Thursdays Writing Collective participant Jane Miller wrote this press release to help our Indiegogo crowdfunding effort for our next book. We’re very appreciative of her skills and commitment to the group.
August 2014, for immediate release
STRONG VOICES FROM THE DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE
Residents Raise Money to Publish Their Own Book
VANCOUVER, CANADA-It might be said that Vancouverites hear too much about the Downtown Eastside and too little from it. Thursdays Writing Collective, a group of writers made up of residents from the DTES, want to change this. They are currently fundraising to publish their new book Voice to Voice. With only 2 weeks to go in their Indiegogo campaign they have raised over two thirds of the needed six thousand dollars and have under two thousand left to raise. (To see the campaign and video go to https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/voice-to-voice-by-thursdays-writing-collective.)
“Publishing this book is vital,” says group leader Elee Krajii Gardiner. “Having their work published gives participants publishing histories, books to sell at readings, entry into the wider literary community, and, most importantly, a place where their voice is heard.”
The stories, poems, and opinion pieces that come out of the collective are by turns thought-provoking, entertaining, and inspiring. And they are incredibly varied. Fred Wah, Vancouver poet, Canadian Poet Laureate (2011 – 2013), and occasional drop-in visitor to the group, puts it this way: “The writers in this collective are singular for the stories and poems they want to make and share and for how they own their own words with pride.”
The group meets weekly in the Carnegie Community Centre. For two hours, members come together to write and share their works. For some the experience is personal. Thursdays’ writer Wei-Ting says the collective offers “freedom to express my thoughts, my feelings…unedited.”
For others, the collective writings are part of a larger expression of community. As Thursdays’ writer Roger Stewart observes, Thursdays Writing Collective “gives a voice” to the Downtown Eastside.
Writer Madeleine Thien, who collaborated in the Collective’s “Lettering Project,” sums up this aspect of the group. “Thank you for expressing the Vancouver that I know so well, my childhood Vancouver, Strathcona and the Downtown Eastside. Thank you for giving it words and life on the page. Thank you for making it an integral part of our community, our city, and our country.”
Thursdays Writing Collective receives support from the Canada Council and SFU, but needs to raise its own funding for publications. The book will be a collaboration with the UBC Department of Music matching story and song. Donations are needed to raise the last 30% of the funding. Failing this, the first 70% will revert back to donors.
The campaign includes great donor perks contributed by members of the Vancouver literary community including Amber Dawn, Meredith Quartermain, Cathleen With, Alex Leslie, Betsy Warland, John Asfour, Clint Burnham, Heather Jessup, and Arsenal Pulp Press.
Those interested can find the campaign and video at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/voice-to-voice-by-thursdays-writing-collective. and a link to Thursdays Writing Collective’s Facebook page:
To all donors to the campaign, in the words of Fred Wah, from his onsite video, featured under the updates tab on the Indiegogo campaign site: “Thanks for helping to give a public voice to this outstanding collective of writers.”