100 Voices

By Miranda Roszkowski

100 years after getting the Vote, 100 female writers share their story

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Happy New Year and thanks to all of our supporters!

2019 was an exciting year for 100 Voices. We started the year with the kernel of an idea - what if we took our podcast of over 100 women’s stories about life in the UK, 100 years after women got the vote - and made it a book!

With the dream of boosting the visibility of women writers and the audibility of their stories we signed a book contract with the publisher Unbound and started our quest to raise the initial print run costs via subscription. A year later - we’ve raised over £9000 towards our goal, held events, featured in publications around the country and met many amazing people. 

There are 275 of you who have signed up as supporters a HUGE thank you for believing in us.  To those who've yet to take the plunge, please join us if you’re not already in our chorus and help us shout to the world that the time to shine a light on women’s stories is here. 

Happy New Year to all who have bought the book and those who have helped us in other ways. We hope you’ll keep in touch in 2020 and that this is the year we can bring “100 Voices” to you in print. Just think -  if all of you get one friend to sign up we will be pretty much there.

We have some very exciting things to tell you about and you’ll hear from us soon, but from me and all 110 writers, have a very Happy New Year and let’s raise a glass to a decade where women’s stories can flourish!

Here’s a whirlwind tour of what we did in 2019:

In January, a few months on from concluding our podcast where we shared a new women writer’s story each day for 100 days, we started our march towards print by being offered a book contract with Unbound! February saw us “soft launch” our funder - gaining 10% funding before we had even started! 

March we celebrated our official launch at Pankhurst centre in Manchester a fantastic panel event featuring the Manchester People’s History Museum, Comma Press, authors Emily Morris and Reshma Ruia. Reshma then joined Jo Howard (who also compered the event) Felicity Goodman and Alex Keelan in the Pankhurst’s own parlour to captivate our audience. 

In April we had Stefanie Moore, Gaynor Jones and Emily Devane came together to read at Manchester’s premier spoken word event Verbose and our supporters grew - including the hugely successful author of Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins who gave us a great leg up! 

May - Yvonne Battle Felton, nominated for the Women’s Prize for her excellent novel Remembered joins our team with an exclusive piece written for our birthday- marking a year since we reached our target of publishing a new writer over 100 days on our podcast. Deborah Frances White also gave us a boost - she’s writing the foreword to the book when it’s funded. 

We also made the top 10 Best Books that aren't yet made (read all about it here)  AND Kate Jenkins, Emma Halliday and I were featured in the press - check out our article with the kind people at the literary magazine MirOnline (read it here)

In the summer we added yet more to our band of women storytellers - each author bringing a fresh new voice to our chorus. In July I had the honour of speaking at the welsh Womenspire awards and meeting a whole raft of brilliant females blazing the way forward and ensuing their achievements were heard by all! 

We started the momentum again in September with a London meet up in the very building where the WSPU had their offices. Ros Ball wrote about it on our blog here! We also held a twitter storm and any new supporters discovered they got a special gift - free tickets to one of our writers Sabrina Mahfouz’s play at the internationally renowned Royal Court Theatre! 

To mark Black History Month in October Natalie Twum-Barima gave us a beautiful tribute which she shared on our blog here.

By November - Christmas was coming! We were prepping our advent calendar which we launched on 1st December - sharing 24 of our 100 Voices stories ad reminding people what the project was all about - the many voices of modern women, all witha story to tell of their achievements  and how they learned to use their voice. 

With only a few days left of the year  - we finally hit 50% and thanks to our friends who joined us to #sponsorastory we have now surpassed that! We finished the year with a party in the amazing Pages Cheshire Street bookshop which sells books exclusively by women and non binary authors. The event was exceptional with readings by 4 of our authors - Aliyah Kim Keshani, Miranda Keeling, Emma Halliday and Ros Ball and meeting lots of new friends.

Thanks to Pages we have now got our funding target down even further. We have raised over £9000! A HUGE thank you to all of our supporters. In 2020 we’ll be asking you to help us share our 100 Voices. If all of you get a friend to sign up we will be pretty much there. 

We have some very exciting things to tell you about and you’ll hear from us soon, but from me and all 110 writers, have a very Happy New Year and let’s raise a glass to a decade where women’s stories can flourish! 

Coming soon to all good bookshops... 100 Voices: women writers on their achievments and what makes them keep going

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