“She Said:” A way to amplify Utah women’s voices

Part two of The Salt Lake Tribune and Community Writing Center collaboration will include writing workshops and a published anthology.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah women's voices deserve to be heard and amplified. That is the focus behind The Salt Lake Tribune and Community Writing Center sponsorship of women's writing workshops and an anthology of their work. Here, Christian Nunes, vice president of the National Organization for Women, center, joins the Utah ERA Coalition in a demonstration on the steps of the State Capitol building on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, during the first day of the 2020 legislative session.

This story is part of The Salt Lake Tribune’s ongoing commitment to identify solutions to Utah’s biggest challenges through the work of the Innovation Lab.

Last year, a partnership to share and elevate women’s voices in Utah was born.

The Salt Lake Tribune Innovation Lab and the Community Writing Center teamed up for the first time on a Utah women’s writing project. Titled “She Said: Womxn’s Voices in Utah,” the workshops launched writing prompts and conversations around issues that profoundly affect women in this state: Equality and justice; workplace power and politics; parenthood (and also not being a parent); reproductive freedom and health care; gender identity; education and much more.

The partnership has flourished. In the month of March, and in recognition of Women’s History Month, two more workshops will be held. Additionally, contributions from writers and artists will be distilled into an anthology for public release March 30.

The Community Writing Center is affiliated with Salt Lake Community College, and runs several writing workshops a year for various groups. Tribune editors and reporters will assist as coaches at the workshops. The free, two-hour sessions are scheduled for March 18 at The Salt Lake Tribune office and March 25 at the Community Writing Center office at Salt Lake City’s Library Square. To provide the most enriching experience, the sessions will each be capped at 30 participants.

The March 18 event is titled “Fair Play.” Writers will be prompted to share their experiences of unpaid domestic labor at home. Statistically, in Utah and worldwide, women continue to shoulder the burden of home chores and child care.

“This inequity was only highlighted during the pandemic, when so many household partners were suddenly required to work from home, homeschool their children and run the household,” Adams said. “We’ll ask participants to explore what it means to carry the burden of taking on the bulk of caring for children and performing household tasks, and the mental and emotional toll that can bring.”

The March 25 workshop will focus on women’s equality in the workplace, education, health and politics. “In collaboration with The Tribune, we expect participants will have a great opportunity to explore and write about what it is to be a womxn living in these cultural and political contexts,” said Claire Adams, associate director of the Community Writing Center.

In addition to the workshops, The Tribune and Community Writing Center are collaborating on an anthology of women’s prose, poetry, artwork and photography. The collection will be launched in conjunction with the end of Women’s History Month on Thursday, March 30 at The Tribune office.

To submit creative work to the “She Said” anthology, please go here.

To register for the March 18 writing workshop, please go here.

To register for the March 25 writing workshop, please go here.

To attend the free “She Said” anthology launch event on March 30 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., an RSVP is required. That form can be found here.