New York Times and USA Today Bestselling novelist, screenwriter, editor, namer, critic, movie addict and chocoholic
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Afghanistan Women's writing Project
My friend, the writer Masha Hamilton (The Camel Bookmobile and the upcoming 31 Hours) is starting up the Afghanistan Women's Writing Project, working with young women in Afghanistan, in some of the most conservative provinces—Farah, Kandahar—as well as in Kabul and Herat, to develop their writing. Here's her release:
These are women who, when permitted to attend school, are often NOT encouraged to seek a higher education. They have such strong voices, (and what a wealth of experiences), and they just need development. Some are young journalists; others have studied briefly in the states but are now back home, others hope to study here at some point. They all have workable English (sometimes excellent English) and access to a computer.
She's seeking women writing teachers who might agree to rotating work online for three weeks or so with these young women over the next six to nine months. This is pro bono, but very rewarding. So much is happening in the country. We have no Afghan women writers that I know of, and I think that's a loss... I was in Afghanistan in November and met some of these women, but most I do not know personally. If you might be interested and willing to work online with, say, six young women—giving them exercises, encouragement and critiques—send an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What it would involve: connecting with the women by giving them your brief bio. (If they have not already filed bios, you will ask them to do the same.) Then once per week, say every Monday, offering a smorgasbord of exercises, maybe five or six for them to choose from – some less formal freewrites, some more formal exercises they might revise before offering. Then going online once every day or other day to respond to their work. I would ask for a three- or four-week commitment. For scheduling purposes, let me know what weeks or months might work or not work for you. If you would be ready to jump in immediately, let me know.
I’m also seeking blog master who would be willing to set up a blog where we could acknowledge those teachers giving up their free time to be involved, linking to their websites or blogs, but where primarily we could get “out there” the works of these young women. The idea is that teachers who feel they have student work ready to share could post it on the blog.
I know how busy everyone is; thank you so much for considering giving some time to this woman-to-woman project.
Stay tuned, THIS OTHER LIFE has sold to Algonquin, my beloved publisher and I am busy writing it now. My 11th novel CRUEL BEAUTIFUL WORLD is an Indie Next Pick. IS THIS TOMORROW was an May Indie Pick. I'm also the New York Times bestselling author of PICTURES OF YOU, a San Francisco Chronicle Lit Pick, a Costco "Pennie's Pick." a NAIBA bestseller and on the Best Books of 2011 List from San Francisco Chronicle, Providence Journal, Kirkus Reviews and Bookmarks Magazine. I'm the recipient of a New York Foundation of the Arts Grant in Fiction. I was a 2013 finalist in the Sundance Screenwriting Lab and a finalist in the Nickelodeon Screenwriting Fellowship, four of my novels were optioned for screen, and I talked my way into writing the script for two of them. My essay, HIgh Infidelity, has been optioned for film. I'm a book critic for The San Francisco Chronicle and People Magazine. I teach novel writing for UCLA Extension Writers' Program, and Stanford online, do private fiction editing, and I am a professional namer! I live with my husband, writer/editor Jeff Tamarkin and we beam with pride about our son, an actor/filmmaker in college. Visit me at http://www.carolineleavitt.com.