AROHO women inspire us with their passionate voices from all around the country.
Please enjoy these excerpts from previous Gift of Freedom applications.
- Barb Johnson — New Orleans, Louisiana
- Arianna Ortiz — Santa Monica, California
- Jennifer Tseng — Los Angeles, California
- Kitsey Canaan — North Bennington, Vermont
- Rebecca Carroll — Brooklyn, New York
- Camille T. Dungy — Lynchburg, Virginia
- Meredith Hall — Pownal, Maine
- Deborah Lubar — Lincoln, Vermont
- Jeannine Harkleroad — Chesapeake, Virginia
- Hilja Keading
- Katie Grinnan
- Summer Wood — Taos, New Mexico
I want to tell you how I "won" from having applied for the Gift of Freedom Award. Completing the application made me review my own life as a writer. It took me to files full of unfinished manuscripts I'd all but forgotten and reminded me of the massive amount of work I've produced, only to abandon. I had to stop and almost grieve awhile, for all the years when writing took the back seat to everything else.
Then I seemed to finally wake up as a writer, at the ripe old age of 61. In the few short months since then, I've actually completed the first draft of a children's novel about a young girl, a "tomboy," who doesn't really fit in but refuses to give up who she is. It's in rewrite now, with the help of a good editor, and will see submission within a month or two. For the very first time, I can actually say, "I've written a book."
I see now I already had the "Room of my Own," and all the time and freedom anyone could ever want to write. I really didn't need to win the cash award. I just needed to remember that I'm a real writer.
Please accept my sincere gratitude for helping me come home to myself.