Write to Right Partners with Storytellers of Portugal
In February, Marjie Bowker presented at the Ubuntu Lives Workshop in Lisbon, Portugal. The South African concept of Ubuntu - “I am because you are” – was the unifying inspiration behind the collaboration. The host organization, IPAV of Portugal, works to promote a culture of acceptance and respect among minority populations through personal storytelling. They were inspired by Write to Right’s similar message and goals and requested an international partnership, which was cemented at this workshop.
Four participants of the Ubuntu Lives week-long course – young immigrants to Portugal – presented their digital stories and talked about the awareness and recovery of identity they experienced as a result of the process. Also presenting: LIM – an organization that promotes immigrant voices in Norwegian politics. LIM’s theme of “Transforming Society Through Your Voice,” paired perfectly with Wright to Rights’ “Transforming Lives Through Personal Storytelling.”
Overall, the concepts of Ubuntu Lives, LIM and Write to Right confirmed these truths: stories matter. Personal storytelling makes us self-aware and promotes understanding and growth. Getting our stories out allows us to put our lives in perspective and to be settled with what has happened and move on with self-confidence.
Write to Right is thrilled to be a part of this movement and looks forward to more collaboration with organizations who share this vision.
Students Bring Their Stories to Life at Seattle Public Theater
Fourteen students from Scriber Lake High School in Edmonds, Washington, took the stage at Seattle Public Theater on Friday, November 7th, to perform true stories written by their classmates about the serious issues teens face and the deep physical and emotional scars left behind.
The stage play, which brought to life painful stories about students’ struggles with sexual identity, addiction, self-harm, depression, assault, and parental imprisonment, was adapted from the student story collection, Behind Closed Doors: Stories from the Inside Out. READ SEATTLE TIMES STORY
Write to Right Teams with Utah High School on Storytelling Project
Two Rivers High School English Teacher Cassie Cox knew she wanted to her students to write and publish their stories as soon she heard about the Write to Right program from mentor Ingrid Ricks, who presented at the Ogden, Utah-based alternative high school last January as part of an author visit. Now, after an intensive week-long collaboration during which Ricks helped Cox’s students identity and structure the stories they wanted to write, more than twenty students are writing about the struggles they’ve endured for a book they will publish next spring.
“I knew my students had stories to tell and I wanted them to have the opportunity to tell them,” notes Cox, a high school dropout and teen mom who learned firsthand the healing power of personal storytelling. “Just from an academic standpoint. I know that when students are engaged in work they care about, they are more motivated to do hard things and I’ve never seen this level of excitement in them before. With the help of volunteer writing coaches, students are doing draft after draft of their stories — working on them before school, after school and during lunch — and this is a school where students don’t do homework.”
Sierra Ridgon, a senior at Two Rivers, says writing her story has been the best experience she could have asked for.
“Before I started writing my story, I had never talked about my assault,” explains Ridgon. “Sometimes I bawl my eyes out when I’m writing, but sitting down and putting it on paper has helped me to heal so much. Now I’m no longer holding that pain inside of me.”
Student Authors Celebrate Launch of Behind Closed Doors
To celebrate the launch of their book, Behind Closed Doors: Stories From the Inside Out, fifteen student authors have been sharing their stories about their struggles with addiction, sexual identity, abuse, death, bullying and parental incarceration — and discussing the healing power and validation that comes from personal storytelling.
- Read Media Stories from the Everett Herald and My Edmonds News.
- Purchase an eBook or Paperback of Behind Closed Doors on Amazon.
You’ve Got It All Wrong Named Campus Read for Edmonds Community College
Edmonds Community College has selected our student story collection, You’ve Got It All Wrong, as the college’s Community Read for the 2014-2015 academic year. The book, selected through a nomination and voting process involving nearly two hundred students, faculty and staff, will be integrated into the campus theme: Intersections.
Reclaiming Myself By Writing My Story
Writing my story has helped me with many things. First of all, it got me over the fear of people laughing at what had happened to me. I always thought people would think I was stupid or something because I let what happened to me go on for so long. It also helped me realize that what happened to me really wasn’t my fault. I had blamed myself for ruining his life over and over again, but in the end I realized that he was the one that ruined his own life. Writing my story also helped me get over it. Before I wrote it, the whole thing was just pushed into the back of my head and I didn’t want to have anything to do to it. But writing made me really know that it’s okay to get over it – even if it’s painful.
Sharing my story was definitely painful at first. I didn’t want people to judge me or think differently of me. After I got over that, sharing my story really helped me know that I could reach out to other people in my position.
What I would say to someone in my position: tell someone that will actually do something about it. Sitting down, hating yourself everyday because the guy you think you love is abusing you isn’t going to make you better. Yeah, he may make you smile, he might make you feel better at times, but in the end, the little bit of happiness he gives you won’t be even remotely important at the end.
Writing my story has had a huge effect on how I look at my future. Now I know a way to express myself without harming myself or crying for hours on end. I know that writing about things I am going through can help me more than I think, and can potentially give someone else an option of what they can do if they need advice. I don’t regret writing my story at all, like I did in the beginning. It was an experience that has changed my life, and I’d be in a dark place right now if it wasn’t for the story.
Read what other student authors are saying about how writing their story helped them. Click Here.