A Different kind of X Factor – Part II

If I’m going to be an iconic one day, this is going to have to be good…

If you read my last blog, you’ll know that as part of Loose Muse’s 10th Birthday celebrations we unveiled a banner that included the names of our Top Ten Iconics – ten women writers as chosen by members of the Loose Muse Editorial Group and myself for their quality, uniqueness and the contribution they’d made to world literature.

It was really tough to restrict ourselves to only ten women writers embracing these criteria. We spent a lot of time going over lists of women writers who deserved to be included. Everyone on our top ten list deserves to there in spades. Hopefully the creation of the list will inspire debate among Loose Musers and help you to put together your own lists as well as reading or re-reading the work of those names we included (although personally if I never read Jane Austin again as long as I live, it’ll be too long…sorry, I’ve never been a fan, and she’s on the list because she was chosen by other members of the Ed. Group).

Anyway, because it was so hard to restrict ourselves to just ten names, we also came up with another ten…numbers 11 to 20. And these are:


  1. Louisa May Alcott – feminist writer best known for her ‘Little Women’ books.
  2. Virginia Woolf – a member of the Bloomsbury Set and foremost modernist of the 20th century.
  3. Mary Wollstonecraft – writer, and author of ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Women’.
  4. Anne Frank – diarist and writer, who challenged prejudice and hatred.
  5. Beatrix Potter – author/illustrator/conservationist best known for her children’s books.
  6. Anna Comnena – the world’s first female historian, author of ‘The Alexiad’, which is still in print today.
  7. Grace Nicholls – Guyanese poet, central to our understanding of Caribbean/British literature.
  8. Irish Murdoch – Irish author/philosopher, best known for her novels about good and evil.
  9. Harriet Beecher Stowe – abolitionist who reached millions with her novel ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’.
  10. Christina Rossetti – writer of romantic, devotional and children’s poems.


There were so many others who could have/should have been on the list.   And I’m sure there’ll be all sorts of irate comments of the ‘Why didn’t you include X? She’s much better than Y’, or ‘How could you leave out XX?’ But whoever’s on the list deserves to be there just as much as another 10 or 20 or 30 other names who haven’t been included only because we could make the list endless.

We are hoping to have a proper debate as part of Loose Muse’s 10th Birthday celebrations, which will be a good opportunity to come along, listen, debate, vent your spleen or cry in frustration. So watch this space for details of when and where for the Grand Iconics Debate.

In the meantime the October Loose Muse is on 8th October and features award winning poet Malika Booker and Jordanian novelist and poet Fathieh Saudi.

So come share the passion, share the joy.