Wendy Thomson - Editor's blog

Happy International Women's Day #PledgeforParity

FEMALE ARTS launches a Friend Scheme as a #PledgeForParity on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2016. www.femalearts.com/friend

A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing - Reaction

'A Girl is a Half-formed Thing' plays at The Young Vic (17 Feb - 26 March 2016). Tonight I attended their press night. (SPOILERS)...

Feminist Criticism discussion at Devoted and Disgruntled, Birmingham Rep Theatre

Editor Wendy Thomson chaired a discussion on feminist criticism at Devoted and Disgruntled, Birmingham Rep Theatre (read more)...

My Rhodia stationery

Notepads are essential for reviewing shows and exhibitions. For a little while I tried to write notes on my smartphone but the screen glare can be distracting and the battery inevitably runs down. It's still quicker to write longhand than to fiddle around with an onscreen keyboard. Imagine my delight (squeee!) when the lovely folk at bureau direct got in contact to tell me about My Rhodia. It's a premium French brand of notepads, notebooks and other stationery items like pencils and desktop accessories. (read on)...

Does a pink background on a feminist advert matter?

This picture of Emma Watson shows a quote from her about feminism and the #HeforShe campaign. I got upset that whoever designed this image placed it on a pink background. Why? it's just a colour surely. What does it matter? (read on)...

(Women's) World Cup and England's female football team. Don't call them lionesses!

Over the past couple of weeks I've been caught up in the Women's World Cup, which has made me think about women in sport, and the wish for women in sport to have an equal profile, training and pay to men. I've been engaging my friends in online debate and here are some of my thoughts:

Do you know that YOU can vote for who appears on a £20 note?

The Bank of England is calling for the public to nominate a historically important British visual artist to appear on the new £20 note. You have until the 19th July 2015 to nominate. A sponsored item came up in my newsfeed to vote for a male artist whose facebook page I like and whose gallery I've visited. I left a message saying, although I'm a fan of his work, I will vote for a woman artist, as it's important to me that women appear on banknotes. (read on)...

Female Arts Crowdfunder

There are 8 days left if you'd like to sponsor our crowdfunder. I've heard rumours that Female Arts reviews can be "bought". This is not and has never been the case! In exchange for sponsorship we can promote your show with an interview or a feature (these are the most popular options). If you have a show in the Camden or Edinburgh fringe you may welcome the extra publicity. In exchange this enables us to carry out vital fixes and updates to our website. Our reviews are impartial, cannot be paid for and are subject to the review team's availability - they choose what they want to review, once you've told us about your production.

Why do you even need a crowdfunder?

In three years we have not had any funding (from any source). Female Arts is run entirely by passionate volunteers. Editor Wendy Thomson and Deputy Editor Sophie Porter have put thousands of hours of free, unpaid work into running Female Arts: publishing, updating social media and dealing with press enquiries, venues, PR and our volunteer team of reviewers. We also both happen to be working single mothers with pre-school children who do this in our spare time . We met at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. We are both feminist playwrights and care about gender equality on and off stage. Sophie co-founded theatre company The Minty Crimples and I co-founded sketch group The Reading Berks My writer's cv is http://www.wendythomson.co.uk please take a look at some of our work.

Our review team (all volunteers, many are industry professionals) have reviewed hundreds of productions which focus on women in the arts. The work we do is much needed and well regarded.

It's not easy in creative industries, everyone involved in Female Arts works hard to uphold our standards and reputation. So if you care about our work, please put your hand in your pocket and sponsor us! http://www.sponsume.com/project/female-arts-magazine-femaleartscom

With thanks to everyone who has sponsored us to date!

Female Arts and International Women's Day 2014

This blog entry is the 1000th article published since Female Arts was launched in May 2011! Thank you and congratulations to all involved @femalearts!

With this very special entry I'd like to share with you some exciting events coming up in March that the Female Arts team will be involved in to help celebrate, commemorate and campaign for gender equality on International Women's Day (Saturday March 8th).

