Why Women Writing for (a) Change
Women Writing for (a) Change is a place for women’s voices to be heard in their writing. It is comfortable and safe even when subject matter may be difficult. Intentional listening is part of the process.
Women writing in a safe space was founder Mary Pierce Brosmer’s idea and she acted on it. Mary knew there was a need. Women Writing began with a small group of women writers more than twenty-five years ago. Mary and I taught English to high school students. I was a new teacher who learned from Mary and respected her dedication to education and writing. I knew my own need to write. I signed up!
Twenty-five years ago, that small group of women shared, laughed, cried. We had fun. . .and we wrote. Eventually, Mary created classes for young women, too. She hired other facilitators. The business grew and now has affiliate sites in eight other cities. Now, Women Writing for (a) Change is a non-profit organization that continues to find room for women’s words.
I thought that one day I’d write the story of POETRY GIRL. In August of 2014, I signed up for a weeklong summer writing retreat with Women Writing. My room was handicap-accessible to accommodate needs presented by decades of multiple sclerosis (MS), a degenerative disease. Other writers helped when I needed it—with the elevator, the food trays, a chair.
Finally, I was ready to write POETRY GIRL. Members of the retreat listened and encouraged the effort. I continued to write beyond that week—when I could. When I could think clearly. When I could type on my laptop. When I had energy.
I attended the next summer writing retreat; then a long weekend and a novel-writing class—four Sunday sessions in November. So, I completed POETRY GIRL in 25 months—writing when I could. Many of the poems in POETRY GIRL were written for the story; some were poems written years ago in the early years of Women Writing for (a) Change; some were written by the real “Kelly” and Annie’s father’s poem was a poem written by my late father 45 years ago.
I am very thankful to the many talented and diverse women at Women Writing for (a) Change. That’s why the organization is one of the three non-profits that will benefit from the $10 or $20 donation to listen to the recording or read the script or purchase of the T-shirts for $20 or $25. Women will write!