Based in Los Angeles County, Womxn’s Write Inn is a collective of womxn poets and writers who have created space to gather to write, break bread, and support each other’s writing endeavors. We represent several underrepresented groups in literature: women of color, queer, immigrant, transnational, and chronically ill. We are dedicated to our writing, active in the Southern California writing community, and committed to fostering inclusive spaces for and supporting underserved and underrepresented writers in their communities and beyond.
liz gonzalez, through Uptown Word & Arts, which she directs, held the first two Womxn’s Write Inns in September 2016 and January 2018 in North Long Beach, California. These events were private, and womxn from across Southern California attended. liz held the events to foster the arts in her North Long Beach area (the arts are dry there), to build community with and support of womxn writers, and to create a safe, supportive, and inclusive space for womxn writers. At the second gathering, some participants decided to continue meeting on a monthly basis, which has now developed into the Womxn’s Write Inn collective.
liz gonzález is the author of Dancing in the Santa Ana Winds: Poems y Cuentos New and Selected. Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have been widely published. She is the director of Uptown Word & Arts, a member of Macondo Writers Workshop, and an a founding member of Womxn’s Write Inn. lizgonzalez.com
Lucy Rodriguez-Hanley is a creative non-fiction writer, filmmaker, and mother of two. Her film The Big Deal won the Imagen Award for Best Theatrical Short. She is currently writing a memoir and feature film script while working full-time and trying to juggle it all. lucyrodriguezhanley.com
Sehba Sarwar‘s essays, short stories, and poems have appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Creative Times Report, Callaloo and elsewhere. A second edition of her novel Black Wings was released in 2019. Sarwar tackles border/ immigration issues through long-term writing and art projects. sehbasarwar.com
Alicia Vogl Saenz is a poet, meditator, and museum educator who brings her queer and mixed immigrant background to her writing and teaching. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies such as Grand Street, and she is the author of the chapbook, The Day I Wore the Red Coat. https://www.aliciabird.me/
Creating Space and Courage for Writing: Womxn’s Write Inn Creative Writing Festival
Saturday, February 8, 11a-3p
Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library, 5870 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90805
This FREE and inclusive event is for writers of different levels of writing experience, ages—teens to adults, backgrounds, gender, etc. We will inspire and offer strategies to uplift and encourage writers from all walks of life to stretch, make space for, and share their voices. Light refreshments included. Participants are encouraged to bring food to eat during the break.
This event is co-sponsored by The Long Beach Public Library, Poets & Writers, and Uptown Word & Arts.
11-12:30p: Generative creative writing workshops conducted simultaneously
Bring plenty of paper and pens or pencils.
Space is limited for the workshops. Please arrive on time.
Contemplative workshop: Alicia Vogl Saenz will help participants evolve a new writing by slowing down the internal chatter so that you can get to the essential good stuff, the material that makes strong work.
Holding the Moment: liz gonzalez will guide participants in writing about one experience that occurred in one day or less. This generative writing exercise is a useful strategy to help writers focus, get started on a piece, excavate memories, and make a longer writing project easier to achieve by writing moment by moment.
1-1:50p: Panel with Q&A: Creating Space and Courage for Your Writing
Each panelist will share how they create space and courage for their writing and offer strategies to start your own collective. Panelists: liz gonzález, Lucy Rodriguez-Hanley, Sehba Sarwar, and Alicia Vogl Saenz.
2-3p Reading and Open mic
liz gonzález, Lucy Rodriguez-Hanley, Sehba Sarwar, and Alicia Vogl Saenz will share selections of their work. An open mic will follow the reading. Participants in the open mic will read one piece that is under 3 minutes. A book signing will follow the reading.
Contact us to present our work, give a panel or talk, or conduct a workshop at your campus, conference, organization, or community center.