IWD writing workshop inspires others to pen authentic stories of womanhood
Writing is a tool for equality.
By picking up a pen, women can record lived experiences, express themselves, and make their voices heard, which is vital in a world where women are still finding ways to tell their own stories.
This is why, for writer Florianne Humphrey, telling stories with a female-focus is a way to use creativity to make a positive impact, both on fellow writers, readers and the publishing world. With three novels to her name, each one revolves around the female experience.
For International Women's Day, Florianne encouraged others to do the same through a creative writing workshop titled "Writing Your Feminism" where she invited people of all genders to learn about the power of her craft in forging a gender equal world.
A conscious effort revealing lives of women as women see them
The emphasis of the workshop was inclusivity: this wasn't just for women, but for everyone.
Writing feminist fiction isn't about writing as a woman, but about women, in a way that makes a conscious effort to show the lives of women as women see them, not as reflections of male fantasies or sexist myths.
Essentially, for Florianne, being a feminist writer doesn't mean being a woman, but giving the women in your stories the integrity they often don't have in real life, through telling authentic stories.
Rewriting language to express womanhood
Through short, fun and accessible activities for all abilities, Florianne guided the workshop participants to consider the oppressive ways language has been used against women, both in writing and in speech, and how writers can use techniques, such as experimental fiction, to pave alternatives paths for communication outside of patriarchal restrictions.
Touching on different aspects of writing, from genre to characterisation, the true aim of the workshop was to show how writers can help women find a voice - and with that voice, to speak out against injustices, or to simply speak about what it really means to be a woman.
Feminist writers are truly essential if we are to forge an equal world.