A Room of One's Own: Developing the Female Authorial Voice (Amman, Jordan | Manama, Bahrain)

Course Description

Centered on the development of the female authorial voice and on issues of artistic identity, A Room of One’s Own will bring female students together in Amman, Jordan and Manama, Bahrain. This seven-week course will encourage participants to consider the physical and cultural spaces that support the formation of a creative identity, to explore a diversity of female literary voices, and to begin to develop their own voices and identities as writers.

Weekly live video classes will bring together the participants in Amman and Manama. Readings and writing assignments will be provided through a passworded course website, where asynchronous online workshops of students’ writing assignments will be conducted. Each student can log into the website at any time and share supportive critical feedback on her fellow students’ work. During the live video classes, the instructor and students will discuss the challenges posed by each writing assignment and the craft issues brought up by the workshops and readings. Readings will encourage participants to consider the roles that physical and cultural space play in the development of one’s identity and to envision the spaces and routines that would best support their artistic ambitions.

The course dates are February 23rd-April 10th, 2015. Participants in Jordan are students at the University of Jordan. Participants in Bahrain will be recruited from the following schools: Bahrain Polytechnic, The Ernst and Young Training Centre, the University of Bahrain, King's College London, Ahlia University, Khawla Secondary Girls School, Kingdom University, the Modern Knowledge Schools, the New York Institute of Technology (Bahrain campus), AMA International University, Leeds Metropolitan, and the APG School. The IWP is proud to offer a virtual space for creative and cultural exchange to these aspiring female writers.

Bahrain Completion Ceremony

On the evening of May 4th, 2015 at the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain, Ambassador William V. Roebuck and Deputy Chief of Mission Timothy Pounds hosted a ceremony to celebrate the successful completion of A Room of One’s Own by Bahraini women. The event was attended by the students and their families and included speeches and remarks from participants Fatima Al Attar, Noor Nass and Fatima Adel. The participants shared their experiences and appreciation to the workshop coordinators and their colleagues. Ambassador Roebuck talked about the important role that writing plays in all of our lives and congratulated the attendees on their efforts by handing out certificates of participation. This innovative program was the first workshops of its kind in the Kingdom of Bahrain. You can see images from the ceremony in the gallery on the right side of this page.


Naomi JACKSON is the author of The Star Side of Bird Hill ( 2015), long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and an NAACP Image Award finalist. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. Her work has appeared in literary journals and magazines in the United States and abroad. She is the recipient of residencies from the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House, Hedgebrook, Vermont Studio Center, and the Camargo Foundation. Her website is www.naomi-jackson.com.

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