ACT's Young Women of the Year Zoya Patel to host panel on women authors
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ACT's Young Women of the Year Zoya Patel to host panel on women authors

Women can only write with a female voice, all great authors throughout history have been men, and women writers are too preoccupied with frivolous topics.

Are these statements fact or fiction?

Zoya Patel has organised a panel discussion on women in literature.

Zoya Patel has organised a panel discussion on women in literature.Credit:Melissa Adams

Find out on Wednesday night during an entertaining and informative discussion that sets out to bust some of the myths about women and literature.

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Zoya Patel, Feminartsy editor and the ACT's Young Woman of the Year, matched up each of the provocative ideas with a local expert in the field.

Rosanna Stevens, Julieanne Lamond and Lucy Neave are ready to break the stereotypes and shatter preconceptions before answering questions from the audience.

While the speakers have serious literary clout, the mood will be neither heavy nor dreary.

Ms Patel chose the format as a "lighthearted and fun" way to debunk the lore surrounding women in literature.

"All these pervasive myths exist around women and men," she said.

Her interests included feminism and cultural issues in Australia, subjects she was exploring in a memoir.

"There's a bunch of really interesting writers in Canberra," Ms Patel said.

Among them is Neave, whose novel was shortlisted for the ACT Book of the Year Award in 2014.

Who We Were has a Cold War setting and focuses on science, infectious diseases and weapons projects – not the usual stuff of chick lit.

"It's fair to say women have a lot of anxiety about how their books are going to be marketed," Neave said.

Statistics released ahead of the annual Stella Prize indicated female authors were given a raw deal when it came to reviews and were under-represented in literary awards.

"It's really good the topic is getting some attention," Neave said. "The latest Miles Franklin shortlists have had a lot more women on them."

It was important to keep working on the main issues, including women writers being reviewed as much as their male counterparts and their work "getting the serious critical attention that might be warranted", she said.

Myth-busting Women and Literature starts at 7pm on August 26 in the Main Hall of the Gorman Arts Centre and costs $10.

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