I have had the most difficult time finding and maintaining serious, committed, and mature female writers for Morningside Writers Group in the metro New York City area.
Men who've walked through the revolving door of Morningside have been different, but similar to the women who've faded into black. The most common excuse for men leaving the group has been that their girlfriend or spouse demanded more time at home after work, rather than have him lallygagging with some writer's group.
It is puzzling and troubling when all statistics show that women read more than men, yet I can't find women writers to commit for more than three, six, or nine months. This is in all three divisions of the group -- Fiction, Screenwriting, and Graphic Novel.
Each case has been different, but a majority of the women have been either fretful, angry, emotional, or just passing through. One such writer threatened litigation or voodoo via e-mail after realizing she wasn't due a refund of the nonrefundable membership dues.
Then there's the female writer who dropped out of the group after I'd written glowing recommendations for MFA applications, of which she was accepted to two. I felt used, but life continued after her departure.
I am the first to admit that I don't understand why there's a drought of female writers in the five boroughs with a body of work, willing to commit for at least a year, and able to give and receive insightful feedback.
The time is fast-approaching that I won't balance the groups based on gender. It's not sad, but a fact of life that there's more to the difference between men and women than cats and dogs.