Photograph byJolka Igolka

A Landscape of Women's Stories

Monday, May 31, 2010

MM - it's short for Mapping Me not the chocolate sweet.

Tamara and I had a long meeting today. Needless to say, I am exhausted and in desperate need of a good English breakfast tea. So sit back, kittlings, put your feet up and let your hands cup a warm mug of soy/milk/coca/coffee/tea, it is time for our weekly update.

Over the coming weeks we will be assessing our samples/submissions. It will a careful process made so much harder by the incredible quality of the work we have received. Our reading period is currently a month, so please feel free to nag us if you haven't heard from us by July. Nevertheless, we are truely heartened by the responses. We will be setting up a database of emails to keep our readers and contributors in the loop of any developments. As a writer myself I know how tedious and nerve-wrecking the waiting process is. Believe me, Tamara and I are currently living it!

The purpose of our meeting today was to nut out our proposal. After seven hours, I think not only surpassed our goal but we left it quaking at the side of the road. Our next step is to begin to approach literary agents and publishers with the view towards the international market. Watch this space.

As always, we are appreciative of the support and kindness of all women who have submitted their samples. Please pass on the word about Mapping Me to your friends, colleagues and families. The more people are aware of this project, greater is the readership for our contributors!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Facebook Invasions and Help in Unexpected Places

I'm a believer in the simple adage: what you don't ask, you don't receive. Sometimes you ask and you don't get that expected outcome but really, c'est la vie. Still all you can do is try again and if necessary, keep asking because sometimes you just might score that gold medal. Tamara and I are very grateful for those medals we have received thus far on this Mapping Me journey. We thank the Fantasticos from Femrite: Ugandan Women Writers Association and the Palestinian Writers and Their Friends group as well as all the wonderful women who have so far submitted some truly astounding literary and artistic work. Which leads me to my next point. Mapping Me isn't about a couple of sheilas with an idea. It's about giving a loudhailer to all the screaming, laughing, crying, joking and whispering voices of women who are living our stories. Our purpose is simple: through literary and artistic expression, women can become empowered. And empowered women are HEARD.

In the true spirit of over-saturating the internet, check out our new Facebook group. Over the next few weeks, Tamara and I will be building our publisher's proposal but if you want to drop us line, say hello, or pose a question feel free to email us at

mappingme (at)

No question is too big or small. Just remember, artistes, what you don't ask, you don't receive.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Poof....the week that was

It seems as I grow older, the days turn faster. Certainly it has been the case this week, as Tamara and I approach the middle of May with our 1st of June deadline approaching. Of course, I have been working on a television show this week - it's hard and fatiguing work - yet after a long day it's a pleasant feeling to open my inbox and see those samples waiting to be read. Truly I'm astounded to see the wealth of talent, those quiet voices finding voice within the magma of literature and unpublished writing.

The key to empowering and encouraging women in literary endeavours is to encourage the creativity of family and whanau, of village and town, of city and country and of Nation! Mapping Me isn't just a project about celebrating women - it's about celebrating what it means to be human upon this blue planet.

So for anyone wondering: 'can I write or draw? Can I contribute?' the question I would ask you is

'will you?'

Happy writing.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Hello everyone!

This is Tamara (and assisted by Orchid!)- the other half of Mapping Me. I decided it's time I learn how to use this blog (I am the non-technical one...and a bit challenged in that area). I am very excited about the interest that we've received from various corners of the world including Zimbabwe, South Africa and Nepal! This week we continued with our research and we met with book store owners to discuss the process and what is trending at the moment. Right now we are having our Saturday meeting update to read our latest submissions over coffee and health store sweet goodies (sourced by Orchid).

We'll be in touch soon.