Women and Words Society

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Women and Words Society

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Description area

Dates of existence

1982-1998

History

The West Coast Women and Words Society was incorporated in 1982 with the goal of supporting women's writing. The society held an influential conference for women in literary and related fields in Vancouver from June 30 to July 3, 1983; participants included Canadian women writers, editors, publishers, critics, printers, typesetters, academics, playwrights, librarians, distributors, booksellers, translators, and educational and cultural organizers. The conference featured presentations of papers, panel discussions, workshops and interviews relevant to such themes as: feminism, power and alternative structures doing it (i.e. developing work strategies), traditions and new directions. The proceedings of the 1983 conference in Vancouver were published by Longspoon Press as IN THE FEMININE in 1985.
Following the conference, the West Coast Women and Words Society continued to fulfill their mandate by organizing poetry competitions, hosting readings and events, editing and compiling anthologies of women's writing, and running a mentorship program designed to connect young women writers with more established ones. IN 1984, the Society published WOMEN AND WORDS: THE ANTHOLOGY/ LES FEMMES ET LET MOTS: UNE ANTHOLOGIE with Harbour Publishing.
From 1985-1991, the Society held an annual summer school and retreat for women writers, WEST WORD. They also sponsored weekend workshops, writing contests, and book discussion groups. The society was officially dissolved in 1997, after prolonged financial difficulties.

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