New review: Creative writing at The Women’s Library

Yasmin Eshref attended a creative writing course for girls and young women at The Women’s Library

This August, I was lucky enough to attend The Women’s Library’s fully-booked, female-only, creative writing course. I’m a long time fan of The Women’s Library, popping in regularly to browse the exhibitions, attend events or flick through the collections. I’ve always hoped that my work may one day make its hallowed halls, so was delighted at the opportunity to enrich my writing skills alongside other female creative types.

The course, a joint venture of The Women’s Library and Tower Hamlet’s Summer University, was aimed at girls and young women aged 14 to 25 who wanted to “take their writing to the next level” using the library’s wide range of stories, letters, diaries, autobiographies, fiction and poetry as sources of inspiration.

Certainly, the materials we looked at were very inspiring indeed – from a suffragette’s prison diary (written in pencil on toilet paper) to excerpts from the writing of Jamaica Kincaid, a wonderful Caribbean poet.

We started the course by exploring our female identities through our names, and I found that in a pretty traditionally girly fashion, a few of us delighted in being named after flowers; I’m a Yasmin and the first friend I met was charmingly called Budlia.

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