Women Writing for (a) Change
Contact: Diane Debevec——firstname.lastname@example.org
What resources and/or programs do you offer writers?
WWf (a)C offers classes, workshops and retreats to support the lives of women and girls for whom writing is or is becoming an important creative, spiritual and/or therapeutic practice. Its programs provide inspiration, discipline and a safe community within which writers can develop both skill and depth of expression. The core of the program is semester courses for adult women, offered once a week for 2.5 hours. Programs also include courses for young women and girls, co-ed classes, and specialty workshops and classes. Women Writing for (a) Change produces Podcasts which are available to the public, and offers outreach programs to reach women and girls who would otherwise have no opportunity to participate in a program of this sort.
What do you think is the biggest struggle writers face when trying to get published?
One struggle is believing in oneself and taking the first step. An additional huge struggle is being noticed from among thousands submitting work to publishers.
What is your program’s focus?
Developing the authentic, individual voice through the art of writing. Mary Pierce Brosmer founded Women Writing for (a) Change with the conviction that “when women and girls are safe, empowered, prosperous, expressive and authentic, so is society.” She started the organization to help individuals craft more conscious lives through the art of writing and the practices of community. Key in her vision is the balancing of the feminine with the predominantly masculine of our social reality. Women Writing for (a) Change creates community that celebrates, nurtures and develops the voices of women and girls from all walks of life, (and men, in coed classes) allowing the truth and power of their stories to emerge through the art of writing.
What is your program’s greatest strength?
This is an alternative to academic courses and critique-oriented workshops which often serve to silence rather than encourage emerging voices—particularly those of women writers. Focus on the creation of a community of writers, as much as on the writing itself, encourages the development of authentic individual voices. These voices are nurtured and celebrated through the art of writing.
Who is your target demographic?
Classes for women and girls are the largest focus of Women Writing for (a) Change, but not the only focus. Coed classes are also a part of the program.
What purpose do you think workshops serve for authors trying to get published?
Workshops provide a community in which to gain feedback about one’s writing and to receive encouragement to keep going and not give up.
What is your advice for writers who have never attended?
One does not need to be a skilled or accomplished writer to participate, and writers of all skill levels attend and are welcomed. The classes are set up as writing circles, communities, to encourage expression through the written word, in an environment that is safe, nurturing and non-competitive. It is an opportunity to develop one’s own voice in a setting in which the words are heard and honored without being judged. While some writing technique is taught, writers pursue their own forms of written expression (e.g. poetry, memoir, fiction, non-fiction, journaling) and request the type of feedback desired when the class breaks into small groups. One always has the option to pass, rather than read into the circle.