Thursday, 27 March 2014

Danielle Clarke reviews Words And Women: One

Words and Women: One, 2014, was published by Unthank Cameo, and has been edited by Lynne Bryan and Belona Greenwood. This anthology arises from the work of Words And Women, an organisation which started as a small reading event in Norwich, Norfolk, to celebrate International Women's Day in 2011. This event was so much fun and had such a great reception, that it was obvious that it was not going to be a one-off! Now Words And Women continues to celebrate International Women's Day, but also offers women writers in the East of England opportunities to present their work and talk about their writing, using their energy and resources to provide a platform for all those voices which it feels need to be heard. This anthology features the work of 21 writers who entered Words And Women's first writing competition which was launched in July 2013. It was for prose work - either fiction, memoir or creative non-fiction under 3000 words in length. It features writers from a huge range of backgrounds, ages and education.

This book certainly creates a new league of expectations for women writers. The diversity which is shown within the content of each individual story is extraordinary. Wellfleet by Lily Meyer, at the beginning of the book, gives you a dramatic shock challenging everything you were expecting.  It shows confidence, in its greatest form, challenging the norms. The surprisingly open and very funny friendship between Della and Rosie was definitely one of my favourite aspects. It was written beautifully, and was unbelievably liberating, with the underlying message about relationships being truly uplifting. This story is an exceptional beginning to an exceptional book, as it creates the perfect atmosphere in your mind representing how influential women can be when being supported and letting their imagination and creativity go wild!

The story of Len's Whole Life by Alice Kent is a prime example of the differences shown within the writing. All of the work is so invigorating and enlightening.  It grabs your heart strings straight away, and leaves you wishing there was more, and you can count on never getting  tired of reading, as one story full of girl power ends, the story of a lonely man with mental health issues pulls at your emotions, begins.

By no means is Words And Women limited to women only. The writing is done to such an immaculate standard, that anyone, male or female, will be captured by the visual beauty created. There is a story for everyone. I cannot emphasise enough how the variety is so refreshing, you can lose yourself so easily in these wonderful pieces of writing, and feel as if you're there in the room watching the storylines unfold, as in My Sister's Haircut, the wonderful winning piece of writing by Dani Redd, you can literally feel your heartbeat increasing as the intensity grows.

Overall, I would highly suggest to anyone who enjoys reading, has a love for writing, or even those who just want something to occupy themselves with on the train, to purchase this book. I believe that everyone has the ability to relate to a lot of what is written about, from relationship mishaps to the inconceivable situation of a missing child. In conclusion, the writing may be short in length, but the storylines are ones which will stay with you for a lot longer.

Click here for a link to Unthank Cameo.

Danielle Clarke was born in Norwich and lives in the rural village of Bacton, but has spent time in London and Amsterdam. She attends Paston Sixth Form College in Norfolk where she has studied Law, Media Studies, Psychology and Business Studies at A level. She is now in her final year, continuing Psychology, Media and Law. Danielle secured a place in the British Film Institute (BFI) Film Academy for young people, where she was able to work with professionals as well as share her passion of media with other young people.  The project produced a short documentary film called 'Apocalypse Now?'  She has written for student newspapers, and is always looking for new ways to develop, challenge and express her creativity. She has a strong passion for writing and journalism and has offers from universities in London where she hopes to study journalism.

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