“Whenever I’m asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one.”
LET’S MEET YOUR FREAKS
Call for Submissions for Our Anthology!
Plus, a recap of our fabulous book festival.
We just opened submissions for our fifth anthology, (a) river rising, on the theme of AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. We’re so pleased to be able to offer this incredible opportunity for women and girl writers in Northeast Florida to document the stories of their lives.
If you’ve been in a writing circle at least once or in one of our art exhibitions already, you are eligible to submit. We will pick at least one submission to publish. No gatekeeping here, folks. And we will also help you to polish it to its best and most beautiful form. Join our intentionally representative group of editors and let your words and art shine! Deadline July 15, 2023. Follow the link for details:
ARTISTS AND WRITERS, SUBMIT TO ANTHOLOGY HERE!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch….
As you hopefully know, we held our second annual Author Showcase and Book Festival on Sunday, June 4, at the Winston Family YMCA in Riverside. We were able to feature more than 35 different local women authors and other underrepresented communities. This did lead to some crowding, some mad dancing in the lobby, and scores of slightly confused YMCA members who were simply going to work out and then got caught up in our whirlwind, BUT overall, it was a wonderful experience, due to the tolerance of our authors for these slightly wild conditions! Thank, you, authors, for your patience, kindness, and the good work you do.
Thanks to the YMCA for being our host, along with sponsors FemmeFire Books and Rowan Music School, with technical assistance from FreddyRivera from Regency Centers. Big shout out to our speakers, Leah Wolchok, local gal and co-director, ‘Judy Blume Forever’ (interviewed by Nancy Murrey-Settle); Madeline Taylor, Girl Scout and IG account founder, All Books Count; Peyton Pitts, poet and high school student; Victoria and ”Bella the Scientist” Spence, authors, writers; Elizabeth Anderson, Florida Freedom to Read Project; Kati Johnston and Casey Raasio, founders, RebelReadersFlorida; Erika D’Amore, Florida Freedom to Read Project; Nina Perez, MomsRising; and Taryn “LoveReigns” Wharwood, poet and author. Plus all our wonderful volunteers: Tru Leverette and family, Emma Fehrs,Tanairi Vinales, Chiqui Chua, Lawson Lewis, Amber Bixby, Shani Hall, Cathy Driscoll, Ambre Geoff, Jasmine Sotto, Sara May, and more behind the scenes. THANK YOU!
Not to mention, we had a fabulous art display titled ’Banned Books’ by artist Dr. Lisa Meek in the lobby and an art demo by artist Teresa Cook. Art + writing = even better!
Here’s a recap of the day, on Instagram: Book Festival Recap, including many fabulous photos by Kim Hurt, who documented the event. A few highlights below. And finally, thank you to RainDogs for hosting our pre-festival watch party for *Judy Blume Forever.* A fun night! Recap here.
We are trying to do our part in documenting and ensuring that the voices of women, girls, and all underrepresented communities are honored, documented, and preserved for eternity. We thank all of you for being a part of that, with us.
—Jennifer Wolfe, Executive Director,
Women Writing for (a) Change Jacksonville
p.s. ARTISTS AND WRITERS, SUBMIT HERE!
We’re in The News
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO LATELY
Book Festival and Author Showcase
A bit of #Duuuval Pushback to All The Book Bans
Yes, it was a bit chaotic and crowded and slightly confusing to some Y patrons perhaps but so much love and grace emerged and… we did it! We had a book festival celebrating women authors and amplifying the voices of our BIPOC and LGBQTIA+ communities as well as our local literary community in general. • We brought banned books and talked about how hurtful and harmful it is to remove books from library and school shelves and limit access to books that represent the experience of these folks. • We showcased authors that had important words to say. We created community through shared values and across difference in a way that benefits ALL, not just a few. • It was a grand day and we are eternally grateful to all who supported this. —JW
The Last Word
“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you. Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock—everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.”