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home : community : community Sunday, October 22, 2017

11/2/2016 11:08:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
Hmong Women Write Now Retreat

By Amy Doeun

For the second time Hnub Tshiab: Hmong Women Achieving Together is presenting a writing workshop designed for Hmong women. The first conference was held in 2011. According to May Lee-Yang, project manager for the conference, "This year, our theme is Legacies of Leadership as we want to collect stories of leadership from participants or the Hmong women in their lives."

Write Now Retreat, "is ideal for aspiring and experienced writers, but it's also a great introduction to anyone wanting to try their hand at writing for the first time. The retreat offers interactive workshops, networking opportunities, and an opportunity for you to have your work published in a special anthology by Hnub Tshiab to celebrate the voices of Hmong women and girls."

Anyone who self-identifies as a Hmong woman, including those that are multi-racial, multi-ethnic and trans, that is over 18 is welcome to attend. "We encourage family members. For example, a Hmong-speaking mother attending with an English-speaking daughter to encourage intergenerational art making."

Lee-Yang added, "This year, Hnub Tshiab has a goal of curating an anthology that honors the leadership of Hmong women. The retreat and follow-up workshops are designed to not only spark new writing but create processes to help people complete new work that can be submitted to the anthology."

The working title of the anthology would be Legacies of Leadership. Hmong Times asked Lee-Yang how leadership relates to writing. She replied, "Writing has a direct connection to leadership. The Hmong have traditionally been an oral culture, but in the U.S., we are very much a culture grounded in the written word. One of the things that is happening is that the stories and experiences of people in the past and present are being lost (or have never come to light) because we had no way of knowing about them on a large scale. Having these stories documented and disseminated is a step in creating exposure about Hmong women's leadership stories. It is also incredibly powerful to have people tell their own stories in their words - something that people from marginalized communities often do not have a platform to do."

Lee-Yang added that they had some feedback from the previous conference, "One of the feedback from previous years is that people are hungry for this opportunity. Already, we've received applications from Hmong women who live outside of the Midwest, which is a sign that people want a safe space to write, build community, and develop professionally."

The retreat will be held November 11-13 at Birchwood Acres on Lake Pepin, about one hour south of the cities. The retreat also includes three follow-up sessions that will prepare pieces for publication in an anthology (Legacies of Leadership - working title). The retreat is limited to 20 participants. A requirement of participating is that you be able to attend the whole conference and all follow-up sessions. The deadline to apply is October 28. For more information about the conference contact Lee-Yang at may@lazyhmongwoman.com. A timeline for the program is below.

October 28, 2016 Deadline for registration

October 31, 2016 Notification about retreat

November 11-13, 2016 Writing Retreat

Saturday, December 3 Writing Workshop #1

Saturday, January 7 Writing Workshop #2

Saturday, February 4 Writing Workshop #3 / Deadline to submit work for anthology

Friday, April 7, 2017 Hnub Tshiab Annual Fundraiser Event (St. Paul, MN)

May 2017 Final celebration




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