The first part of the Women’s Words Mcr project, running general out-reach life writing workshops “My Own Story” to connect with women of Manchester so that they can participate and add their words to the archive we are building, has come to an end. Our last session was yesterday afternoon at Gorton Library with Lucy May Schofield.

This has been a wonderful experience for me personally, and I know all the artists involved have felt the same, too. It’s been a privilege to meet so many diverse women from all parts of the city and hear their stories.

Once all the stories are in, we will begin reading and re-reading the submissions.

I’m definitely going to be involved in reading all of the submissions. So if you’ve met me at one of the workshops and are concerned that you are just a statistic or a workshop participant to me, you are not. Harriet and I have made a note of the conversations we’ve had, and we’ve heard you when you’ve said you enjoyed having a safe space to talk. We’ve also heard you and agree, a two hour session is far too brief a period. Hopefully, in the next round of funding we’ll be able to work more closely with you and develop even more fully all the wonderful conversations we’ve had together.

I have your emails and hope we can keep in touch with you.

The date for the submission deadline is drawing nearer. I’ve written and played with my submission, and it is nearly ready. I would like to tighten it a bit more – and I hope you too are working on your contribution to the archive along with me. You can hand-write your submission and drop it in at any of the Manchester Public Libraries, or email your writing to You don’t have to use the PDF attachment on our site, you can just email it as a word document or as part of the email, whichever is easiest. Just include your contact details. 

Once the 24th of November rolls in, all the submissions are printed out or collected from the libraries [if hand delivered] collated and processed, put into a spreadsheet so that nothing is lost, and only then do we get reading.

There’ll be a team [our steering committee] reading the submissions on the first round. Then, the short-list will be read again by me and the artists/creatives, and then the three going into the Suffragette magazine are selected. The rest all go into the archives.

We will get in touch with the three selected submissions to confirm that they are happy to have their stories/writing in the Suffragette. So please do include your contact details when sending us your writing. This is why we ask for it. Do not worry, your personal details will not be published in the archives. We will only include your name if it is part of the submission. Our concern for your data is also why the Pankhurst and the Central Library are the places where the stories/writing end up. This allows for us to be careful with the data we are receiving.

One of the outcomes we hope to have as a result of this project and the workshops is to build an ongoing writing group that meets at the Pankhurst [as seen in the evaluation form]. We hope that once the Gala on the 5th of February 2018 is over, we can have a clearer idea of how that will be funded, run and set up.

Please don’t feel that this is about statistics. I, personally, am going to be involved in this, just as I have been as steering committee chair since September 2015.

And now that I have all the email addresses of the workshop participants, we will keep you in the loop as it were on what goes on.

Thank you for the amazing support you’ve given this project. It has been so much more than we could have hoped for.

As one of our workshop participants put it – and I am blatantly stealing her words,
The time is now and we are ready!
And this is something I feel very strongly. We as women have had enough. We are ready to step up and to be seen as equal. One hundred years [on the 6th of Feb 2018] since women over 30 got the right to vote, we are more than ready. And with sisterhood, friendship and support we can achieve all that we are meant to.