uniting women across space and time with written words
"To my sister, you are stronger than you could imagine, you are braver than you know and your future will be bright…"
Don’t you think there’s something in the shared language of letters? The idea that you can craft words intended for a reader thousands of miles away and then – in the act of writing and reading – two people become linked, even if momentarily. It was this idea that caught our attention on International Women’s Day last year.
Women for Women International’s #MessagetoMySister campaign asked supporters to write letters to women participating in the charity’s year-long programmes. There were calls for women to ‘keep going’ to ‘trust in yourself’ in between reassurances that ‘you are not alone’. It was this campaign that inspired us to create Comfort Zones.
With the support of 28 brilliant women writers and the fashion brand Jigsaw, we have – through our content agency Sonder & Tell – put together a book of letters, stories and essays, for which 100% of the proceeds will go to Women for Women International. It’s called Comfort Zones as we’ve encouraged the women contributing to dig deep and write something brave and new. The aim is not to draw parallels between the women supported by the charity and our writers, but to explore the idea of pushing boundaries – both big and small – in recognition of their bravery.
Of course, we are not the only people to recognise the power of the written word in uniting women across space and time. As much as there is something in the shared language of a letter, there is something special about an anthology – a grouping of diverse voices brought together for a common cause. On the eve of the publication of Comfort Zones, we've pulled together some of our favourite story collections – to read, and then to pass on.
edited by Sonder & Tell
The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write
Edited by Sabrina Mahfouz
Feminists Don’t Wear Pink & Other Lies
curated by Scarlett Curtis
The Story: Love, Loss and The Lives of Women
edited by Victoria Hislop
New Daughters of Africa
edited by Margaret Busby
Fifty Shades of Feminism
edited by Lisa Appignanesi, Eva Hoffman and Susie Orbach
27 MARCH, 2019 | EVENING STANDARD
Kate Hamilton and Emily Ames from Sonder & Tell explain that the anthology holds a ‘record of profound experience and experimental styles’, as they asked writers to ‘think about their usual subject matter, and then work against it.
21 MARCH, 2019 | WONDERLAND MAGAZINE
Read the interview with Sonder & Tell co-founders Emily and Kate as they discuss how the Comfort Zones project came together and how they are leaving their own comfort zones behind.