SUMMARY—In Honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday, June 21st, the PEI Writers’ Guild is hosting an #OwnVoices Virtual Open Mic: A Celebration of Diverse Storytelling
For Immediate Release.
(CHARLOTTETOWN, PE)— When the PEI Writers’ Guild spearheaded a special Diversity, Inclusion & Equity committee to promote diversity and inclusion in the literary landscape last year, they knew they had a lot of work to do. Although the group has celebrated wins in 2021 like kickstarting two new Island Literary Awards (Scott Parsons Award, in partnership with the Black Cultural Society and the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada Award), running a journalling workshop for immigrants to Canada and creating an open membership and bursary program for underrepresented voices on PEI, the group now realizes that they are just getting started.
Mi’kmaq Poet Laureate and PEI Writers’ Guild D/I/E Committee member Julie Pellissier-Lush notes, “I am discovering so many indigenous writers in my community, although many of them are too shy to be labeled as such,” she says. The idea of an online open mic for Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour (IBPOC) participants reading their own work is a simple first step to introducing these creatives to each other, and invite participants together barrier-free.
“#OwnVoices is a term coined by writer Corrine Duyvis, and refers to an author from a marginalized or under-represented group writing about their own experiences from their own perspective—and there is much strength in that,” Executive Director and D/I/E Committee member, Mo Duffy Cobb, explains, “We want to encourage everyone even young writers to participate.”
On Wednesday, June 16th, from 7:00pm–8:30pm, Islanders will be joined by Julie Pellissier-Lush and fiction writer and PEI Writers’ Guild board member, Elizabeth Iwunwa as co-hosts. Ten BIPOC readers who register via our Google Form will have five minutes to read their work aloud, in any genre of their choosing: nonfiction, fiction, or poetry, and all are able to join the zoom to show their support.
Let the PEI Writers’ Guild help you find your #OwnVoice.
To register for the event either as a participant or audience member,
please visit our Google form:
Mo Duffy Cobb
Executive Director, PEI Writers’ Guild
Christine Gordon Manley
President, PEI Writers’ Guild
About the PEI Writers’ Guild
The PEI Writers’ Guild exists to promote a thriving and inclusive writing community on PEI. Its mission is to inspire, support, and encourage established, emerging, and potential writers to find their voice, improve their craft, and experience success in their writing lives.