Who We Are & Why We Care: WFP Member Profile: Courtney Rose

Hi! My name is Courtney Rose and I am an aspiring wedding planner and flash writer from Richmond, as well as a member of the Central Virginia Chapter of Writing for Peace.

As an only child growing up in a single-parent household, I have always been curious about the concept of family—what it means for me, as well as for others, and for humanity in general (For example: For me, the idea of family is inherently female.). This led me to pursue a career in marriage where I have the opportunity to start two people off on the right foot through their wedding, most people’s idea of the traditional start of a “family.”

Family dynamics tend to be prominent in my writing. I have always been a very observant person, and, as a child, I noticed how different my friends’ home lives were from mine—sometimes better, sometimes much, much worse. I became hyper aware of divorce, abuse, hunger, and homelessness. My writing is an extension of that hyper-awareness: how family is defined, and how the idea of family survives (or doesn’t) in suffering.

I am involved in Writing for Peace because words have the power to open eyes and hearts. Too often we use words to divide us, but I believe that a far better purpose for our words is to connect us. Peaceful activism is so important in our society, perhaps now more than ever. Not everyone has money or time to donate to a cause, but everyone has a voice.

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What Does Peace Mean To You? We Want To Know! Submit Your Video to Peace Vines!

What does Peace mean to you?

We would love for you to join us in this conversation, one that needs to happen more now than ever!

Check out the full details on our Current Projects page! 

If you're interested in submitting a video for inclusion in Peace Vines:

  • Make your video, no more than two minutes, talking from the heart about what peace means to you.
  • Upload your video as Unlisted to Youtube
  • Then send the link for your video, with the words Peace Vines in the subject line, to the Central Virginia Chapter of Writing for Peace at the following email: wfpcentralvirginia (at) gmail (dot) com

For the camera shy, you don't have to appear on the video. We'll happily edit images with your audio.

(If you've already agreed to submit a Peace Vines video, if we could get those by January 15th, that'd be awesome! <3 Thank you for sharing your wisdom!)

We can't wait to hear from you! Peace, y'all! 

 

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Start a Writing for Peace Chapter Where You Are!

How to Start a Writing For Peace Chapter

We are so excited and honored to have communities across the country who are committed to promoting empathy and peace through creative writing. Peace takes on many different meanings, be it food and water access, affordable housing, gender equality, anti-racism, and much more. Peace should be global, but it does not have to take on a singular definition to be attainable. In order to show how varied these meanings of peace can be, we are introducing regional Writing For Peace chapters to showcase how different communities from all over the country dedicate themselves to peace, and how creative writing and education serve as tools for peace and activism at large.

Regional Writing For Peace Chapters will allow for community members to determine the most pressing issues at hand within those regions, to have access to the creative outlet that communicates those issues, and then via multiple forms of communication, drawing on the skills of writer-members, to share those regional issues with a larger community that fosters and speaks on solidarity. We want to provide awareness, foster education, and commit ourselves to peaceful action...."

More Details at Writing For Peace National

 

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What Does Peace Mean To You? Share It With Us On PEACE VINES!

Our first official chapter project is underway! But we need your help! 

What Does Peace Mean To You?

Submission Guidelines for Peace Vines

In many conversations about Writing for Peace, we've learned that people limit their definition of the word peace to its association with war. The many beautiful and varied ways we can define peace, as individuals or in the many groups, cultures, etc., to which we belong, too often get lost in the shadow of war versus peace. So we want to hear from as many people as possible, discussing what peace means to them personally.

Being primarily curated by Brigid Hokana, Peace Vines will be a Youtube Channel featuring these short videos, with the hope of opening up the discussion of what peace can mean, and why it matters so much to all of us.

If you're interested in submitting a video for inclusion in Peace Vines:

  • Make your video, no more than two minutes, talking from the heart about what peace means to you.

  • Upload your video as Unlisted to Youtube

  • Then send the link for your video, with the words Peace Vines in the subject line, to the Central Virginia Chapter of Writing for Peace at the following email: wfpcentralvirginia (at) gmail (dot) com

The following guidelines and restrictions apply:

We will be working on a special project--Peace Teens--but for now, all Peace Vines submitters must be 18 or older.

