Woke Words

Woke Words

Applications Due 9.9.19

Woke Words is a new multi-genre creative writing series for young women of color ages 15-25. The eight-month-long program is designed to provide access and exposure to writing by women authors of color; encourage thoughtful discussion around issues of race, gender, and identity; and inspire young writers to give voice to their experiences, forge empowering connections, and create new languages for reaching across cultures and communities.

Woke Words

Offered monthly from September to April, the series consists of seven three-hour groups and one public reading event. A different writing genre will be explored during each group through reading assignments, in-class reading, multimedia presentations, creative writing exercises, and guided discussion. Woke Words is not a class or writing workshop; although participants will engage in reading and writing exercises, the series is designed to be purely creative and exploratory.

Participation in the series is open to individuals of color who self-identify as women and are between the ages of 15 and 25. To promote trust and group cohesion, the group will be limited to 15 participants per eight-month session. Admission will be application-based (link to details below) and selections will be determined by a committee comprising professionals working in film, education, healthcare, public policy, and more. If selected, the participant must commit to attending six out of eight offerings, including the public reading event. Transportation to and from the groups can be arranged if necessary.

Application Instructions

Ways to Get Involved

Completion of Program

Upon completion of the program, participants will have the opportunity to read their work to a wider public audience during the YWCA’s annual Stand Against Racism campaign, and each will receive a printed booklet featuring excerpts of their work. In addition, all books provided to participants throughout the series are theirs to keep.

Group Facilitator

Becky McFalls-SchwartzGroups will be facilitated by Becky McFalls-Schwartz, a full-time member of YWCA Utah’s Development team. As a Korean American adoptee and freelance writer, she has also published essays on identity, family, and culture. She received a B.F.A. in Creative Writing and a B.A. in Linguistics from Brooklyn College.



The YWCA would like to thank the Lockwood Family for their generous donation to make Woke Words possible, and for their belief in the power of stories to connect and empower cultures and communities.