Need a place to put your rage at the way certain factions are trying to destroy women’s rights and send us back to the dark ages?
Pour it into your art, and write the change you want to see in the world.
Women Write Change (#WomenWriteChange) is a closed, invitation-only forum for progressive individuals identifying as women to work on art in various disciplines in a supportive environment. It started to run in tandem with National Novel Writing Month in November 2018, although it is not associated with that organization. The forum is open in October to give participants a chance to brainstorm and introduce themselves. Because most of us in the forum are working on long-term projects, rather than a 50K blast and done, we decided to continue indefinitely.
Talk about your project, brainstorm, vent your frustrations, ask for research sources, work out creative blocks, share information, find critique partners, talk about your other work, hang out and talk about life. Create in community. Positive discussion is encouraged; trolls will be kicked out and banned.
You do not have to be a published or produced artist. You can work in your current discipline, or stretch into a new one, or mix disciplines. This is not a classroom situation, although we will all learn from each other. But you must commit to work on the project all month. No excuses, especially not the “no time” excuse. If you don’t feel you can make time this month, please pass.
Most importantly, it’s a place to transform the rage into art. Art provokes change, and art IS political.
If you don’t believe in the power of art to provoke change, or that art “shouldn’t” be political, this is not the right forum for you. Pass on it, rather than demanding I change the structure of the forum. I built the environment I need right now to create. If it doesn’t work for you, best wishes on finding the perfect group that does.
Re-reading an early Sisters in Crime anthology WOMEN ON THE CASE, edited by Sara Paretsky, inspired women Write Change. It was originally published in 1996. In addition to being filled with gorgeous writing from the likes of PM Carlson, Andrea Smith, Nancy Pickard, Ruth Rendell, and so many more, it remains eerily relevant to what we are going through right now.
That anthology sent me thinking about one of my own favorite manuscripts, written several years ago. I pulled it from submission after a series of responses that universally praised the writing, but stated, “women’s rage makes readers uncomfortable.”
That book’s time has come.
Along with several other projects that are percolating.
In addition to political activism, and, most importantly, VOTING, I want to write the change I want to see.
I commented on Twitter that, this year during Nano, we needed a “Women’s Rage” Forum. That evolved into the idea of Women Write Change. The idea generated positive feedback. So I started a closed forum where we can work without fear, where we aren’t told that our rage is “inappropriate” or makes others feel uncomfortable.
It’s not meant to be used in place of therapy. I’m not a psychologist. It is for creating art. Using the energy and frustration of the current climate to create something that connects with an audience. That entertains, evokes emotion, and shows a strong point of view. It’s about catharsis, and transforming emotion often viewed as negative (especially when expressed by women) into something positive. But not negating the anger that serves as catalyst.
While many of us have wonderful men in our lives, sometimes we need contained, private space with each other.
To participate in Women Write Change:
–you identify as a woman;
–you are a progressive and frustrated with the current political situation;
–international participation is encouraged; but if you are a US citizen, you are both registered vote and committed to voting;
–you have an idea (or ideas) provoked by the current political, judicial, global, women’s suppression, voter suppression, human rights or climate change situation (or any mix of situations you find enraging that you want to channel into art);
–you will explore your ideas in novel, short story, flash fiction, poetry, stage play, radio play, screenplay, mixed media, visual or textile arts, clay, sculpture mediums, music, dance, film, or other artistic discipline;
–you may work on more than one piece, if you choose;
–actors are encouraged to participate and create work in which they will perform;
–although it’s called Women WRITE Change, visual artists, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, and artists of all disciplines are welcome to participate;
–you are interested in working on a creative project for at least the month of November, and commit to stop by the forum at least twice a week to post about your progress and interact;
–you are not required to post any portion of your work. You are encouraged to talk about it, brainstorm, etc. There is a thread to find critique partners or trusted readers so you can make arrangements that work for you off the forum;
–this space is to create and develop work; the work remains entirely your intellectual property, to submit/produce/exhibit as you wish;
–you give CONstructive rather than DEstructive comments when asked for an opinion. Words and phrasing matter.
–no personal attacks, trolling, flaming, etc. There’s a difference between respectful discussion and attacks. Respectful discussion is encouraged.
–violators will be excommunicated.
If this doesn’t sound like something you want to participate in, then don’t. But please do not tell me to change the parameters of the group.
If you’re interested in an invitation to the forum, please send an email to womenwritechange – at – devonellingtonwork – dot – com. Tell me a little about yourself, and why you’d like to create in this group.
Please note I am not online all the time (I’m often disconnected to write). I am usually not online on the weekends; it may be a couple of days before you get a response. But I will respond as quickly as I can.
Let’s do what we do best — create art to create positive change!