Reading Recommendations from our Portland Readers

We’re gearing up for our first ever Portland reading this week, supporting the Women’s Justice Project.

If you’re at AWP and are looking for a great opportunity to hear personal stories from five stellar writers and support a worthy cause all at once, we hope you’ll join us!

Readers Chelsea Bieker, Aja Gabel, Genevieve Hudson, T Kira Madden & Kimberly King Parsons sent us the books and stories that are inspiring them right now.

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A Time You Found Hope

Our first Los Angeles event of the year was all about hope.

Erica Chidi Cohen, Kate Johnston, Marisa Matarazzo, & Lilliam Rivera shared stories about overcoming the past, finding the courage to put themselves first, and finding common ground through shared human experiences.

Hosted at Tabula Rasa on a rainy Saturday, we all felt a renewed sense of commitment to the power of storytelling in bringing hope during troubled times. 

We, as a global species, stand at the same spot on the bridge, take the same picture, experience the same joy...These shared affinities are beautiful because they expose a deep language that we all must speak...and this gives me hope.
— Kate Johnston, Freya Project Reader

Who We Supported

We are in the midst of the biggest refugee crisis the world has ever seen. Over 60 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their homes. In conflict, girls are especially vulnerable to violence, isolation, and being kept out of school.

Girls who receive resettlement in the United States face huge challenges: poverty, language barrier, limited or disrupted education, isolation, and trauma. But when girls succeed, everyone benefits. That's where GirlForward comes in.

This amazing organization has built a community of support dedicated to creating and enhancing opportunities for girls who have been displaced by conflict and persecution.


  • A Mentoring Program that pairs girls with mentors to engage in "4W" activities (Wellness, Wisdom, Wallet and World).

  • An Education Program that provides a space for girls to simultaneously build their English skills and succeed academically, while exploring their identities and learning about the world around them.

  • A Safe Spaces Program that provides safe spaces for girls to explore their identities, connect with other girls, and access the resources they need.

Special thanks to everyone who joined us last weekend, and to our wonderful host Aisha Muharrar!

If you weren’t able to make it on the 12th, you can still support GirlForward. 
Make a contribution to the organization here.

A Time You Fought for Yourself

Last week, we gathered at The Wing to hear Hermione Hoby, Naima Coster, Melissa Febos, Michele Filgate, and Crystal McCreary read about a time they fought for themselves. It was incredibly special for us to share space with other women, to give our attention to stories of triumph and perseverance, of self-discovery and self-affirmation.

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