By submitting, you acknowledge that your video might be edited, including cut to as short as 1 minute for use in Peace Vines video compilation.

Submissions must follow YouTube Community Guidelines.

Any submission that violates community guidelines will be immediately declined and deleted from submissions.

YouTube Community Guidelines are as follows: NO nudity or sexual content, harmful or dangerous content, hateful content, violent or graphic content, harassment of any kind or cyberbullying, spam, misleading metadata, scams, threats, copywritten materials, impersonation of another individual, or child endangerment. For more information about YouTube Guidelines, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/yt/about/policies/#community-guidelines

For Updates, visit our Current Projects Page HERE

 

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Writing For Peace 2018 Young Writers Contest!

2018 Young Writers Contest Guidelines

Writing for Peace challenges young writers (ages 13-19) to expand their empathy skills by researching an unfamiliar culture and writing from the point-of-view of a character within that new world, while exploring social, political, and environmental pressures, and universal themes.

  • The deadline for entrance is April 1st, 2018.
  • There is no fee for participation.
  • Writers, ages 13-19, may submit in one of three categories – poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. Ages are counted from the entry date, and entrants are required to show proof of age (those images are never shared publicly).
  • Winners and published finalists will be asked to submit an author’s photograph and biography. We encourage you to explore the winners’ pages on the site to see the types of information and pictures authors share.
  • The contest is open internationally, but all submissions must be written in English and submitted with the completed form. Both American and British English are accepted.
  • All participants will receive a certificate of participation.

More Details and Submissions HERE

 

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Welcome to the Central Virginia Chapter of Writing for Peace! How We Got Here....

So happy you're here with us at the start of this new venture.

I've had the privilege of working with the national organization Writing for Peace for the last four years, an organization dedicated to employing the skills, talents, and energy of writers toward the goals of promoting empathy and peaceful activism. The dream of one woman, the amazing Carmel Mawle, Writing for Peace was founded in Colorado, with its initial goal of particularly reaching out to young writers, through an annual Young Writers' Contest. This dedication to both writing, my own field, and to young people, impressed me so much, and so I was thrilled when asked by Carmel to join the team of advisers associated with Writing for Peace. Writing for Peace continues to grow, under the direction of our new President, Andrea Slack Doray, and with an excellent board, committed to the mission Carmel first set out years ago.

I introduced the organization to my own students, young poets, essayists, and fiction writers, in the classes I teach at Longwood University, and they loved it, loved how the goals aligned with their own desire and passion for activism and social justice, loved that it embodied what they saw as the vital role of artists in creating real change in the world.

But Colorado's a long way from the rolling rural farmland of central Virginia, so one day I sent a message, a question, in a thread online, to a list of my most civically active current students and alums, asking, “How do we bring Writing for Peace here to Virginia? What would a regional chapter of WFP look like to you?”

The thread exploded, with the energy and enthusiasm and wisdom young people can bring, and the idea of WFP Regional Chapters began grow, including community activists in our area, as we developed the proposal, sought board approval, and began the steps to making this chapter of Writing for Peace a reality here in Central Virginia.

This past Sunday, using the magic of online video conferencing, we gathered, a small group of like-minded collaborators, for the first meeting of the Central Virginia Chapter of Writing for Peace.

Writers of all backgrounds and ages, supporters of the arts, community activists, anyone who wants to join us, we, as a chapter, want to do what we can, use the skills we have, to make our own communities and region better, stronger, more peaceful places for all who live here, through projects we develop as a chapter, and through the support we can as a group extend to other activists and organizations already doing good work on the ground where we are.

Beyond our desire to better our own communities, we hope that this inaugural chapter will inspire others to do the same, to come together to create Writing for Peace chapters in communities across the country, even across our beautiful planet.

We'll be posting here regularly, writing, projects, events, articles of interest, all with the hope of promoting discussions and activism toward peace. We hope you'll join us, as we work together toward a more peaceful, empathetic, loving, and just world--for everyone.

 

Mary Carroll-Hackett

Member, Central Virginia Chapter

MidAtlantic Regional Liaison

Writing for Peace

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