People Opposing Women’s Abuse (POWA) is inviting all women to enter their annual national writing anthology project. In a world where women are expected to be the perfect mother, child, daughter, sister, wife, career woman, the theme of “Perfectly Imperfect” aims to encourage women to be truthful and comfortable with their imperfections in their diverse roles.
The POWA annual women’s writing anthology project began in 2006 as a competition for aspiring female writers and transformed into the women’s writing project. POWA Project Manager, Nonhlanhla Sibanda says; “In 2009, it changed to a project because we realised that the structure of having it as a competition created the risk of having women compete against each other rather than work together.”
The women’s writing project is open to women of all ages, races and backgrounds and written work can be submitted in any of the eleven official languages. “Selected writers in the published anthology will receive an honorarium of acknowledgment” adds Sibanda.
Author, freelance writer, The Herald’s weekly columnist and newly elected POWA mentor for the Eastern Cape Province, Kazeka Mashologu Kuse, is excited about the bold theme this year. “It’s time to be honest” says Mashologu Kuse, “the superwoman syndrome is a myth.” She adds; “Not forgetting that this is women’s month and September is Heritage month, I am looking forward to women’s truthful stories about their imperfections especially in relation to cultural and societal expectations.”
POWA will be hosting nationwide workshops around the country to help aspiring writers with their pieces.
The Eastern Cape workshop will be hosted at the NMMU Missionvale Campus on Saturday, 14 September 2013. As the Eastern Cape sponsor for the writing workshop, NMMU Dean of Arts, Professor Velile Notshulwana says; “The project is in line with NMMU’s feminist studies agenda of opening a much needed dialogue on feminist issues. There is great value for students, gender activists and aspiring gender focused writers and journalists, in our partnership with the POWA women’s writing project. Documenting women’s stories is crucial to opening the dialogue of women’s authentic experiences.”
Mashologu Kuse believes the project will open doors for aspiring writers, columnists or journalists the same way it opened doors for her. “My first personal essay for the POWA writing project in 2009 got published and won in its category, which got noticed by O, The Oprah magazine, and put my writing on the national space” says Mashologu Kuse.
From there on Mashologu Kuse’s work was published in women’s publications such as www.womens24.com, www.womensnet.org. Genderlinks, City Press, Daily Dispatch and continental publications such as Pambazuka News.
Sibanda says; “we are looking forward to the different women’s interpretation of what it means for them to be perfectly imperfect”.
The workshop is open to all women and begins at 08:30 and ends at 16:00. Only the first 25 aspiring writers to arrive at NMMU Missionvale Campus Conference Centre on 14 September 2013 will gain entrance to the workshop. Entry forms for the project are available on www.womenswriting.org.za website. The deadline for submissions is 30 September 2013 and entries can be posted, faxed or emailed.
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2013/08/powa-to-women-writers/