Read Time 3 Minutes
Meet Lucy Jaffe, founder of Women Writing Birmingham. She founded Women Writing Birmingham to provide a safe space in the community for women to grow as writers.
Lucy Jaffe, founder of Women Writing Birmingham, is certainly creative. She was (and still is) an artist before she became a writer.
“I had always been a big reader and was a visual artist. All arts are a form of communication and I was happy using the nonverbal medium of painting, except for the times I needed to translate the work and my thoughts into words. I knew I needed to work on it,” Jaffe told B-Metro in May.
“I also read that those who love to read often have a buried desire to write. It wasn’t so much that I recognized that desire in myself, but it offered an interesting challenge and so I began to write about what was important to me.”
Now, Lucy Jaffe, MFA, has been published as a writer in Cherry Blossom Review, New American Paintings, Project Nature Connections, Sarasvati, and Poet Lore.
When asked about creativity, Lucy told Bham Now, “I learned from working in the arts how important it was to express myself creatively and I also feel that we are all born creative beings.
I don’t think our educational experiences or culture always supports that. I wanted to offer a place where you are invited to be creative, explore and grow your voice and be listened to and acknowledged.”
The beginning of Women Writing Birmingham
When Lucy moved to Birmingham in 1997, she started putting her creativity into words.
“I was struck by the generous spirit of storytelling and sharing here,” she told B-Metro.
“The first time I came to Birmingham was for my husband’s work and the second time we came back was for me to start the writing school and he went to UA to their social work program,” Jaffe told Bham Now.
Jaffe founded Women Writing Birmingham in 2006 as a way to cultivate a female writing community in Birmingham.
According to the Women Writing Birmingham website, Jaffe attended classes at Women Writing for (a) Change in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was there she received certification to start the organization through WWf(a)C’s Feminist Leadership Academy.
Lucy Jaffe saw Women Writing Birmingham as an opportunity “to invite women to share their stories and truth. As far as receiving others’ writings and words, I think we are hungry to hear how other women experience life.”
Over 10 years later…
Now, Women Writing Birmingham, LLC, regularly offers writing classes for women in experientially designed small groups. Small class sizes increase intimacy and community building.
According to Women Writing Birmingham’s website, a woman can expect to write, share writing, and receive and offer requested feedback on her work. Writing is done in class as well as outside of class time. Writing projects and plans vary by writer and level of experience, but all are invited to participate equally.
Providing safe and confidential space in community are key values of the school.
Jaffe described the sessions to B-Metro as, “serious but also fun.”
Writing Through Cancer
Currently, the school is helping with a class entitled Writing Through Cancer for cancer patients, survivors, and caretakers.
The classes are hosted through UAB’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, and are a collaboration with Dr. Teri Hoenemeyer, Director of Education and Supportive Services, storyteller Elizabeth Vander Kamp, and Lucy Jaffe.
“Anyone in active treatment for cancer, a survivor, or caretaker is invited to attend,” Jaffe told Bham Now.
“We offer a supportive and inviting opportunity to explore story and writing. We use stories and writing prompts and write and share and are about halfway through the first session right now. It is a new program!”
Interested in the Women Writing Birmingham community?
If you are interested in the Women Writing Birmingham community, then you can visit their website for more information.