Orlando Writers and the Rising Wave

What a deep writerly pleasure it was for me to read the most recent Orlando submissions and to make the final selections. It was not surprising that the work that came in was so various and so fine—but such work always surprises the mind and the spirit and heart. I send my thanks to all for the privilege of reading, and congratulations to the winners and finalists.

The winners of this Orlando cycle will be included in a new AROHO creation, an anthology of women writers, inspired by Virginia Woolf and featuring Maxine Hong Kingston. I’ll be editing the anthology, whose working title is Waves: A Confluence of Women’s Voices. The wave reference is to Woolf’s idea of a lifting wave that sets off the creative process. The voices we are seeking are yours.

My reading of the Orlando submissions, and also my AROHO Retreat experiences, make me certain of the abundance of truly remarkable work by AROHO women. That work will ultimately shape the anthology, but as a working structuring principle we are imagining something organic, free flowing, not unlike call and response. And not unlike the way waves push on each other, rise and fall, always in motion, always making new shapes and meanings.

I see those new shapes and meanings rising out of our multiplicity of esthetics and lived experience. I see them as a basis for new definitions of authority, by which I mean, cultural authority—the right to speak, to be listened to, ultimately to make change. I believe the act of gathering together such different voices and experiences will help clarify and amplify their authority, their native wisdom and power, in the culture at large. It will be a book like no one has ever seen before.

You’ll find a video call for submissions here on the AROHO website, with more about our concept of Waves: A Confluence of Women’s Voices, and also a link with information about guidelines and the AROHO Submittable page. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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Author: A Room of Her Own

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