Connection Through Art – Memoir Writing Newcomer Storytelling Workshop

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Storytelling workshop series for newcomers at YWCA this month

Newcomers often face unique challenges leaving their country of origin and adapting to a new culture in Canada. A new storytelling workshop series offered by the YWCA of Hamilton aims to empower them to share these unique stories of finding a new home in the city.

We are looking for Newcomer women and non-binary folks to come in and learn from Anne Bokma, an award-winning local journalist and author who is the founder of the city’s popular 6-Minute Memoir annual storytelling event on how to write a short memoir, or story, about their settlement journey to Canada and their life thus far. Desiree Lethbridge, the Community Coordinator here at YWCA Hamilton, says “We know every journey here to Hamilton is a unique one. We want to highlight these stories to bring awareness to Newcomer experiences, struggles and accomplishments.”

Telling Your Story: Voices of Newcomers is a free three-part writing workshop series that will give female-identifying participants an opportunity to share their stories (either in written or oral storytelling form) with one another in the safety of a small group setting.

Guided by Anne, participants will be guided on how to select stories from their life to focus on, the elements of what makes a good story, how to get their story started and they’ll receive personal feedback and assistance on developing their story. At the end of the series, they will have finished a story from their life to share with other participants in the group and they’ll also benefit from hearing the stories of others. Desiree adds “We are looking to record a few of these stories with permission from the folks that wrote them and make them available to the public. We want to showcase the hard work these Newcomer folks are doing and offer a platform to do so.”

The 3-week workshop series will be held In-person on May 12th, 19th and 26th from 10 am to 12:30pm at the Hamilton YWCA, McNab location.

Email our community coordinator, Desiree Lethbridge at to register.

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