I guess some people are wondering why I’m founding the Feminist Writing School and why we need it when there are already so darn many writing courses out there.
Well, I would say that there are NONE so far as I know which directly deal with the ways women face specific challenges inside and out due to writing in a man’s world.
Women fill workshops and literary readings and seek editorial support for their work way more than men and yet their male counterparts still get published more, are more frequently reviewed and win the biggest prizes.
Men can’t even write about women without lessening their chance of garnering a huge award, literary misogyny runs that deep!
There’s proven gender bias in the literary world then, but, more than that, women writers are hobbled by the burdens of work, domestic chores and childcare in the way men aren’t, doing way more emotional labour in relationships too so they have little time and energy left to create. (And let’s not get started on the time spent on beauty regimes which men aren’t said to need!)
Patriarchy also does a number on us by making us doubt our abilities, telling us we need to be perfect in a way which makes us procrastinate and even give up on our creative dreams – dreams patriarchy also says are wrong for women to even have as we shouldn’t be ambitious, but must simply just sit quiet and be good girls.
Writing and using our voices then runs counter to our cultural conditioning as women, so it’s no wonder we struggle to express our gifts.
There’s a tension then between the infinite talents and artistic aspirations of many women writers and the way internalised patriarchy and external misogyny work to undermine our literary careers from both inside and out.
This is the clusterfuck of being a woman writer in a man’s world.
And I want to support women to untangle themselves from this toxic mess and become the writers they were born to be.
I believe women writers (including our trans sisters) are gifted beyond measure and that the world needs stories from diverse backgrounds more than ever now to offer hope, inspiration, insight and leadership.
So I’m starting the Feminist Writing School so I can help support as many women as possible, all over the world, to get past exhaustion, self-doubt and playing small to kick ass in their literary careers.
I realise that it’s not always possible to invest in one-to-one coaching or editorial services and that some folks also prefer group work or suffer from physical and mental health issues (like myself) which make getting to classes outside their home hard, so I am creating the Feminist Writing School to allow more accessibility, as well as hopefully fostering sisterhood and change.
I hope you will join in the fun and help kickstart a literary revolution!
You can find out more here.