'Sexists need not apply': Irish publisher takes a stance against 'Dear Sir' emails

by Greg Murphy

Irish publishers, Tramp Press, are taking a unique stand against sexism in their industry.

Sarah Davis-Goff and Lisa Coen will no longer accept submissions for consideration if they fall under the following criteria:

  • If they are addressed as 'Dear Sirs' in submissions
  • Authors who cite only male influences to their writing.

They said in a statement on their website: "We try to be as upfront as possible in who we are and our publishing viewpoint: with that in mind if you address us as ‘Dear Sirs’, or list only male influences, we will decline to consider your work."

In a thread, posted on the Tramp Press Twitter account, Davis Goff and Coen explain why they are taking this stance.

    "We at Tramp experience sexism in lots of ways all the time, being dreaded women.

    "One really annoying way we experience it is when authors send us their manuscripts and do one or both of the following:

    "1. Addressing us as 'Dear Sirs' and 2. sending us a cover letter in which they declare they do not read books by women.

    "So we've decided to make a small but important change to our criteria for submission.

    "If you do either of those things, we will decline to read your manuscript.

    "This is a big deal for us – we've always kept the 'slush pile' open lest we let any truly exciting piece of work pass us by because of rules.

    "It turns out that while overtly sexist authors send us a lot of work (a lot), they have never sent us anything we've wanted to publish.

    "Not in over four years at Tramp, nor in our past publishing lives.

    "But more importantly, people have to stop thinking there are no consequences to being sexist.

    "So as of today, sexists need not apply."

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