The Silent Archive: Oral Histories of Menopause
Shadow Writer Job Description
SHADOW FREELANCE WRITER –IN–RESIDENCE – 1 position available to cover workshop activity in Nottingham and Leicester.
Writing East Midlands and East Midlands Oral History Archive are looking for an experienced female or person identifying as female to act as a Shadow writer and workshop facilitator.
This person will have a strong interest in working with women and within community based settings and writing for health and wellbeing. They will work with us on a new and exciting project, The Silent Archive: An Oral History of the Menopause.
About The East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA)
EMOHA cares for oral history recordings from across the region. Our main office is based at the Centre for Urban History at the University of Leicester; physical assets – such as reel-to-reel and cassette tape recordings – are held by the Records Office for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland; digital assets are held at the University of Leicester. The archive represents voices from across the East Midlands and is an important resource for academic and community researchers. It is vital that we continue to develop the collections and bring in voices of women and minority groups to represent the histories of all members of society.
About Writing East Midlands
Writing East Midlands is the writer development agency for the region and supports, promotes and champions writing from the East Midlands to create opportunities for practising writers and to discover new writers of quality.
To do this we:
* Find and develop new talent;
* Raise awareness of writers and writing in the East Midlands;
* Support publishing in the region;
* Encourage writing from all cultural backgrounds;
* Expand the writer economy in the region and
* Develop partnerships and broker new relationships.
* Promote East Midlands’ writers locally, nationally and internationally.
We value openness, equal access to the means of creativity, freedom of expression and the removal of barriers to creative thought and writing. These values underpin the agency’s development work with writers, literature events, projects, and relationships with partners.
About Silent Archive: An Oral History of Menopause
Menopause is a natural part of every woman’s life and yet historically it has been a taboo subject. As well as physical symptoms, menopause can affect women’s mental health, leading to anxiety and isolation. There is a gradual change in public attitudes and discussion of menopause is becoming normalised through initiatives such as the University of Leicester’s implementation of a Menopause at Work Policy, the first of its kind at a higher education institute in the UK.
Women’s voices reflecting on mid-life are notable by their absence in the oral history archives. The Silent Archive aims to engage with women and train them in oral history interviewing techniques in order for them to create a new collection of oral histories around the theme of menopause. Creative writing will be used as a tool to explore the theme more deeply. Two groups of participants will be invited to take part in the project at women’s centres in Nottingham and Leicester.
They will be encouraged to take part in either or all of the following activities:
- Oral history: training in oral history interviewing skills and/or sharing their experiences and/or perceptions of menopause through oral history interview.
- Creative Writing: creative writing workshops around the subject of menopause will be led by an experienced writer/facilitator.
Each project phase will be launched with a Welcome Event.
The successful candidate will ideally have:
- Proven literary ability and artistic quality as evidenced by an active pursuit of publication history, or history of performance and/or public outputs
- Sensitivity and understanding of community arts programmes
- A flexible and welcoming workshop approach.
- The capacity to act as an advocate for the values and benefits of the project, and to the connection between arts, literature, community cohesion and health and wellbeing
- A sensitive, diplomatic and approachable nature and a willingness to nurture creativity regardless of ability.
- Willingness to collate data for evaluation purposes.
It is envisaged that this position will require a time commitment of 6 sessions (3 hours each), across Nottingham and Leicester.
A fee of up to £450 is available (£75 per workshop).
All fees are inclusive of VAT
Additional travel expenses are available
Key Dates and Addresses
Deadline for applications is 5pm 26th February.
Interviews will take place on 11th March at Writing East Midlands, The Garage Studios, Unit 4, 41-43, St Mary’s Gate, Nottingham, NG1 1PU
Nottingham Women’s Centre 30 Chaucer St, Nottingham NG1 5LP
Writing workshops will commence in Nottingham on the 17th, 24th April and the 1st May.
Shama Women’s Centre, 39-45 Sparkenhoe St, Leicester LE2 0TD
Writing workshops will commence in Leicester on the 17th, 24th, and the 31st July.
Writing East Midlands seeks a number of ‘shadow’ writers to work alongside established professional writers, in residence at each Silent Archive residency location. The shadow writer will:
- Assist the Lead Writers to plan and facilitate up to 6, three hour workshops with the chosen group of women, or those who self-identify as women. The workshops are hoped to be playful, participatory and focus on oral interview collection and recoding, creative writing, storytelling, poetry, memoir writing, reading and role play and other areas of interest as decided by the groups themselves. They will embody an ethos of inclusion, breaking down possible feelings of isolation and writing for health and wellbeing purposes and using oral interviews as a springboard for creativity.
- Be responsive and sensitive to the group and individual members interests and needs, and be open in their workshop and sharing approach
- Be instrumental in collating evaluative data on the group’s experience, and also track their own process through the creative project. The shadow writer will support a uniform evaluative framework which they will be able to engage with and shape.
- Work with a lead writer and project partners to deliver the workshops and collate qualitive and quantitate data through the process
Please send a CV and a covering letter (no more than a page long) detailing your experience, how you meet the above criteria and why you are interested in this position to Aimee Wilkinson, email@example.com. Deadline is 5pm 26th February.
Writing East Midlands is an Equal Opportunities employer and not to discriminate against any employee or job applicant because of race, colour, religion, national origin, sex, physical or mental disability, or age.