & then.

You can choose any genre you like: Gothics, sensation fiction, sentimental novels, children’s classics, letters, journals, essays, short stories, female writers from the American South, Irish classics by women, African classics by women, Australian classics by women, poetry, plays. You can do all Persephone titlesall Virago, all forgotten nineteenth century letter-writers, all journals, all novels, all essays, all feminist works — or a mix. You could do a deep exploration of a single author’s work, or pick a couple authors whose works you’d like to compare and contrast. You could set up your own dueling authors: read three by one author, and three by the other, and see who comes out on top. Really, you can get as creative as you want with this event. If the title was penned by a female and written or published before 1960, it counts. (We don’t actually care if you want to fudge that date.)

Biographies on classic females count, too. (Even if they were written recently.) If you go that route, it would be lovely if you shared your author findings in a post so others can learn! If you want to list a series of poems by women & call that your list, it counts. Often women wrote short stories for magazines when they couldn’t find a publisher for their novel. That counts! Tour the centuries and continents or locate yourself in England in the nineteenth century. Your list is the product of your own exploration and imagination. If you want to reread the whole Little House collection for the entire year — THAT COUNTS. 🙂 The point is to get people thinking about women writers & sharing favorite reads.

We encourage clubbers to host readalongs or join together in buddy reads, if you’d like. If you’re hosting a readalong, feel free to tweet it to #ccwomenclassics and @ourclassicsclub if you’re on Twitter so others have the opportunity to join, & remember you can toss a link here. Feel free to use the comments box or our twitter hashtag to work out group reads or buddy reads together, if it comes up.


  • Check-Ins: We’ll check in January 2016, April 2016, July 2016, October 2016, & December 2016, just to have a little fun & see how everyone’s doing. These check-ins will be very casual: just a place to say hello, compare notes, & maybe mention some of our favorite reads so far. It would be fun to discover some new titles through the check-ins!
  • Event Dates: Now through December 31, 2016.
  • Sign Up: This is the sign-up post, & the comment box below is where you join. If you make a preset list, feel free to drop your link in the comment box at any time. If you want to share your titles as you read, you can do that in the comments for the current post for the event, or at Twitter: #ccwomenclassics.

What do you think? Can you suggest some titles or authors people might want to explore? Can you suggest some sources for discovering female authors?

Are you interested in taking part? Are you going to set a goal? Have you got a current favorite female classic writer? Who are you itching to meet through her books?