Tuesday 4th March - Deputy Editor Sophie Porter's feminist play 'The Monotonous Drum' is being performed at the Etcetera Theatre, London at 9.30pm as part of their Women in Theatre Festival #WITfestival for more details and to book please see http://www.femalearts.com/node/982 and http://www.femalearts.com/node/998

Wednesday 5th March Very pleased and excited to announce that Female Arts are co-hosting a WOW party at Southbank centre #WOWLDN @WOWtweetUK with GAP Salon @GAPsalon and So and So Arts Club @soandsoartsclub. You are welcome to join us and the other charities / organisations involved in the Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall from 6pm-7.30pm to help us celebrate our achievements http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/wow-parties-81651

Friday 7th March Female Arts are running an information stall in the WOW marketplace, Southbank centre between 10am-6pm. We will be blogging and tweeting live, follow us @femalearts #wowfemalearts, meet the team! find out more about what we do, and what we'd like to do in the future! http://wow.southbankcentre.co.uk/

Saturday 8th March Morning - Female Arts will be involved in the 'Walk in Her Shoes' march for women and girls living in poverty, Care International. Join Helen Pankhurst and the Olympic Suffragettes in a walk from Tate Britain to the Southbank centre. To register and for more details please see http://www.femalearts.com/node/983

Then - Female Arts will dash to the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama @CSSDLondon to join in with their International Women's Day Festival @IWDfest14

From Friday 7th-Sunday 9th March we plan to be reviewing and reporting on events @ WOW festival, Southbank. http://wow.southbankcentre.co.uk/

It will be a busy week, I feel tired already. Thank you for your support and please share with us news of what you are doing for International Women's Day 2014 - email editor@femalearts.com tweet us @femalearts write on our wall www.facebook.com/femalearts

Best wishes
Wendy xx

2013 Highlights

2013 was a very productive year for Female Arts and I have published our highlights here http://www.femalearts.com/node/904

These are my Personal highlights

March 2013
Nominated for the Orwell Prize in Journalism for my writing for Female Arts. http://theorwellprize.co.uk/how-to-enterentries-2013journalism-prize-2013/

April 2013
Pleased to meet several of the Female Arts team in person! at Fringe First Mondays, an awesome free networking event for creatives, which is currently on a break http://fringefirstmondays.wordpress.com/about/

May 2013
As a new playwright I was thrilled to have two playlets produced by London Grey and Green theatre co http://greyandgreentheatre.co.uk/ at the Hen and Chickens and Rosemary Branch theatres in May and October and even more surprised and chuffed when Cathy Tyson came down to support me - and the other new writers. London Grey and Green are a fantastic theatre company please follow them on Twitter @GreyGreenTheatr and Facebook www.facebook.com/LondonGreyAndGreen

I also had a playlet performed at Reading’s Crash Test Drama http://crashtestdramauk.wordpress.com

July 2013
I attended a meeting of the League of Professional Women in Theatre UK. I am a volunteer for this group who have nearly 1000 members and is rapidly growing. The group aims to promote visibility and increase opportunities for women in the Professional Theatre. If you would like to join please click on this link. https://www.facebook.com/groups/484847981569852 Like the facebook page www.facebook.com/LeagueOfTheatreWomenUk follow on Twitter @LofPTW

August 2013
I attended UK Feminista’s summer school in Birmingham http://ukfeminista.org.uk/ which was an inspiring weekend and met some of the campaigners who are bringing feminism back into public focus including Lucy Anne Holmes from No More Page 3 @NoMorePage3 – which aims to remove topless models from The Sun newspaper.

Other campaigns I followed with interest in 2013 were Caroline Criado-Perez @CCriadoPerez who fought to get women back onto English banknotes and her other campaign The Women’s Room which challenges the media's poor gender ratio with a 3000+ expert women database.@thewomensroomuk

Oct 2013
LA FPI (Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative) quoted me in an article on gender parity research http://lafpi.com/2013/10/the-numbers-problem-and-why-it-matters/

Nov 2013
When Sally Met Sally interviewed me about Female Arts http://www.whensallymetsally.co.uk/features/tackling-gender-inequality-a...

Dec 2013
I attended a GAP Salon (Gender and Performance) meeting where members discuss, debate and strive for better representation on stage and in other areas of performance http://www.femalearts.com/node/890

I was a panellist at the ‘Women in Arts festival’ on the topic ‘Writing for Women’ run by So and So Arts club www.thesoandsoartsclub.com and the Actors Centre http://www.femalearts.com/node/880

Another personal highlight was being involved in organising an art exhibition on behalf of a talented individual who had passed away, it was great to see their work on display and shared with the public.

Self Promotion
I’m probably better at promoting other people than myself! But if you like the work I’m doing and would like to boost my ego please...

Check out my personal website www.wendythomson.co.uk
Like my writers page on facebook www.facebook.com/wendythomsonwriter
Watch my short film www.facebook.com/pages/Spell-short-film/274076066045757
Follow me on twitter @topgirls
and Hang out with me on Ideastap and LinkedIn.

Thanks for your Support!
Wendy Thomson - Editor


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