Young Women Writing for (a) Change®
The YWWf(a)C mission is to foster healthy writing communities where words of girls, teens, and young women from all walks of life are nurtured, developed, and celebrated. Our writing circles for young women and girls adhere to an inclusive definition of “girl”/”young woman”. As such our young women’s circles welcome any female identifying person. We are committed to making sure any girl or young woman including but not limited to trans and non- binary young women feel welcome in our community. Please scroll down to see a list of our current program offerings.
Why Must Young Women Find Their Voices? In spite of perceptions that we are evolving as a society in support of young women’s voices, there continues to be an expectation that young women be nice, look good, and behave in ways that support prevailing cultural standards. We continue to live in a world where there are many messages and situations in which girls and young women are devalued. In order to cope or fit in, girls and young women may shut out their inner wisdom and disconnect from true self. In short, they “lose their voice.” We offer a counterpoint to that experience.
Our programs are designed not only to empower the creative writer in each participant, but also to empower each girl’s ownership of her unique experience and point of view. By exploring themes of identity, family, community, and culture, within a structure that allows the freedom to create, girls become more articulate and confident authors of their own lives.
Our goals are to help girls and young women…
- enhance self-esteem
- build skills in creative self-expression
- learn to receive and give honest support
- cultivate deep listening skills
- develop practices for building and keeping community
- seek and recognize role models who inspire creative life choices
- enjoy and appreciate their writing processes
- discover their unique voices
Young Women Writing for (a) Change® is a place where each individual is held within a community of practice through writing, sharing, and presence. Ours is a unique process where clear boundaries allow opportunity for self exploration and expression in a safe and supportive environment.
from young women
“Thank you Young Women Writing for (a) Change. I feel very complete being here. I enjoy being here.”
“…I’m kind of a shy, perfectionist kind of kid, so I was nervous at the beginning. But when I sat on the comfy pillow and welcomed myself into the room, I was so happy I almost cried…”
“As a circle member, I was nervous, but excited to share my words. I loved hearing the other girls’ best pieces.”
“The gift was being able to share my writing with so many people and hearing all that great reading.”
“This is the best class I have ever taken (heart).”
“Gifts: Hearing my lines read back (and hearing all the other girls; Drumming all together Having fun!
“It feels good to stare at my words and know that those were the words people chose as their read back line. It warms my heart.”
from parents and supportive others
“The deep wisdom of these girls rings true in their words, their energy and their growing confidence. This circle of young women writers is such a gift.”
“The freedom and openness provided by this class has been wonderful for my daughter to express herself. Thank you!”
“I am astounded by the higher-level thinking taking place in this room. What an amazing gift this program is.”
“Wonderful outlet for creative energy. You are all such a blessing to these young women.”
“The peace of mind and joy I have in my heart knowing that this camp experience for my daughter has been safe, enriching, soulful, fun, loving, and will stay with her as a flicker of light in her childhood. Thank you.”
“Seeing these daughters grow into confident writers is a real gift. Thank you.”
“Hearing the writers be courageous in sharing their words was a treasure. The drums and music in the beginning brought joyful tears to my eyes. It inspires and motivates me to hear others share their written words.”
Current Classes for Young Women, Teens, and Girls
Wild at Heart
Who: Girls, grades 4-6
When: Sundays, February 12, 19, 26; 12-3PM
If your heart was an animal, what would it be? Join us for a three-week series in which we’ll explore writing through the lens of our wild hearts. How can nature, wild animals, and wilderness inspire our creativity? What if we wrote with the diligence of a mouse, the courage of a lion, the grace of a cat? Facilitated by Allison Distler and Kelly Sage.
Who: Teens and girls, grades 7-10
When: Sundays, March 26, April 2, April 9; 1-5PM
In this workshop series, we’ll explore how our culture changes us, and how we can change the culture! From the culture of our schools and families to the creative writing culture and society as a whole, we’ll read, write, craft, and discuss our way into culture shift. Writers will also always be welcomed and encouraged to write on whatever themes their hearts desire. Facilitated by Avery Smith.
Our Place in the World-NEW!
Let’s celebrate our connections to the natural world. In this one day workshop, we’ll write, explore, and play around with themes in nature. We’ll become naturalists, create nature journals, and tune into what we love, wonder, and wish for ourselves and our planet.
Who: Girls, grades 4-6
When: Sunday, April 23, 11am- 3pm. Please pack a lunch!
Natural Wonders Hike and Write
Who: Girls and teens, grades 4-9
When: Sunday, May 21; 1-4PM
A hiking, writing workshop for girls in grades 4th-9th, who are interested in exploring their story among the creeks and trees. Together, we’ll use meditation to help deepen our walk through the woods and our ability to connect with the natural wonders around and inside us. We’ll have time to write, gather in small and large groups, and share our stories with each other.
NEW Location! We’re thrilled to be offering this workshop in partnership with Wild Nature Project. The workshop will be held on their property, and we’ll have access to creeks, woods, and a tipi. Facilitated by Kelly Sage.
NEW! Young Writers Open Circle and Read Around
Who: open to writers, families, and friends
When: Sunday, April 30; 5-7PM
Join young writers, their families, and friends for an evening of writing, sharing, and connection. Young writers and facilitators will have an opportunity to share their words in community, while listeners participate in the practices that hold our circles and make them safe and inspiring. All will be welcome to play with words and connect to their own voices through a variety of activities. There will also be time to connect with members of our community, hear about our upcoming programs, and learn more about why so many young writers find a home at Young Women Writing for (a) Change.
Teen Summer Camp: Where We’re Going
Who: Teens and girls, grades 7-10
When: Monday – Friday, June 19-23; 9-4PM
This summer we’ll be telling the stories—true or fictional—about where we come from and imagining all the possibilities for our future dreams. Through writing, reading, conversation, and craft, we’ll create community and have a blast! Facilitated by Avery Smith and Allison Distler.
Girls Summer Camp: Visions and Dreams
Who: Girls, grades 4-6
When: Monday – Friday, June 26-30; 9-2PM
How do you see the world? What visions and dreams inspire you? Have you ever felt invisible? How does the world look from someone else’s eyes? What color is the future? This summer we’ll be taking time to look around, look within, and look with new eyes. We’ll try out different points of view and explore the seen and the unseen in imagination and daily life. There will be lots of time to write, chances to share our writing and hear encouraging feedback, crafts, and games! Join us for a week of writing, community, and fun! Facilitated by Allison Distler and Denise Breeden-Ost.