The #WritingMyCity book anthology

writingmycity new pic by mak1one
Image: Mak1one

I came across this interview yesterday about the #WritingMyCity project in which I participated as a facilitator and writer a few month’s ago.

I was particularly excited that our little group, who are part of the Women for Change programme, got a mention. Their stories obviously struck a chord even if they didn’t make it into this particular collection.

Here’s an extract from the interview:

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Q. Tell us about the fantastic book project ‘Writing My City’

A. There are so many people with wonderful stories but rarely a vehicle to share them. To help people do this, Cape Town libraries offered creative-writing workshops earlier this year. Now we’re launching a collection of everyday Capetonians’ stories about living in the city.

Q. The project is an incredible collaboration with local libraries across the city. What is your experience of connecting with these very diverse community hubs?

A. I was so impressed with the librarians who took on this challenge. It was heart-warming that each participating library had passionate teachers, writers and poets who freely gave their time and expertise to facilitate the workshops and to help would-be writers pull their stories together.

Q. It must have been exciting getting such diverse perspectives on Cape Town. What kinds of submissions really moved you?

A. As part of the workshops, the Women for Change Group had a chance to share their stories. I cried when I heard of mothers talking about losing their children, abuse and dependencies. I also embraced how they helped each other through these experiences as one big family.

 ***

That last paragraph is so important to me. When the ladies eventually felt able to tell me their experiences I was incredibly humbled and moved.

The collection is going to be launched at an event at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town in September. I’m looking forward to attending.

A copy of the anthology will be in more than 100 libraries across the city, so it will be available to a wide audience. Books don’t come cheap in this country. Copies of the book will be sold at the Open Book Festival in September. It will be awesome to see my words in print alongside the other 39 chosen Capetonians.

 


Read the full interview with Christelle Lubbe, of the City of Cape Town’s Library and Information Services, and Frankie Murrey, Co-ordinator of the Open Book Festival by Carla Lever on Times Live

Writing My City

Open Book Cape Town

I am thrilled to be part of this!

Cape Town Libraries, in conjunction with the Book Lounge and the Fugard Theatre, are involved in an event called Writing My City which is to encourage Capetonians to write stories and poetry about the city they live in.

Cape Town is home to a multiplicity of voices, however some voices are missing. This initiative is aimed at finding those voices and giving them the opportunity to tell their stories to a wider world. In this way, more local community stories can be told and shared.

The aims of the project are wider than just the stories though. This is an opportunity to celebrate and deepen the understanding of who and what makes Cape Town the city it is. By improving understanding, we hope to build better social cohesion. It is also an opportunity to highlight the importance of libraries in the community and widen access to writing and publishing for people who would not otherwise see their work in print.

The winning submissions are to be compiled into a book for publication during the Open Book Festival in Cape Town in September.

Having responded to a call for facilitators, I shall be leading a series of writing workshops at one of our local libraries over the coming weeks. My aim is to bring the stories of ten local women (who I’ve not met yet) to life. The first session’s next week. I’ll keep you posted!