Today the YA anthology (RE)Sisters: Stories of Rebel Girls, Revolution, Empowerment and Escape is published by For Books’ Sake
Happy publication day to all the contributors! I’m thinking of you as seventeen anthology sisters I’ve never met, bar one (a special wave goes to Angela Kanter, whom I know because we have the same agent - hurrah for your lovely story Angela!).
I thought I’d blog about how this came about, for me. In June, I was co-teaching a creative writing workshop with Rachel Connor (click here for Rachel’s website) at Northlight Art Studio in Hebden Bridge.
When I’d taught a session, I slipped out to watch The Handmade Parade pass by. Normally I’d join in and be in the parade alongside my daughters, but because of the clash with the workshop, this year I was a spectator. The noise, colour and spectacle was intense and dazzling… Here’s a picture of some lightning warriors.
Afterwards, I went back into the workshop and joined in an exercise taught by Rachel. This story emerged in fragments. In my mind’s eye, I could still hear the drums and see the dancers. My characters took shape, arguing and falling in love…
My final session of the workshop that day was all about editing work and finishing it. I told the writers that they should use writing competitions as useful deadlines to complete pieces of work.
So it seemed as though I should take my own advice when I saw on Twitter that For Books’ Sake had a call for YA anthology submissions. I used their deadline as impetus. I wrote this story in full, edited it, left it to brew, edited it some more and sent it off… And to my surprise and delight, I had an email from Jane saying she’d like to include it in the anthology.
So, this blog is about thanking Rachel for her workshop session, thanking Jane for accepting the story and for supporting me and many other writers, and thanking you for reading this.