What's New #1, by Susan Wittig Albert
This is the first post in a new series here at HerStories: posts about the ongoing life and work and women of the Story Circle Network. In every post, I’ll try to include a bit of SCN’s backstory, as well as information about what we’re currently up to. In this post, a few introductions to start off with.
Who am I? I’m Susan Albert. I’ve been a Story Circle member since the very beginning. I’ve also been SCN’s president and a board member; now, I’m an active volunteer and a passionate supporter of SCN's work and mission.
What is SCN? SCN is an international nonprofit organization for women who want to write about their lives. At SCN, we believe that lifewriting helps us discover our essential selves: our past, present, future. We want to learn about the lives of other women, because their lives help us to see our own more clearly. Our focus is on sharing our stories, in as many media as possible.
SCN was born in March, 1997, midwifed by a dozen wise and strong women in Austin TX. I’m usually named as the organization’s mother/founder, and in one sense, I am: I wrote the original charter and mission statement and assembled that first board of directors, and I’ve been a supporter and cheerleader ever since. But over the years, SCN has had many, many mothers. I’m just the first in a long line–or rather, in a strong and loving circle of women who have embraced SCN and nurtured it with their energies.
I want to honor one of those mothers, Peggy Moody. Her interests coincided with SCN’s from the beginning. Peggy has been our webmistress for over a decade and our executive director since 2003. She put SCN online, gave us the tools we needed to strengthen and enhance our board’ communications and activities, and enabled us to offer online programs we hardly dared to dream about a decade ago. We often think of Peggy as She-Who-Without-Whom-Nothing-Happens. It’s true in more ways than any of us can count.
What’s new at SCN? Here are a few highlights:
- The faculty who teach in our online program are opening our fall 2009 writing classes, taught by women, for women, about women.
- The review panel that helped to select the presenters for our upcoming conference has made its recommendations and invitations have been sent. We’ll be announcing the program later this month, so watch for it. We hope you’ll join us for Stories From the Heart, our fifth national women’s memoir conference–an absolutely unique event.
- StoryCircleBookReviews.org just sent its monthly eletter, announcing new reviews of fine women’s books. Check out the website and subscribe.
- Our online lifewriters’ Yahoo discussion group is chatting about a fascinating memoir, Walking Nature Home, written by one of our SCN members, Susan J. Tweit.
More to come. I’ll be posting regular updates to this blog, to let you know about the things we are doing at SCN. In the meantime, check out the other bloggers here at HerStories, women who have something important to say about the important subject of lifewriting.