2023 - 2024

Wintergreen Women Writers Collective: Sacred Work

Developing a sustainable collective model that supports Black writing and culture

Through this project, Wintergreen Women Writers Collective co-founder and JMU faculty member Dr. Joanne Gabbin and JMU Libraries Director of Digital Scholarship and Distinctive Collections Caitlin Birch will develop a viable model to sustain Wintergreen Women as a 35-year-old collective centering the encouragement and support of Black writing and culture, and document and preserve the work of the women writers who are a part of it. Founded in 1987, the Wintergreen Women Writers Collective is dedicated to supporting and promoting women writers of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of experience. The organization offers workshops, retreats, and other opportunities for women writers to connect with one another, hone their craft, and gain exposure for their work.

Educopia is proud to serve as the fiscal sponsor for the Wintergreen Women Writers’ Collective.

Project Goals

The goals of the proposed work will extend beyond the end of the planning grant. Goals include:

  1. Explore new partnerships Wintergreen Women Writers Collective, Educopia and the JMU Libraries that can enhance the success of the Collective as a developing organization.
  2. Ensure the continuity of the Wintergreen Women Writers Collective by establishing a formal governance model, (including a governing board composed exclusively of Collective members), and co-designing an organizational development roadmap based on a series of facilitated conversations with members regarding their organizational development goals.
  3. Enhance the visible, online presence of the Collective through upgrades to the website, logo design, and strategic communications planning.
  4. Design of an undergraduate course for advanced English majors in which students will be guided in documenting the Wintergreen Women and beginning assessment of their archival holdings for future preservation.
  5. Provide an opportunity to gather a large number of the members of the Collective during two major retreats.
  6. Create video documentation about the Wintergreen Women Writers Collective (prioritizing the stories of the Collective’s oldest members) that will eventually be submitted to the proposed Wintergreen Women archival collection at JMU, and can be used in a future project to produce a video documentary intended to bring broad attention to the work of the Collective.