Clearly, not all writers are cut out to do the kind of work Power does, but if you want your writing to have a larger purpose, here are a few resources for you:
August 23-25th is the Writing for Change 2007 conference in San Francisco. It was co-founded by two literary agents, Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen.
Anya Achtenberg will be teaching an online workshop, Writing for Social Change: Re-Dream a Just World, later this year. You can subscribe to her blog here.
Achtenberg and Demetria Martinez co-taught Writing for Social Change at the Taos Summer Writers Conference last year. This August they will co-teach a workshop on memoir, “The World Outside-The World Within, Living and Writing Your Story," at the Leaven Center in Lyons, MI. The Leaven Center is a, "retreat and study center nurturing the relationship between spirituality and social justice."
HECUA (Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs) in Minnesota has a Writing for Social Change Program. Kristi Gee describes the program in her post, "Everyone is a teacher and a learner":
We take classes all day Tuesdays and Thursdays. On the opposite days, we work for a non-profit related to our study. So I will intern at the Loft, prolly with young writers or spoken word.Hopelark is hoping to join the program as well.
The idea is that students get to put social justice-ee ideas into practice. See how theory actually works. Everyone is a teacher and a learner. Engage in the world. Learn to think critically. That whole bit.
Whoop whoop! : Should be a really valuable learning experience.
The nonprofit, Fahumu: Networks for Social Justice, produced Writing for Change: An Interactive Guide to Effective Writing, Writing for Science and Writing for Advocacy in 2000. You can order the CD-ROM, or read it for free online.
For more summer reading, check out Mary Pipher's, Writing to Change the World, or Jessica Singer's Stirring up Justice: Writing and Reading to Change the World. I haven't read either of them yet, so let me know what you think.
If you are a relatively unpublished American novelist whose writing has social change themes, you can apply for Barbara Kingslover's Bellwether Prize for Fiction. Past winners include Donna Gershten for Kissing the Virgin's Mouth, Gayle Brandeis for Book of Dead Birds, Marjorie Kowalski Cole for Correcting the Landscape and Hillary Jordan for Mudbound. You can check out Gayle's blog, Fruitful, here.
Finally, if you want to encourage young writers to write for change, the National Writing Project has published Writing for Change: Boosting Literacy and Learning Through Social Action in 2006. In her post, Diary of Writing for Social Change Research Project, Kris writes about a project she'll be doing with a group of teachers who will conduct research projects in their classrooms about writing for social change. They will be using the National Writing Project Book as their text.
Mahatma Gandhi said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
Toni Morrison said, "If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."
If you mix the two together, you've got writing to change the world.
Photo Credit: Royal by Dianna